The Pitch Up And Reduction Of Engine Power Were Not Commanded By The Pilot

Location: Mount Comfort, IN Accident Number: CEN23FA045
Date & Time: November 25, 2022, 08:00 Local Registration: N15VJ
Aircraft: Cirrus Design Corp SF50 Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation – Positioning

On November 25, 2022, about 0800 eastern standard time, a Cirrus SF50 airplane, N15VJ, was substantially damage when it impacted a retention pond after a deployment of the whole airplane parachute system near Mount Comfort, Indiana. The pilot was not injured. The flight was conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a positioning flight.

The pilot reported that the preflight and pretakeoff checks of the airplane were normal and he proceeded to takeoff from runway 25 at the Indianapolis Regional Airport (MQJ), Greenfield, Indiana. After takeoff he retracted the landing gear and flaps and engaged the autopilot. A short time later he received audible and visual gear unsafe warnings followed by the airplane pitching up and a reduction of engine power. The pitch up and reduction of engine power were not commanded by the pilot.

The pilot first attempted to disconnect the autopilot using a press and release of the yoke mounted autopilot disconnect button, followed by pressing and holding the button. He also attempted to disconnect the autothrottle system using the button mounted on the center console. He did not believe that the autopilot or autothrottle systems had disconnected and the airplane continued to pitch up and slow down. He said that the airplane was close to an aerodynamic stall and the left wing dropped. At this time the pilot pulled the handle to deploy the Cirrus Airplane Parachute Systems (CAPS), which was a whole airplane parachute system.

The parachute deployed and the airplane drifted down under canopy, and landed in a retention pond in an industrial area.