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XPONENTIAL Innovation Preview -- www.allthingsunmanned.com

Fri, Dec 19, 2008

Score Another Save For Cirrus 'Chute System

CAPS Saves The Day... Again

While the aviation world deals with the fallout from the economic malaise that is gripping the rest of the world, it's nice to know that despite all else, our technology keeps on doing it's thing... and darned well, it appears.

We have sketchy info at the moment, but according to emails associated with the aircraft in question, and some additonal data from the Cirrus community, a 2007 Cirrus SR22 ran into some kind of trouble last night following recent maintenance -- and subsequently lost power. The area that this occurred over is St. Mary Parrish, Louisiana, which features some truly inhospitable real estate... especially come evening. The pilot is fine and it appears that the aircraft has suffered minimal damage... though it looks to be a chore to get it out of its current locale.

The 'CAPS' system, developed by Cirrus and BRS, is a rocket-deployed 55-foot parachute that has been credited with saving the lives of over 20 Cirrus pilots and passengers (not including last night's endeavor). Normally hidden beneath the surface of the fusealge, Kevlar straps suspend the entire airplane beneath the canopy, after deployment. CAPS can be deployed by the pilot or passengers by simply pulling an overhead handle, and once activated, the parachute is fully deployed within seconds. The entire assembly thereupon lowers the airplane and its occupants to the ground. Cirrus is the only manufacturer of Part 23 certified aircraft in the world to include such a parachute as a standard aircraft feature.

This is the second parachute save this week... as an American pilot Gary Noon, 54, utilized the CAPS system in his SR22 (N702SR) while flying over Belgium. Noon received minor injuries in the impact which also involved an altercation with a tree. Meteorological issues are reported to have contributed to the decision to execute this deployment.

We'll have more info shortly... ANN thanks reader Darryl Christen for the photo.

IDENTIFICATION
  Regis#: 479SR        Make/Model: SR22      Description: SR-22
  Date: 12/19/2008     Time: 0021

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: None     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Substantial

LOCATION
  City: PATTERSON   State: LA   Country: US

DESCRIPTION
  AIRCRAFT FORCE LANDED DUE TO AN ENGINE PROBLEM, 4 MILES FROM PATTERSON, LA

INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   0
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Pass:   0     Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:   

WEATHER: PTN AWOS 12007KT 6SM CLR BKN120 17/17 A3020

OTHER DATA
  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Landing      Operation: OTHER


  FAA FSDO: BATON ROUGE, LA  (SW03)               Entry date: 12/19/2008

FMI: www.cirrusdesign.com

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