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CAPS. General Guide. Intended to be deployed in event of a life threatening emergency I.e., would you jump from the plane with a parachute? Will most likely destroy the aircraft, may cause serious injury or death to occupants. Hazards: Ignition of rocket device

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General guide
General Guide

  • Intended to be deployed in event of a life threatening emergency

    • I.e., would you jump from the plane with a parachute?

  • Will most likely destroy the aircraft, may cause serious injury or death to occupants.

  • Hazards:

    • Ignition of rocket device

    • Lateral speed upon touchdown will equal wind speed

    • Aircraft may be dragged across ground after touchdown by wind

    • Chute may impede exiting aircraft

    • No control over landing site

    • Vertical speed equals vertical drop from 13’

    • Irreversible!


Deployment speed altitude
Deployment Speed/ Altitude

  • Maximum deployment speed of 133 KIAS

    • At least one Cirrus accident aircraft deployed CAPS at very high speed, rumored over 200 KIAS, and chute separated from aircraft

  • If possible, slow as much as practical before deploying.

    • Do not delay if time or altitude critical!

  • No minimum altitude set

    • Demonstrated altitude loss:

      • In level flight <400’

      • From entry into one turn spin, 1000’


Possible deployment scenarios
Possible Deployment Scenarios

  • Midair collision

  • Structural failure

  • Flight control failure

  • Loss of control due to:

    • Wake turbulence

    • Severe turbulence

    • Spin

  • Landing in rough terrain

  • Pilot Incapacitation


Deploying caps
Deploying CAPS

  • Airspeed Minimum Possible

  • Mixture Cutoff

  • CAPS Cover Remove

  • Activation Handle Pull Straight Down

    Clasp both hands around the T-handle and pull straight down with a steady force. Up to 45 lbs of force may be required.

    Do not jerk the handle, as it will greatly increase the force required to activate CAPS.


After deployment
After Deployment

  • Mixture Confirm Cutoff

  • Fuel Selector Off

  • Bat-Alt Masters Off

  • Ignition Off

  • Boost Pump Off

  • ELT ON

  • Seat Belts Uncomfortably Tight

  • Loose Items Secure

  • Assume Emergency Landing Position

    Cross arms across chest and grasp shoulder harness. Hold upper torso erect against seat back.


Door position
Door Position

  • One or both doors may jam upon impact

    • May be advisable to open prior to impact

  • However, must consider:

    • Door may depart aircraft,

    • Head injury,

    • Injury from objects entering cabin

    • Exposed door pillar presents hazard


Deployment above water
Deployment Above Water

  • Consider:

    • Exiting aircraft in water with jammed doors

    • Aircraft may sink quickly

    • Shock absorption of gear not fully available

      • In both CAPS deployment events into water, serious injury to occupants resulted.


Drift considerations
Drift Considerations

  • If CAPS deployed from 1000’ AGL:

    • With 4 seconds to deploy, and 1500 FPM sink, aircraft will impact after ~45 seconds

    • Typical winds at 1000’ AGL are 20- 30 knots, or .3- .5 NM/ minute

    • So expect to touchdown approximately .2 to .4 NM downwind of deployment spot

  • If possible, take this into consideration when deploying, and/ or deploy slightly upwind of desired touchdown location.


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