I love the cirrus and want it to be successful. I have followed it’s progress since meeting Alan at Oshkosh in the VK30 days. I am pilot, aircraft owner, and have said I’d be the first in line to buy a six place version when available. (Four kids) In regards to the debate in this forum about further testing of the parachute, I agree with more convincing testing. I would not buy a Cirrus currently because of the uncertainty of the parachute. Until Lexington I felt just the opposite. As Cirrus considers further testing I hope they will consider that I may not be the only one who needs more assurance.
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I would not buy a Cirrus currently because of the uncertainty of the parachute.
While I understand how your view of the viability of the 'chute may have changed as a result of this incident, it doesn’t seem logical to exclude the future 6-place Cirrus from consideration on that basis. If I assume that you fly your family in your current aircraft (which of course doesn’t have a ‘chute), even if you thought the Cirrus’ 'chute had only a 50% likelihood of positive outcome in an event requiring 'chute deployment, that would be a lot more capability than any other airplane’s 0%.
Perhaps you currently fly a twin, and are equating the second engine with the same margin of safety provided by the 'chute. As you are no doubt aware, twins have a higher fatality accident rate than singles. There is a lot more dependence on pilot skills for the likelihood of successful outcome of an engine out (especially on takeoff of course) than there would be for 'chute deployment. The capabilities of the twin have a lot to do with it as well. You’re a lot better off in a late model 310 than in a Seneca I, etc. The safety inherent in the Cirrus fuselage, seat, and restraint design has also proven its superiority over older designs.
So I’m curious how your decision equation worked to come to your conclusion.
One thing is certain. A plane crashed because of vacuum instrument failure (CirrusDesign not involved) and because of crash tested seats, composite structure of the plane, roomy cockpit and no yoke which could leave “pressure marks” etc. (and maybe even the BRS chute, still not sure if it failed or deployed to late or above tested speed) made by Cirrus, two man walked away unharmed. Compare this outcome with older design airplanes on crash landing when vacuum failure occurs.
It’s the same thing when a tire blows on a Volvo. They don’t make tires, and also not the airbag. But when you walk away safely, it still could be the combined car or airplane design.
Just my thoughts.
I ahve one observation…
I understand the need to prevent an accidental firing…but there is at least a two stage process to prevent that…why is it so necessary to have the pull
resistance so high as to constantly beg the question of whether someone has the strength to pull it?
why not set it at a modest pull resistance that requires SOME pulling but not an olympic event?
Great points! The short answer is that without a chute, the incremental value over my current single doesn’t justify the cost. A malfunctioning chute ,IMHO, could increase one’s likelyhood of a bad outcome due to the distraction of efforts to deploy/acertain deployment. I view this part as being similar to a lazy AI…better to cover it up and get on with things than to try to fly it thinking that maybe it’s OK. The other safety features of a Cirrus are very notable and worthy of praise. The belts, knee board, seats, lack of things to impale oneself on are great, I think. One of my aircraft has a ballistic chute. I wonder how many have failed? Since the end result in the ultralight world is usually death, there aren’t many folks around to complain about a faulty firing. This is probably the first time BRS has faced such scrutiny. Lastly let me say these are no idle musings. I’ve experienced FOUR engine failures in 19 years of flying. Maybe instead of a plane with a parachute I should reconsider my engine monitoring/ maintence habits! Clark Jernigan
Just a little point, Jaap, it is far from certain that the plane in Lexington crashed because of vacuum failure, indeed the most likely cause based on the limited information so far available is either a TC or autopilot failure (at least that was the first link in the chain). Both those devices are electrically operated and have no reliance on vacuum.
You are right, I was (wrong) only speculating on the most common hardware failure. Sorry again. Others also replied. And of course we have to wait until the final NTSB report.
Not to offend anyone here, but the most likely cause is pilot error. I’m curious, the pilots reported that the turn coordinator was pegged left and the plane was diving. What isn’t mentioned is wether the plane was in a diving left turn or a diving right turn. Did the TC fail to the left and the autopilot kept trying to correct to the right. Or did the autopilot turn the plane to the left and the TC was reading correctly. It seems as though it would be useful to know from the pilots if they were in a left or right diving turn. Do we really know that the autopilot was even turned on.
Xyzebra, whoever you are…
It ISN’T necessary to have it so high, and in fact it shouldn’t be that high - it’s a fault that has to be fixed. The force required to activate the rocket is way less than 100lbs - it appears to be the cable that is introducing the extra resistance that has been observed in the tests.
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The force required to activate the rocket is way less than 100lbs - it appears to be the cable that is introducing the extra resistance that has been observed in the tests
My understanding is that the spring that you’re compressing in the trigger mechanism is specified at 25 lbs (at full compression, I guess). Anything above what the spring imposes is the result of additional friction.