Home » Aircrafts » Cirrus » SR22 » Are Planes With Parachutes Really Safer?

The Cirrus line of aircraft have been flying for 20 years and although most people in aviation know they have full aircraft parachutes, it’s fair to ask how effective these have been. With more than 90 uses of the so-called CAPS, has the system really saved lives? In this video, AVweb’s Paul Bertorelli analyzes the record.


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  • congratulations. excellent video and presentation. very informative. If I would take up flying I would want a person like this gentleman as my teacher.

  • You guys are on to something here! I love the production, information, and presentation style. Very cool and well done, Thank you for this data!!

  • This video is very informative, it uses a failsafe mechanism to provide an additional layer of protection when utilizing primitive technologies.

  • Are there any statistics on back country airplanes using a parachute to indicate a comparison to regular planes such as a Cirrus, comparing personal injuries and damage to the plane with their tundra tires and shock absorbed landing gear?

  • Notice this guy goes out of his way to avoid discussing what caused the situations that required a cap deployment. The Cirrus is a piece of shit of an airplane designed for piss poor pilots.

  • 13 minutes wasted here it is in a nutshell whistle Dick uncontrolled flight into terrain and certain death or floating to the ground on a parachute??? yeah they're safer dumb-ass….

  • I feel rather ignorant, I had no idea anything like this actually existed. But not as ignorant as my friend will after he gets the attachment I just sent him . With some of the recent plane crashes he made me feel like an idiot when I threw out the idea of a parachute for planes. Who’s the idiot now.

  • As a writer, I found it really amusing that you've managed to break Betteridge's law of headlines: "Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered with 'no'."

    This was a really great video!

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRSqLHw_6po This is the video about the CR-22 that deployed the chute and the chute blew out. The crash started with icing. It only mentions that at time of deployment the pilot had exceeded the safety deployment speed of 133 knots by an excessive amount. AVweb's video points out that deployment was in excess of 200 knots.

  • The plame will be totalled but everybody on board lives. As for the aircraft, insurance will take care of it. Even if it doesnt have chutes it will be totalled anyway killing everybody on board. So which scenario you prefer anyway

  • There is no reason why in this day and age it's a death sentence when one of those planes come down killing everyone on board.
    Personally I believe it's cheaper for them to pay the claims on dead people then lawsuits after from the survivors.

  • When the pilot full of childish ego finds his engine out and he's nowhere to land safely, suddenly he/she is crying to mummy for CAPS!

  • these small planes do not have accidents that require a parachute. Maybe they have now lots of cheap and badly made planes. Mainly they crash against a mountain during heavy fog or collide with another plane. In case of engine failure, they glide and smoothly land on a field or road.

  • Very informative. I plan to be a pilot in the future and it seems CAPS is an indispensable tool to have. I tend to be a little paranoid about dying in a plane, so I'd definitely be one of those guys who wouldn't hesitate to use CAPS if I was in a bad situation.

  • this just in :
    brushing your teeth is directly prohibitive to cavities and gum disease.
    however : you have to USE a tooth brush – not just leave it on the bathroom counter.
    the caps parachute system is the same. you can't just ignore the handle in potentially fatal emergencies.

  • Parachutes are like guns.. Better to caught WITH one than WITHOUT one… Too bad commercial airliners don't adopt the system..

  • Why would pilots be embarrassed by deploying the parachute?? It will literally save lives. I don't understand the stigma.

  • One of these planes crashed in Quebec recently, used the parachute and all. Plane got messed up when it landed on a tree, but the guy walked away fine.

  • Advice for the dork. Less satirical comments- we dont need a quip every fourth word. You look stupid. The material on the parachutes is interesting- your stupid delivery is bad.

  • Can Be, If The Body Airplane Made By Fiber Carbon Lite Weight Material, ….. God Bless All, ….. Cherrio.🌠👍👍👍🌠🌟🌠.

  • FFS, I understand parachute engineering but WHY, WHY are they always at the limits of smallness, so you break something but dont die. WHY NOT MAKE THEM A LITTLE BIT LARGER!!!!????
    Seriously, cant we redesign them all t9 be a tiny bit larger and make landings soft instead of leg-breaking.

  • CAPS has a place but it is not a cure for everything and teaching people to pull no matter what the circumstances is just plain wrong. It used to be that if a route took a (single engine) over tiger country or a built up area with nowhere to effect a forced landing you re-planned the route to ensure there WAS somewhere. Now it seems we have the option to pull the handle if the engine quits over mountains, forest or water and in THOSE circumstances a chute is better than a glide approach. Personally I'd go with airmanship and find another route.
    As a pilot I accept the risks when I fly. I have no right to impose risk on the people below me. From the moment someone deploys the parachute they become a passenger with no control over where the aircraft will come down. In the mountains/trees/water scenario that's certainly the lesser of the two evils but over a built up area with the possibility of coming down on top of innocent people I'd choose putting the aircraft down at a place of my choosing even if that meant me hitting something hard. Like I said, I knew the risks when I climbed aboard. I have no right to impose that risk upon somebody else. There has already been at least one instance of an aircraft coming down on top of and flattening a vehicle, fortunately it was unoccupied. They have also come very close to business premises and dropped into people's gardens, one only feet from a child's play area. Eventually one WILL come down on somebody.

  • Couldn't a plane have an internal slide out extension component in its wings to make the plane a glider? Jettison the heavy luggage too and fuel tank.

  • Paul – I'm designing a different kind of epaulette for only the most senior pilots they have a 3 dimensional aspect and I wanted to send you the prototype. Could you please measure the distance from your shoulder to the top of your head. The term for these senior positions are "power captains". I figure the most I can get in a stack, unless the Power Capt has a really tall head is a 10 Power Captain – of course there's room to grow up to at least a 1010100 Captain, probably reserved for female Trans-Pacific C-208 pilots.

    • for the whole plane will be too much. But if you could detach the plane from the passengers, I think it could be done. But airlines are not going to waste money saving your life.

  • Pilots, like BASE jumpers and wing suit flyers, skydivers, and hangliders, have a personality that equals narcissistic risk takers….not a good thing when passengers are on board who are the opposite. Pilots need to think things through….

  • I was in high school, I looked up and saw a plane no more than 500 feet in the air. The engine obviously blew out over us, and to my surprise a parachute came out of the plane, and he swung down to the ground. Relatively slow. It was the video with “west ave” at the streetlight.

  • This guy is a great host.. but, Cost of flying a cirrus $270 p/hr.
    Cost of flying a c150 $30 p/hr. Cost of a parachute $1000.
    Cost of attaching the parachute to the pilot=priceless….

  • What a nonsense to argue over the question " if or not" a rescue device help to avoid death. This is why stupid laws made by stupid people give the police the right to hit someone with a ticket on a motorcycle for NOT wearing sun glasses but NOT a ticket by wearing NO helmet.

  • Silly! They have air rockets, not just fuel driven rockets. Funny how all combat pilots wear parachutes!

    This is dumb. If you are lifeless you failed, to bring home your passengers, all because pride got in the way of saving lives.

  • All Manufacturers Should Strengthen Frames and Install 1 or 2 of These BRC's On All New Large and Small Private Aircraft! Imo' Thats Just Common Sense!? _All Lives Matter!

  • The judging thing is BS.
    If anyone judges you for being "too" safety conscious are jerk, and if you give their comments any weight you're an idiot.

    That being said, fact is that ballistic chutes do more harm than good: even if only subconsciously, you rely on the chute to get you out of trouble… which makes you more likely to get in trouble in the first place.

    Also, ballistic chutes may be useful in case of structural failure… and very little else. A much better option would bebto spend the money to make your plane sturdier and your engine more reliable.

    There's more: those things have the annoying habit of firing off on tbeir own. Now imagine that happening on take-off…

    And then, there's the weight. At least 20kg/~45lbs of dead weight that you'll never use if not by accident (probay killing you in the process), and requires regular (costly) maintenance.

    Seriously, screw ballustic chutes. I fly almost every day, and I would't spend even $100 on a ballistic chute, let alone several thousand.


  • Why not try to land off site in a good area and safe the pilot and the plane? I watched a video where the pilot pulled the chute after engine roughness ( maybe bad( mag/plug) at 5k , He landed in trees but showed a huge clear area and beach 1/2 mile away Go figure.

  • Isn't this that one and done airplane? The parachute won't help you when the brakes catch on fire and melt the aircraft prior to takeoff.

  • … than planes without parachutes? Are cars with airbags safer than cars without airbags? Are buildings with sprinkler systems safer than sex without condoms? How many stupid questions can you think of today?

  • Wouldn't know a thing about the benefits of having, or not having, access to a parachute.
    But having the 2 of them in harness every jump, sure was a physical & mental comfort!
    -Former U.S. Paratrooper Sgt. 82nd Abn. Inf. 🙂

  • So, simple question for the experts: if the landing destroys the airplane and injures the passengers, why not use a larger or more efficient parachute?

  • Why are there so many incidents in which there can be studies done. What the fuck? I had no idea so many planes crashed!

  • If you have one you never need it but if you do not have one and can read the writing on your prop, well that is when you NEED it! Just a thought as Sport Pilot is on my list as that is the only license that the FAA would allow me to pursue, due to an issues with my previous career (As a _________💨)!
    So see you in the sky some day!
    Thanks 🙏 for the information!

  • '
    yeaa that would be good idea to put a parachute on the small airplane…
    no matter use both wings as lowwer wing and upper wing on the airplanes

  • So essentially, Cirrus' fatal accident rate is higher than average… only decreased by the parachute.
    Don't fly a Cirrus since it needs a parachute to be as safe as other aircraft.

  • If one of these parachutes save even one life, I'd say it's worth it regardless of how effective they may or may not be.