February 6, 2005, Norden, Calif. / Cirrus Design Corp SR22 G2


At about 1820 Pacific time, the airplane impacted mountainous terrain after encountering icing conditions. The Private pilot, the sole occupant, sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed. Instrument conditions prevailed at the airplanes cruise altitude and an IFR flight plan had been filed. After taking off from Reno, Nev., the airplane climbed to a Mode-C altitude of 16,100 feet msl. The target leveled off and maintained 16,100 feet msl for about three minutes, 40 seconds. Radar data showed that the target initiated a climb and attained 16,700 feet msl. The last 12 seconds of recorded radar data indicated that the target was in a descent. Radar contact was lost at 18:17:29, at a Mode C reported altitude of 15,700 feet msl. During the flight, the pilot reported to ATC that he was in icing conditions and was not able to maintain altitude. Factory representatives examined the recovered components of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) and determined the system was activated well above the design limits, and at a very high airspeed.


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