adrianw
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Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:25 am

I just picked up the latest issue of "Flying Magazine" and read the article about Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS). It seems like this could be a major impact on current and future aviation. The idea that if all else fail that you could deploy a parachute and save yourself? I was thinking on my flight up from KIAD the other day that what if one day there was some system to save jet aircraft.I am looking to buy a light aircraft soon and the cirrus looks like a top choice for me, especially with the glass cockpit option. Comments please. Here is a link to the CAPS system at Cirrus

http://www.cirrusdesign.com/aircraft/safety/caps/

 
N1120A
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:32 am

Cirrus is the pioneer of an actual working system, though the concept has been around for years. Not only did they prove it worked in testing, but some guy faced major structural failure over Texas and had his a$$ saved by pulling the chute. He would have been dead in anything else, because he was up close to 10000 feet. The plane also has a roll cage to cushion the impact of the hard fall, which would likely add a lot of unacceptable weight to a commercial aircraft. Additionally, the parachute system would have to be so much bigger on a commercial plane, it might be impractical. Still, for a GA aircraft that is likely to be produced in big numbers because it costs about half as much as its competition, while outperforming it (Bonanza in particular, but this thing can compete with the speed and range of a Baron Twin), this is going to save a lot of lives.
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meister808
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:37 am

Yes, the CAPS system is quite revolutionary. One has to keep in mind, though, that the CAPS system is only a fix for a small number of accidents that happen. A parachute isn't going to stop Controlled Flight into Terrain occurrences, thats for sure. Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that CAPS is a one-time use system - use it once and the airplane is toast, never to be flown again.

As for the potential with jet aircraft, I think the rationale is that, with jet airplanes, the occurence of accidents that a parachute system would come in handy in are so small that the cost of developing a system and carrying it around on the aircraft, as well as just the sheer complexity of such a system, renders it a waste.

That said, I have flown a Cirrus SR-22 before and it is one heck of a nice plane, and it seems to have the most amenities and best performance compared to cost anywhere. If I was in the market and had the money, I would probably choose a Cirrus.

-Meister
Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
 
N1120A
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:39 am

>That said, I have flown a Cirrus SR-22 before and it is one heck of a nice plane, and it seems to have the most amenities and best performance compared to cost anywhere. If I was in the market and had the money, I would probably choose a Cirrus.<

You know, they are so popular that they are doing fractional ownership on SR-22s now. Not so bad, considering you can get one a couple years old for about 200K
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planespotting
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:46 am

the SR-22 is a f*cking machine. it has no real practical training use (being high performance but not complex) but damn that thing is great for cruising. 300hp and that sleek body give it a cruise of 180kts easy. I took off from MLI into a small thunderstorm and it took me about 25 mins to get to DBQ and i heard the cirrus check in with departure about 15 mins after i did and he was on the ground about 2 mins after i was in DBQ.
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N1120A
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:55 am

>the SR-22 is a f*cking machine. it has no real practical training use (being high performance but not complex) but damn that thing is great for cruising. 300hp and that sleek body give it a cruise of 180kts easy. I took off from MLI into a small thunderstorm and it took me about 25 mins to get to DBQ and i heard the cirrus check in with departure about 15 mins after i did and he was on the ground about 2 mins after i was in DBQ.<

I can see the SR-20 as a great training machine. It burns less than 10 gallons an hour and has a 160kts easy cruise. Make it a lot easier for student pilots and the ones around them
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corey07850
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 7:31 am

Another thing to keep in mind is the fact that CAPS is a one-time use system - use it once and the airplane is toast, never to be flown again.

Well, that's what insurance is for... Either way, if it saves your life, who cares if the plane can be used again....
 
planespotting
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:22 am

I don't know who you're training, but i don't want new pilots flying an airplane with a 300hp engine! You shouldn't be soloing in that airplane unless you have at least 75 hours and a private pilots license. Probably more than that. It would also be a difficult airplane to learn how to instrument fly in. Everything happens a lot faster at 160kts then it does at 110kts (in a 172).
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N1120A
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:24 am

>I don't know who you're training, but i don't want new pilots flying an airplane with a 300hp engine! You shouldn't be soloing in that airplane unless you have at least 75 hours and a private pilots license. Probably more than that. It would also be a difficult airplane to learn how to instrument fly in. Everything happens a lot faster at 160kts then it does at 110kts (in a 172).<

You have a point, but I know LH starts their pilot training down in Arizona from zero hours in a Bonanza. Same thing with the US military, at least when my parent's neighbor trained.
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GoAllegheny
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:31 am

Reminds me a little of the French boat company ETAP, which builds an "unsinkable" two-hull sailboat.

Anyway, one look at a month's worth of FAA accident statistics for GA aircraft will tell you that this plane could save a few lives. I would imagine that its best uses would be for engine failure and possibly collision recovery. I can't imagine that it would work for a range of other pilot error situations such as low-altitude stalls/spin-outs (no time to deploy) or poor weather conditions (difficult to know when to deploy in some cases, totally distracted).

But, it's a product that some people will purchase.
 
N1120A
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:39 am

>Anyway, one look at a month's worth of FAA accident statistics for GA aircraft will tell you that this plane could save a few lives. I would imagine that its best uses would be for engine failure and possibly collision recovery. I can't imagine that it would work for a range of other pilot error situations such as low-altitude stalls/spin-outs (no time to deploy) or poor weather conditions (difficult to know when to deploy in some cases, totally distracted). <

I think the guy over Texas had some sort of structural failure, possibly on the wing. I do think that a parachute could have helped the 2 Bonanzas that took nose dives in the past few years
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planespotting
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:52 am

Yes, however the Air Force is...well...The Air Force. You don't have a choice whether or not you want to slack off or actually work for it...in GA, if you're a student pilot with very little time, a Cirrus is way too much airplane for someone like that to handle. And the same with LH in arizona, you're being trained to fly airliners basically, and im sure the instructors who are teaching you are damned good at making sure you are gonna be good enough to move up. I am just saying, in a normal private pilot and on up training program, the Cirrus is not the airplane you want.

#1. too fast, too much power
#2. you can't log complex time (for a single engine land category airplane to be logged as complex time it must have retractable gear, flaps and a constant speed prop). The cirrus has a fixed landing gear.
#3. the cost would be outrageous. A used airplane costs around 200,000, and if you buy new with all the bells and whistles you would be spending probably close to $400,000 on it. This airplane, like any other high powered airplane requires more maitenance and expensive parts and the like...most likely to break even a flight school would have to charge over $300/ hour on it with instructor costs.

Now im not saying the Cirrus isn't a great airplane, because goddamn it is, my only point was that it is not economical nor practical to train primary students in the Cirrus. I would feel a bit apprehensive about placing a commercial student in that airplane if he had never flown a high performance airplane before. It is just sooo much powerrrr.

*edited for un-words*

[Edited 2004-12-02 02:53:35]
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N1120A
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RE: Cirrus Caps Parachute System

Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:55 am

>#1. too fast, too much power
#2. you can't log complex time (for a single engine land category airplane to be logged as complex time it must have retractable gear, flaps and a constant speed prop). The cirrus has a fixed landing gear.
#3. the cost would be outrageous. A used airplane costs around 200,000, and if you buy new with all the bells and whistles you would be spending probably close to $400,000 on it. This airplane, like any other high powered airplane requires more maitenance and expensive parts and the like...most likely to break even a flight school would have to charge over $300/ hour on it with instructor costs.<

You have a great point, especially about the fixed gear (amazing that it flies that fast). How much does a new 172 cost these days though?
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss