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The most unnecessary chute pull ever?

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The most unnecessary chute pull ever?

Old 8th May 2014, 12:39
  #221 (permalink)  
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So obviously I am in favour of a get out of jail card. We are REQUIRED to wear parachutes if (1) flying in cloud ... yes, in the UK, we are allowed to fly IMC in gliders. or (2) if flying in competition ....we fly a LOT closer to other gliders than power pilots do. The occasional glider/power midair usually, on investigation by the AAIB, turns out to have been the power pilot who wasn't looking out. And it is usually fatal to the power pilot, who doesn't have the option of using his chute - unless he is, of course, flying in a ...... At my age I have a struggle just climbing out of the glider on the ground, so a rocket would come in handy. But me worry? about doing a field landing? gliders have more time to decide and to plan, and we know the performance of our aircraft. ... Goes down, usually, unless you find lift.
But there is a huge difference in wearing and using a chute and the Caps!
i am sure you would not bail out of a glider if the ASI packed up? But that is exactly what happened with one chute pull!

Incredible maybe but yes it has happened as well as many other needless pulls.

This is really what the debate is about not whether the chute is a good safety benefit but when and where it should be pulled?

the debate is about just the fact of having a chute luring pilots into conditions and situations that they are ill equipt to deal with.

Normally a pilot wearing a chute bails out if the aircraft becomes unflyable as in gliding or aerobatics or where the pilot cannot recover a situation.

Not so the Caps pull where it is being used for anything and everything and Mary all your landings are FLs while some promote the idea of a Caps pull for a FL whether there is a suitable landing site below or not.

This is the worrying trend that the chute is making up for a lack of basic piloting skills rather than as an addition to a proficient and well trained and current pilots options should things go dramatically wrong

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Old 8th May 2014, 21:44
  #222 (permalink)  
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Its not unknown for aircraft to go flying with all three concrete filled tyres tie downs still attached.

Just showing that they are about as much use as tits on a bull
Brings back vividly the infamous Glenforsa to Edinburgh incident. FEDS not amused..........
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Old 8th May 2014, 22:50
  #223 (permalink)  
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Incredible maybe but yes it has happened as well as many other needless pulls.

So who decides it is a needless pull?



By your standards as a commercial highly experienced pilot?

No. The point is every pilot meets the required standard to fly a Cirrus, and demonstrates that ability every other year to the satisfaction of an instructor.

At the level and standard of the pilots concerned they thought in the circumstances in which they found themselves the chute pull was necessary and in most cases in may have saved their lives. Without the chute they probably would have got themselves into the same situation.

So if a finger is to be pointed it might better be pointed at the general standard of pilots.

I know, back to the argument that Cirrus pilots take on missions that no other pilot would do because of the chute. However I simply do not believe their is the evidence to support that argument - its emotive, without a factual basis.
Fuji Abound is offline  
Old 9th May 2014, 05:53
  #224 (permalink)  
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It is emotive and people become blinkered when they buy in to a concept.

And you will find all of us do challange the dumbing down of pilot standards.
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Old 9th May 2014, 09:30
  #225 (permalink)  
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I am sure you would not bail out of a glider if the ASI packed up? But that is exactly what happened with one chute pull!
I believe the event refered to is this one:

CAPS event #12, Apr 2007, Luna, NM

1 injured; (CAPS Save #10) - Factors: IMC cruise, climb to avoid weather, loss of airspeed indication, terrain warning in IMC; Activation: low altitude, inverted, 34 knots airspeed; Weather: IMC, icing; Landing: trees, mountainous terrain
From that summary, it's obvious that the actual scenario under which the pilot pulled was far from “Oh look! I've lost my ASI, I'd better pull CAPS” as implied in this post.

This isn't the first time someone has selected a single emotive element from the whole range of factors that made a pilot decide to pull and then pilloried him for his decision from the safety of an armchair.

The pilot lost control of his aircraft in IMC in mountainous terrain and pulled when inverted at 34 KTS airspeed when he got a terrain warning. One factor amongst all of that was a loss of ASI.

Given the situation in which he found himself, what else should he have done?

Should he have lost control in the first place? No, nobody should but people do and unarguably, having got into that situation, if he hadn't pulled he would have died.

Thankfully, he did pull and, as a result, he lived.

I am not trying to “convert the unconvertable” to the idea that CAPS needs to be an integrated part of emergencies handling in a Cirrus. I know that there are plenty of sky gods here who wouldn't have pulled in these, or perhaps in any other, circumstances. As I said in an earlier post: “your life, your choice”.

What I am trying to do is persuade new and inexperienced Cirrus pilots to do transition training with a good CSIP and, if possible, go to a CPPP weekend and learn about how to manage and, if necessary, use this proven life saving resource properly.

What worries me about all these CAPS bashing threads is that a newly minted, low hours Cirrus pilot may wander on here and be discouraged from learning about the system and, if it comes to it, be discouraged from using it by the comments in these threads.

I really pray that that doesn't happen: I gave an example of one experienced Cirrus pilot who died with a perfectly good parachute undeployed behind him earlier in this thread. Sadly, there have been far too many others.

Set against that are the lives of the 87 people that the system has saved.
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Old 9th May 2014, 09:32
  #226 (permalink)  
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The last couple of chute pulls in the UK were due to inadvertent flight into IMC, how about some better IMC training, then maybe we won't be raining Cirruses (?) Cirri (?) okay , very well equipped private aircraft over Banbury and the middle of Gloucester.

And before anybody decides to tell me I know F### all I've been flying for 35 years, 26 years professionally, hold ATPL/A and ATPL/H and have nearly 15 000 TT, and listening at my local flying club sometimes I want to shake people out of their complacency and shoot the authorities who have dumbed down all areas of flight training over the last 40 years.

I can see a use for BRS over difficult terrain in the engine failure case, but I can also see a lot of reasons for not flying over that terrain in the first place. As someone wrote earlier most engine failures are at low level where the chute is no use, so what do Cirrus pilots do in that case, I know of one young man who got away with it by dint of going straight back to PPL first principles, will others crash because the chute wasn't available?

Rant Over

Sir Niall Dementia is offline  
Old 9th May 2014, 09:55
  #227 (permalink)  
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how about some better IMC training
Yes: absolutely right!

In my last post, I talked about Cirrus specific transition training and the benefits of the CPPP programme.

They help pilots, whether instrument rated or not, to fly their aircraft as safely as possible within the constraints of their qualifications.

That said: getting more pilots instrument qualified would also be a great step forward and, hopefully, the new more accessible instrument qualifications coming to EASA land may help with that.

It's striking how many more pilots in the US regard going on to get an IR as a natural progression from their PPL.
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Old 9th May 2014, 10:17
  #228 (permalink)  
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1 uninjured; (CAPS Save #3) - Factors: confusing instrument behaviour, low IMC, departure climb, water in static system; Activation: low altitude, 1200 feet; Weather: IMC; Landing: trees

This was the one I was referring to and I beg the question of what the pilot thought he was doing climbing into IMC and unable to deal with "confusing interment behaviour?" !!!
Yes the idiots life was saved by the Caps but what the heck was he doing there in the first place?
Hard IMC is not a playground for incompetent pilots relying on autopilots or systems to fly the aircraft for them they have a habit of going wrong.

The Cirrus will get attention as it is the most prominent make to offer the Caps as standard and the CAPS is an exciting safety device.

when its use is promoted for events where conventional training teaches you otherwise like in FLs then it is only natural that discussions will take place on when to pull or not to pull

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Old 9th May 2014, 11:15
  #229 (permalink)  
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Well, it all comes down to money, doesn't it? You can buy a secondhand Cirrus with rocket for half a million dollars. Can somebody get me an insurance quotation for a Cirrus?

Nope, can't afford that either.

So if you are such a valuable and important person that your time is seriously worth the same as a professional football player, you can buy the plane, the rocket, and skip the training!

In the end, the lawyers set the boundaries, how much is my life worth? (not a lot, no longer under warranty). If the plane I am passenger in goes splat, how much will the underwriters have to pay out?

Believe me, for most of us, unless young, skilled, and living in the Western world, not a lot.
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Old 9th May 2014, 11:19
  #230 (permalink)  
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I thought you said he pulled when he lost his ASI?

I have looked up the CAPS pull you now say this was.

As you quote, the summary says:

CAPS event #3, April 2004, Fort Lauderdale, FL

1 uninjured; (CAPS Save #3) - Factors: confusing instrument behavior, low IMC, departure climb, water in static system; Activation: low altitude, 1200 feet; Weather: IMC; Landing: trees
Based on that you call him an “idiot”. Hmmmm.

Here is an account from someone who actually spoke to the pilot involved, I have redacted the pilots name:

“The aircraft was occupied by a single pilot, is described as a high-time Cirrus pilot with a "lot" of experience.

According to someone at the local service center who spoke to [him] shortly after the accident - [The pilot] was in IMC and all his instruments went.
So hardly a reflexive pull on losing an ASI then?
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Old 9th May 2014, 11:28
  #231 (permalink)  
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It seems that this chute availability is upsetting the Darwin Awards process.
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Old 9th May 2014, 11:28
  #232 (permalink)  
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If the plane I am passenger in goes splat, how much will the underwriters have to pay out?
If it goes splat under CAPS, rather less than if you are killed. That's why many insurers in the US will waive the insurance excess if CAPS is used.
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Old 9th May 2014, 12:37
  #233 (permalink)  
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The aircraft was occupied by a single pilot, is described as a high-time Cirrus pilot with a "lot" of experience.
According to someone at the local service center who spoke to [him] shortly after the accident - [The pilot] was in IMC and all his instruments went.

The official recording stated water in the static system so are you saying he lost everything? If that is the case then this would be a serious worry for Cirrus.

According to someone at the local service centre sounds a wee bit vague and unfactual? And maybe a bit face saving by a highly embarrassed pilot

But hey this is not knocking Cirrus or the chute one bit! I am taking 50 hrs in one and am very convinced by the aircraft and the chute but hope I won't be pulling for 70% of the chute pulls quoted and if I did I would hide under a rock and pack it in


Last edited by Pace; 9th May 2014 at 13:44.
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Old 9th May 2014, 17:50
  #234 (permalink)  
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I take it nobody ever taught him limited panel flying, or if they did just chucked one lesson at it and it was never practised again.

Sir Niall Dementia is offline  
Old 9th May 2014, 18:12
  #235 (permalink)  
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As I understand it, this was an early G1 so no glass PFD.

The guy was at low level in IMC in an aircraft that that was giving him confusing information.

I don't know what else, if anything, went wrong other than water in the pitot static system, but my point is that it was certainly not a reflexive pull on loss of an ASI only as claimed by your earlier post.

In those circumstances, I presume you wouldn't have pulled and probably been ok. You make your decision and he made his: I respect both positions on this.

But I do think that calling him an idiot for doing so is a bit rich!

If you are doing 50 hours in a Cirrus, please consider joining COPA and coming to a CPPP (there's one at Cambridge on the weekend of 21 June). Even the most experienced pilots find both well worth while.


Neither of us knows the circumstances that he faced when he pulled the parachute.

From the account, however, we do know that he was a high time and experienced pilot so was, presumably, well familiar with partial panel work so it seems a bit unfair immediately to jump to the conclusion that he was just incompetent.

But whether he was or wasn't: he is alive and the decision to pull was his alone to make.
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Old 10th May 2014, 09:17
  #236 (permalink)  
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Just when you thought there could be nothing left to say in this thread....

Check out the thread in the Pacific forum.


The video isn't great, but it definitely conveys the idea.
tecman is offline  
Old 10th May 2014, 10:33
  #237 (permalink)  
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It's raining Cirrus again. I have now added it to my list of types NoT to fly in, because regardless of survivability avec BRS, they do appear to suffer from some incredible reliability issues
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Old 10th May 2014, 20:29
  #238 (permalink)  
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Just missed the power lines? now what is the drill if you didn't miss them and got hung up?
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Old 10th May 2014, 21:22
  #239 (permalink)  
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It has actually already happened:

CAPS event #14, Oct 2008, Spain

3 uninjured; (CAPS Save #12) - Factors: IFR in IMC during approach, pilot reported turbulence and loss of control, parachute tangled with power line wires; Activation: low altitude; Weather: IMC; Landing: power line

Everyone survived....
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Old 11th May 2014, 07:05
  #240 (permalink)  
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I am new here. Wrote a post few pages back and have not come back till now, prompted by the latest pull in Australia. Anybody seen that amazing video?

Reading all these posts I sense an "unfair" treatment of Cirrus owners. Wonder why? The Columbia has fancy screens, but nobody speaks of their owners the same way...

By the way, not having the central column/yoke, allows for a lower dash and much better forward visibility.

I have flown gliders, high wing Cessna, Cirrus, and Eclipse Jet, and I have trained for emergency in different way in the different planes.

In gliders, in Europe, I always wore a parachute! First time in Australia, renting a glider, no chute, I felt so naked that I could not fly relaxed.

The Eclipse has two engines, flies at 410, but has no chute. My wife does not like that. Now she has to learn a lot more in case of my incapacitation, than just pulling that handle.

In my years of flying I have had three engine failures. Real ones. One was the Stinson towing my glider on take off. No use for the chute there. Was lucky enough to hear it, it stopped on the runway, I took off, flew over his rudder, disengaged, and landed in front of his prop.
The second one was in our new second Cirrus. That was more a partial loss of power than a full failure. We were at 17,500, kept it at gliding range of a airport, till a Bonanza hit its tail landing and they closed that runway (lucky me) and so I sputtered to the next airport where I landed with no incident. In that one, had I found myself crossing 1000, with no airport in sight and not enough power to stop my descend, I WOULD HAVE PULLED.
Third time, you would think I am kidding, in a Cardinal, 177RG which I rented because you cannot do your commercial in a Cirrus since it has fixed gear! So here I am renting this plane, which after 50 minutes of flying around the foot hills of the rockies (where I live) decides to quit (fuel pump completely separated from case) suddenly 5 miles from base at 1200 feet. Declared and was lucky enough to glide it home.
With the jet, every year we have recurrent training and a check ride. Part of it is going to idle at 15,000 and land it from there. My point being is you better train to be ready in the machine you are flying. USING ALL THE EQUIPMENT that machine offers you. So, if the chute is part of that equipment, I had made the decision, ON THE GROUND, of the circumstances in which I would use it.
Regarding the comments about having the chute in the Cirrus makes for less prudent pilots, or lazier pilots because of the perceived safety I cite the training of military pilots with eject-able seats... They don't take more risks just because of that equipment.
I am sure that most of are here because of a fundamental common factor... OUR LOVE FOR BEING UP THERE! Like someone said here I rather see an alive stupid pilot than a dead stupid pilot, or an alive unlucky one, or an alive incapacitated one.
A final comment, the Cirrus allows for great fulfillment in both leisure flying as well as business flying. So, while other types have higher use as trainers or sightseeing platforms, the Cirrus can perform both well. When used "on business" it is a solid IFR platform, with an amazing set of avionics and great families of autopilots. Both the DFC series as well as the Garmins provide envelope protection and the latter has an hypoxia "recovery" systems.
The hours flown this way are statistically very "different hours" from the ones flown either in VFR or around the pattern.

Finally, from a public page about safety on COPA, I would like to quote the rates, which actually confute the ones here who have stated that Cirrus have higher rates than the average in general aviation.

See the web here.

Cirrus Fatal Accident Rate

Because Cirrus Design collaborates with COPA, we have access to their compilation of fleet flying hours. This enables COPA to calculate the following fatal accident rates.*

Past 36 months: 1.57

We use a 3-year average because, with a modest fleet size of 5,500 airplanes flying about 800,000 hours per year, the accident rate varies substantially with only a few accidents. By contrast, the GA fleet contains 200,000 airplanes flying about 20,000,000 hours per year, or about 40 times more aircraft flying about 30 times more hours.

In the past 36 months, there have been 35 fatal accidents and approximately 2,200,000 flying hours for a rate of 1.57 fatal accident per 100,000 hours of flying time.

Past 12 months: 1.07

In the past 12 months, there have been 9 accidents in approximately 840,000 flight hours for a rate of 1.07 fatal accidents per 100,000 hours.

GA fleet: 1.24 overall, 2.38 for Personal & Business flying

We compare the Cirrus fatal accident rate to the overall general aviation rate for non-commercial fixed-wing aircraft of 1.24 for 2011 (ref NTSB aviation safety statistics).

The Cirrus rates appears higher than the overall GA rate of 1.24. However, the NTSB report covers all types of GA flying, including corporate flying with professional pilots, as well as twin-engine aircraft and turbo-prop and turbojet aircraft, which skew the activity comparable to flying done by Cirrus SR2X aircraft.*

Consequently, we also compare the civil aviation accident analysis published by the NTSB, which separates the purposes of flying into Personal, Business, Instructional, Corporate and various other activities. Using that data, we determined the accident rate for Personal and Business flying to be 2.38 for 2009. The Cirrus SR2X rates compare favorably with those more comparable activities.

The fatal accident rates for Cirrus aircraft averaged over 12-months (blue) and 36-months (red) compared with the Nall report GA fatal accident rate (green) and the NTSB Personal & Business rate (grey).

*Caution on comparing fatal accident rates

Care must be taken when comparing fatal accident rates with other models or manufacturers. Because the Reliability Engineering staff at Cirrus Aircraft maintain a database of flight hours by serial number for their world-wide fleet, we have access to the estimated fleet hours for Cirrus SR2X aircraft. COPA then uses those hours with the world-wide number of accidents to compute a rate. We know of no other manufacturer that shares their fleet flying hours. And as stated above, we use both the 12-month and 36-month intervals to address the effects of a small fleet of about 1/30 of the 150,000 single-engine fixed-wind piston aircraft in the FAA database.

The NTSB and FAA fatal accident rates are focused on N-reg aircraft primarily based in the US and flight activity from a survey also based primarily in the US. Furthermore, the types of operations in the survey include commercial, business, pleasure, instructional, aerial application and other purposes. Those operations are weighted quite differently than the Cirrus fleet. For instance, commercial and instructional flying have extraordinarily few accidents and large numbers of flying hours, so when you remove those from the NTSB calculation, the remaining large number of accidents and modest number of flying hours result in a much higher accident rate. While there are some commercial and instructional flight activity in the Cirrus fleet, the proportions appear to be quite different.

Comparing the Cirrus rate to other models or manufacturers cannot be done reliably without an estimate of flying hours for those aircraft. Because the age of the Cirrus fleet, where all airplanes were produced since mid-1999, and because of the limited roles for Cirrus aircraft compared to others, any comparison is fraught with difficulty.

Please be thoughtful about how these accident rates are discussed.


Enjoy our beautiful skies and be safe!
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