Is a light aircraft still usable after a successful airframe parachute deployment?

Pondlife
  • Is a light aircraft still usable after a successful airframe parachute deployment? Pondlife

    Some light aircraft now have airframe parachutes. If a pilot does have to pull the chute on a Cirrus (for example), is the aircraft flyable or at least repairable after landing or is it a write-off? What G forces are involved in the impact?

    I realize that there are lots of possible variables here, but let's assume that the parachute deploys correctly and in plenty of time for a stabilized descent; touchdown is in 'ideal' conditions, i.e. on level, unobstructed ground; and impact forces are as described in the Cirrus CAPS guide:

    The airplane will assume its touchdown attitude to optimize occupant protection. The airplane will descend under the canopy at less than 1700 fpm and ground impact is expected to be equivalent to dropping from a height of 13 feet (about 4 meters). The airframe, seats and landing gear are all designed to absorb the impact energy.

  • For the Cirrus at least, it sounds like that the odds are that the plane will be a loss. Thus far of 53 CAP deployments, only "9 CAPS Planes that Were Repaired and Flew Again"

    Revision A7 of the Cirrus SR22 POH currently states "CAPS deployment is expected to result in damage to the airframe" that updates the earlier language that "The system is intended to saves the lives of the occupants but will most likely destroy the aircraft."

    https://www.cirruspilots.org/copa/safety_programs/w/safety_pages/723.cirrus-caps-history.aspx

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