BRS - don't leave the ground without it

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Flying Monkey

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Or at least wear a softie





Not that it's much good when you're screwing around on the deck-but strapping it on before the flight distracts you from how stupid it is to go 190 miles an hour ten feet high with 30 gallons of aviation gas between your knees

:gig:

Pitts X-2c ,
RPM gauge unserviceable, lift off 110 mph, Vehicle Never exceed 220, approach speed 120; Lycoming IO 540, 320hp, constant speed prop


http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee166/AntBee_photo/Aug 9 Pitts X-2C/DSCF4758.jpg


I dropped the camera on the pull up at the end there ,:grin:

Not too exciting take off, but meh:


The beginning of the roll to inverted makes my finger -unnoticed -push down and stop the camera.
Rrr

So all of my movies turned out not too exciting :gig:
Oh well.
 
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autoreply

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Well, quite a lot of people crashed unneccesary because they pulled the BRS. Doesn't automatically make it a bad thing, but for now it's effect on safety is rather "neutral".

I must admit though that I've only flown 2 or 3 times without a chute. Great safety feature.
 

Dan Thomas

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Good thing that guy had the altitude to use the 'chute. Low-level aerobatics would have lots of times where it would be useless.

Dan
 

K-Rigg

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Good thing that guy had the altitude to use the 'chute. Low-level aerobatics would have lots of times where it would be useless.

Dan
So whats the alternative? Crashing?

BRS would be more effective then you jumping out and trying to pull a 'chute on your back at lower altitude, theres no way you can open the canopy, bail out, then deploy your 'chute in the time the BRS was able to.

Even at very low altitude a brs could slow you down enough to maybe survive.
 

PTAirco

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Well, quite a lot of people crashed unneccesary because they pulled the BRS. Doesn't automatically make it a bad thing, but for now it's effect on safety is rather "neutral".

I must admit though that I've only flown 2 or 3 times without a chute. Great safety feature.
Not sure I can agree on that - neutral? That would imply it causes as many deaths as it prevents - no way.
So far the companies that make them have recorded hundreds of deployments and probably only a few of those were unnecessary and even fewer actually caused an accident. That is down to pilot judgment, but there is no way it can be said that the addition of a recovery chute does not mean a substantial increase in safety.

I can never understand the reluctance to accept a BRS chute as anything but A Good Thing.

The only downside is the cost. I may fly my homebuilt without one, but I will make provisions for installing one as soon as I can afford one.
Sure a personal chute is also a good idea, but it takes a whole lot more time (altitude) to unbuckle yourself, open canopy/door, climb out, distance yourself from the airplane and then deploy your chute than a ballistic aircraft chute.
 

autoreply

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Not sure I can agree on that - neutral? That would imply it causes as many deaths as it prevents - no way.
So far the companies that make them have recorded hundreds of deployments and probably only a few of those were unnecessary and even fewer actually caused an accident. That is down to pilot judgment, but there is no way it can be said that the addition of a recovery chute does not mean a substantial increase in safety.
There have been lengthy discussions about the Cirrus BRS and while most people in those discussions weren't unbiased I found the numbers reveiling, there have been several crashes with the BRS that (probably) wouldn't have happened or would have been less severe without it. I'll try to look that up, but I recall from memory at least 2 deadly accidents, which likely wouldn't have happened if the BRS wasn't pulled.
I can never understand the reluctance to accept a BRS chute as anything but A Good Thing.
The pilot is the problem. Pulling the chute when not necessary has some serious risks.
Another issue is the pilot taking more risks because he still has the chute. While very stupid, it's a fact of life that some pilots reduce their margins because of reliance on extra safety measures and according to the NTSB, this contributed to some accidents.
A third factor; the Cirrus is an unsafe aircraft to fly and could only be certified by using a chute (spin safety). Thus, we're already taking less safe aircraft in the air, because of the chute. That's like not having a crumple zone on your car because you have ABS...
Sure a personal chute is also a good idea, but it takes a whole lot more time (altitude) to unbuckle yourself, open canopy/door, climb out, distance yourself from the airplane and then deploy your chute than a ballistic aircraft chute.
True. Especially in the case where you've lost part of your wing (in fight collision) it can be hard to get out while spinning down, especially for the older pilots.

I'll try to look up that discussion, since it was an interesting one, with a good amount of statistics and sources too :)

Just to start: severe icing, pilot pulled chute far above limits and crashed, dead. Without the chute he would have descended. After that it's pure speculation:
LAX05FA088

@ Dan, if I remember correctly, the BRS has a very low opening height, something like 500ft and you'll probably still survive @ 300 ft. The problem is the speed, at most of the operational speeds the chute can't be activated (and if designed for it'd be far too heavy), especially not if you're "falling from the sky".
 

rtfm

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Hi,
The things that really struck me about the video were:

  1. How long it took for the chute to slow the fall down. It seemed like ages before the rate of descent had been arrested
  2. How slow the final rate of descent actually was. In the last 100 feet or so, the plane seemed to be suspended. And the impact was relatively benign.
Another concern for me was how long it took the pilot to egress. The plane was already well ablaze before we see him climbing out of the plane. That was a worry.

Will I use one on the Razorback? Mmmm I've never flown with one before. I like the "final solution" idea. But I guess it would only be useful were there NOT a field to put down in. What are the chances of a catestrophic structural failure in a recreational airplane? Wouldn't be great, I'm thinking...

All the same, I can move the positioning of the rear-mounted radiator a bit to make room for a ballistic chute...

Duncan
 

zk-jkw

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There are a few other reasons to consider a ballistic chute, structural failures are not always the result of build quality or operations, take mid-airs as an example. Also loss of control or into IMC, no suitable terrain for landing, control failure and comfort for passengers should the PIC become incapacitated (bird strike) etc
 

bob.shea

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If the money was not a factor, I would have one installed in any plane That I may ever own. That being said, I will never go parachuting. The idea of jumping out of a perfectly good plane is nuts. I know my training and trust myself, if the time comes I only need a football field opening to put down. Short of no control you should land yourself if possible.
The BRS is a really good safety feature. Like all of our training and practice, the pilot needs to learn the BRS. I don't think it should be considered a end all be all guarantee to a happy ending.
 

142yx

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Just from the looks of the video.. with the roll he was thrown into after loosing the wing i would say he was lucky not to just tangle the chute beyond the point of being useful.

I think it is pretty undeniable that (in this case at least) the chute certainly saved the life of the pilot.

I have never seen anything like that before though... a video of a catastrophic failure like that.

I guess the next time i go out pushing the limit by pulling extreme negative G's ill make sure it is in a plane equipped with a BRS? Perhaps I cant see this type of event ever happening for 99.9% of pilots?
 

autoreply

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Hi,
The things that really struck me about the video were:

  1. How long it took for the chute to slow the fall down. It seemed like ages before the rate of descent had been arrested
I'm not sure whether that's valid in this case, but many BRS use a ring around the lines towards the parachute. This slows down the opening of the parachute to several seconds. By keeping the parachute small just after deployment (when speed is high), the forces on the chute are much smaller.
  1. How slow the final rate of descent actually was. In the last 100 feet or so, the plane seemed to be suspended. And the
Judging by the estimated length of the aircraft I'd think terminal speed is still 8-10 m/s (16-20 kts), while that of the BRS is several thousand feet/minute.

While this is not the part I meant, this gives an idea about my concerns:
If all else fails... pull the parachute. Unfortunately, as of July 2005 all of the folks who actually needed the parachute to save their lives are in fact dead. The previously mentioned owners in New York who got into a spin, for example. Either the 'chute didn't work or they couldn't get it to deploy. On February 6, 2005, an SR22 pilot crossing the Sierra reported having trouble with ice (NTSB ID: LAX05FA088), despite the fact that his plane was equipped with the TKS ice protection option. He pulled the parachute, but was apparently going too fast at the time, which resulted in the cords ripping out of the airplane and the plane and pilot slamming into a mountainside. By contrast it seems that quite a few of the folks who have pulled the parachute and lived would very likely have either not gotten into trouble if they'd been flying a Cessna or would have been able to recover and land at an airport. One fellow in Texas on October 3, 2002 found that his left aileron had partially detached from the wing and that the plane was pulling to the left, requiring both hands on the side yoke. Modern airliners, to earn their type certificates, are designed so that if one aileron is jammed with a screwdriver the yokes can be split so that the left yoke controls only the left aileron and the right yoke controls only the right aileron. In other words, a plane will fly with only one aileron. It might well have been safer to rely on the parachute than on being an unwilling test pilot of the SR22 in this configuration, but a Cessna pilot, not having the parachute option, would presumably have continued to fight with the yoke down through a landing.
Canadian pilot Albert Kolk forgot to switch fuel tanks while flying along on autopilot. Eventually the autopilot couldn't hold enough aileron trim to keep the plane level and kicked off. The plane went into a steep spiral. Most pilots have trouble initially determining whether they are in a steep spiral or a spin (the airspeed indicator is key here; low airspeed = spin, high airspeed = spiral). Because the only demonstrated way to recover a Cirrus from a spin is to pull the parachute, Kolk pulled the parachute. In a Cessna 172 or 182, by contrast, Kolk would have never suffered the fuel imbalance in the first place. The fuel selector would have been on "Both". Had Kolk been flying a Cessna, he would have not have had the option of the parachute and he would have been secure in the knowledge that a Cessna will generally come out of a spin if you simply take your hands off the controls. With no parachute at his disposal, he would have had nothing better to do than study the instruments, level the wings with the yoke, pull the power back, sweat quite a bit, and say to himself "man, I'd better take this flying stuff more seriously."
Ilan Reich blacked out when flying IFR in hazy conditions in New York on June 30, 2005. When he woke up, he'd lost some altitude and gained airspeed to the point that he was 4 knots over the Vne of 200 knots. He was able to recover back to a normal attitude and airspeed. However, concerned that he might black out again and that the airframe might have sustained some damage during the excursion above Vne, Reich pulled the parachute. Reich had to do some ad hoc maneuvering to try to steer the plane away from some fuel tanks and then suffered a very hard landing in a small river. The impact cracked and compressed a vertebra in his back. The doors wouldn't open, and he had a difficult time smashing the windows open with the safety hammer and getting out. The plane sank after about four minutes (now we know). Did the parachute save Reich's life? He was a good pilot. He didn't black out again. He was minutes from a long runway with an ILS to which he was already being vectored. Planes don't generally break up in midair after exceeding Vne by 4 knots; for comparison the Vne on the Piper Malibu/Mirage is 198 knots and the FAA's structual analysis found that the airframe wouldn't start to come apart until you were going over 600 knots (smooth air). Had Reich been in a Cessna, he presumably would have landed, sat on the ground shaking for awhile, then gone to see a neurologist to figure out why the blackout occurred.
On August 9, 2004, Jeff Ippoliti had his SR22 washed and some avionics maintenance performed. On August 10, 2004, Ippoliti departed into low IMC and began getting erratic readings from his pitot-static instruments. He pulled the parachute and walked away from the wreckage, which was examined by the FAA:
"Examination of the static system of the airplane revealed approximately 1 teaspoon of water was found between the static port openings and the alternate static air valve; the water was retained for analysis. ... Prior to the wash the pitot tube and two static ports were reportedly covered with yellow vinyl tape (Patco's #150-P 2). Testing of the water sample retained from the static system of the airplane, revealed it contained 3.2 mg/L of fluoride, which is common in tap water."​
The NTSB report implies that had Ippoliti activated the alternate static source, he would have recovered normal airspeed and altimeter readings. Who among us can say that we would manage the emergency more successfully, however? So let's credit the parachute with at least this one life. In flying over the rugged mountains of the Yukon Territory, I sometimes asked myself if the engine were to quit would I be better off gliding down to one of the numerous gravel bars in the numerous valleys or pulling the 'chute. This is a common paranoia among pilots of piston aircraft, but the fact is that engines very seldom do quit. As you can see from Earthrounders: round the world flights in light aircraft there are plenty of (braver-than-this-author) folks who've flown single-engine piston aircraft over the world's widest oceans. As a statistician might expect, to date none of the Cirrus parachute pulls have been related to a sudden engine failure.
Afaik, the only two accidents where the engine DID quit would have been a lot safer without the pilots pulling the BRS, one didn't deploy till the very last moment when the chute blocked the tail, the other almost drowned because the aircraft flipped over after parachute landing.

I'm not against BRS. The problem though is that one can at least doubt whether they're actually safer in real life. Insurance rates for the Cirrus were higher than for comparable aircraft because of the great number of crashes.

As I've said before, the Cirrus is simply a dangerous aircraft that can't be certified, because of it's spin behavior. Adding a safety feature overcame that problem, but that doesn't take away those dangers completely.

If they would have spent the money for the BRS to better spin-behavior and a simpler fuel system most of those deployments weren't needed. In fact, many of the deadly accidents that happened with the Cirrus (could find a list that quickly) wouldn't have happened either...

If you have the money for a BRS system, use it for yourself. Do some IR training, start basic aerobatics training and do some serious emergency trainings. Read books about safety.

That's by far the biggest safety improvement for a given amount of money. It's the pilot that causes 90% of the accidents..
 

Dana

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That the simple pesence of a chute adds safety cannot be questioned. However, the presence of the chute may (has in many cases) made the pilot take risks they might not have if they didn't have a chute. Also, there have been many chute deployments where it would have been better to simply fly the plane to an emergency landing, but the pilot panicked. Looking at the BRS website, it seemed that about half of the reported saves are situations where he aircraft could have been saved without the chute, or the pilot did something really stupid to make using the chute necessary.

-Dana

Hardware: the part of the computer that can be kicked. If you can only curse at it, it's software.
 

Topaz

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The stupidity of some pilots doesn't make a valid argument against full-aircraft parachute use, IMHO. That's like saying that cars shouldn't have seatbelts because some idiot tied his instead of using the buckle, and couldn't get out of a car fire as a result.

Nor do I believe that a significant number of pilots are taking significantly greater risks because they have a BRS on-board. If you use the 'chute you're still looking at a busted-up $100,000+ airplane, even if you, yourself, walk away. Will some pilots take greater risks because they have the 'chute? Sure. But again, it's not a valid argrment to generalize that to the overall pilot population.

In the end, there is NO subsitute for pilot training. Including in the use of the BRS. I absolutely guarantee you that any idiot who pulled the BRS handle at full cruise never even read the applicable portion of the POH. Just said, "Yeah, yeah, it gets me down if I get into trouble" and went flying.

It's the aviation equivalent of the Darwin Awards.
 

zk-jkw

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Pilot training is easy... keeping current however is something else entirely. The chute simply provides another option.
 

autoreply

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Pilot training is easy
I highly doubt that.
*How many pilots have had proper spin training?
*How many pilots can/could effectively slip-land an aircraft?
*How many pilots can recover from a spiral dive, or even know the difference with a spin?
*How many pilots have decent weather understanding?
*How many pilots have decent mountain skills?
*How many pilots have sufficient knowledge about their systems (fuel) on board?
*How many pilots have sufficient theoretical knowledge.

I bet the answers to most of the above questions is "a minority", or, hopefully "most". People are simply never thought properly.

I've given some theoretical classes to motorglider and glider students. Some of them already had a PPL-SEP. Some of those had never done a spin, a slip on purpose or looked up the aircraft's systems in the POH. Instructors amongst them...

Since the above mentioned issues cause about 90% of the accidents (and deaths), a couple of hours of decent training might be cheaper and safer than a BRS system.

Nor do I believe that a significant number of pilots are taking significantly greater risks because they have a BRS on-board. If you use the 'chute you're still looking at a busted-up $100,000+ airplane, even if you, yourself, walk away. Will some pilots take greater risks because they have the 'chute? Sure. But again, it's not a valid argrment to generalize that to the overall pilot population.
True. But even if there's a small minority (I think there is, given the accident statistics), their crashes on your type of aircraft means much higher insurance for you.
It's the aviation equivalent of the Darwin Awards.
Grin. I recall a carmaker saying "the safest car is one with a knife on the steering wheel, pointed at the chest of the driver" :gig:

I less or more share Diamonds remarks in this article
 
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