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View Full Version : Cirrus SR22 SFAR


conoblep
09-24-2018, 11:56 AM
Recently got into a discussion about the Cirrus SR22 training programs. Does the SR22 legally require (not recommended) additional training (outside of a high-performance endorsement) to act as PIC (like the MU-2 has with SFAR 108). I dug pretty deep but couldn't find anything of the sort but was assured (by a Cirrus instructor) that the SR22 indeed, legally, requires ancillary factory training before a person is able to act as PIC. No dog in the fight as I am not and probably never will be a Cirrus owner (sigh...), but am curious if anyone else has ever heard of this or know where a reference is located.


Bengal
09-24-2018, 12:37 PM
Recently got into a discussion about the Cirrus SR22 training programs. Does the SR22 legally require (not recommended) additional training (outside of a high-performance endorsement) to act as PIC (like the MU-2 has with SFAR 108). I dug pretty deep but couldn't find anything of the sort but was assured (by a Cirrus instructor) that the SR22 indeed, legally, requires ancillary factory training before a person is able to act as PIC. No dog in the fight as I am not and probably never will be a Cirrus owner (sigh...), but am curious if anyone else has ever heard of this or know where a reference is located.

No special training is required.

rickair7777
09-24-2018, 03:04 PM
No special training is required.

Hope not! Or I'm in trouble...


JohnBurke
09-24-2018, 03:14 PM
14 CFR Part 61 includes two SFAR's: one for the R22/R44 helicopters, and one that provides relief for US service personnel when assigned outside the US (with regard to knowledge tests, etc). Those are SFARs 73, and 100-2, respectively.

https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=18b000d53febd6396a85fd0528aa65f6&mc=true&tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title14/14cfr61_main_02.tpl

Did you ask this instructor for a reference?

You can visit the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) and find no reference whatsoever to FAA-required training for the Cirrus because there is none. Insurance may mandate a minimum requirement for a particular company or rental facility, but that is not a FAA requirement.

Remember the slogan of Cirrus and COPA: "Pull, and Pull Often!"

Given the way many weekend warriors treat the CAPS parachute system like reserve airport, and given that the aircraft flight manual specifically advises that firing the parachute will destroy the airframe and may result in severe injury or death, and given that both Cirrus and COPA advise to pull, and pull often, the only real conclusion to draw is that the catch phrase isn't quite complete. Pull, and pull often: we'll make more.

Cirrus descends gently to earth under a good canopy, while on fire, following a mid-air collision...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf8DYXUOai8

People in Cessna descend gently to earth under good canopies after airplane breaks up in mid-air collision:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNcLjO_-Pmc

BoilerUP
09-24-2018, 03:26 PM
The saying is actually “Pull Early, Pull Often”.

Many people on COPA a strange mix of overconfident in yet terrified of their airplanes; in particular a fear of stalls, spins, and slow flight.

Very easy airplanes to fly but still a high-performance single with a comparatively unforgiving airfoil.

JohnBurke
09-24-2018, 03:54 PM
I was deeply impressed with the COPA instructor a few years ago who posted on AOPA, I believe it was, with his account of his inflight "emergency." He described skirting thunderstorms IMC in his Cirrus, when the "emergency" occurred. The airplane began climbing and he realized that the autopilot wouldn't hold altitude. He described the instruments as simultaneously failing, but it didn't take much understanding of his statement to see that he simply couldn't maintain control without the autopilot. He reported that he shoved the nose over and dove to get below the bottom the overcast, which took him well below MEA, while "screaming and praying for God to save me."

Somewhere in there he deployed the CAPS parachute, which promptly failed. The rocket tossed the canister, from which the parachute did not deploy. Once VMC and beneath the overcast, he proceeded visually to an airfield and landed.

He apparently was at 7,500', but initiated a 2,800 fpm dive down to 800' where he broke out, all the while screaming and praying.

So, no regulation, but do that. Scream and pray. It's the Cirrus way. Remember, pull, and pull often. Do it early. Get it out of the way right off the bat. In fact, don't wait for an emergency. Create one if you have to, but pull early, pull as often as you can. Buy more. They'll make as many as you want and remember, every deployment, no matter how unnecessary, is a "save."

http://www.aero-news.net/images/content/genav/2013/N715CD-ChuteFailure-0513a.jpg

galaxy flyer
09-24-2018, 04:41 PM
This was a “COPA Instructor”? Good God, what are the regular pilots like?

Like to old ejection seat saw, “pull the handle when you’re more scared of the plane than you are of the seat”.

GF

JohnBurke
09-24-2018, 04:54 PM
This was a “COPA Instructor”? Good God, what are the regular pilots like?


GF

As I recall, he's a "COPA Instructor," but only holds a private pilot certificate (apparently with an instrument rating, the standard for which clearly does not include the brain with which God graced his anatomy at the outset).

conoblep
09-25-2018, 05:58 AM
That's what I thought, but figured what could go wrong with asking the internet... I asked, but did not receive a reference. That immediately makes me an extreme skeptic which is why I went digging. Since I have yet to do more than shamelessly check out a Cirrus sitting on the ramp (*shame*), I don't think it'll be much of an issue but you never know, always good to be prepared to win the lottery.
JohnBurke: Looks like a case of premature eCAPSulation (*queue eye rolls and groans from the unappreciative audience*)

JohnBurke
09-25-2018, 07:35 AM
Looks like a case of premature eCAPSulation (*queue eye rolls and groans from the unappreciative audience*)

It happens, with age.

It's worth noting that the failed CAPS canister was a re-pack, not a factory original issue. I think they sit on something like a 12 year repack cycle.

No idea why it failed, but from the appearance, it looks like a packing pin may have been left in place; total pack closure.

USMCmech
09-25-2018, 06:44 PM
There are an alarming number of pilots/CFIs who do understand the difference between FARs, insurance requirements, and company SOP.

I once had a CFI tell me that it was an FAR requirement that you wear close toed shoes to fly. I responded that the only thing you are required to wear is your seatbelt. I know this because one day when I was flying jumpers, a diver walked out to the plane wearing his chute and a towel. He left the towel behind.

It is likely an insurance requirement and certainly a good idea to get factory training in the Cirrus, especially for low time pilots. However the only SFAR requiring similar training fo light aircraft is the one for the MU-2.

JamesNoBrakes
09-25-2018, 08:03 PM
Anyone that tells you a rule or regulation but doesn't show you it or where it comes from is doing you a huge disservice. How can you (the student) be expected to find said rule on a checkride or on your own? The "I'm telling you because this is what I was told" chain needs to be broken. Anyone can tell you something they heard. Someone who is teaching you will foster your understanding and provide the necessary background and information. I also don't like those "here's everything you need to know about piloting"-books, too often people start falling on their face when asked a question in a slightly different way and they can't figure out how or where to actually look stuff up in the actual (source) references that contain the information.

1wife2airlines
09-26-2018, 07:01 AM
Will the factory let you buy one and fly off without training? This one changed hands a few times before this guy got it: Kathryn's Report: Cirrus SR22, N670SR, registered to and operated by JMC Ranches LLC: Fatal accident occurred May 31, 2018 at Midland International Air and Space Port Airport (KMAF), Midland County, Texas (http://www.kathrynsreport.com/2018/06/cirrus-sr22-accident-occurred-may-31.html)

JohnBurke
09-26-2018, 08:28 AM
Cirrus had a high mishap rate before COPA began pushing their training; many insurance policies will require training to achieve coverage.

Bear in mind that the Cirrus was unable to meet certification criteria for spins and consequently was certified using the parachute in lieu of meeting spin recovery criteria. Pattern altitude and below, a stall can become unrecoverable, and may occur with insufficient altitude to allow the parachute to effect a "save." For pilots who are familiar with the Hershey bar wing of a Cherokee or the benign characteristics of a Cessna 152 or 172, the Cirrus has different stall and high A0A characteristics that can rapidly lead to a departure, especially in an accelerated stall with any lack of coordination (think the classic base-to-final turn, which is where many of the mishaps have occurred).

The Cirrus also caters to a crowd that wants a nice, modern airplane that looks and feels like a newer car; the cockpit was designed with this in mind. By and large the target ownership is private pilots, which continue to account for over 50% of the aviation mishaps. One of the primary selling points of the Cirrus, ironically, is the same deficiency that made it unable to meet certification standards: the parachute. Most who buy the airplane or rent the airplane don't know that during certification, no test deployment was ever continued to a landing or touchdown; every use of a parachute for spin stabilization or every airborne deployment during certification was cut away. That made the buyers and owners the actual test pilots and guinea pigs for parachute use.

Given the general lack of experience for many owners and renters, and the perception of safety implied by the CAPS ballistic BRS system, a lot of owners and renters treat the parachute as if it's an alternate option, not an emergency option. They tend to exceed the bounds of their training or capability, departing at night and into weather and over the ocean and mountains and into storms, on the incorrect belief that it's perfectly fine so long as the parachute is there to back them up. It's not only inexperienced pilots that have relayed this belief; the F-16 pilot in Louisiana that departed into low visibility and low overcast, and deployed the parachute moments after entering the overcast wasn't brand new, or entirely inexperienced (though a neophyte in general aviation aircraft, apparently). Cirrus doesn't discourage this way of thinking, and instead directs owners, operators, renters, and pilots in general to "pull and pull often" (we'll make more).

rickair7777
09-26-2018, 08:39 PM
Brilliant how Cirrus turned a design deficiency and a Rube Goldberg fix intoa selling point.

JohnBurke
09-27-2018, 12:28 AM
Rock soup sold by a spin doctor.

Hey becky. Hey Tom. Who wants to paint the fence white?

USMCmech
09-27-2018, 04:58 AM
OK, there are some serious myths about the chute.

First off, the CAPS parachute was part of the design from the beginning. Second, full spin testing was done for European certification. There is no deficiency in design that required the parachute. Low altitude stall/spin in any high performance single (Malibu, Bonanza, ect.) is likely to end in disaster.

Having said that, as an experienced pilot, the parachute adds zero safety value for me. It requires at least 500 ft of altitude to deploy so it really doesn't help in the classic base to final turn accident. It doesn't help in a CFIT accident. The other scenarios where I would likely pull the handle are extremely rare. As noted, there is a serious risk of injury from hitting the ground under the canopy due to the almost 300 FPM decent rate. The Cirrus test pilots never risked it.

The marketing and training the the company does really doesn't help this reputation. The "Pull early, pull often" simplistic approach to training overlooks some of the very real risks of using the parachute. You can look up the accident report of the mid-air in CO to see an example. The CAPS system is a great safety tool but like all tools, there is proper time and place to use them.

Chute or no chute, I think the SR-22 is the best piston airplane on the market. I would absolutely buy one if I had that kind of money. If a parachute gets a reluctant passenger or spouse to ride in one then so much the better.

JohnBurke
09-27-2018, 06:46 AM
According to Klapmeier, et al, the the parachute was used in lieu of spin certification; it existed because the aircraft never met spin certification. The aircraft was granted ELOS (equivalent level of safety) in lieu of spin certification, based on the parachute.

https://cirrusaircraft.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/CAPS_Guide.pdf

...Any time a Cirrus pilot experiences a loss of control or spin, the use of CAPS is required.

Given that Cirrus had demonstrated enhanced low speed handling characteristics that will help pilots to avoid inadvertent spin entry and the presence of CAPS, the FAA granted Cirrus an Equivalent Level of
Safety (ELOS) for the spin recovery requirement of the certification regulations. This ELOS is accepted by all civil aviation authorities that have certified the Cirrus SR20 and SR22.

There are a lot of inaccurate claims in Cirrus in their own publication, but then they've long considered every deployment a save, individually for each person on board the aircraft, whether the deployment was necessary. Then again, pull and pull often, we'll make more.

Cirrus also states that no one has died when the parachute has deployed within parameters, which might be true if one doesn't count burning to death under a perfectly good parachute, and ignores parachutes that don't deploy when pulled. They also cite pilots that didn't pull and were killed due to spins that began at altitude and continue to the ground. They also fail to emphasize avoiding conditions that might necessitate using the parachute; it's clear from the nature of the parachute deployments that the parachute instills enough false confidence to encourage pilots to fly under conditions or in locations they ought not, under the belief that the parachute is there to save them. It may be said that the parachute leads to a lower level of safety, or to less safe behavior, rather than better.

Until the COPA initiatives to press for more specific training, the Cirrus had one of the worst accident rates in the industry. It's now one of the better ones, largely due to the emphasis on training specifically for the Cirrus.

No need to teach basic airmanship any more...there's a handle for that. I've lost track of the number of know-it-all private pilots who are horrified at the idea of executing a forced landing off field, and who wouldn't consider it, and who couldn't execute one because it was never in their repertoire. No need. There's a parachute for that. Pull, and pull often. We'll make more.

USMCmech
09-27-2018, 07:54 AM
Cirrus also states that no one has died when the parachute has deployed within parameters, which might be true if one doesn't count burning to death under a perfectly good parachute, .....

it's clear from the nature of the parachute deployments that the parachute instills enough false confidence to encourage pilots to fly under conditions or in locations they ought not, under the belief that the parachute is there to save them. ....

No need to teach basic airmanship any more...there's a handle for that. I've lost track of the number of know-it-all private pilots who are horrified at the idea of executing a forced landing off field, and who wouldn't consider it,...

Whenever I train a pilot who either owns a Cirrus or wants to buy one, I always go over that accident. There are a lot of guys who don't know about it.

I also tell them that if they ever say to themselves "it's OK, this airplane has a parachute" to walk away and take the car. Telling pax that load of BS is OK in my book, but the pilot should NEVER expect the CAPS to save them from themselves.

I also teach that if it's day VFR and over good terrain to plan conventional forced landing. This gives you the most control over where/what you will hit, but retains the option until 500 AGL of using the parachute if the field doesn't look good. Night, IFR, or over poor terrain, I'll use the CAPS which is the lesser of two evils.

JohnBurke
09-27-2018, 10:41 AM
s.

I also teach that if it's day VFR and over good terrain to plan conventional forced landing. This gives you the most control over where/what you will hit, but retains the option until 500 AGL of using the parachute if the field doesn't look good. Night, IFR, or over poor terrain, I'll use the CAPS which is the lesser of two evils.

Of course, waiting for daylight (good airmanship in a single engine piston airplane) enables a much better chance of keeping a forced landing site under the airplane (basic airmanship) and seeing to make a forced landing (basic airmanship). IFR and IMC are two different things, but if one waits for clear weather or avoids the clouds in a single engine piston airplane (that has one generator, one engine, minimal performance, etc), it's not an issue either (basic airmanship).

Far better to not accumulate evils in the first place.

Over half the CAPS deployments have been at night and in IMC. Over half. Add to it a number of deployments in situation in which the pilots should never have been. Eliminate all those unnecessary deployments by not being there in the first place...and the saving grace turns out to be basic airmanship, rather than launching into situations where the parachute becomes the attractive, or only option.



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