Fatal Cirrus Crash, Chute Deployment Questioned

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On Sunday night, the pilot of a Cirrus SR-22 en route from Reno, Nev., to Oakland, Calif., at about 16,000 feet, told controllers at Oakland Center his wings were icing up and he was going down. The wreckage, the parachute and the pilot's body were found early Monday in a remote area of the Sugar Bowl Ski Resort. Local officials said the chute had been deployed with the airplane in a 350-mph dive and tore the airplane in half, a notion rejected by Cirrus. Bill King, a Cirrus spokesman, told the Duluth News Tribune that it would be impossible for the parachute to do that. The pilot's name has not been released. The crash was the third fatal accident involving a Cirrus in just over three weeks.