Cirrus SR-22 Crashworhtiness

Hi all,

after having investigated a bit I am seriously considering buying a SR-22. However, there are a few points I want to check - hoping to find answers here.

The SR-22 is supposed to have good crashworthiness characteristics, and I am wondering if someone could answer the following questions:

  • Does it have stroking seats for shock absorption?
  • Do the seats have any other special means for shock absorption, such as crushable cushions?
  • When CAPS is deployed under ideal conditions: what is the rate of descent at touch down?
  • What is the aircraft’s attitude during a nominal CAPS touch down?
  • How exactly do the airbags in the restraints work?

Many questions - I just want to understand the safety concept of the aircraft to have good arguments! Whoever can answer a few of them: thanks a lot!


I’ll give it a shot:

  • if you mean seats that actually move up and down - no. I know of no GA aircraft that has that.

  • Crushable seat: yes

  • about 1700 fpm for a G3 and below, a little less for the G5/6, IIRC

  • level

  • They react to deceleration in a forward direction. IOW, they won’t normally deploy in a CAPS descent. The airbag comes out of the shoulder strap of the restraint system and blows up in front of the passenger.

The seats have crushable seat cushions, and they work well for vertical impact.

As Thomas said, descent under the chute is at 1700 fpm, and it is supposed supposed to land on all three wheels, which are springy enough to help lessen the impact. That doesn’t always happen, but it doesn’t seem to matter, as long as you pull the chute at a high enough altitude- say 1,000 feet AGL. Though plenty have pulled lower and survived, avoiding injury becomes more iffy at lower altitudes.

I don’t like airbags, wearing them was uncomfortably tight at the shoulders. I’m not certain they ever converted a fatal to a nonfatal, but Rick Beach may have some data.

Others seem to believe in them.

For straight ahead crashworthiness, refer to this video:

Both the instructor and the student walked away from this, nobody hospitalized, although I bet they were looking for some advil.

Anyway, I don’t think you’ll want a cockpit more crashworthy than that.

The Gen1 SR’s are more likely to flip during an off field landing if the gear comes off due to firewall design.

In fact, “landing on all the wheels” at the endpoint of a CAPS landing has rarely happened. (It certainly didn’t in your water-landing CAPS pull.) As you point out, it doesn’t matter. The energy is so low that despite the myriad terrain and obstacles the airplane has encountered under CAPS, as long as the pull occurred above 600 feet, 100% have been successful.

Interesting point. I did not know that. Thanks

See this post from Curt Sanford from 10 years ago (in public forum).

Interesting. So, is it the opinion that the straight firewall will dig into the surface and flip while the slanted will skid? I’m guessing this is only if the nosewheel sheers off and the cowl is destroyed? Or is there a more technical explanation that I am missing? Also, is this with CAPs or an attempt to land, or both?

At any rate, this is very good to know and expect?

I think you have the whole picture. Back when the G2s came out, it was widely discussed that most of the fuselage changes - and there were many - were implemented mainly to save time and money during fabrication. The G2 fuselage starts with fewer parts than the G1. However, there were design changes that buyers considered to be improvements nonetheless. For pilots and passengers, the three most obvious changes were (a) the pushbutton doors that replaced G1 levers and pins, (b) the access panel for the parachute servicing and © the slanted firewall which was deemed safer (less likely to flip) in some crashes.

SIDEBAR: The door issue is widely debated with strong opinions on both sides. Some people consider the G2 pushbutton style a step forward, while others prefer the G1 style levers. I do belive there is general agreement that the third style, introduced in 2016 on G5s, is an improvement over both prior door latches. If I am wrong about that, someone please correct me.

I do believe it is presumed that the gear would be gone before the firewall issue would come into play in a crash.