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Old 08-28-2017, 07:15 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is online now
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
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Originally Posted by N402RH View Post
As of 22 February 2017 there have been 71 saves with 146 survivors in aircraft equipped with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS):


Rob Hickman
N402RH RV-10
The problem with statistics like this is that there is no way of knowing if the lives were really saved from death, or if they would have survived anyway. Go back two posts. Someone pulled the chute because one aileron was not connected following maintenance. The other one was functioning okay, and they likely could have returned safely without the chute. But one never knows. Certainly, pilot incapacitation is a real save, but some of the others? And I wonder, how many Cirrus's failed to clear a tree, or went off the end of the runway, because of the extra weight of the chute? Hard to say. But when I look at the accident record, one thing looks clear IMHO: the chute makes for bolder pilots.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:09 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
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Location: Boulder, CO
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Originally Posted by cccjbr6 View Post
....The best reason I can think of is the no one has ever died in a Cirrus when the chute was pulled within its design parameters....
This appears to be incorrect. Look up the midair collision in Boulder, CO, a few years ago, between a Cirrus and a towplane. The Cirrus descended under canopy, on fire, with no survivors. I saw the video.

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Old 08-28-2017, 08:14 PM
OkieDave OkieDave is offline
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Location: Oklahoma
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Originally Posted by David Paule View Post
This appears to be incorrect. Look up the midair collision in Boulder, CO, a few years ago, between a Cirrus and a towplane. The Cirrus descended under canopy, on fire, with no survivors. I saw the video.

While technically correct, I don't think it's fair to charge that failure-to-save to the chute.
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Old 08-28-2017, 08:41 PM
TimO TimO is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 435

Only one time have I thought that a chute would be nice on an RV-10, but this one actually had me thinking that maybe Cirrus has a one-up on us in this situation...

While flying to the Cayman Islands, I had lots of time to contemplate how the airplane would be upside down in the ocean, and wonder how I'd get the kids out of the back seat if we went down in the ocean and flipped as most probably would. It was at that point that I realized that if you could reliably bring the airplane down flat, you'd probably be better off in that particular situation. Other than that, I'd probably be trying to fly the airplane anyway, but over the ocean, strange things run through your head.

Given the cost, weight, and maintenance though, I'd probably still not install one, but, it was one time I kind of wished I'd been flying a cirrus.
Tim Olson - CFI
RV-10 N104CD - Flying 2/2006 - 1375+ hours
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Old 08-28-2017, 09:40 PM
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RV8JD RV8JD is offline
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Posts: 915
Default WWI Personal Parachutes for Pilots

I'm not enthused about an airplane parachute that was not engineered and thoroughly tested as part of the original design. If I owned a Cirrus, I would be comfortable with it.

However, this thread reminds me of the hesitation to allow Allied pilots to use parachutes during WWI. Human nature is to resist the adoption of "new" technologies.
"Parachutes did exist, although rudimentary by today’s standards. Men in observation balloons used them throughout the war to escape when enemy aircraft set their gasbags ablaze. During the last six weeks of the war, German aviators donned them and Eddie (Rickenbacker) saw several deploy. One saved German ace Ernst Udet’s life.

American pilots never wore them because the higher ups—who had never flown themselves before—believed that these devices would make a pilot likely to jump out at the first hint of danger. Too many planes would be lost.
"Pilots in the Royal Flying Corps, however, were not issued with parachutes. Initially the design of plane cockpits meant there was barely room for the pilot as it was, and no room for a bulky parachute. The extra weight of the parachute was also said to have had a negative affect on the plane’s fuel efficiency and handling.

Unofficially however, parachutes were seen as being an easy escape route for pilots if their plane ran into difficulty. In a report into the possible use of parachutes the Air Board declared:
“It is the opinion of the board that the presence of such an apparatus might impair the fighting spirit of pilots and cause them to abandon machines which might otherwise be capable of returning to base for repair”.
With the option of escaping a burning aircraft removed, it was thought that pilots would fight harder to ensure they landed safely. In reality many pilots had to face the option of what to do in the event of their plane being heavily damaged. Some ensured their revolver was to hand to provide a less painful option than burning to death.

I see that kind of thinking with similar arguments in some of the posts in this thread, except it is pilot-imposed.
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Last edited by RV8JD : 08-28-2017 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 08-28-2017, 10:21 PM
rocketman1988 rocketman1988 is offline
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Location: Sunman, IN
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Default and...

"...I think you are oversimplifying the Cirrus guidance, and doing a disservice to them..."

You may think so but in the end, that is their guidance.

I agree with Bob T. The data is skewed because there is no way to know the outcome without the chute.

I agree, and it is my opinion, that it is definitely a marketing plan (for the most part). I also agree with the statement about "...making bolder pilots...". If you are picking up so much ice that you need to pop the chute, why were you there in the first place? Structural failure? Why did the failure occur? Loss of control? Why did you lose control? Pop the chute for loss of SA? That's just silly.

Point is, while there may be a few valid reasons to have it, they are comparatively few and far between. Pilot experience, judgement, and planning should keep the other situations from happening...unless you figure you can push the envelope because you have the chute.

Once again it comes down to each person's opinion. If you feel that you should have the chute, then do it. Kind of like A/C...or fuel injection...or for heaven's sake, PRIMER!
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Old 08-28-2017, 11:18 PM
tfoster100 tfoster100 is offline
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Location: DFW
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This might make a few more spouses happy too. I've heard a lot of non flying spouses worry about what if the pilot becomes incapacitated in flight. Nice to have another option for them. Looking forward to hearing the news on the engineering and design aspects.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:15 AM
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Infidel Infidel is offline
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Originally Posted by OkieDave View Post
Originally, it was included because the Cirrus can't recover from a spin--the ability to recover is a certification requirement, so the FAA allowed the BRS as an alternate means of compliance.

Beyond that, I think it's the tool of last resort any time a pilot gets in over his head. The Cirrus is a very high-performance aircraft, and we all know what happens when you mix that with a pilot who can't stay proficient; think "fork-tailed doctor killer."
Yep, the Cirrus may someday earn that quote from Bonanza and very well said.

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Old 08-29-2017, 01:22 AM
BobTurner BobTurner is online now
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Not so sure about parachute vs ditching from a glide. The parachute 'system' uses the landing gear to cushion the landing. On water the gear goes straight into the water, and you hit hard. In the recent HI chute-into-water event, the pilot was okay. But in the 2005 NY area event, into water, the pilot suffered compressed and cracked vertibrae, and was able to evacuate before it sunk only with some difficulty.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:32 AM
cccjbr6 cccjbr6 is offline
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Location: Birmingham, AL
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Originally Posted by David Paule View Post
This appears to be incorrect. Look up the midair collision in Boulder, CO, a few years ago, between a Cirrus and a towplane. The Cirrus descended under canopy, on fire, with no survivors. I saw the video.

In that case the plane caught fire on impact and the rocket deployed uncommanded, either from the impact or the heat of the fire. The video is sad but fascinating. Interestingly, the chute remained intact all the way to the ground and lowered the plane im the proper attitude to a relatively soft landing. Investigators later calculated that the plane reached the ground quicker under the chute than it would have if the pilot had survived and attempted an emergency descent to landing. After that accident, COPA's parachute training included a mention that in case of an onboard fire, the chute may be the quickest way to the ground safely. (That is easier said than done. It would be agonizing to watch a fire grow while under a chute, but with 60-80 knots less airflow you would think the fire would grow more slowly.)
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