NTSB Issues Report on Engine Power Loss in Cirrus SR22T Aircraft

by | Apr 15, 2022 | Aviation Accident

The National Transportation Safety Board has released a report on the loss of engine power that can occur in Cirrus SR22T aircraft.  The report is based on prior investigations of the NTSB, and provides safety recommendations to both the FAA and Cirrus.  The NTSB found six different incidents when a Cirrus SR22T plane lost engine power during the takeoff climb.  Fuel data indicated that prior to the loss of engine power, there was an excessively high fuel flow.

The NTSB’s report notes that Cirrus has issued software updates in an attempt to resolve this issue, but the NTSB still has concerns that all potential causes of the excessive fuel flow have not been identified:

As stated above, the NTSB was only able to identify the cause of the excessive fuel flow in three of the SR22T accidents we investigated. We believe that all the potential causes for these failures need to be identified to fully address this hazard. A functional hazard assessment (FHA) is a top-down process that can be used to examine system functions to identify all potential failure conditions and classify the associated hazards. An FHA is normally performed early in the development and certification of an aircraft but should also be updated as new functions or failure conditions are identified. Once an FHA is completed, a system safety assessment associates a probability to each failure condition. Although Cirrus performed many FHAs during the initial certification process of the SR22T, as of December 15, 2021, Cirrus had not performed an FHA for excessive fuel flow during takeoff and climb resulting in a loss of engine power.

The NTSB is concerned that, because there may be additional potential causes for excessive fuel flow-related engine failures that have not yet been identified, they will continue to occur despite Cirrus’ software updates. Therefore, the NTSB concludes that the Cirrus SR22T can experience a loss of engine power due to excessive fuel flow and some causes of excessive fuel flow during takeoff and climb may have not been identified and mitigated.

The NTSB made the following recommendations:

To the Federal Aviation Administration:

Review the functional hazard assessment (FHA) recommended in Safety Recommendation A-22-7 and ensure it meets the objectives of Advisory Circular 23.1309-1E. Upon approval of the FHA, work with Cirrus to identify necessary mitigating actions and require their implementation through the appropriate means, such as an airworthiness directive. (A-22-6)

To Cirrus Aircraft:

Conduct a functional hazard assessment (FHA) to identify the causes, effects, and severity levels for the SR22T excessive fuel flow hazard condition during takeoff and climb phases of flight and, based on the FHA, update the system safety assessment. (A-22-7)

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