SR-22 Crash in Zurich

  • Incident: Small-plane crash
  • Location: Zurich Klothen Airport (ZRH)
  • Time/Date: Afternoon Oct. 22
  • Impact: Flight delays

A Cirrus SR22 small aircraft crashed at Zurich Airport in the afternoon Oct. 22. A handful of people were on board, of which at least two died. Emergency crew are at the scene and have partly shut down a runway. The airport stopped all traffic for about 10 minutes immediately after the accident but has since resumed operations.

report in French and photo

Report in German here:

One detail: According to the Swiss newspaper, the flight was not supposed to land at Zurich, but was filed Geneva - Berlin direct. Don’t know whether true or not. But if true, a technical landing comes to mind - possibly icing - which may have lead to a stall during landing. PURE GUESSING so far.

Tragic news. The ILS 14 in Zurich airport is a “no surprise” approach so one would indeed guess something was wrong to end up in a probable stall so close to the runway

Very tragic indeed.

This report has the call sign, N467BD. Anybody knows where the plane was stationed? Registration is to a US trust, as usual for N-registered planes in Europe.

Incident: Swiss A343 at Zurich on Oct 22nd 2008, go-around because crash of preceding aircraft

By Simon Hradecky, created Wednesday, Oct 22nd 2008 15:32Z, last updated Wednesday, Oct 22nd 2008 15:56Z

A Swiss Airbus A340-300, registration HB-JMJ performing flight LX189 from Shanghai (China) to Zurich (Switzerland), had to go around on command by Zurich tower while performing an ILS approach to runway 14. A preceding light aircraft, a Cirrus SR22 (registration N467BD), had crashed around 100 meters short of runway 14 at 15:58 local time (13:58Z) due to a power failure on final approach.
The airport was closed for 9 minutes while emergency services were attending the wreckage, causing havoc to traffic in and around Zurich Airport with all holds stacked up. Several other airliners diverted.
HB-JMJ landed with a delay of 44 minutes.
LSZH 221520Z 32006KT 6000 -RA FEW005 SCT015 BKN025 07/06 Q1022 TEMPO 5000 RA
LSZH 221450Z 32007KT 3500 -DZ FEW003 SCT007 BKN015 07/06 Q1022 TEMPO 5000 RA
LSZH 221420Z 31009KT 2500 -DZ FEW003 SCT007 BKN014 07/07 Q1022 NOSIG
LSZH 221350Z 31008KT 3000 -DZ FEW003 SCT007 BKN014 08/07 Q1021 NOSIG
LSZH 221320Z 31007KT 5000 -DZ FEW003 SCT007 BKN014 08/07 Q1021 TEMPO BKN015
LSZH 221250Z 32007KT 4000 -DZ FEW003 SCT007 BKN014 08/07 Q1020 TEMPO 5000 BKN015
LSZH 221220Z 31006KT 3000 -DZ FEW002 SCT007 BKN012 08/07 Q1020 NOSIG

Looks like the plane is rather fresh in Europe - it was ferried on March 26 this year, according to a plane spotter:


Perhaps it’s just my reading,

I sure hope no one else was incovenienced by the 9 minutes when the airport was closed.

And then “havoc” caused by the inconvenience. What was that SR22 pilot thinking?

And then there is the on-time issues with the Swiss Airbus having to go around, wasting fuel, and being 44 min late. Can you imagine?

Someone in the editorial department needs to go to sensitivity training.

But it’s probably just my reading.

Power failure? Is this an accurate report? Statistically, in a single engine piston plane, the most common cause of an engine failure is running out of fuel.

But I always find these early reports on what actually happened bordering on comical as the media, knowing very little about aviation, almost always gets the facts wrong initially.

Very tragic for the families involved. I hope we get more accurate data. What an additional tragedy that an Airbus had to be delayed 9 minutes! [:#]


no it’s not only your reading - I feel the same when I read this - what is a 44 min delay against 2 people dead and 2 in serious condition. Very inappropriate. What do people think?


I also do not believe in just a power failure without having this confirmed by an investigation. But sure looks like the airplane stalled close to the runway, or had an incredible sink rate - so many possible scenarios. Freezing level must have been at around 5000’ at the time, with 8 C on the ground (roughly 1000’). Induction icing? Fuel pump off? No fuel? I think speculation does not help here - let our thoughts be with the 2 people in hospital, and with the families.


“…let our thoughts be with the 2 people in hospital, and with the families.”

I think at this point that should be the primary thought. Anything else is pure speculation. A temperture of 8C on the ground though is pretty warm. In my experience any ice is melted by the time the plane lands if that were an issue. So it is all speculation at this point. As usual, need more accurate details.

Here is the complete ATC recording from Zurich. The pilot had the ground in sight but not the runway. He was way below the glideslope and on vectors, may have been VFR in very marginal weather.

LSZH2-Oct-22-2008-1330Z.mp3 (3.63 MB)


Works great. Thanks.


works great. For those who do not want to go through the whole tape, here is the most significant info:

ATC vectors N467BD to the airport - Hdg 280 - Hdg 260. Then BD checks in with another controller “with you at 6000”. ATC gives: “Hdg 320”. “Descend 5000”. “Hdg 230. Can you give me 160 kts?” BD confirms to fly at 160 until 4NM. BD reports “on ILS14”. ATC says “report altitude”. BD says “3400, Hdg144”. ATC says “you are right of the localizer. Able to continue?” BD says “will continue on present heading”. ATC asks “do you have the Glide Slope?” BD says “negative”. ATC says: “Climb 6000”. After a while ATC says: “Say altitudfe”. BD says: “3500, power failure”. ATC: “Do you have runway in sight?” BD: “negative, but we have visual ground contact, request to continue VFR”. After a while, ATC says: “Do you have runway in sight?” A little later, again: “Do you have runway in sight?” - Thereafter the tape is full of orders to go around, hold, climb, etc, to other airplanes. One pilot asks “Do we now have too much tailwind on 14?” ATC says: “No, we have an emergency”.

So, IMC with ground contact but no runway and a ‘power failure’, this is why you drill PULL CHUTE into your head. Scenario based training has me pulling the chute anytime I am IMC with low ceilings w/o an engine. And by low I mean around 2500 feet. If the ceiling isn’t high enough to allow you to pop out of the clouds, look around, decide whether a landing can be made and if not still have time to pull the chute, it is chute time.

If ‘power failure’ isn’t a power failure, then maybe what i said doesn’t hold…

How high AGL was he at 3500 ft ? Could CAPs not be an option ?

I think the airport is around 1400 feet (based on a quick google), so 3500 would have been enough,


Thanks for posting this; I didn’t have the time to listen to the recording.

From the context of the recording, or from the context of European phraseology, does power failure usually mean engine or electrical failure? Personally, if I had an engine failure, I would not worry about cancelling IFR/requesting VFR, especially at just a few thousand feet above the ground! And if they said I couldn’t continue VFR, there’s not much I could do about it!

But… if I had an electrical failure (presumably partial since the radio still worked - but in my SR20 I once had the essential bus fail which wiped out a lot of avionics even though I still had comm) - anyway, in an electrical failure situation I might be more inclined to say that I want to stay VFR, since I could in theory climb back into the clouds (ATC gave a climb to 6000 ft) but I might prefer not to.

So, any chance this is some kind of electrical problem rather than engine?