August 4, 2010, Phoenix, Ariz., Cirrus Design Corp. SR22


At about 0604 Mountain time, the airplane was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain adjacent to a building while on final approach. The solo commercial pilot was killed. Visual conditions prevailed.

The cross-country flight originated about three minutes prior to the accident, with Tennessee as its intended destination. Preliminary review of recorded ATC communications revealed that, about 34 seconds after being cleared for takeoff, the pilot transmitted, “I need to return to close the door.” A pilot-rated witness observed the airplane turn left to a downwind leg and climb to about 500 feet agl. The witness noted the airplane appeared to be traveling slowly as it began a left turn to final. The “left wing stalled” as it entered a “left spin.” The witness lost sight of the airplane, then observed a plume of smoke and fire.


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