Kit configuration: Parachute pros and cons?

Model Specific Discussions about the Sling TSi.
Post Reply
kkim1972
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:08 pm
Location: Vancouver Canada

Kit configuration: Parachute pros and cons?

Post by kkim1972 »

Any builders kindly comment on deciding to go with it or without it, please.

pros:
  • the peace of mind (for pilot) while flying over the terrain where one's forced landing skill may not guarantee safe landing
  • the peace of mind (for passengers) when stepping into an EXPERIMENTAL A/C :)
  • reduced or no damage to the A/C when landing on the uneven field
  • weight balance when only pilot in the cabin?
  • better chance of obtaining written permission to enter a foreign airspace when travelling around world?
cons:
  • $12000 that could go into new engine swap in the future
  • w/o parachute, one would tend to practice forced landing diligently? ;)
  • apprx +60lbs weight that could have been the weight of a pair of foldable bikes or one e-bike
  • 6yr repacking interval and its cost that could have gone into an extra G3X MFD
  • accidental deployment of any kinds (ie. Murphy's Law)
Cluemeister
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:15 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: Kit configuration: Parachute pros and cons?

Post by Cluemeister »

Other chute pros:

- On resale, chute is a deal breaker for some buyers.
- In the Cirrus world, chutes pulled above min. altitude have 100% survival success rate, hopefully that translates to Sling Tsi as well

Con:

- Must counter the chute weight to avoid rear CG issue, difficult to have 4 adults with chute unless you add counter weight in front
User avatar
lutorm
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:00 pm
Location: USA

Re: Kit configuration: Parachute pros and cons?

Post by lutorm »

In my mind the utility of the airplane will be sufficiently compromised by the extra rearward weight that I will not be getting it for my kit. With a stall speed of worst case 48 knots (that's at max weight) most emergency landings should be survivable if you keep it under control. I'm not planning on flying IFR so loss of control in IMC is hopefully not going to be a factor.

I'm also dubious about "no damage to airplane". It is my understanding that the purpose of the chute is to make an out of control situation survivable, not to save the plane. I think the plane will be a write-off after parachute deployment. Pancaking down under the chute seems likely to severely damage the fuselage or wings. This Cirrus does not look repairable, let alone "minor damage": https://youtu.be/453DhgsZ5DY.

The indisputable advantage of the chute is that it will save the occupants in two scenarios where you'd otherwise be SOL: a major structural failure or pilot incapacitation (with a non-pilot in the right seat). Those constitute a very small fraction of accidents, and is a risk I'm willing to take.
Blog of various projects: https://blog.familjenjonsson.org/blog/
kkim1972
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Apr 25, 2021 12:08 pm
Location: Vancouver Canada

Re: Kit configuration: Parachute pros and cons?

Post by kkim1972 »

On the one hand, highly low probable unlucky situation if ever happened one could walk away with the parachute. For example ( ferry flight fuel system malfunction)


According to AVweb's Paul Bertorelli analysis of incidences with Cirrus parachute deployment, those lives on board "seemed" to be saved even though not always. But injury is unavoidable because the vertical speed can be up to 1700 FPM,(30ft/sec or 19Mph), depending on the landing surface type. (water vs rocky terrain)


On the other hand, it is very low probability for ever needing to use parachute in real life. I think we are dealing with pros and cons of practical matters like weight balance and other spending opportunities (eg. avionics, upholstery). For example, would experimental A/C insurance for the low hour pilot go down significantly with the parachute installed?
User avatar
ibgarrett
Posts: 125
Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2020 8:22 am
Location: Westminster CO
Contact:

Re: Kit configuration: Parachute pros and cons?

Post by ibgarrett »

There are only 3 scenarios which I'd want a parachute:
1. I lose a wing (extremely rare)
2. The engine falls off the front of the airplane (extremely rare)
3. The engine fails leaving me to encounter conditions where the terrain is inhospitable for landing (still rare)

I've lost an engine in-light with a parachute on board and didn't use it because the plane just turned into a glider and we all walked away. The firewall was cracked at one of the engine mount points which had the engine remained running certainly would have vibrated off the airframe - but it stopped shortly after the issue started. So I can say with absolute confidence I am happy with my decision to NOT put a parachute in the airplane. The reasons I don't want one is because of the extra luggage space it consumes and the aft CG it adds. The extra expense certainly is a consideration, but that's even after my first two reasons.

I know some non-aviation folks (wives and maybe some husbands) who don't necessarily understand the over/under on what it provides feel safer with it on board, but to me it's a non-issue and I'm happy to explain to any passenger I take up why it isn't a critical piece of equipment. Is it a nice to have? Sure... but not nice enough for me to give up the extra storage, aft CG and $12k.

As for the reduced or no damage to the A/C - once you pull the parachute, the airplane is pretty much totaled and the insurance company has bought it. So to me - why not fly the plane as long as you can?

I don't know of, or have heard of any issues with entering a foreign airspace without a parachute.

I know plenty of people who like and prefer to have the parachute - that's fine... that's their choice and I'm happy it is available. You can always add it after the fact with a couple of days worth of work if you change your mind. I'm building mine with everything up to the parachute installed. Cables are run in the cabin and all I'll have to do is spend the time installing it later if I chose to. No biggie. Who knows - maybe I'll change my mind. :) But for now - totally comfy with my decision.
Brian Garrett
Cluemeister
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Nov 25, 2019 4:15 am
Location: Tennessee

Re: Kit configuration: Parachute pros and cons?

Post by Cluemeister »

lutorm wrote: Mon Feb 21, 2022 12:28 pm The indisputable advantage of the chute is that it will save the occupants in two scenarios where you'd otherwise be SOL: a major structural failure or pilot incapacitation (with a non-pilot in the right seat). Those constitute a very small fraction of accidents, and is a risk I'm willing to take.
I would add a third major contributor, loss of control.
User avatar
lutorm
Posts: 17
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2022 11:00 pm
Location: USA

Re: Kit configuration: Parachute pros and cons?

Post by lutorm »

Cluemeister wrote: Tue Feb 22, 2022 10:47 am
lutorm wrote: Mon Feb 21, 2022 12:28 pm The indisputable advantage of the chute is that it will save the occupants in two scenarios where you'd otherwise be SOL: a major structural failure or pilot incapacitation (with a non-pilot in the right seat). Those constitute a very small fraction of accidents, and is a risk I'm willing to take.
I would add a third major contributor, loss of control.
What kind of loss of control? If I lose control just from incorrect piloting, I can regain control. But the typical loss of control accident is the stall-spin on base turn, and I dunno if the chute will save you from that. What's the minimum deploy altitude?
Blog of various projects: https://blog.familjenjonsson.org/blog/
User avatar
SlingDriver
Posts: 10
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2021 5:06 pm
Location: SE Florida

Re: Kit configuration: Parachute pros and cons?

Post by SlingDriver »

I am going with the chute, and I am willing to pay the price (W/B, $, etc).

My thought process when I decided was as below. I also see valid reasons to drop the chute, and of course I considered them. They are extensively covered out there. I believe the most important is to be in peace with the decision, and potential consequences.

My reasons

- I fly out of highly dense urban areas, and I need to fly several minutes at or below 1000 to clear airspaces in many flights, (unless under IFR). Engine, fuel, mid air collision, structural, pilot mistake, etc. Any emergency would be most likely an off airport force landing, and the result is most likely not survivable, or major injuries.

- 90%+ of flights with less or equal to 3 people. Last 6 months, 100% of flights were with 2 or myself alone.

- The chute impact speed most likely will rule out major injuries. Accident trauma is no joke, can really ruin one's life for good. Usually it does, financially and physically.

- Possible mitigation of accident legal liabilities, due to lower impact, less damage and high probability of minor injuries.

- The famous, Better to have, and not need, than to need, and not have.

- I think risk as probability X impact. I rated probability low, but impact can be catastrophic, so I decided to mitigate it, and best option is the chute.

In the end, the W/B works for me and it costs a fraction of the plane, so I checked the box.
Shipment loading...
Post Reply