Last night, a 2005 Cirrus SR22 crashed in Douglas County, just north of Rueter-Hess Reservoir. The crash resulted in 1 casualty, debris spread across a field, and an engine embedded in the side of a home located at 1100 block of Pastel Point. The aircraft was a Cirrus SR22 which comes equipped with an Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) which was not used. The crash was known as a ‘high-impact crash.’
In order to better understand the events that led up to the crash, 303News obtained ATC (Air Traffic Control) from our partners at
Here’s what we know. The pilot of the SR22 was given takeoff clearance around 8:13 PM on 35R MST. Winds were gusting to 21. Shortly after takeoff, ATC advised the Cirrus pilot to remain west of the centerline of 35R for another Cirrus who was on final for 35R. The pilot of 7TX responded that he would remain west of the centerline for 35R. 60 seconds or so later, ATC asked 7TX to fly east through the centerline, which was again acknowledged and read back by 7TX.
The next communication identifies a problem. ATC asks 7TX what their on-course heading will be, and asked what they were doing. 7TX responded with “Um, 7TX I think I am going to return to ah, return to Centennial.”
ATC continued asking 7TX which runway he wanted, starting with 28. There was a short, brief mic transmission of what sounded like a sharp breath and then silence. We’re not sure if that was from 7TX or not at this point… At that point, you could tell that ATC was a bit frustrated as 7TX was quickly flying into an area that could cause problems for incoming traffic. Several attempts to reach 7TX were unanswered. At around the 19:00 mark, there was a transmission which sounded like another breath. After that, there were no more communications with 7TX.
While we can’t be certain what caused the tragic crash of 7TX, our aviation analyst suggested that either the weather could have been a factor, and the pilot fell into spatial disorientation, and panicked or the pilot may have had an in-air medical emergency. We will update this post as we learn more from the NTSB & FAA investigation.