Anatomy of a failed go-around and subsequent fatality.

Accident: the pilot of a Cirrus SR22 noticed he was low and slow on short final and elected to go-around. The Cirrus stalled, entered a spin, and crashed inverted killing the pilot and severely injuring his two passengers.

Findings: the NTSB recovered a video taken by the front seat passenger in the seconds before the crash showing flaps in the retracted position three seconds before power was applied for go-around. The onboard ‘black box’ revealed the Cirrus pitching 22-degrees nose up (significantly higher than the recommended 7-degree pitch up), entering a roll to the left, and then descending in a 30-degree pitch down attitude. The airspeed at the time of the stall was 71 kias (one knot above Vs).

Probable cause: ground observer accounts and data retrieved say the pilot may have retracted the flaps PRIOR to setting full power during the go-around and pitched up excessively likely inducing an accelerated stall. Additionally, it appears that insufficient right rudder was applied to counter the 4-left turning forces causing the Cirrus to enter a spin to the left. Insufficient altitude was available for a successful CAPS deployment.

Takeaway: The FAA reports that this sequence of events is a common cause of pilot and passenger fatality. We pilots should practice go-arounds once a month to remain proficient and safe. Remember that Cirrus says the proper go-around sequence is:

AUTOPILOT disengage

FULL POWER while applying requisite right rudder

FLAPS retract to 50-percent

PITCH for 75-80 kts approximately 7-degrees (to the horizon)

FLAPS 0-percent after obstacle is cleared

COMMUNICATE announce go-around

Knowledge = Safety

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