Cirrus safety vs Mooney safety

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Capt.Crash'n'Burn, Dec 19, 2010.

?

Which is the most likely to save your behind??

  1. The Mooney Roll Cage

    27 vote(s)
    47.4%
  2. The Cirrus Parachute

    15 vote(s)
    26.3%
  3. Other (please specify)

    15 vote(s)
    26.3%
  1. Capt.Crash'n'Burn

    Capt.Crash'n'Burn Cleared for Takeoff

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    I know this is a bit of an apples to oranges comparison, but which of these 2 safety systems do you think is most likely to save your life? a roll cage or a parachute??
     
  2. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    I credit the Mooney.

    Reason: No disrespect to the CAPS, but history of the type has shown that, for whatever reason, the parachute rarely gets used when it *could* save the aircraft's occupants. On the other hand, when Cirri crash, they are not very good at leaving aircraft occupants alive- and are very fire-prone.
     
  3. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The presence of real fuel tanks, rather than voids in the wing, and a nonfrangible fuel system.

    The Roll cage, first premiered on the Gumman F4F, in which the cockpit was the LAST component to fail.

    CAPS, for the pilot who may or may not make good decisions. It's always unclear whether the ejector rocket motor starts the fire or fires after the crash.
     
  4. flyingcheesehead

    flyingcheesehead Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The CAPS seems to be as likely to lure you into a false sense of security as it is to save you - I can't come up with any other explanation as to why so many Cirrus drivers make so many ****-poor "go" or "continue" decisions.

    Plus, there's the fact that it won't always save you - See the guy who pulled it after getting into icing and losing control (the parachute separated from the airframe). Or, the graphic video of the Cirrus that got into a mid-air with a glider towplane, and settled to the ground... on fire. All aboard were lost. :(

    Now, *IF* you can *HONESTLY* plan and fly as if the parachute *DOES NOT EXIST* then the Cirrus is a very safe airplane, maybe safer than others in terms of avoiding a bad accident in the first place.

    Unfortunately, in the event you are in an accident, the Cirri are not very crashworthy. They tend to fragment and burn.
     
  5. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    I read in a magazine (Car and Driver?) that if you want a safer car put an airbag in the steering wheel. If you want a safer driver, remove the airbag and replace it with a dagger.
     
  6. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    I'm not a fan of parachutes or airbags. Give me something that is strong and well-built... like the Aztec and 310 I fly. :)
     
  7. Capt.Crash'n'Burn

    Capt.Crash'n'Burn Cleared for Takeoff

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    Does the 310 have a rollcage too??
     
  8. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    Roll cage, not that I'm aware of. The Aztec is built stronger than some tanks. But the 310 is still a pretty sturdy aircraft - landing gear excluded.
     
  9. flyersfan31

    flyersfan31 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm not anti-Cirrus (there seems to be a sociological basis behind a lot of Cirrus-bashing) but, for me, I'd rather have a steel roll-cage absorbing the impact instead of a 26g honeycomb seat under my fat azzz.
     
  10. Capt.Crash'n'Burn

    Capt.Crash'n'Burn Cleared for Takeoff

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    I thought the Aztec had a rollcage. If not, then at least a steel tube frame. :dunno:
     
  11. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    It does. You asked about the 310.
     
  12. dennyleeb

    dennyleeb Line Up and Wait

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    I would rather have the CAPS b/c if you are going down in a mooney you are coming in fast or stalling. Either way the roll cage will not help you much. I guess it would help for runway overshoots which Mooney leads the field in.
     
  13. Pa28-140

    Pa28-140 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't own a Cirrus but I have 300+ hours flying the SR22. There is no way to prove or disprove the case for "false sense of security". Stupid people will always do stupid things. The absolutely LAST thing I want to do is put myself into a situation where I have to fire off the chute. I think it would take an incredible dumbo to fly into a situation on purpose where he could pull the chute and destroy a $400K+ airplane. However, the potential for engine loss in a single at night or over hostile terrain is always a possibility. Let's also not forget the midair that takes off the tail or other control surfaces. I'm pretty confident that each of us would pray in each of those situations that we had the chute...... all the way to the ground.

    I can't address the structure or fire issues with any degree of authority, but I doubt if anybody here can either. Most of the information that is passed on is that of a "onesy" situation or otherwise stories that are heard and passed along.

    After flying a Cirrus for several years and owning a Cherokee for more......I'll take the Cirrus any day of the week and twice on weekends. Just my thoughts.

     
  14. Jim Logajan

    Jim Logajan En-Route

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    It's a bogus and utterly useless comparison since the Cirrus has both a roll cage and a parachute!

    Not only that, it has airbag seat belts. Here's the list of safety features the Cirrus claims:

    http://cirrusaircraft.com/about/safety/

    The Cirrus is likely to have a higher rate of utilization precisely because of its extra safety features. The net result is that it is probably flown by Cirrus pilots in conditions that would keep Mooney pilots in bed. :wink2: The result would be that the accident rates would be roughly comparable to other aircraft. In fact one claim says that the Cirrus has 1.76 fatal accidents per 100,000 flight hours, while the average for all single engine aircraft is 1.86. (http://www.cirruspilots.org/content/SafetyHowSafeIsACirrus.aspx)
     
  15. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Other - avoiding the crash in the first place.

    (you did ask "most likely")
     
  16. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And they're bragging about that miniscule difference? If the airplane is that dangerous even with a chute, I'll take whatever other option is available.

     
  17. Capt.Crash'n'Burn

    Capt.Crash'n'Burn Cleared for Takeoff

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    Your a$$ is so smart, I could sit you on a carton of ice cream, and you could tell what flavor it is. :D
     
  18. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    Warning: Graphic injury stuff

    This subject has probably already been formally studied in great detail but I will try to sort out some basic issues.

    There are several common mechanisms of injury in an airplane crash. Deceleration, fire and smoke inhalation, laceration.

    When a vehicle decelerates, the body will keep moving until it hits something The brain is very susceptible to injury if the head hits the dash or whatever. The blood filled aorta can keep moving forward and tear where it is tethered internally causing massive internal bleeding. Bones are broken when the body hits things and bone fragments can lacerate blood vessels causing severe bleeding.
    Strategy for injury prevention: Spread out the deceleration by reducing airspeed at touchdown (kinetic energy is proportional to the square of speed), hit things that give (brush, small trees) as opposed to things that don't (buildings, vehicles), use seat-belts, airbags. Crush zones are designed in some vehicles to reduce occupant deceleration.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbdOSHgJ3LE

    Ballistic parachutes trade forward deceleration for vertical deceleration. They have to be deployed properly and many are not. Theoretically, very useful in cases of pilot incapacitation (if passenger can activate), structural failure or any case where landing is impossible such over mountainous terrain. Vertical deceleration is a potential cause of spine injury.

    Fire and smoke inhalation are bad for obvious reasons. Strategy for injury prevention: Crash with no fuel, not practical for most situations. Design airplane so that fuel is not likely to spill in crash. The Diamond DA40 has aluminum fuel tanks situated between composite wing spars, no reports of post crash fires so far. Avoid ignition of spilled fuel. It might be possible for a ballistic parachute rocket to serve as a source of ignition.

    Laceration (getting cut) causing significant bleeding. Can occur when bone fragments cut blood vessels as stated previously. Avoid having sharp objects in the cockpit. If you get cut apply direct pressure to whatever is bleeding.

    I'm not sure what good a roll cage is in an airplane other than to prevent the occupants from being crushed which is usually not a problem. If a cage can function as a crumple zone it might help.

    Consider reviewing NTSB reports for all GA aircraft, or at least the types of aircraft you intend to fly.
    http://www.ntsb.gov/ntsb/query.asp
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  19. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ....except they neglected to put in TANKS. And just a few more total ignition to lump of coal loss-of-runway control events and it will be statistically significant.

    Tanks. Anybody remember the 1975 Pinto? No tank.
     
  20. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Cirrus? Tanks but no tanks. But tink you berry moch.

     
  21. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nobody likes an educated mule
     
  22. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    To answer the original question, probably the parachute since it can effectively reduce the most common cause of death and injury which is horizontal deceleration. I do not see how having a roll cage is very useful. It can prevent crush injury but probably ineffective in preventing deceleration injury. Even if the cockpit is structurally perfect, the occupants usually hit the front of it. A roll cage makes more sense for something like a jeep that might roll down a hill where it can keep the occupants from getting crushed. Rolling or getting crushed in an airplane is less likely than suffering a deceleration injury.

    I think airbags are a good idea for GA aircraft but only time will tell if they are useful in actually preventing injury. I believe the CAPS system has been a disappointment. There have been a few great saves but in my opinion it has not lived up to the hype. There were instances when it was not deployed when it might have helped and during a mid-air collision the chute worked but the plane was destroyed by fire before it hit the ground.

    This is an apples vs. oranges comparison. Which airplane is more likely to crash in the first place?
     
  23. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The accident numbers seem to indicate that whichever pilot screws up first is the most likely airplane to crash, at least 85% of the time. The other 15% is probably a toss-up.

    QUOTE=Gary F;657117]
    This is an apples vs. oranges comparison. Which airplane is more likely to crash in the first place?[/QUOTE]
     
  24. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm speechless. Here's a string started by a Capt.Crash'n'burn in which the pilot who screws up first is most likely to crash, at least 85% of the time......we have in the discussion an educated mule, tink you bery moch..... ay yi yi.....Onward!
     
  25. Capt.Crash'n'Burn

    Capt.Crash'n'Burn Cleared for Takeoff

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    I don't mind a few tangents and random banter... it makes the board interesting. :thumbsup:

    I post at a site called Intensitysquared that is nothing but random banter, spam, childish insults, porn and other distractions. It's actually kinda fun once you get used to it.
     
  26. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    That's true but some airplanes are more difficult to fly than other. The Mitsubishi MU-2 has such a high accident rate it requires special training. I suspect that Cirrus and Mooney are fairly comparable in terms of being able to fly safely.
     
  27. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    The mooney has wet wings too, as opposed to tanks - unless they've started leaking and the owner put in bladders.

    So do the Diamonds, and Cessnas. None of these have what I would consider separate fuel tanks - just sealed up wing spaces.
     
  28. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    The Diamond DA40 has aluminum fuel tanks mounted between very sturdy composite wing spars. The DA20 has a tank in the fuselage. There has never been post crash fire reported for any Diamond aircraft that I am aware of.
     
  29. poadeleted20

    poadeleted20 Deleted

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    Other: After 40+ years of observation, I have concluded that the aircraft part that is most important to safety/survival is the nut that holds the yoke/stick.
     
  30. wabower

    wabower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    MU-2's aren't hard, they're just different (or uniquely advanced, depending on your point of view) hence the extra training requirements. If they had ailerons rather than spoilers, a high percentage of the special training requirements would disappear. Is Claire Willman still in Marquette? If so, tell him Wayne says hi.

     
  31. TMetzinger

    TMetzinger Final Approach

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    I forgot the DA 20 tank although I've flown them... I'll look again in the DA40 - it didn't look like Aluminum to me but I believe you.

    Not a lot of post crash fires in GA airplanes - partly because the reason too many crash is fuel exhaustion.
     
  32. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    I own a DA40.
    From the AMM: The DA 40 has a fuel tank in each wing. Each wing tank is made of two chambers: the inboard fuel chamber and the outboard fuel chamber. The inboard fuel chamber and the outboard fuel chamber are interconnected. Aluminum makes the fuel chambers. Baffles in the chambers prevent the fuel from moving quickly from one end of the tank to the other during flight.
    There have been several reports of post crash fires involving Cirrus aircraft. The CAPS rocket has been known to fire on impact if it was not already deployed. There is speculation that this serves as an ignition source.
     
  33. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    Apparently, you really need to know what you are doing to fly a MU-2 safely.
    http://rgl.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_G...1F451475446EEF12862574DA005851B7?OpenDocument

    I agree with Ron that it's the nut that holds the stick that is most important factor for safety.
     
  34. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    Just curious where you got this info?
     
  35. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    Made it up. I am more familiar with motor vehicle accident mechanisms of injury from my medical training including experience in the emergency department and rotations in trauma surgery. I do not see how airplane accidents would differ that much from a typical high speed MVA. The basic problem is that the car or airplane stops suddenly and the pilot and passengers keep going until they hit something in the aircraft. You might get crushed if the airplane flips over but I doubt that it is a common problem.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  36. Ted

    Ted The pilot formerly known as Twin Engine Ted

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    The same holds true for automobiles, but somehow people are convinced that it's more important to have idiot features (front wheel drive, traction control, airbags) rather than better training and a car that will perform better provided you know what you're doing. I have never owned a front wheel drive car, never owned a car with traction control, and never want to.

    Expect the dumbing down of aviation to continue.
     
  37. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I think most of this Cirrus-bashing is BS. I really do. Nobody bashes the Lanceair/Columbia/Korvalis despite the fact that it might as well be the same airplane. Same materials, same speeds, same mission. Biggest difference is the parachute. Nobody bashes the Diamond Star either, despite the fact that for all intensive purposes it is a Cirrus-light. Slower speeds, smaller engine, etc...

    Would I fly a Cirrus? Yup. In a heartbeat. Would I own one? Depends on how much I have to pay to repack the chute. I would just cut it off if I could, because I'll fly like it isn't there. Bruce is a heap smart guy. Noting really wrong with the Cirrus that a pilotectomy couldn't cure.
     
  38. nyoung

    nyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    <oops, double-post>
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2010
  39. nyoung

    nyoung Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Personally, I'd rather have the chute. It would decrease pucker factor when flying single engine across non-favorable terrain, or IMC in areas of LIFR.

    That said, mechanical trouble aside... the same kind of pilot who would get him/herself into trouble in an SR22 is likely the same kind of pilot who would forget to activate the chute (correctly) in an SR22. The chute certainly is not a fix-all for a bad pilot.
     
  40. Gary F

    Gary F Final Approach

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    Is anybody bashing Cirrus in this thread? How is the Diamond Star a Cirrus light?

    Cirrus has had some issues with post crash fire. I reviewed the first of 7 pages of fatal Cirrus aircraft NTSB accident reports.
    Results of the first 10 accidents listed: Four post impact fires documented. Two accidents could not be determined since they occurred overseas and report not available and one occurred in Gulf of Mexico therefore probably no fire.