not enough runway... pull the chute?

Hi all,

I´d like to have your opinion on the following scenarios:

Scenario 1: aborted takeoff, but not enough runway to stop in time by manual braking.
Scenario 2: too lonng landing, missed to go around, not enough runway to stop in time by manual braking.

In both scenarios you´re going to hit something behind the end of the runway.

Would it be wise to pull the chute to minimize kinetic energy before impact?
Would the chute have enough time to open in that way of travel?
What would happen if the plane is already/yet airborne and say 3ft AGL? Would it nose down?
If it opens, would it pull the aircrafts tail in a way that any change of direction is impossible (eg to divert around an obstacle)?

Maybe a CSIP or Cirrus official reads here and would be also able to contribute.

Best regards,


It takes 8 seconds for the chute to deploy.

The rocket will shoot up at an angle behind the plane. Since the plane is only doing 80k (or less), the chute will take longer to work. When it does, it would pivot the plane off the ground, up in the air. The plane would be below stall speed and crash down on the ground.

I would never pull the chute on a ground roll. Just use the brakes - they work…

Accepting the premise…

Personally, I’d get on the brakes, perform an emergency engine shutdown, and try to crash off the end under some semblance of control.

CAPS is not a drag chute.

Like the others I would stand on the brakes and get as slow as possible. Running off the end of the runway atnlow speed is unlikely to hurt you although it probably will damage the airplane.

It would be helpful in such a situation if the brakes had an anti-lock feature.

And throw open both doors, and hold them in the most open position. Speed brakes are a wonderful thing.


How did you know that opening the doors is the technique I use for short field landings?

And full up elevator. All drag is good drag at that point.

And if at all possible, drag your feet too. It’s tried and tested since the stone age. It works.

I crack the left door open to help me pivot better in the left base turn.

If the plane is on the ground still, but definitely heading for an impact, then absolutely I would pull it.

The chute partly deploys immediately, so it will do some good – no one can say how much good. Impact decreases exponentially with speed, so even 10 knots matters. Every source of drag is good under such a scenario.

I also would pull it upon landing in a field unless I somehow knew the ground was solid, long and not rutted.

The more complex question is whether to pull it when you are three feet, or fifty feet, off the ground. If I thought I could get a couple of bounces in before impact, I probably wouldn’t. But I probably would after the first bounce . . . assuming the ability to think.

I truly don’t understand the formulaic, black/white answers to this question so often seen on COPA. I believe one old thread created a scenario where you get to 400’, lose an engine and the only option is to hit warehouses ahead – do you pull? Hmm, let’s see, my other option is to be 100% sure I die. But the book says 800’, so I will pick that one!

By the way, you may be too new to remember this, but several years ago, the parachute did not work below 800’. I am glad that more recent improvements in our conventional wisdom, based sadly on recent pulls, have lowered the altitude at which I can admit that I would use CAPS.

If the chute takes 8 seconds to fully deploy, then my guess is the first 4 seconds or so are useless and provide no drag whatsoever.

That’s 8 seconds at 100k+ airspeed. So rolling at 30k it may never deploy.

At what speed would you transition from flaps 50% to 0%? More flaps means more drag, which is better at higher speeds. The trade-off is less weight on the wheels, which might be useful for braking.

Things like ejection seats and parachutes are formulaic. They either will work or they won’t. Most current ejection seats are zero/zero seats which mean they will work at zero airspeed zero altitude. It doesn’t mean they will work at 100 feet with 10000 ft per minute rate of descent.

The formula is designed to get you to pull before you get there. All other GA planes have to “ride” it in. If you are below CAPS altitude, your best chance of survival is to put ALL of your effort into successfully implementing that strategy. Whether it’s dodging a tree, standing on the brakes, or ground looping, that is the best course of action IMO.

This goes back to the discussion of taking off 30 lbs overweight. It is either a limitation or it isn’t. The best pilots I’ve flown with don’t question limitations or boldface emergency procedures. I’ve yet to read an accident report where the pilot was doing every procedure correctly and had a fatal outcome.

Full up elevator does more than add drag, it puts more weight on the main gear where brakes are.

Just to be clear, some of us are commenting on the the OP’s scenario at “0” AGL. He’s already on the ground, but he’s overrunning the end of the runway. His is not the first post I’ve read on COPA were someone has suggested they’d pull the chute on the ground in such a scenario.

Whether it would help, hurt, or merely provide post-crash adornment for the accident site is anybody’s guess, depending on the assumptions you make. Without any data to go on, it’s just a guess. I’m with Scott, and question how effective it could be in this scenario.

What’s amazed me about accident discussions is the creativity of the accident scenarios. Nothing would surprise me. But, this would be a case where I’d question whether the chute added anything more than braking and good aim would in mitigating the runway overrun.

Ok, to shed more light on the topic, here´s an official statement from Cirrus:

Good Evening,

The Cirrus CAPS system was designed for one purpose- to bring the airplane and its occupants to the ground safely during an in-flight emergency. It was not designed for, nor has it ever been tested as an Air Brake, in the case of an aborted takeoff or missed landing.

Although there have been successful CAPS deployments well under the recommended 1000 ft AGL minimum, is takes about 8-10 seconds for the full canopy to open. There is absolutely no way that deploying the parachute in the situation you described would have any positive effect. In fact, in 2008, a pilot in Italy ran out of fuel during Long Final, and deployed the CAPS system. Because the system is designed so that the airplane initially noses over until the Reefing Line Cutters release the rear harness, this only ensured that the airplane hit the ground nose down instead of anything resembling a glide.

In other words, deploying the CAPS in the situation you described would likely cause more harm than good.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Best Regards,

Christopher Allison

Field Service Manager – Europe

Cirrus Aircraft | +1.218.393.5071

SKYPE # | +1.612.424.3764

SKYPE ID | callison.cirrusaircraft

On Feb 3, 2016, at 10:45 PM, Dr. Oliver Brock <> wrote:

Hi there,

we operate a SR20 in our flying club.
Whats the official opinion of Cirrus about activating CAPS on or near the ground, eg after an aborted takeoff and not enough space for manual braking… or a too landing and a missed go around.?
What of the Cirrus was 10-30 ft agl and you pull the chute?
Some people say they would do everything to destroy kinetic energy, some say, the chute would deploy too late and even if it does sonint ime, it would prevent to control the ac laterally by pulling on its tail.

It would be great if you could forward that question to your flight training dpt and let me know their answer.

Dr Oliver Brock

Yes, good addition. Thanks.

There was a 2015 crash here in FL that shows this. N610DA (a plane I had done some instruction in) developed smoke in the cockpit and progressive loss of power. The CFI and student declared emergency and were given vectors for X07 (Lake Wales Municipal). They came in hot and high and floated down the runway. Given rough terrain in the vicinity, they made a left turn and pulled CAPS. It’s estimated this was at 200ft AGL or less. The aircraft nosed down and augered. The student later died from head trauma and the CFI sustained severe injuries.

So for a go around emergency at very low AGL CAPS (in this case) induced a nose down attitude that continued through impact. I hope I never use it, but I was taught in this scenario to keep flying the plane until the last piece of it stops moving.