Table of Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) activations. A version of this table appears in the annual safety issue of COPA Pilot magazine.
As of 31 July 2011, there have been 30 activations of CAPS with 26 saves and 50 survivors.
Click on the sequence number to view the comprehensive details about the accident.
Historic first CAPS deployment in a production aircraft when pilot experienced loss of aileron due to improper maintenance, in which the aileron hinge bolt was not safety wired. Pilot maneuvered to safe area and deployed CAPS. Plane was repaired and flew again.
Mount O'Leary, BC, Canada
Pilot reported loss of control in VFR flight at night at high altitude over the Manashee Mountains in Canada. Parachute risers were used to recover airplane by helicopter. (Canadian accident, not in NTSB database)
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Pilot experienced erratic instrument behavior at low altitude in IMC immediately after takeoff, so immediately activated CAPS and worried about alligators in the swamp.
Plane stalled and lost control at high altitude in VMC over cloud deck, pilot attempted recovery from inverted spiral dive but decided to activate CAPS before entering the clouds. Descent took over 5 minutes while Bill and Barbara Graham arranged items in cockpit for a secure and safe landing in a walnut grove.
Pilot reported icing at 16,000 feet and started climb but descended rapidly below radar coverage. CAPS parachute was deployed at high speed, well above Vpd of 133 knots, and failed, departing the airframe before impact.
Pilot lost conciousness during approach, awoke to discover plane in redline descent, recovered airplane attitude but felt numbness in his legs and activated CAPS. Landing in water of Hudson River, but had time to break window with egress hammer, exit plane, recover life vest, and swim part way to shore. Pilot suffered fractured vertabrae in back and brain tumor that caused loss of conciousness
Pilot encountered severe icing above 8,000 feet and loss of control, so immediately activated CAPS.
Pilot experiences loss of control in IMC shortly after takeoff, so immediately activated CAPS.
Pilot became incapacitated shortly after departure, passenger activated CAPS, although witness observed reefed parachute during descent into a small pond in a residential neighborhood. Pilot died from blunt force trauma and three passengers suffered serious back injuries
Bull Bay, Jamaica
Passenger activated CAPS when observed fuel leaking from wing.
Pilot experienced loss of engine power, activated CAPS but rocket trajectory was abnormal and parachute failed to deploy. Pilot and passenger were seriously injured. Not counted as a CAPS save.
Pilot reported instrument problems in IMC and activated CAPS when terrain warning system activated. Plane impacted trees and came to rest inverted with empennage broken off.
VFR pilot reported IMC conditions on approach to Nantucket airport; declined an instrument approach and activated CAPS. Parachute reported to have tangled with communications tower, causing plane to heavily impact ground
Pilot reported severe turbulunce and lost control; activated CAPS and descended into a powerline
Low-altitude deployment at 400-500 feet when engine lost power due to fuel exhaustion
Pilot reported icing, requested altitude change but experienced terrain alert in IMC; activated CAPS and descended into trees
Pilot reported engine power loss at night over inhospitable terrain; activated CAPS and descented into canal water
Apparent practice stall/spin; parachute was deployed at very low altitude and did not fully inflate. 2 fatalities
Pilot disorientation during IMC departure climb when door popped open and rain entered cabin, landed in a residential street with a broken wing tip and tail
Pilot reported catastrophic engine failure and oil obscured windscreen, landed in flat field
Hamilton Island, Australia
Pilot reported loss of engine power on departure from island runway over water, began turn back, delayed deployment due to yachts in vincinity and deployed about 600 feet
Midair collision with tow plane and glider; CAPS deployed and descended with flaming wreckage
Pilot reported icing, aircraft descended 6,000 feet before CAPS deployed; landed on rocky, uneven, inhospitable terrain
Hornton, Oxfordshire, UK
Under investigation; likely VFR in IMC flying an SRV
Pilot reported loss of engine power; emergency descent; failed to make nearby airport; pulled CAPS at low altitude
Pilot initiated go-around but plane failed to climb; activated CAPS after first impact with trees
Pilot reported turbulence on approach and lost control in IMC
Pilot reported prop surge and loss of engine power, troubleshot, pulled CAPS as plane descended thru 1000'
Cross City, FL
Pilot reported loss of engine power, diverted, was reminded by ATC of parachute, fracture of camshaft
Pilot experienced vertigo during practice approaches at night, pulled CAPS at low altitude
The Cirrus Owners & Pilots Association (aka, “COPA”) is a 501(c)7 non-profit corporation dedicated to serving its members.
COPA® is not in any way affiliated with Cirrus Aircraft, the manufacturer.Cirrus is a registered trademark of Cirrus Aircraft