April 10, 2004, N. Lauderdale, Fla. / Cirrus Design Corp. SR22


At about 0956 Eastern time, the Cirrus SR22 collided with trees after the pilot intentionally activated the airplanes parachute system. The flight originated about six minutes earlier from the Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) Executive Airport. Shortly after takeoff, the flight encountered IMC at 400 feet. The pilot later reported the vertical speed indicator suddenly decreased to zero, then increased to 2000 FPM, then went back to zero. He reported there was no turbulence. At that point, the altimeter began large deflections. Subsequently, the attitude indicator did not agree with the turn coordinator. After requesting vectors for an ILS approach at the departure airport, the pilot advised the controller that he was losing gauges and would be unable to execute the requested approach. He then advised the controller that he was going to activate the parachute system and did so. Preliminary examination of the static system of the airplane revealed the lines contained water between the static port openings and the alternate static air valve; the water was retained for analysis.


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