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C172 & C182 owners seeking an extra margin of safety can now turn to a nationwide network of parachute installation centers.

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BRS Aerospace, the whole aircraft parachute manufacturer, announced Oct. 2 that nine factory-approved safety centers spanning the United States from Oregon to Florida are authorized to add the equipment that has saved 374 lives. (www.aopa.org) More...

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flyingj481
flyingj481 3
So, this should be installed as a Plan B just in case your passenger doesn't want to land the plane?

I'm not sure what situation you'd get yourself into in a 172/182 that would require a parachute. After almost twenty years of flying them, I've not once found myself wishing for a parachute on it. Am I just crazy or does it just seem like adding weight unnecessarily?
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 3
How about engine failure in rough terrain or over water? Just because you haven't experienced those failures doesn't mean they don't happen -- in fact they do all the time.
flyingj481
flyingj481 4
I fly in the mountains quite often, not sure I'd need the chute. It seems to me that if you were in a situation in the mountains that required it, you'd be too close to the ground for it to be useful. Flying in challenging environments requires planing and experience.
bentwing60
bentwing60 6
Your point is articulate and to this observer, spot on. I have always wondered how much of the Cirrus allure has been the chute because no stats exist to tell you how many folks would not be flying without it and it certainly has paid off for more than a few "souls" on board. Ergo, I wouldn't look down my relatively prominent proboscis at anyone who chose to equip their airplane with one. If it adds to the confidence level of those that opt for the expense and weight issues that accompany it, why not? As long as part of that $15,000 pays for a thorough training event in it's use. And the consideration of this small "explosive" device has, to my knowledge, never really been disseminated to first responders who might respond to an accident that didn't involve the chute and had to resort to jaws of life type measures to extricate the survivors. I still have that little trophy around here somewhere that I was awarded in the "spot landing contest" at Clark field sometime in the 80's in my 152. The mains split the chalk line. If you can land where you want to, when you have to, the chute may not be for you. Cheers.
alpha12125
Marcel Alesi 1
my guess is that not everyone is a experienced 15,000h PPL owner that lives and breathes Cessna. I dont have statisics, but my gut says the majority of PPL owners have less then 1000h probably even less then 500h and dont feel as confident in handling any possible emergency situation with the confidence you have.

Plus if you have your family sitting in the plane with you it is especially comforting to know that you have a "jail out for free card" at your disposal. (i know a theoretical one) Don´t underestimate how comforting such knowledge is for your loved ones.
flyingj481
flyingj481 4
Well OK then. I suppose I should clarify a few things about my opinion here. I never said I was a 15K hour pilot or owned/lived/breathed Cessna. I was just giving my opinion that a modification that adds weight and reduces performance seems like a waste of money. And I feel this goes for any aircraft type or make.

Now, being an aircraft owner vs. just talking about spending thousands of dollars on an aircraft are also to very different worlds. If you own an aircraft there is a real hard argument of is the juice worth the squeeze. If you don't own, it's easy to say you can't put a price on a "get out of jail free card", but you can. It can be hard enough to save up for that new comm radio, let alone a ballistic parachute that you will, in all reasonable likelihood, never use.

As far as my exact feelings, I'd rather be in positive control of the aircraft until the moment it is on the ground and stopped, no matter the situation. Cessna will fly themselves to an almost straight and level attitude, given enough altitude for recovery. If you are lower than an altitude from which a 172 or 182 will re-orient itself, then the parachute wouldn't help as you would hit the ground before it could deploy and arrest your descent. Therefore, as a pilot, I feel that you have to make your decision about personal margins and acceptable risk before flying, especially when going into difficult situations (mountains or over large bodies of water). If at any point you feel that adding that parachute to your own aircraft makes you feel safer and more comfortable, then throw that money at the problem. I'd rather have the extra climb performance and glide distance that comes from not having it. And that includes whether or not it is my family or someone else's in the plane.
TorstenHoff
Torsten Hoff 1
Those parachutes don't just plop out in freefall, they are deployed ballistically (pulled out by a small rocket) -- hence the concern that first responders may be put at risk by the system if they cut into the airframe. I don't know how much altitude you'll lose during the deployment, but I'm sure it is less than a C172 or C182 needs to recover controlled flight.

I would personally rather be along for the ride on the parachute at a sink rate of a few hundred feet per minute with no control over where it's going, than to be in control while going 60 knots. Bear in mind that having the parachute doesn't preclude you from picking a good landing spot and putting the plane down there IF such a spot exists. Think of the parachute as Plan C.
flyingj481
flyingj481 4
Torsten, a good point. I still don't think it is worth the cost and long term trade-offs, but that is me.
bentwing60
bentwing60 3
Torsten, this subject (the chute) has been the recipient of many comments on this site over the years, as you well know. The fact that their operational limitations are rarely discussed might leave some with a false sense of security. In a typical true "loss of control" incident (inadvertent VFR into IFR) the aircraft may depart the operational envelope very quickly, i.e. "airspeed or attitude limitations", thus contributing the chute to the items recovered somewhere other than the main wreckage site if used in that scenario. I have been to several GA LOC accident sites and the visual is much more horrendous than the comments on this or any other aviation site could ever reveal. There is no "airplane" left most of the time. Hence, the CAF can't find them, they are lookin for an airplane, instead of an aluminum scattered smudge. The get outta jail free card has some real limitations and engine failures certainly are not the only reason a chute has been used. Flight Safety still has it right, "The safest thing in any airplane is a well trained pilot". I'll add the part, "who knows their limitations". Go see your CFI. And get an instrument rating.
blakaitis
joseph blakaitis -5
Only an egotistical idiot would not want one of these if it could be afforded and or approved for installation on his aircraft. You and your aircraft are so perfect that nothing can ever go wrong ??
flyingj481
flyingj481 5
I don't believe ego has anything to do with it. I never claimed that I was perfect or the aircraft I fly are perfect.

If you feel that adding the parachute to your aircraft makes you feel safer for the 'what if' scenarios, then by all means do it. It just wouldn't be my decision.
bentwing60
bentwing60 4
I think the "idiot" just made his first commrnt here!
patpylot
patrick baker 2
seems like an expensive way to win the short field landing record. really, $15,000 for a one line entry in the guiness world record book.
JQnAnka
Jerry Quarles 1
All being said...how about engine failure at night. Oh right...land on highway...and hit a power line or overpass or a vehicle. After soloing at 16 I loved flying at night and being from East Tennessee I had my share of mountain flying. I was bullet proof. Now at 65 I will never fly without a chute or extra engine. Just saying.
flyingj481
flyingj481 1
Fair enough. It's good to have personal standards for safety. But if it were your 172/182 would you spend the $15-17K to add a chute? Or, is it more reasonable to just purchase a used Cirrus which requires no modifications? I suppose the 172 is the more cost effective, but then you still end up with a 172. For a decent 182 you may be pushing Cirrus prices after the modification.

I have nothing against the 172, but feel its best role is a training aircraft as opposed to a plane to get you somewhere. And for those 172s a $15K option may be 20-30% of the hull value of the aircraft.
joelwiley
joel wiley 1
Any idea of how many units delivered? Website lists 376 lives saved, number of incidents not listed.

How does it compare with Cirrus?
https://www.cirruspilots.org/copa/safety_programs/w/safety_pages/720.caps-saves-and-fatal-accidents.aspx
flyingj481
flyingj481 1
If I were betting on where their numbers came from, I'd say it was the number Cirrus throws around.
rhkenning
robert kennington 1
Curious: Why aren't the Cessna 170s and 180s in consideration?
carlsonj
James Carlson 5
Numbers. There are almost 9 times as many 172s made as 170s, and 4 times as many 182s as 180s.

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