Two incidents during the last few months caught my eye and intrigued me.
A helicopter and a small plane collided in midair in a deadly accident on October 24th, 2014, near a small airport northwest of Washington, D.C. Three people were killed in the crash near Frederick Municipal Airport, according to NBC Washington. Two others were injured. The plane was a single-engine Cirrus SR-22 and headed to Frederick from Cleveland, Tennessee, according to WHAG. The two Cirrus pilots walked away from the incident with minor injuries.
On 25 January 2015, a pilot flying a Cirrus SR22 aircraft from the United States to Hawaii successfully deployed the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) over the Pacific Ocean approximately 250 miles from Hawaii. The whole-airframe parachute system, which is standard equipment on every Cirrus aircraft ever made, worked as designed and resulted in both the aircraft and pilot safely landing in the Pacific Ocean under the parachute canopy, where he was quickly retrieved by a passing ship with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Back in the early 2000’s when I first started to research an airplane I would love to own, I sidestepped the Cirrus. Not only was it too expensive, too new, but also had a poor safety record. In an analysis conducted by Aviation Consumer in Dec 2011, Cirrus safety record was reported at best, as average.
I’ve never flown the Cirrus aircraft. Like the Grumman Tiger, my original favorite, Cirrus has the similar canopy feel, but all Cirrus aircraft come equipped with the glass cockpit, and the SR22 can cruise at 183 knots and has a range of more than 1,000 nm. And most importantly all Cirrus aircraft are equipped with a parachute system that can be deployed during an emergency, that is capable of delivering the aircraft safely to the ground.
Still Cirrus aircraft doesn’t come cheap. Even a used one on Trade A Plane starts at a cool $200,000+. But definitely worth considering, if one is in the market for an aircraft!