Squawk Box

May 2002 Issue

Shoot, No Chute

Cirrus’ emergency parachute gets an AD and flunks its first real-world test

The following information is derived from the FAA’s Service Difficulty Reports and Aviation Maintenance Alerts.


Three days after the FAA issued an airworthiness directive on the Cirrus Design emergency parachute, the first parachute deployed in actual emergency conditions failed to fire and the SR-20 crashed. The pilot and passenger were not injured.

The FAA published AD 2002-05-05 on March 13, with an effective date of March 19. The AD requires the owners of some SR-20s and SR-26s to avoid flying at night or in IMC until installing a clamp on the cable that activates the parachute’s rocket – with the installation due within 10 flight hours.

The accident airplane belonged...

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