In Last Six Months, Half the Fatal Accidents and Way More CAPS Saves - Pull early, pull often! - Safety and Training Programs - Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association

In Last Six Months, Half the Fatal Accidents and Way More CAPS Saves

In Last Six Months, Half the Fatal Accidents and Way More CAPS Saves

Compare the past six months with the same time last year. You will see half the fatal accidents and way more CAPS saves.

What a difference a year makes!

Last year, in the last six months of 2011, we saw 11 fatal accidents in Cirrus SR2X aircraft with only a single CAPS save.* This year, in the same six months of 2012, we saw six fatal accidents and four CAPS saves. (The other six months were a wash with no difference.)

Last year, 22 people died and four seriously injured in those fatal accidents, and this year only 12 died with two seriously injured. Last year, one person survived a CAPS save, and this year nine people survived.

2012 had half the fatal accidents, half the fatalities and a huge increase in CAPS saves and survivors.

Now, we understand that the decline in aviation accidents may be affected by too many factors to draw any predictive conclusions. But it feels good to see the big drop in the number of people who died in Cirrus airplane accidents. And it truly amazes me that the number of CAPS saves increased so dramatically.

Two interesting tidbits. In 2011, none of those pilots were COPA members, neither the pilots in fatal accidents or the lone CAPS pilot (who was trained in the military and also flies fighters).

An interesting tidbit about those 2012 CAPS saves: every one of those four CAPS pilots credit COPA with preparing them to pull the red CAPS handle when faced with an life-threatening emergency. Three were COPA members who had attended a CPPP ( COPA Pilot Proficiency Program), and one was a CSIP (Cirrus Standardized Instructor Pilot) who spent his lunch watching the COPA M9 Safety Keynote online that introduced "0. CAPS .... CONSIDER" for emergency procedures

When interviewed, they all said something like "I just did what I trained to do."

For reference, here are the four COPA forum threads about those four CAPS saves:

CAPS event #36 in SR22 N138CK near Pickens, SC on 22 July 2012

CAPS event #37 in SR22 N80KW near Birmingham, AL on 6 Oct 2012

CAPS event #38 in SR22 N800RW near Show Low, AZ [16 Nov 2012]

CAPS event #39 in SR22 VH-WYH near Gilgandra, NSW, Australia [21 Nov 2012]



* A CAPS save is defined when people survive a successful deployment of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System. A full history of CAPS events can be found here.