cirrus parachute

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Hi read your article on the cirrus and your thoughts on the parachute
not saving anyone up to 2005
Cirrus designs says otherwise Your thoughts?

-- Craig Jaces, October 22, 2007


Call up your local aviation insurance agent and ask what it would cost to insure the latest Cessna 172 (no parachute) and the Cirrus SR20 (parachute) for the same hull value (pick $280,000). If the parachute were saving a lot of lives you would presumably find that insurance rates reflected that.

-- Philip Greenspun, October 23, 2007

I can't answer for Philip (I'm sure he doesn't need my advocacy anyway), but I think his article addresses the issues you asked about.

Here are the three accidents and Philip's opinion of them, as written in his article:

Incident Cause according to Cirrus Cause according to Philip Philip's summary
N-1223S, 2002 Flight control surface inop. Left aileron partially detached from wing. A a Cessna pilot, not having the parachute option, would presumably have continued to fight with the yoke down through a landing.
C-GEMC,2004 Severe turbulence over the inhospitable. Forgot to switch fuel tanks, imbalance caused autopilot to disengage, resulting in steep spiral. Couldn't happen in a 172/182 (settings would be "both"), plus a capable pilot could recover a Cessna even if it does occur.
N-916LJ, 2004 IMC, unspecified ("conditions that he felt made the return to the departure airport impossible"). Tap water in the static system. Activating alternate static source would resolve it, but credits the parachute system with saving this one life.

-- Tal Reichert, October 22, 2007