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Would you consider adding a BRS parachute to your plane ?

Not my intention ARJ. It is about pilot currency and training, where GA lags behind to CAT due to the lack of representative simulators.

We could improve figures massively, particularly on twins, if we had full flight sims which properly represent the airplane it portrays and get ourselfs to do proper emergency training in regular intervals, up to the point where you have experienced just about all possible fault and emergency scenarios. That is what they do in type ratings and recurrent checks on larger planes. That is what should be done also in biannual flight reviews and in proficiency checks and also does get done, but can´t or should not be done on the real plane due to the dangers involved i.e in Vmca recovery training or in SEP actual emergency landings.

eddspeter has shown what training can do, he turned one of the worst possible scenarios into a very well managed landing. Night, SEP, engine failure in initial climb and he lived to tell the tale as well as the airplane is reusable. Is that the “normal” outcome in such situations? Unfortunately, not. And there are situations, plenty of them, where all the training can at best migate the results, but can´t stop a crash from happening, i.e. SEP engine failures at night or in IMC to the ground or in MEP loss of control scenarios due to lack of training or mechanical failure.

In all these cases, BRS is the only viable answer. You can restrict your ops to migate this and more and more people do that, but even more feel more comfortable in the knowledge of that red handle.

LSZH, Switzerland

Talking about ejector seats, Martin Baker make a military one for piston training aircraft. Surprisingly they’re heavy enough that you’d be lighter to install a BRS system to recover the whole plane than you would be to install one, let alone two or more. The ejector seat might cover more scenarios e.g. very low level loss of control so perhaps there is some advantage to it.

I would like a BRS. Most of the terrain I fly over (Mid and North Wales) is essentially unlandable. The best you can hope for is to flip the aircraft upside down and not be too badly injured. If I flew primarily over Northern France or parts of the South East of England I might feel differently.

Last Edited by kwlf at 21 Nov 01:06

AIUI there is a significant risk of a back injury from ejecting.

The seats got much better over the decades however.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

arj1 wrote:

And I’ve been told many times that in twins like Cessna 421C and DA42 the engine loss is almost a non-event.

I have never flown a 421 but I have flown a DA42. The statement above is not correct without qualification, and the qualification is that the pilot needs to be sharp, accurate and well trained. The performance on one engine is pretty poor.
Even a King Air 250, which on the face of it is a much more powerful machine requires everything to be right to climb OEI when heavy. Forgetting to switch the Autofeather on could kill you in certain circumstances.

Singles and twins both have a place but both have their difficulties

Darley Moor, Gamston (UK)

@Neil the performance of any SEP OEI is much worse than a DA42 OEI.:) For me its a matter of preference and the type of flying you want to do. There are guys in Universities in USA who say that under some circumstances a PA28 (Archer 3) for example or DA 40 who if the engine fails in iMC or above a cloud layer that you should trim to full rear and let the plane stall, the stall speed of an Archer 3 with full flaps is 44knots I believe, it is unlikely to spin. One therefore mushes down until you reach vmc conditions and make and engine out landing in an appropriate spot. I have never tried such a thing but they have and they have had a great deal of success, but you can see the problems with this technique over mountains or towns.But synthetic vision might be more useful here than a parachute.It might also be more useful for those, who like Peter, fly high in mountain regions, it gives him a lot more choices in case of engine failure. Who needs a parachute with a Piper Cub or an Avid flyer which can land in a back garden? There are IMO all sorts of flying where there are measures, more suitable than a BRS but each to their own.


Who needs a parachute with a Piper Cub or an Avid flyer which can land in a back garden?

Excellent point :), typical touchdown speed of around 35 knots with a steel tube structure and four point B.A.S. seat belts.

Enstone (EGTN), Oxford (EGTK)

Peter wrote:

AIUI there is a significant risk of a back injury from ejecting.

Wearing a parachute and bailing out is a far safer option at piston speeds (that includes the fastest turboprop you can think of), but I think but most of us would appreciate a simple button

Last Edited by Ibra at 21 Nov 11:41
ESSEX, United Kingdom

Mooney’s business plan was to sell 20 planes in 2018, and 40 in 2019.
In reality they only sold 10 airplanes in 2018, and only 4 in 2019, while Cirrus sold 203 airplanes in the first half of 2019 alone.
If Textron would fit the A36 with a BRS, they would offer a six seater with parachute as a direct competitor to the Cirrus. It would amortize the certification costs in a couple of years, I bet. It would take an entrepreneur as decision maker. I will never understand why Mooney didn’t invest in a BRS when they had their new Chinese investors on board and came back in 2014.

Of course the BRS is very important safety element, and all the more for any of the passengers in case the pilot has a serious health problem up there. And don’t even talk about the BRS as an argument for increasing flight risks. i.e. flying at night or in IMC over low cloud bases, but that for sure adds to the package as a whole.
I love my Bonnie, but I definitely know a BRS would add very much to the overall safety feeling, especially for my wife.

That is a fact. Modern single engine airplanes should have a parachute. No real arguing against, I think.

Last Edited by EuroFlyer at 21 Nov 13:40
EDLN, Germany

Given that the reasons why Cirrus have taken over the GA world are fairly obvious, why has everybody else not added a chute?

There must be reasons. What are they?

There may be a structural issue. You can’t just hack a hole in the hack of a C182 etc. But with suitable reinforcement it can be done.

Next, you have to implement the “risers”. These are the four ropes which carry of the weight of the plane. One can’t just insert four of these into the roof

The risers need to be hidden, until the system is activated. I don’t know how you would do this on a metal airframe. How have others done it? Or are they all on composite airframes? With composite you can easily hide it under the gelcoat. With metal, you can’t really… I suppose the risers could be attached to the top of a tubular steel frame, but most of the more modern (last 50 years) GA types don’t use that.

Then you need some way to control the G upon impact. The SR22 chute achieves a vertical speed of 17kt. Dissipating this in a distance of say 0.5m (typical depth of a retractable with gear up) gives me 76g (a=v^2/2s). In the downward direction, that will destroy your spine, and do lots of other internal damage. So you have to do, ahem, what Cirrus did, to get this down to something like the 20g which has been claimed for the SR22 (can’t find the ref for that figure right now). Have a fixed gear and have special thick compressible seat bottoms. I wonder if the makers of the various non-cert designs with BRS did this calculation?

So it seems that you need to design a plane specifically for this application.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Peter wrote:

You can’t just hack a hole in the hack of a C182 etc

Well, they smoehow managed…

I am sure it was not easy and they would not really do this unless there is enough volume for them to develop it; but the calculation is a bit different if your airframe business depends on it…

On a different note – I wonder if it would be better for a legacy aircraft to arrive nose-down to cushion the impact.

Biggin Hill
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