Cirrus SR20 Accident Orcutt CA May 20, 2020

jrh

Well-Known Member
If the chute is deployed and the airframe survives the incident, it's a write-off, correct?
Does it matter? That's why we pay insurance premiums. When things go sideways, insurance buys the airplane.

To answer your question, it depends. On the older airframes, almost certainly. On the new airframes, probably not.

It costs the same to repair, but as a percentage of the aircraft's value, sometimes it makes sense. Doing $100k worth of repairs to a $150k older Cirrus is ridiculous, but $100k in repairs on a $650k airplane probably makes sense.

It's no different from taking an old Honda Civic in to the body shop versus a new BMW.
 

statusseeker1

Well-Known Member
CAPS didn’t seem to work in this particular instance though? So surely there are flight regimes where the chute won’t be the best idea? Taught in the SR20 for a while and we had a minimum deployment altitude
 

Champcar

Well-Known Member
No one wants to pull the chute, no one wants to be in that situation. Pilots get complacent in all aircraft types.

Its a tool, in the heat of the moment these pilots need to make a split-second decision. It's not always the right one, if you think you'd get it right every time you're sorely mistaken.

Every single keyboard pilot in this thread is just as likely to be a smoking hole in the ground as the guy with the next IP address. You're all human and fault ridden. Every pilot who has died thought they were safe, a great pilot, it won't happen to them. Then guess what, it happened.
 

jrh

Well-Known Member
No. I don't think there ever will be, its how the aircraft was certified for stall recovery.

Plus why would you?
The main reason I've heard is to save money on the repack cycle. Costs about $18k every ten years, equals $1800/year in maintenance. The airplane is grounded as unairworthy if the CAPS system is out of date.
 

tomokc

Well-Known Member
The CAPS has a performance envelope, but I suspect that as a Cirrus driver gets deeper into trouble and closer to the envelope's edge, he's not considering that as an option. Only after all else fails - and he's beyond the envelope's edge - does he reach for the handle.
 

CaptainYoda

Well-Known Member
I think some of you are missing the point.

It's not the parachute that is the problem, but relying on the parachute instead of good judgement IS the problem.

The BRS (or whatever it's called) is a wonderful idea that has saved many lives but it is NOT a catch all.

Certain altitudes (low) and airspeeds (really high) will not properly deploy.

That is why a pilot should KNOW HIS/HER AIRPLANE... that includes its limitations.

Cirrus training is actually more than adequate. The customer is commonly someone who has more $ than sense. Icon has a similar problem, that owners/operators have an overconfidence problem and a nasty habit of killing themselves.

BRS, advanced data link avionics, and any other safety features are SUPPOSED to get you OUT of trouble, not INTO it.

If you attitude is to be complacent then expect your fancy technological wonders to save your ass, you just might end up a smoking hole in the ground.
 

jrh

Well-Known Member
I think some of you are missing the point.

It's not the parachute that is the problem, but relying on the parachute instead of good judgement IS the problem.
This undoubtedly happens, but probably not as often as you think. I haven't seen any indication such an attitude played any role in the accident we're discussing here.

Here's a great article about the Cirrus safety record:


Statistically it has a lower fatality rate than other GA airplanes, with slightly worse landing accidents.
 

Boris Badenov

Someone should definitely do *something*, Captain!
The thing has been out for, what, almost 25 years? And I guarantee you that more electrons have been fired at/in defense of it than any other aircraft. I don't have a dog in the fight (never did, I was too much of a peon to fly one when they first came out, and I for damned sure can't afford one now).

That said, I don't think I'd want to. I'm sure it's a nice airplane, and the cabin looks pretty nice (at least compared to other aircraft in the same price range), but I subscribe to the British WW1 doctrine. To wit, you give a pilot a parachute, and why, blimey gov, he's just gonna leg it the first time the Hun does something inconvenient like lighting the plane on fire, innhe? Cor!
 
D

Deleted member 27505

Guest
What you're saying is valid, but I disagree.

The parachute isn't simply a gadget, it's an integral piece of equipment. No different from an FMS, second engine, autopilot, ejection seat, etc. I don't think it would be a good idea to ignore those components when training any more than ignoring a parachute.

A person always needs to fly the plane they're flying, not the plane they might fly or want to fly in the future. It's the same reason the things pilots do in a 172 don't necessarily apply to a 737 or F-16 or Bonanza or whatever, and vice versa.

The same law of primacy you mentioned for picking unplanned landing sites works against someone needing the parachute. They hesitate to pull it even when they need it.

I always emphasized to people that the Cirrus is simply a different aircraft from most others. It takes time and training to transition into it properly, and if you've only ever flown a Cirrus since Day 1, it takes time and training to transition out of it properly.

For a pilot buying a plane for personal use, they might fly that plane exclusively for years. I don't think it makes them any more or less of a pilot to tailor their training to operate their specific aircraft in the safest way possible.
Compared to "Flying the plane"... ALL of those are gadgets. The fact that many pilots don't get that -intuitively and instinctively- is a huge part of the generalized problem now facing aviation as we transition to pilot-less aircraft. (But for the mesmerized-by-shiny crowd... keep it up... we'll get to pilot-less a lot faster.)

I never said gadgets can't be great. But gadgets are -at best- secondary (tertiary?)
Gadgets are not - nor should they be considered- the primary means of keeping an airplane in the air, nor the primary means of allowing it to gently or roughly kiss the earth again.

If you want to climb a mountain; climb a mountain. If you want a little more safety, add some pitons, screws, and ropes. If you want the Disney Mountain Cimbing Ride, go to Disney Land; don't build a goddammmmmed elevator ride to the top of actual mountains.

Where is the meaning of a man?
In the mind
Or in the can?
 
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jrh

Well-Known Member
Compared to "Flying the plane"... ALL of those are gadgets. The fact that many pilots don't get that -intuitively and instinctively- is a huge part of the generalized problem now facing aviation as we transition to pilot-less aircraft. (But for the mesmerized-by-shiny crowd... keep it up... we'll get there a lot faster.)

I never said gadgets can't be great. But gadgets are -at best- secondary (tertiary?)
Gadgets are not - nor should they be considered- the primary means of keeping an airplane in the air, nor the primary means of allowing it to gently or roughly kiss the earth again.
Ok, you lost me.

Are you saying pilots aren't true pilots until they've mastered flying gliders?

Or that military pilots should be looked down on for ejecting?

I honestly don't get whatever point you're trying to make. It all sounds deep and important, but I can't figure out how it relates to the real world.
 
D

Deleted member 27505

Guest
Ok, you lost me.

Are you saying pilots aren't true pilots until they've mastered flying gliders?

Or that military pilots should be looked down on for ejecting?

I honestly don't get whatever point you're trying to make. It all sounds deep and important, but I can't figure out how it relates to the real world.
Truly... without meaning to be an ass...

The fact that you didn't get the meaning ...

Well, that pretty much makes my point.

The real world is what it is. And in the real world, we must take people from where they are, not where we wish they were. Further, the real world is understood by different people differently depending largely upon the individual's experience and perspective.

That said? Today, right now, we have companies charging big, big bucks to give "professional pilots" "advanced training" in upset recovery. The primary lesson of that "advanced" high-priced training?? "When you get into any unusual attitude, be aware of your AOA, and consider reducing it so the wing keeps flying." That's not wrong, but ... Wow! Just freaking Wow! That comprises high-priced "advanced" training?!? I've NEVER signed off a primary student to solo without that student not just knowing that, but also being able to demonstrate it - practically, and under surprise conditions - in any number of unusual high AOA conditions of flight.

A wing is a simple machine whose volume of work is based on airflow©. Act according!

I don't know how old you are. I'll assume fairly young. And that's not your fault at all. It's actually brilliant for you; More time to get really excellent.

I have many young students. All of them have begun their aviation careers using no instruments of ANY kind. I literally cover the panel and make them look, listen, and feel the airplane. None of my studens would miss the point about the difference between "flying the airplane" and "working the gadgets". Why? Because I (or some other old timer or some brilliant young instructor of which I intuit there are a number on this board) taught them - rigorously and consistently - about the two basic, primary sine qua nons of aviating.
1. What makes an airplane fly, and what makes it stop flying.
2. The practical skills of keeping an airplane flying, and the practical skills of making it fly again should it for some odd reason stop flying.

A huge (existential?) problem with aviation these days is that aviation instruction has - by and large - drifted far far away from inculcating critical fundamentals of flying knowledge and skill and oozed its way toward checking required boxes as quickly and cheaply as possible. Aviation instruction has been marketed away from transferring critical information and skills and slithered toward distracting superficial bling; slithered to getting paid as quick as possible; slithered to pushing gadget buttons with eyes directed inward... It is the young ones coming up who are most likely to suffer from this drifting and oozing and slithering.

At the beginning, middle, and end of every day flying... our primary job as pilots is to make airplanes fly and to keep them flying until we elect to land them again. Our success in these endeavors should always be understood to be up to us as pilots and solely up to us as pilots. No excuses.
 
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Kingairer

'Tiger Team' Member
No one wants to pull the chute, no one wants to be in that situation. Pilots get complacent in all aircraft types.

Its a tool, in the heat of the moment these pilots need to make a split-second decision. It's not always the right one, if you think you'd get it right every time you're sorely mistaken.

Every single keyboard pilot in this thread is just as likely to be a smoking hole in the ground as the guy with the next IP address. You're all human and fault ridden. Every pilot who has died thought they were safe, a great pilot, it won't happen to them. Then guess what, it happened.
I don’t think so. I would hope id have less chance of being a smoking hole then a weekend warrior by this point.
 

jrh

Well-Known Member
Truly... without meaning to be an ass...

The fact that you didn't get the meaning ...

Well, that pretty much makes my point.

The real world is what it is. And in the real world, we must take people from where they are, not where we wish they were. Further, the real world is understood by different people differently depending largely upon the individual's experience and perspective.

That said? Today, right now, we have companies charging big, big bucks to give "professional pilots" "advanced training" in upset recovery. The primary lesson of that "advanced" high-priced training?? "When you get into any unusual attitude, be aware of your AOA, and reduce it so the wing keeps flying." That's not wrong, but ... Wow! Just freaking Wow! That comprises high-priced "advanced" training?!? I've NEVER signed off a primary student solo without that student not just knowing that, but being able to demonstrate it - practically, and under surprise conditions - in any number of unusual high AOA conditions of flight.

I don't know how old you are. I'll assume fairly young. And that's not your fault at all. It's actually brilliant for you; More time to get really excellent.

I have many young students. All of them have begun their aviation careers using no instruments of ANY kind. I literally cover the panel and make them look, listen, and feel the airplane. None of my studens would miss the point about the difference between "flying the airplane" and "working the gadgets". Why? Because I (or some other old timer or some brilliant young instructor of which I intuit there are a number on this board) taught them - rigorously and consistently - about the two basic, primary sine qua nons of aviating.
1. What makes an airplane fly, and what makes it stop flying.
2. The practical skills of keeping an airplane flying, and the practical skills of making it fly again should it for some odd reason stop flying.

A huge (existential?) problem with aviation these days is that aviation instruction has - by and large - drifted far far away from inculcating critical fundamentals of flying knowledge and skill and oozed its way toward checking required boxes as quickly and cheaply as possible. Aviation instruction has been marketed away from transferring critical information and skills and oozed toward distracting superficial bling, getting paid as quick as possible, and pushing gadget buttons with eyes directed inward... It is the young ones coming up who are most likely to suffer from this drift.

At the beginning, middle, and end of every day flying... our primary job as pilots is to make airplanes fly and to keep them flying until we elect to land them again. Our success in these endeavors should always be understood to be up to us as pilots and solely up to us as pilots. No excuses.
Fair enough, thanks for breaking it down.

I'm 36 and have been flying since I was 19. I did my instrument training in a 152 without a GPS and with an ADF. I've flown 6000+ hours, with about 4500 in piston airplanes and about 1500 in jets. About 2500 hours were spent flight instructing. About 300 hours have been in every generation of Cirrus they made. About 300 hours were in a 1946 Cessna 140 I used to own. I've flown skydivers, ferried airplanes, and spent a year at a commuter airline too. I'm currently a training captain and check airman in Citations at my operation.

I don't know what you think of my background. I'm not here to compare resumes or have a weiner measuring contest. The only reason I'm putting it out there is to make the point that I've been around the block more than once. If this isn't enough experience to have an educated opinion about something, I'm not sure what will be.

I'm all for training basic airmanship. I taught a lot of spins to student pilots back in the day. I've covered up the panel more times than I can count. You're absolutely right, those are critical skills pilots ought to have.

I've also met and flown with all kinds of pilots from all kinds of backgrounds. Big flight schools, mom and pop FBOs, military, airlines, crop dusters, you name it.

I've noticed a few things. Pilots are not shaped by one instructor or one experience in their careers. Their skills are a culmination of everything they've been through. How well do you remember what your first instructor taught you? I definitely remember some, but I've learned a heck of a lot more along the way. My primary training was only a fraction of what I've learned in my career.

Nor is any pilot perfect. There's always something to learn and improve on. Maybe it's basic stick and rudder skills, maybe it's something else.

There's also a massive spectrum of equipment and operations and acceptable levels of risk/safety. There's no such thing as the "best" pilot or "best" airplane. It's always a combination of many factors mixed together which hopefully keeps everyone satisfied and alive.

If I had to sum this up, I'd say the longer I do this the more gray it all becomes.

That's why I'm respectfully disagreeing with you on this topic. It sounds like you're a fantastic instructor who is imparting very important lessons on the pilots you fly with. All I'm saying is, there's more than one way to skin a cat and I don't see any reason why pilots can't learn all those lessons you're talking about AND operate a Cirrus from Day 1 in their flying. I don't find anything inherently wrong with Cirrus aircraft, Cirrus pilots, or the way Cirrus is promoting training.
 
D

Deleted member 27505

Guest
Fair enough, thanks for breaking it down.

I'm 36 and have been flying since I was 19. I did my instrument training in a 152 without a GPS and with an ADF. I've flown 6000+ hours, with about 4500 in piston airplanes and about 1500 in jets. About 2500 hours were spent flight instructing. About 300 hours have been in every generation of Cirrus they made. About 300 hours were in a 1946 Cessna 140 I used to own. I've flown skydivers, ferried airplanes, and spent a year at a commuter airline too. I'm currently a training captain and check airman in Citations at my operation.

I don't know what you think of my background. I'm not here to compare resumes or have a weiner measuring contest. The only reason I'm putting it out there is to make the point that I've been around the block more than once. If this isn't enough experience to have an educated opinion about something, I'm not sure what will be.

I'm all for training basic airmanship. I taught a lot of spins to student pilots back in the day. I've covered up the panel more times than I can count. You're absolutely right, those are critical skills pilots ought to have.

I've also met and flown with all kinds of pilots from all kinds of backgrounds. Big flight schools, mom and pop FBOs, military, airlines, crop dusters, you name it.

I've noticed a few things. Pilots are not shaped by one instructor or one experience in their careers. Their skills are a culmination of everything they've been through. How well do you remember what your first instructor taught you? I definitely remember some, but I've learned a heck of a lot more along the way. My primary training was only a fraction of what I've learned in my career.

Nor is any pilot perfect. There's always something to learn and improve on. Maybe it's basic stick and rudder skills, maybe it's something else.

There's also a massive spectrum of equipment and operations and acceptable levels of risk/safety. There's no such thing as the "best" pilot or "best" airplane. It's always a combination of many factors mixed together which hopefully keeps everyone satisfied and alive.

If I had to sum this up, I'd say the longer I do this the more gray it all becomes.

That's why I'm respectfully disagreeing with you on this topic. It sounds like you're a fantastic instructor who is imparting very important lessons on the pilots you fly with. All I'm saying is, there's more than one way to skin a cat and I don't see any reason why pilots can't learn all those lessons you're talking about AND operate a Cirrus from Day 1 in their flying. I don't find anything inherently wrong with Cirrus aircraft, Cirrus pilots, or the way Cirrus is promoting training.
It's not about wiener measuring. It's not about me. It's not about you.

It's about what makes an airplane fly and what makes an airplane stop flying. Everything else is secondary at best.

You are correct. No pilot... No person... No student... is the cumulative result of any one thing. But that said, we ALL are susceptible to the Principle of Primacy.

If we learn the important stuff first and well... it tends to stick with us regardless of what other bat guano we later are exposed to or forced to eat.

Relative to your question? I recall VERBATIM many, many quips and bits of wisdom I learned from my initial flight instructors (and I'm a lot older and likely much more beer-addled than you). As much of a PITA as some of those instructors were... I'm very grateful to have experienced -early in my evolution as a pilot- their wisdom and extremely "clear and focused" methods of imparting information. Most of them were highly crusty old curmudgeons not too many years removed from their 'Nam tours.

Lastly. None of us is - or ever will be - perfect. But it is critically important that we ALL TRY TO BE. I mean, if we are not continuously trying to make ourselves better, and the lives of those around us better, and the world a better place... what the hell is point of living?
 
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Cherokee_Cruiser

Well-Known Member
Never flown a Cirrus. What is the absolute lowest AGL altitude you can be to pull the chute, as in have it deployed fully, and right then make contact with the ground?
 

PGT

Well-Known Member
Some valid points in this thread. I’m not an expert but a CFI with time in various SR22s.

I want to make two points that people outside of the Cirrus community aren’t familiar with:
  1. The training is, hands down, the best in the GA environment. Cirrus pays for a 3-day transition with Cirrus certified instructor whether you buy new or used - phenomenal really. Let’s see other manufacturers do that. It’s extremely standardized, taking many items from the 121 environment.
  2. The parachute has saved many lives (roughly 200 pulls off the top of my head). Flying a piston single is much safer with it. There is no downside to having one except cost but if you’re flying a Cirrus you can afford a repack every 10 years. Yes I’d rather pull the chute at 500’ AGL with an engine out then try to find a landing, it’s much safer.
People who • on the parachute are idiots. You can fly an IFR approach with an NBD but why wouldn’t you take a G1000? It’s just safer. Same with a piston single without a parachute compared to a Cirrus.
 
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