NotarPilot

Cirrus down in Upland, CA (KCCB)

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I saw on the news tonight that sadly an SR-22 crashed into a house in Upland after takeoff killing the pilot and almost killing two occupants of the house.  I often think about loss of power scenarios after take off and have pretty much decided that, absent a large field or altitude to turn and make the runway, I’m probably going to aim for the widest street I see and have time to reach.  While I’m not second guessing this pilot I wonder how someone ends up hitting a house.  This particular plane appeared to have deployed the chute so after you pull the big red lever you’re just along for the ride but in other situations not involving a chute I wonder how people end up with their plane in someone’s living room.  I’m curious to hear other people’s thoughts on this.

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Given the neighborhoods at the end of the runways here in south Florida hitting a house would not be that tough.  Think about a narrow street with cars parked, power lines, maybe a stop light.  Despite your best intentions to aim for a strip of pavement with no obstacles you’re doing it under no power in a extremely high stress situation.   It would be extremely likely that you would miss your aiming point, now maybe there’s a car parked where you didn’t expect to be, so you try to turn slightly right but now your right wing tip strikes an object you didn’t think about hitting and all bets are off...

Unfortunately, the case at a lot of airports is extremely densely populated narrow roads at the departure end of the runway.  Even the best pilot in the world would need some luck to walk away from this type of situation.

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Most likely he was not at a safe altitude to pull the chute.  The plane might have entered a stall which would not allow much directional control. Seems like a higher than normal residential structure impacts this year. 

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Sadly, Cirrus' carefully designed true but misleading sales pitch, "Cirrus says there has never been a fatality in which a CAPS deployment was attempted within the normal envelope."

will continue to be told as that, and still true.  When in reality many people have relied on the get out of jail free card to a poor outcome.  This tragedy of this thread will likely be classified as outside normal envelope and therefore the record remains perfect by circular definition.  Giving the false impression the parachute is a perfect solution.

All the best and sympathy to the family.

Edited by aviatoreb
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I’m not sure if it’s technically misleading, you cannot design a parachute to deploy from 0/0 and  the entire speed range of the aircraft include overspeed. Technology just isn’t there yet. Come on now, it’s got to be compelling that if you’re in the envelope and you pull the handle you will live. Because the outcome with these kind of planes we have is not that certain

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26 minutes ago, jetdriven said:

I’m not sure if it’s technically misleading, you cannot design a parachute to deploy from 0/0 and  the entire speed range of the aircraft include overspeed. Technology just isn’t there yet. Come on now, it’s got to be compelling that if you’re in the envelope and you pull the handle you will live. Because the outcome with these kind of planes we have is not that certain

I think it is misleading - it is designed as a sales pitch - to make people think it always works.  I had a conversation with a 3 hr student pilot who is faculty at the same university as me - driving him to show him my hangar and kick tires - he repeated the above Cirrus sales pitch exactly verbatim as written and then proceeded in describing how it always works meaning he had memorized the phrase and misinterpreted the statement - as designed by the sales team.  And this is a well educated person.  Strike a success for the sales team.  The honest statement would at least include a second sentence that there have been scenarios and incidents where the parachute was attempted but a save was not possible as it was outside of its limits.  To negate the intended impression that it always work full stop.

There have been several legit failures, like this one, some like this one, too low altitude.  Some too fast - at least one I remember in an icing incident from FL17 over the Sierra Nevada and at least one I remember where there was an inflight fire involved due to a collision - in any case, these are relevant and outside the impression sales team is deliberately cultivating.

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14 minutes ago, aviatoreb said:

I think it is misleading - it is designed as a sales pitch - to make people think it always works.  I had a conversation with a 3 hr student pilot who is faculty at the same university as me - driving him to show him my hangar and kick tires - he repeated the above Cirrus sales pitch exactly verbatim as written and then proceeded in describing how it always works meaning he had memorized the phrase and misinterpreted the statement - as designed by the sales team.  And this is a well educated person.  Strike a success for the sales team.  The honest statement would at least include a second sentence that there have been scenarios and incidents where the parachute was attempted but a save was not possible as it was outside of its limits.  To negate the intended impression that it always work full stop.

There have been several legit failures, like this one, some like this one, too low altitude.  Some too fast - at least one I remember in an icing incident from FL17 over the Sierra Nevada and at least one I remember where there was an inflight fire involved due to a collision - in any case, these are relevant and outside the impression sales team is deliberately cultivating.

I run a technical sales organization and have to disagree. It's not the job of sales to point out any of the exceptions, or to put the asterisk on the product. If I truly believe my customer is better off with my product than with a competing product, it's my job to make that case and win the sale. I shouldn't lie or give incorrect information, and Cirrus isn't doing either in this case.

And the "legit" failures you speak of are still not the fault of the chute or any situation where Cirrus would have ever claimed the chute to mitigate. 

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51 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

I run a technical sales organization and have to disagree. It's not the job of sales to point out any of the exceptions, or to put the asterisk on the product. If I truly believe my customer is better off with my product than with a competing product, it's my job to make that case and win the sale. I shouldn't lie or give incorrect information, and Cirrus isn't doing either in this case.

And the "legit" failures you speak of are still not the fault of the chute or any situation where Cirrus would have ever claimed the chute to mitigate. 

Well - don't get me wrong - I think the chute is fantastic - I would install one if there were a STC path, it was price reasonable, and it didn't ruin the plane (no more useful load).

And what Cirrus sales is doing is exactly what sales people do - but it makes the hair on the bag of my head stand up since it is deliberately misleading.  Let me say it this way - if you or Byron said to me the chute "there has never been a fatality in which a CAPS deployment was attempted within the normal envelope."  Full stop.  Then if I later found out there have been several crashes in different kinds of failure modes, I would be irked and feeling mislead.  But I don't think you would do that.  I think you would likely say that first sentence and then fill in further the rest of the true story, because I have full faith that you would be interested in informing me if for example I were shopping.

I affirm and know well that sales people don't see informing their customers as their job.  Selling product is their job.  I always approach sales people carefully when I am buying something, knowing this is the nature of the interaction.

Edited by aviatoreb
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Beechcraft for years claimed the V tail “has never had an inflight structural failure inside the flight envelope.”  It’s just that the V tail model cruised very close to redline airspeed.  
But it was like 96 V tail breakups compared to like two straight tail versions.  After the tail cuff AD mod, only a couple.  

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This is the same accident...

Take a look at the ADSB based video (?) near or at the last post...

Not sure if that is real data being presented or how it got there...

 

Our choices as Mooney pilots are to maintain controlled flight...

Once we depart controlled flight... parking inside a garage has been known to be a possible outcome...

Both people lived through that experience...

See if the YouTube video is actual flight data..?

PP thoughts only... inviting @irishpilot to stop by...

Best regards,

-a-

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On 11/8/2019 at 2:41 PM, gsxrpilot said:

I run a technical sales organization and have to disagree. It's not the job of sales to point out any of the exceptions, or to put the asterisk on the product. If I truly believe my customer is better off with my product than with a competing product, it's my job to make that case and win the sale. I shouldn't lie or give incorrect information, and Cirrus isn't doing either in this case.

And the "legit" failures you speak of are still not the fault of the chute or any situation where Cirrus would have ever claimed the chute to mitigate. 

The gifted sales person instinctively plays to  the human desire to believe more than what is explicitly stated.  That is not so troubling when the product is laundry detergent.  When dealing with a potentially life-saving technology, the ethics get fuzzy pretty fast.

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I checked the NTSB database and nothing is uploaded yet. I recommend we don't jump to conclusions until some data is posted and/or the NTSB posts the preliminary report. I don't have the tail #, so I can't pull the FlightAware trail. Once we get more data, we can analyze. 

Regarding Cirrus and CAPS, I feel some of the comments are against that aircraft. Statistically speaking, Cirrus has 92 confirmed CAPS saves (21 Oct 19). Here are my thoughts on parachutes and how it applies to general aviation. First, there are no 0/0 aircraft parachute systems. Ejection seats such as the ACES and Martin-Baker seats are certified for 0/0, but older ejections seats had either a min airspeed, or min alt and airspeed limitation, similar to Cirrus CAPS. Cirrus has done a fine job working hard to get new owners (both new planes vs and pre-owned) training. COPA does a fantastic job of hosting conferences, with a focus on CAPS and safety. Bottom line - the system works but only with the "pull early, pull often" mindset. Pulling less than a 1,000 increases the odds of injury or death. AOPA quotes the system works as low as 400' (960' in a spin).

The statistics do not support the notion that Cirrus is building a false sense of security for its pilot fleet. I've flown and have had training in Cirrus aircraft, and the CAPS system is an additional tool. On takeoff or base-to-final, the Cirrus is not in the CAPS envelope and pilots must train to ensure they do not stall the aircraft when trying to do an off-field landing, same as the rest of GA pilots. In 2017 there were 12 Cirrus fatalities with an approximate fleet size of 7500. For 2017, their accident rate was lower than GA's overall. Mooney had four (click here for more), but I don't think we have nearly the active flying fleet size Cirrus does. If anyone knows how to find how many Mooney's are actively flying in the US, that'd be helpful. I have not analyzed how many 2017 Cirrus fatalities were due to no-pull or out of the envelope. Here's a link to a good safety article on COPA. Bottom line, CAPS should be viewed as an additional tool to be used in an emergency and not as something that removes all risk.

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On 11/12/2019 at 1:23 AM, DXB said:

The gifted sales person instinctively plays to  the human desire to believe more than what is explicitly stated.  That is not so troubling when the product is laundry detergent.  When dealing with a potentially life-saving technology, the ethics get fuzzy pretty fast.

When I'm listening to the pitch for a potentially life-saving technology (meaning my life or my passengers lives), I don't believe more than what is explicitly stated.  People extrapolating what is explicitly stated as a limitation is the reason we have insanely large warning labels on damn near everything. eg. do not use snowblower on roof;  and:

image.png.6475747575a7a0de766d5054b69f2d9e.png

 

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