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Cirrus BRS / chute discussion, and would you REALLY pull it?

Risk perception is highly subjective, it depends on genes, ages, backgrounds and past experiences

- Flying two-stroke microlight or helicopter is very risky than aeroplanes, some people do it, some don’t !
- Flying single engine is risky than twins in cruise, some people do it, some don’t !
- Flying without chute is risky than with chute in cruise, some people do it and some don’t !
- Flying near the ground with short runway is risky, some people dot it, some don’t !

Even the comparisons on aggregate or past data is not enough and may give mis-leading conclusions, what matter is on single mission is to predict the likelihood of crash and how that change as flight evolve, especially when one start busting personal limits (e.g. runway length & distance to obstacles do accurately predict the probability of dying) or making pilot error (e.g. not departing, not diverting, or simply not paying attention to speed/heading/altitude, these also also predict crash probabilities)

Most of the worries seems to be about random external factors that are sometimes statistically insignificant: how to land if you are caught with zero visibility? how to pick field for forced landing at night? how to visually avoid traffic in clouds? what of you lose GPS/AHRS and pneumatic in clouds? what if engine fails?

Last Edited by Ibra at 20 Jan 13:56
Paris/Essex, France/UK, United Kingdom

All sports are risky. I think one might be surprised if one compared the number of injuries including long term, in GA to those in sports such as rugby or even golf. Some risks can be mitigated, eg don’t fly in or near thunderstorms. The same can be said for golf. I don’t know the number of golfers killed by thunderstorms each year or the number of aircraft lost to LOC due to flying too near one. But it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they were comparable. But then a couch potato runs risks also. It all depends on your perception of what is risk.

France

EVERYTHING is risky. My wife was working in the garden yesterday and had an accident which could very well have been life changing. Luckily it wasn’t and apart from a few stitches and bruises, she’s fine. She wasn’t using power tools, or up a ladder, just slipped and fell. But she ended up sliding down a 45 degree slope and falling 2 metres off the wall at the end of it.

There are something like 100 tea-cozy accidents reported every year in Britain. No, I have no idea either.

LFMD, France

@gallois in golf we say if caught in a thunderstorm you should hold a 1-iron in the air.

Because not even God can hit a 1-iron…

:-)

EGLM & EGTN

Ha I like that😄😄

France

Malibuflyer wrote:

So how can you “detest” the “statistical approach” but still support that everyone is briefed exactly on statistics ?

I detest it when accidents which really hit home and bother you, people shrug them off with reference to statistics. For me at least, that sounds very much like “your friend/loved one’s death does not matter in the big picture”. Just because statistically these accidents are rare, it does not mean that those who perish in them do not matter. it does also not mean that your valid concerns about patterns and repetitive accident causes don’t matter. They do.

Statistically it is very rare to die of air accidents, including CAT where it is even rarer. However, the industry goes to great lenghts and spends billions of money to make aviation safer. If it did not matter because it’s statistically rare, then why bother.

I had the same argument with some folks here about the Covid problematic, where every single example quoted gets waved off as statistically irrelevant. Well, loosing people to me is never irrelevant, nor is the damage done to those who live through it and suffer long term.

Why would I see an operation differently? Because in most daily activities including aviation risks are not briefed and discussed with anybody buying a plane ticket or going onto a ski slope e.t.c, but if you have to have medical procedures you are told pretty straight to your face what can happen and what the assessment of the doc is. In the end, of course this is statistics yet again, however it also has a lot to do with trust. Either you trust the guy and do it or you don’t and walk away. To me, his personal experience and assessment is more important than being told it happens once in 1000 or once in a million cases. That does not help anyone if you are that one person.

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

I detest it when accidents which really hit home and bother you, people shrug them off with reference to statistics. For me at least, that sounds very much like “your friend/loved one’s death does not matter in the big picture”.

I fully understand what you say, but to some extend you are comparing apples with pears. We should always take someones death serious and not pretend it doesn’t matter. It does – as you say completely independently from statistics – matter for a lot of people.

However – and that is the catch – it is also important to clarify what for it matters and what for it doesn’t matter. And here statistics comes in again. Just because I have known somebody personally who was struck by lightning does matter for my mood, for his family, etc. but it indeed does not matter at all for my risk of being struck by lightning as well. This is a fact that is strongly against human psychology: If you win in a casino you feel like “having a lucky night” and you are much more likely to play again than if you loose – although this one win doesn’t matter at all.

Therefore: Loosing a friend in an accident is not at all irrelevant – but it is irrelevant for the probability that the same happens to you even if it sometimes feels differently.

Ibra wrote:

what matter is on single mission is to predict the likelihood of crash and how that change as flight evolve,

In Aviation we unfortunately have the small risk challenge: Every single risk factors which you consciously think about are so small, that on an individual flight they do not matter. Pilots only very rarely die because risks they have assessed before the flight do materialize. Pilots die because risk materialize which they have not even thought about.

Germany

Malibuflyer wrote:

And here statistics comes in again. Just because I have known somebody personally who was struck by lightning does matter for my mood, for his family, etc. but it indeed does not matter at all for my risk of being struck by lightning as well.

IMHO particularly in aviation safety this does not really stand. Even isolated incidents or accidents usually lead to efforts of the industry as well as regulators to avoid repeats, even if it was statistically very unlikely. The very notion of “it can happen again, but we can do something to avoid that” helps.

I think the development of BRS/CAPS had a lot to do with those rare but significant accidents. Yea, they are statistically rare but being aviation accidents they will make the papers and they will make a lot of pilots and observers uneasy. A few examples of this would include the various Bonanza accidents in the 1950ties, fire accidents involving Mooneys, wing separation of PA28’s or even the Malibu crashes which lead to a review by the FAA. All of them were statistically low numbers but led to massive consequences and improvements, at least the first and last in the list. What made me think very hard about CAPS being very desirable were the fire accidents involving Mooneys after absolutely survivable crash landings. And yes, I have to admit it has taken away a lot of enthusiasm for this airframe.

LSZH(work) LSZF (GA base), Switzerland

From here

Just as a matter of curiosity, why would you not use the chute over water ?

Pig
If only I’d known that….
EG.., United Kingdom

There was an argument that ditching increases the G on the spine because you lose the benefit of the collapse distance of the landing gear.

Not sure if that’s true because the SR22 ditches a fair bit nose down, IIRC.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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