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First Ever: Wild Chute Deployment as Cirrus Jet Goes Down in Florida

A Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet went down while on arrival to Kissimmee, Florida, late last week. All three aboard survived the incident with minor injuries. Details are still emerging, but preliminary reports indicate that the single-engine jet was inbound for Kissimmee when it encountered severe turbulence and heavy rain as it descended. The pilot at some point chose to deploy the whole-airplane parachute system (installed at the factory in every Cirrus aircraft). ( More...

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BWhaler 26
Please don't post links that require signing up for products or purchases
James Simms 11
Or a paywall, for that matter
21voyageur 5
Same site weakness/fault. Yawn
patrick baker 12
i wasn't there flying this plane, so i can't say. FLying ifr into these conditions, both ATC and the onboard weather radar ought to have given warning this was going to be bumpy, possibly inappropriate airspace to occupy. THe insurance company surely will not be amused at this turn of events. I have flown many hours going in and out of the Orlando area. One time i was inbound at 8,ooo feet and couldn't hold altitude any better than a thousand feet below and above that altitude, but without rain, just thick, nasty clouds overcast and powerful. We ifr pilots are better trained to avoid these nastyvilles, and not always can we do so. BUt we are supposed to .THat night all i could do was keep the plane pointed at the city lights of orlando, but roller-coasting altitudes were my reality.
James Simms 4
Was returning to Ft. Lewis from Christmas Leave into SeaTac during a Winter storm. Up down, left right, plus some directions not yet invented.
Rico van Dijk 4
Yea but we don’t always know do we. A month ago I was lining up, scanned with the radar and saw only green. After takeoff ATC said contact departure and good luck…. Then the whole radar screen turned magenta…
CK N 17
We landed a Bus about 45 minutes after that accident, and not too far from KMIA. We briefed our company policy windshear escape procedure, reviewed our windshear avoidance policies in our QRH, and modified our approach speed accordingly.

We calculated fuel to, and routes to our alternates, with an”S”. We had a licensed Dispatcher giving us updates on the wx encroaching on our STAR.

We didn’t have to go around, but we were spring loaded for it, and the controllers were providing exceedingly helpful vectors with real time continuous PIREPS from all preceding aircraft.

Heck, we had 90 degree, 20 kt wind shift outside the FAF, that dissipated to a less than five knot variable winds at minimums, and we weighed 141,000 lbs.

How does a light aircraft, with a jet in it or not deal with that? I'll tell you what I would do is try to find some blue sky and head for it, then an alternate.

We receive constant training from a highly professional organization with multi million dollar simulations from instructors with 10’s of thousands of hours of experience.

The first time I saw one of those my FO said “that looks like a fun toy for a rich guy”. IMO that aircraft had no business flying around, and apparently in, the convective activity present that afternoon.

What really irks me is not that they almost killed themselves, that’s on them (although one was some poor trusting kid), but the danger to the first responders, and the additional work load they put on an already overtaxed ATC system by launching at all into that obviously crap weather.

Having a few thousand hours, some fancy ratings on your ticket along with a few million bucks for a shiny tiny jet and flying from KMIA to KMCO on a summer afternoon makes a statement in and of itself. Involving innocent trusting people makes another statement.

Reminded me of one of my favorite not pro pilots who temporarily lost his common sense, with a hip, slick, and cool shiny toy - and his life - John Denver. Must have broken his fathers heart.
John Taylor 4
This is no excuse but sometimes pilots flying rich or important people feel excess pressure to make the scheduled landing and get themselves in over their heads. That happened to the Polish president and other dignitaries onboard his plane that crashed in 2010.
CK N ...I know that guy! I know a few of those guys! One of em hot himself a P51 that is way WAY out of his abilities...only a matter of time (and he has plenty of $$$ for fuel)
George Wilhelmsen 1
Exactly. You know what you are getting into, and have EXIT plans if what you are getting into is too much.

I've flown a ton of approaches - I'm honestly stunned that he pulled the chute.

Hopefully, the FAA considers pulling his ticket.
Jesse Carroll 5
Vise grip pliers for a fuel transfer!
We miss John Denver!
Roger Duncan 1
I knew John. His unnecessary and totally avoidable loss broke my heart and still does!
dcmeigs 3
I have no idea why he would voluntarily fly into such severe weather, but I wonder if his engine flamed out in heavy precip.
James Simms 1
Would be very similar to Southern Airways Flight 242 on 4 April 1977. Flew into a storm system that produced an F5 tornado in a Northern suburb of Birmingham, AL. Dr. Ted Fujita had considered classifying that F5 as an F6 considering the damage it produced.
James Simms 1
My goof, forgot to also mention TACA 110 on 24 May 1988

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

David Stark 9
Dr Fujita INVENTED the F-scale. F is for Fujita. There are other kinds of doctors besides medical doctors. By the time you graduate from high school, you should learn these things.
bbabis 5
Was there the decision to penetrate extreme weather because there was always the chute?
I thought that as well...if the pilot was a GenX'er he may have shouted "First" as he hit the earth....
rockportflyer 5
It was pilot error from the start of the flight to the pulling of the handle. Don’t praise this guy or the chute system. That isn’t what these chutes were designed for. Idiots like this give aviation a black eye.
(Bad taste) I suppose pulling the chute is better than jumping out like that skydiver plane guy....but, in this instance, fortunately, everyone seems to have faired well enough...
royalbfh 4
This pilot decided to fly into bad weather conditions BECAUSE he had a chute? I have never flown a airplane with a CAPS so i am only speculating but is this an true instance for deployment? At what point does the PIC actually make the decision NOT to get himself into this predicament rather than bull his way in with the thought that the chute will save his hide? if he terminated the approach and went to an alternate the worst case might have been the cost of a rental car, instead, he totalled the airplane. teach pilots how to fly, not how to pull a parachute.
Gary Bain 1
Guess he never heard of a 180 turn...
George Wilhelmsen 4
Oh brother. So the pilot gets into severe turbulence and heavy rain, and doesn't go around?

Hello? That's Instrument Approach 101 - conditions for landing are unfavorable - GO AROUND.

Why did he pull the chute? The plane will likely be totaled. What a waste!
SorenTwin 1
Oh yes, save the plane, screw the passengers. Seriously - you're saying he shouldn't have used the chute?
Gary Bain 6
He never should have gotten into a situation where he needed to use it.
David Stark 2
I thought the use of "wild" in the headline meant that the chute deployed in flight spontaneously. This is a completely different situation.
Juan Jimenez 3
Any landing you can walk away from...
Christian von Delius 1
"oh no..rain and turbulence: red handle time"
Steamjet 1
What a putz!!! My guessing no real experience and too much money. Certainly bad decision making
Bruce Johnson 1
It appears to have been a SMASHING success.
Larry Loffelmacher 1
More money than brains..............
Gary Bain 1


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