BOYNTON BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — BocaNewsNow.com has learned that the NTSB believes a fire and fuel loss led to the crash of the Cirrus SR22 that killed Ryan Christopher Ruano, 34, of Bushnell, Florida; and Sean Reynolds McLeod, 23, also of Bushnell. The plane crashed in the Arthur Marshall Wildlife Preserve on November 13th. Here is the update from the National Transportation Safety Board:[On November 13, 2011, about 1737 eastern standard time, a Cirrus Design Corp SR22, N661FT, was substantially damaged when it impacted terrain within the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge near Boynton Beach, Florida. The certificated commercial pilot and the certificated private pilot were fatally injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the flight. The personal flight, which originated at Witham Field (SUA), Stuart, Florida about 1722, was operated under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91.
The pilot and passenger were returning from an air show at SUA, with a presumed destination of North Palm Beach County General Aviation Airport (F45), West Palm Beach, Florida. Flying in formation with the accident airplane during the flight were two of the pilot’s friends, one flying a Sukhoi Su-29 and the other flying an Extra EA-300. After joining in formation about 10 nautical miles south of SUA, the flight proceeded southwest.
Shortly after the flight crossed the northern border of the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, the pilot of the Su-29 reported that the accident airplane’s pitch smoothly increased upward to an angle of about 30 degrees. The airplane then began a roll to the left, and as the airplane rolled to an inverted attitude, it pitched nose down. As the airplane descended, it began to roll right, before it impacted the marsh below in an approximate 80-degree nose down pitch attitude.
The pilot of the Su-29 subsequently entered a left orbit around the accident site and contacted air traffic control to report the accident.
The accident site was located in a marsh land, about 15 nautical miles southwest of F45. The wreckage exhibited severe fragmentation and was submerged under a layer of water and mud that was estimated to be about 15 feet deep. Portions of the wreckage recovered included all flight control surfaces, the empennage, portions of both wings, and portions of the fuselage. The engine, firewall, instrument panel, and portion of the fuselage around the center wing spar were not recovered. A follow-up wreckage recovery attempt was scheduled for a later date.
The airplane was equipped with a whole-airframe ballistic recovery parachute system. Examination of the recovered components from the system revealed that the rocket motor had ignited and expended its fuel, and that the packed parachute assembly had ejected from the wreckage. The system’s activation handle was recovered intact, with the safety pin installed.]