Maybe it’s because I’m a lawyer, maybe it’s because I’m a cowardly flyer, or maybe it’s because, Cirrus has taken us where no pilot has gone before with the parachute system, but has anyone seen a comprehensive analysis deliniating when to pull the chute as opposed to try for the landing?
I have told my wife that if a goose flys through the windshied and decapitates me with it’s wing . . . pull the chute. . . or if I am in the mountains on a moonless night, loose an engine, then I pull the chute, but what if there is no catastophic failure, but only an engine failure. what then . . .?
If I just took off, and am at 1000 ft, loose the engine, and am looking down at a shopping center with a parking lot, or even a road? Roads and parking lots are full of cars, some moving.
How about over water. Is it better to ditch at stall speed, or just float down?
Then there is that corn field at the end of the runway. Do I risk flipping over when I hit a furrow or land vertically.
Has anyone done a risk analysis on different situations where engine failure is the reason for the emergency?
If I didn’t have a chute on the plane, the answers would be easy, but now I have options when loosing an engine.
The lawyer in me also wants an answer because if someone gets hurt, I am sure that the question will be asked, “did the pilot make the right choice”, and did the decision that the pilot made, result in greater injury or damage.
Lets face it. Landing vertically in a parking lot takes out 1 car and 1 airplane. Attempting a regular landing may take out many cars and perhaps a few people.