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Ballistic Parachutes


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Hi All


I would really like to get some advice from you guys on what I should do regarding a ballistic Chute for my new CT.


First the notes:


The CT is certified to 600kg


Registration will only be 544kg


Cruise speed 130 knots


VNE is 168 knots


Ground weight with my specs (but no fuel or people) is 302kg


Fuel capacity is 130 litres (approx 95kg full)


The choices are:


1. Junkers Light Speed Rescue system - 13.5kg and $5,000


Deployment to VNE, 475kg, mounted, belts inside structure


2. BRS 5 1050 Rescue system - 13.5kg and $5,400


Deployment to 148 knt, 477 kg mounted, belts inside structure


3. BRS 1300 Rescue system - 19.5kg and $8,800


Deployment to VNE, 600 kg, mounted, belts inside structure


My thoughts were the Junkers as if I was on my own then no problems but if I had a passenger then I would be over the 475 kg so I would just hit the ground harder (assuming the chute held) but still be alive compared to carrying the extra weight around all the time and higher cost even though I hope to never have to use it.


Can any of you give any guidance or discussion on this?


(added - except throwing the passenger out if ever needed to 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif)




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Iwould think that if you are going to have a chute you should have one that will do the job.Most times you fly you probably have a passanger and probably spouse or kids. There is allways the chance that the smaller chute will not take the weight and collapse or the impact speedwill be such as to cause severe injuries. Tthe extra expense will i am sure be well warranted if ever you have to use it



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Ian <?:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


I believe that all life is precious, you shared with us those wonderful pix’s of your holidays and I saw a few little treasures it would be a shame not to ensure their safety for the sake of a few kilos.Don



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The thing is though


302kg for the CT


95kg if full of fuel


100kg for me (now hang on before the "overweight" jokes ;))


80kg for a pax (yeah right ok hands up who are 80kg or less other then my wife at 70kg - she's gonna kill me for that)


20kg for the chute


597kg TOTAL.........ILLEGAL so I can only run with 53kg less of fuel which leaves me only 56 litres and all this doesn't include an ERSA, Drink etc.


56 litres allowing 20 for reserve and a burn of say 18 litres per hour gives me only 2 hours of flying maximum before a refuel is required. The CT is fantastic for trips so I can forget about taking that sleeping bag etc.


Registering LSA for 600kg means extra $000's for initial registration and I can't even put carpet on the floor without factory approval and then recertification etc.


But hey I could always choose not to get the transponder or Dynon EFIS or a radio or dare I say the Auto Pilot 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif......hang on....NO the auto pilot stays and I will convert the CT into a single seater :confused:



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I guess it comes down to the fact that the present ultralight registration of these aircraft does not allow for the carrying of a passenger & fuel.


However with the increase in MTOW hopefully early next year you will have the full 600kg MTOW that the aircraft is designed for. It still seems that the more practical approach is to get the chute now that will cater to the MTOW of your aircraft as i imagine it would be more expensive to change it at a later date.



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you could allways register it GA and have the full MTOW now.as experimental you still have the option to perform your own maintenance.

Them there dirty words your talking Turtle 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif 006_laugh.gif.d4257c62d3c07cda468378b239946970.gif 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gifHad a thought (pity I'm not on the board ;)) but wouldn't it be good if the regs could be changed to:


Where an aircraft is certified to be above the 544kg class that safety items were not included in the weight total providing the total weight of aircraft and safety items did not exceed the certified weight.


This would mean that I could be at 544kg + 20kg for the chute giving 564kg which is still under the 600 certification and still be legal.


Hmmm....I'm onto something here.....I must have a word to Chris at the RA-Aus about this to see what is involved and how it can be done to get the regs changed to this as I think this would be a great idea - it would help promote safety and get people to add safety items where there weight permits. - darn it, I have started a new thread but what are others thoughts on this AND DON'T FORGET MY INITIAL QUESTION.



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Oh and Danda - I still can't get myself to take my kids up with me...don't know it's just well don't know BUT Corrine on the other hand, well that's another story. Please refer to my first post about passengers and pushing them out:laugh:



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It's up to you of course but even with the U beaut set up you will not be able to assume that everything will always go perfectly. A chute was popped not long ago by a pilot who had a medical problem, everything worked well but the plane landed in water and did not get the cushioning effect of the gear collapsing. The pilot survived but is now a paraplegic, who says that in the same circumstances he would do the same again.





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The problem with BRS as I see it, is that it's a one way decision. That is, once you have decided to deploy the chute that's it. There is no ability to say 'oops', dump the chute, I've got a better idea.


So, once the chute is deployed it better work! No partial deployment. No tearing canopies, no ripping the mountings out of the plane, no snapping belts etc etc.


The other thing to consider is when are you likely to deploy the chute? I doubt if it would be in nice gentle straight and level flight at 100kt. By the time you made the decision and then deployed, it would be more like an off the clock spiral dive. So in my mind option 3 is the only one worth considering, and yeah, the 544kg limit is a pain in the backside.



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Hi Ian,


My humble $0.02 worth.


In Oz, to have or not to have is wholly a personal choice. With that choice comes the conundrum you have already discussed.


As part of yourthinking on this issue have you researched the number of occasions recreational a/c of our kind (weight class),in particularthe CT, that could have been saved from fatal crashes with the use of a BRS. One site lists data of incidents involving BRS worldwide since 1983. Interesting to see how many Cirrus are listed (like the one Yenn referred to). Now I realise the CT has only been in production since 1997 (or thereabouts), however, this site lists only 2 of these. One in 1997 being tested to destruction (or was that the folding wings version) by the test pilot, the other in 2004 detailing the reason for deployment as "attempted go around". The latter sounds like a case of possible poor flying skill ... who knows.


One needs to ask, whatis the chance ofmy experiencing a catastrophic failure that onlya BRS could saveme.One of the CT's qualities is its long glide ratio and another its structural integrity.


Other possible reasons for a "last resort" deployment of a chute hinge around your qulaities of airmanship. From what I know of you it's pretty unlikely you're going to fly into IMC, or do things in thesky that will leave you unstuck, or treat your inspections and maintenance with complacency. Hopefully, while cruising happily along at 120kt with AP switched on yoursituational awareness doesn't nod off ;).


Another consideration is the view that with a BRS on board one may be inclined to greater risk taking and/or wrenching the rip cord before it being absolutely essential. The marketers of the Lancair Columbia like to focus on this point. They refer to the Cirrus being dependant on a BRS and the number of injuries and write-offs consequent to the dubious use of theirBRS as opposed to the extraordinary stall and glide characteristics of the Columbia along with the pilot training they provide with new purchases. I know I came away from a test flight in one of these throughly impressed with its gentle, fully controllable stall dropping at 300 ft/min as opposed to the quoted BRS drop rate of 1500 ft/min. I know where I'd rather be at touch down. Not entirely unlike the CT.


A further thoughtshould be givento carrying 19.5kg of BRS sitting up high behind theCofG. If you eventually choose this option you will be well advised to do a CofG test and possibly instal some ballast up front. Darn ... more weight.


Like I said, it's very much a personal choice. And by no means should anyone think poorly of an a/c owner not carrying a BRS by choice.


Hope this helps,





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Guest Fred Bear

The Cirrus aircraft only have the CAPS (Cirrus Active Parachute System) because the aircraft has not been fully spin tested. The Cirrus has a C of G that is well rearward with rear-seat passengers, so when it spins, it spins with the tail low (backwards kind-of), which is almost impossible to recover without a rear-deployed anti-spin parachute.


The Lancair Columbia has an interesting set-up. It is impossible to spin because a computer system provides elevator and rudder inputs to avoid this, however if that system failed, you'd be in strife! The Lancair can be flown by using a certain sequence of rudder, elevator and ailerons at the point of stall, with no engine and the descent rate will be LESS than that of a parachute deployed Cirrus. The result of this is a "controlled" crash into terrain and the ability to walk away from it. Rather interesting, eg. if you entered cloud and weren't confident about your instrument flying, you could put it into this position and they just waffle out the bottom of the clouds and keep going!



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There is the choice of a GRS. These are very simlar to Brs and I found the company much more approchable. The agent is Micheal Coates at Xair. If you aregoing to the effort and expence of a chute it`s worth getting the correct one. As for flying over the legal weight, this is secondary to your life(provide you airframe can handle it) and last to the people that question your choice of to pull or not to pull the chute.


When you need a chute that is your LAST CHANCE OR YOU WILL DIE.(NO CHOICE LEFT). Cheers



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Many years ago, when men were men and they bounced higher, there was a similar discussion about whether or not jumpers should wear a reserve chute. It's no longer a discussion.


A bit later, (late 70's), there was a discussion about whether automatic opening devices should be used. That's pretty much a non-discussion now also.


Ask the Father and Son from C.Q. - wing foldup in skyfox/gazelle - if they'd like a second chance.


Ask the guys in the Savannah if they would too. I know their families would.


Even if a machine does not have an occult structural issue waiting to rear it's ugly head, an unforseen event such as collision or medical emergency should not condem a pilot and their passenger. (medical emergency?...many ofus are in the stroke/ heart attack demographic, and youth is no real protector in any of the above.


When I finally save the required number of shekkels to purchase my rag and tube sanity saver.... it will have a second chance strapped to it.


Thanks Guys, my 0.02.



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The main difference between a GRS and BRS is the Brs is preasure packed in a container and is drawen out with a solid fuel rocket like pulling a tissue out of a box by its corner. A Grs is soft packed in it`s container (needs bigger container)and is pulled out in a box to approximately 18m from the airframe by it`s solid fuel rocket and is deployed from there.


Grs are more willing to design installation for less popular sorts of airframe.





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This is really a weight issue isn't it?


I am not yet a pilot but have exercised my mind on the weight/equipment/safety/dilemma as I have been reading all I can to work out if I should continue GA training started 40 years ago or go RA.(I am going RA)


As I want to tour around, weight will be an issue and I will want to have every navigational and communication aid available to help safe flying.


A lot of RA pilots make wry comments about their own weight and it appears a real issue.


My "retirement weight" is 15kg over my lifetime "working weight". I figure I should be able to lose 10kg to let me put more gear or fuel in my future aircraft. Then I can have my cake and....not eat it too.



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