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Thread: Sadly, Cirrus Accident Friday

  1. #11

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    Flying over any kind of rough terrain at night certainly compromises your alternatives when and if something goes wrong. I felt reasonably safe at FL350 flying over our countryside with at least three engines turning and burning. Flying Army single engine helicopters on NVG at night in the mountains of Idaho was nerve wracking and we would joke...in case of an engine failure, begin the auto rotation and turn on the landing light at 100 ft AGL, if you liked what you saw keep 'em on, if not, turn off the light.

    Cheers, Hans

  2. #12

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    I don't fly at night. But Cirrus has a parachute.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Berson View Post
    But Cirrus has a parachute.
    Two people died at my airport when a Cirrus crashed onto the roof of a nearby building shortly after take off. Happened about 7 years ago and till this day have no idea why the pilot didn't pull the chute. Facts show there was enough time and altitude to satisfactorily deploy.

    There might be a psychological debate that goes on in the brain at the time of crisis and impending doom--to pull or not to pull.
    Last edited by Floatsflyer; 09-25-2017 at 10:33 AM.

  4. #14
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Floatsflyer View Post
    There might be a psychological debate that goes on in the brain at the time of crisis and impending doom--to pull or not to pull.
    Denial, in situations like this, is common. The pilot just doesn't believe it's actually happening to him/her.

    If that aspect is shed, then we get to your psychological debate. Pulling the chute handle is a binary situation: You go from "I've got this" to "There is a problem that my skills cannot overcome." Sadly, there's a portion of the pilot community that believes that the chute is the coward's way out. "Shut up and die like an aviator," to use the old Navy quote.

    Ron Wanttaja

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post
    If that aspect is shed, then we get to your psychological debate. Pulling the chute handle is a binary situation: You go from "I've got this" to "There is a problem that my skills cannot overcome." Sadly, there's a portion of the pilot community that believes that the chute is the coward's way out. "Shut up and die like an aviator," to use the old Navy quote.

    Ron Wanttaja
    Ich stimme zu, Doktor Freud.

    Wir werden co-autor fur die Vienna Zeitschrift fur Medizin.

  6. #16

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    Ron I don't agree just because the engine goes silent the outcome is death. There are many who have had the engine go silent in flight and are here to tell about it. I am one. But I have not had the engine go silent 1 or 2 times but a dozen times all in the air. Many others just like me. This is not an exclusive club of just one or two members. Heck you may even be a member of this club. Oh I never pulled a chute, I flew the airplane onto the ground. Saying this it does not mean on my next engine out I will walk away either. I am not some super pilot.

    Tony
    Last edited by 1600vw; 09-25-2017 at 01:44 PM.

  7. #17

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    I flew an airplane that had a chute system.

    Never once did I ever even think about it.

    We're taught to keep flying the airplane all the way, and it's just not taught to be part of the thought process for emergency procedures.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  8. #18

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    Others might think about the chute and decide it's safe to fly at night VFR over hostile terrain.

  9. #19
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1600vw View Post
    Ron I don't agree just because the engine goes silent the outcome is death.
    I never claimed it was. I'd be silly to claim that, because I'm still here despite an engine failure ~35 years ago.

    The degree of upset the pilot undergoes in such a situation depends on the situation, their training, and their personality. I have been in stressful situations (weather) where denial was a major aspect of my reaction ("It's not that bad...it's probably better a few miles on...."). Even my engine failure had its denial aspects, since the engine started running rough over a nice long, unoccupied, drag racing track....and I continued several miles to my home field as the engine got worse.

    This is a common phenomenon even outside aviation; so common, in fact, that "Denial" is step 1 the "Five Stages of Grief."

    Our training as students is designed to substitute reflexes for denial. The noise stops, we assume a best-glide angle, start looking for a place to land, yell for help on the radio, etc. We're trained to keep flying the airplane in an emergency. Ideally, we wouldn't have to think about it. Richard Bach wrote about being an air cadet in the '50s, and shouting out emergency procedures as they marched. Even twenty years later, he remembered the procedures.

    So when something bad happens, we resort to our training...and if our training didn't include pulling the big red handle, it's not likely to arise in our minds. Especially in a situation with little time to react.

    The problem is, 1) Chutes aren't common in General Aviation, so the training in their use is well after a student's formative period, and 2) There is a strong social bias against them. The Cirrus checklist calls for chute deployment upon engine failure (if the aircraft is in the envelope), but anyone who uses one is subject to harping criticism from some elements of the aviation community.

    About a year ago, I did a bit of research into Cirrus accidents. Rather than comparing them to 172s, I compared them to high-performance GA aircraft such as the Bonanza and Cessna 210.

    Found an interesting result: In reported accidents that began with an engine failure, 37% of the Bonanza cases resulted in at least one fatality.

    Cirrus? Less than 10%...three out of 31. And those three were all when the chute *wasn't* pulled.

    So there's your choice. You're at 2,000 feet, and the engine quits. You've got your entire family aboard the aircraft. If you follow SOP for the Cirrus and pull the chute, everyone lives. The insurance company will happily buy you a new airplane. If you don't pull the chute, they'll also live if you pull off the perfect power-off emergency landing. But any...little...mistake...and one or more of them are dead.

    Me? I don't have a chute on my airplane. But I've been flying single-seat airplanes almost exclusively for ~30 years.....

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 09-25-2017 at 03:56 PM.

  10. #20

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    I dont think Cirrus pilots are taught to keep flyng the plane the whole way. I have flown with a Cirrus friend and the check for chute handle and think about when to use it is part of the pre takeoff checklist. I am pretty sure he says aloud to himself what the safe altitude is , I seem to remember 400 ft, but I may be thinking of a glider or maybe its 1400 ft. Anyway its part of his safety awareness and not to keep going down and ignore the chute. Since radar tracked the plane at 98 knots groundspeed and descending 800 fpm to the crash, something was wrong. What it is we aren't sure, seems like he may have flown into some clouds even a TS. We also dont know the state of the chute, did he try to use it, was it found intact in the plane? The debris may have been too scattered to tell much. Sure is sad. By the way, Ive never flown the norhern route Cary suggest but the route this pilot was on is just fine and is the way I would have gone and have gone to Moab. Nothing wrong there, the problem was likely darkness, very little moon and maybe weather. It is also possible, but much less likely that they were not using Oxygen which I sure is built in on Cirrus. Its obviously called for espceially at night but only FAR required above 14,000.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 09-26-2017 at 10:16 PM.

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