Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS), which makes the parachutes installed in Cirrus airplanes, said Saturday it has discovered that the parachute could fail to activate in an emergency, and Cirrus recommended that operators of SR20s and SR22s not fly until a field repair is completed. The fix should be available starting this week, according to BRS. The problem was discovered during routine testing, BRS said in a news release. “As we were completing work for a new system for the Cessna 172 Skyhawk, we discovered a condition involving the BRS activation handle that the pilot uses to deploy the emergency parachute,” the news release said. The problem affects only the activation cable and does not affect the parachute or the rocket, BRS said, and does not affect any other BRS chutes in any aircraft other than the Cirrus models.
Yesterday, BRS President and CEO Mark Thomas told AVweb that the field repair should take only 10 to 15 minutes and can be completed by any aircraft mechanic. “We know how to fix it, and we have the replacement part ready,” he said. He hopes the FAA will officially approve the fix by end of business today. BRS will provide the replacement part to owners starting this week, he said, and more information will be forthcoming from BRS and Cirrus this week as well. Cirrus Design has already issued an Owner Service Advisory, and Service Bulletins are in the works. Owners of SR20 and SR22 aircraft are advised to monitor the Cirrus Design Web site for additional information and notification of release of the field repairs. “We understand that issuing a Service Advisory presents an inconvenience to owners of SR20 and SR22 aircraft as well as Cirrus Design,” Thomas said, “but we wanted to notify them as soon as possible. It’s the right thing to do.” BRS can be reached at 651-457-7491.