Cirrus down enroute IFR 4-9-07 Saint Johns Arizona


[ ]FAA]( Preliminary report

[ ]N953CD]( Aspen Flying Club Photo

[ ]N953CD]( aircraft information flyer

[ ]flightaware]( flight tracker

[ ] VIDEO FOOTAGE]( of accident scene.


Press Release Source: Ballistic Recovery Systems, Inc (BRS)

BRS Reports Save 200 . . . and 201!
Wednesday April 11, 5:27 pm ET

SOUTH ST. PAUL, Minn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Ballistic Recovery Systems, Inc. (OTCBB:BRSI - News;, a manufacturer of whole-airplane parachute recovery systems for general aviation and recreational aircraft reports that a pilot flying a Cirrus SR22 made history when he became the 200th documented life saved by a BRS product. The company has also learned within the last 48 hours that a German Ultralight pilot has used a BRS system, which now brings the total lives saved to 201.

Save 200 occurred when a US pilot departed Tucson for an IFR flight to Colorado. During the flight he encountered an in flight emergency. While still in the clouds and not able to see just how close the terrain he might be, he opted to deploy the Cirrus CAPS/BRS parachute. This was the 10th deployment of the system in a certified airplane accounting for 22 saves. The BRS system worked flawlessly and the pilot walked away from the crash in western New Mexico.

The 201st save came when a German pilot deployed his BRS in an ultralight aircraft in Germany. Remarkably this was this was his second time using a BRS system during an in-flight emergency. He had previously successfully deployed a BRS system in separate ultralight in-flight emergency making him a two-time user of the system. This was the 155th use of the BRS system in a non certified plane.

“When I first got the news that we’d just saved our 200th life, I just closed my eyes and took a deep breath,” said BRS CEO Larry Williams. “Then I heard other people in the building shouting about save 200 and celebrating as the information worked its way through the company! We all feel like we’re so fortunate to produce a product that has saved so many lives.”

BRS began making whole-airplane parachutes in 1980, with its first documented ‘save’ occurring thee years later. In 1998 the company’s emergency parachute system was certified by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly in the new Cirrus Design aircraft, the SR20, and later in the higher-performing Cirrus SR22. More than 3000 BRS parachutes are now flying in Cirrus aircraft around the world.

“It’s really remarkable if you think about,” Larry Williams said, shaking his head. “Now more than two hundred one people are still walking around in the world because they used a BRS parachute. This is a milestone we have long awaited.”

More than 25,000 BRS systems have been installed world wide. Ballistic Recovery Systems operates from its corporate headquarters in South Paul, Minnesota and a parachute manufacturing facility in Mexico. BRS stock is publicly traded on the NASDAQ (BRSI.OB). For more information about Ballistic Recovery Systems, visit the company’s website,


Successful CAPS Deployment Brings SR22 Back To Earth In Western NM
Tue, 10 Apr '07

200th BRS Save!!!
ANN REALTIME REPORTING 04.10.07 1800 EDT: Aero-News has received confirmation the Monday CAPS deployment by the pilot of a Cirrus SR22 near the Arizona/New Mexico border, was the 200th recorded save by a Ballistic Recovery System (BRS) parachute. BRS, of St. Paul, MN supplies the CAPS parachute system to Cirrus.

Original Report
1100 EDT: Aero-News has learned of a successful deployment of the onboard parachute recovery system on a Cirrus SR22.

New Mexico television station KOB-4 reports the pilot, 32-year-old James Turpen, was able to walk away from the crash landing Monday in Catron County, near the Arizona-New Mexico border.

ANN has received preliminary reports stating the plane encountered icing conditions. That assessment differs from the account Turpen told KOB, however – that the aircraft experienced engine problems, which led him to deploy the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System.

KRQE-13 reports the crew onboard a C-130 aircraft from the 58th Special Operations Wing at Kirtland Air Force Base located the aircraft. Video of the mountainside accident site shows the plane on its roof, with the empennage separated from the aircraft.

FAA records list the aircraft as N953CD, a 2005 SR22 registered to JCT Leasing company in Centennial, CO. The aircraft was on an IFR flight plan from Marana, AZ to Centennial.


What’s the ratio of successful deployments (or lives saved) compared to accidents where the chute was not deployed or deployed unsuccessfully (or lives not saved)? Seems like I’ve heard of a lot more accidents involving Cirrus aircraft where the chute was not deployed, or was deployed improperly resulting in failure.

I’d be happy to hear that we simply don’t hear that much about the successful deployments and that there are many more happy stories than there are tragedies.


I’m also curious to know the number of times it was ‘unnecessarily’ deployed. I.e. a stall, or spin, or lost in the clouds situation where the pilot may have given up when a recovery was still possible… Do they still take credit for a life saved? Just playing devils advocate here… I think it’s a great thing to have, although, I believe it gives some a false sense of security to fly outside of their ability.


NTSB Identification: DEN07LA082
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Monday, April 09, 2007 in Luna, NM
Aircraft: Cirrus SR22, registration: N953CD
Injuries: 1 Minor.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

On April 9, 2007, 1157 mountain daylight time, a Cirrus SR22, N953CD, piloted by a private pilot, sustained substantial damage when it impacted trees, 16 miles north of Luna, New Mexico. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident. The personal flight was being conducted under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, on an instrument flight rules flight plan. The pilot sustained minor injuries. The cross-country flight originated at Tucson, Arizona, and was en route to Englewood, Colorado.

According to a telephone conversation with the pilot, he was climbing from 15,000 feet to 16,000 feet to avoid building thunderstorms and snow showers. The pilot reported that he was in instrument meteorological conditions when the airspeed indicator and the altitude indicator readouts, within the primary flight display, went to “hash marks.” He stated that the attitude indicator went “haywire.” The pilot sensed that he was in a descent and “pulled back” to slow the airplane down. Shortly thereafter, the pilot reported that the airspeed indication returned; however, the terrain warning system activated. The pilot elected to activate the ballistic recovery parachute on the airplane. The airplane impacted trees and came to rest inverted at the top of several trees. The empennage separated from the airplane. The outboard portion of the right wing was crushed aft and had partially separated.


Let me preface by saying thankfully the chute worked and the pilot was not more seriously injured.

  1. What do you think the odds are that the guy was using O2 at 15 or 16 thousand? Edit: Being based at KAPA it wouldn’t surprise me if he did in fact have supplemental oxygen available.

  2. It’s very unlikely that the attitude indicator went haywire. The attitude indicator is vacuum powered, independent of anything happening to the primary flight display. What probably happened was he lost the PFD and by the time he got a hold of himself he had gotten the airplane into an unusual attitude, causing the backup attitude indicator to tumble.

  3. I’d be interested to find out whether this pilot had his instrument rating. See below.

  4. He “sensed” he was decending in IMC so he pulled back to slow down? Sounds like he made things worse for himself. Did he look at the backup altimeter and airspeed indicator before determining he was decending?

  5. One mans emergency is another man’s non-event. (there’s not much a pilot can’t do with airspeed, attitude, and altitude…well, 'cept maybe navigate.) :wink:

Airplane was owned by a flying club at KAPA near Denver.


Since a jet has a hard time climbing over a thunderstorm (they can top out over 50 - 60,000 feet), there was no chance for him to out climb it in a Cirrus. Those things can go from a small puffy cloud to a towering thunderstorm in as little as 20 minutes. Since he says that he was in IMC (in the clouds), he had no way to tell if he was going to be able to make it over the top of the building TS. While the 'chute may have saved his life, he really shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

On the point of his AI going haywire, it may have simply been that he was caught in the updraft of the building TS - they can have a vertical speed rate of several thousand feet per minute,


The Cirrus is an all electric airplane. The PFD uses solid state gyros and accelerometers to gather pitch and bank info. Even the backup gyro is electric. But I echo that it is very unlikely that both primary and backup AI’s weny “Haywire”.