Jump to content
Touring Motor Gliders Association (TMGA)
Eric Greenwell

When to use the emergency parachute (BRS)?

Recommended Posts

Eric Greenwell    11
Eric Greenwell

The Phoenix has a ballistic rescue system that deploys a parachute to lower the entire aircraft to the ground. The aircraft manual tells me how to deploy it, but nothing about when to use it (or not to use it). I just assumed if a wing fell off or the engine quit over horrible terrain, I'd pull the handle, but then I read this EAA article:

http://macsblog.com/2014/09/cirrus-fully-embraces-the-chute/

The gist is many pilot's won't pull the handle in situations when they should, because their previous training was always about landing or regaining control in an emergency. That probably is doubly true for glider pilots! Cirrus has a similar article:

http://cirrusaircraft.com/static/img/CAPS_Guide.pdf

Does anyone have a guide to using a BRS like ours? Or has anyone thought this through enough to share their thoughts on the subject? What situations, how low, what happens if the engine isn't turned off first...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jim Lee    12
Jim Lee

Eric,

the latest edition of the Phoenix AOI delves into some deployment scenarios and other info on the Stratos BPRS system installed in the Phoenix. When Kathy and I fly home in our Phoenix from Baltimore I will post the info here. In the meantime each person should think about the possible deployment situations for themselves, and then read other literature as the best way to prepare.

jim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eric Greenwell    11
Eric Greenwell

[Jim was unable to post this, but I was able to paste it in from his email]

7.6.3 Use of Stratos 07 Magnum 601 Ballistic Parachute Recovery System

All S-LSA Phoenix gliders are equipped with a MBPRS. The Magnum 601 series BPRS is designed for a maximum load of 1335lbs and a maximum speed of 157kts. Minimum deployment altitude is 656 feet, but successful deployments have occurred at 260 feet.

During one Magnum deployment in a light sport aircraft, the impact with the ground was "equivalent to a 3mph fender bender".

Prior thought and training for the pilot and passenger can increase the odds of a successful deployment. The pilot should think through potential emergencies where the parachute would be used. BUT NEVER PULL THE HANDLE EXCEPT IN AN EMERGENCY BECAUSE THE ROCKET WILL FIRE!. Every passenger briefing should include when and how to use the Magnum system.

The two most important operating procedures concerning the Magnum system are to keep the deployment handle pinned or locked when on the ground to prevent an accidental deployment, and to unlock or unpin the handle prior to flight. Limited time is available during emergencies to do such things as unlock the handle, and past cases have shown it to be impossible to unlock the handle in some circumstances. Indeed, in some instances the G forces were too high for the pilot to reach a handle positioned above the head- that is why the handle in the Phoenix is positioned in front of the pilot where he can see it and reach it as easily as possible with the maximum strength in the pulling direction.

Some emergency situations that may require the use of the Magnum system are:

1. Mid-air collision resulting in damage to the aircraft or loss of control surfaces which render the glider inoperable.

2. Ditching in the water. If a ditched landing is attempted, the Phoenix will probably flip upside down, injuring or trapping the occupants. If the ditch is required due to loss of power and not loss of control of the aircraft, glide to the best location (near a boat or shore) and then deploy the parachute at 1000 feet AGL.

3. Loss of power at night beyond the glide range of the Phoenix to an airport. Use of the Magnum system rather than a descent into a "black hole" where the terrain and surroundings are unknown may be preferable.

4. Pilot incapacitation with a parachute deployment by the passenger. A pilot may become incapacitated by sudden illness or loss of consciousness, by a bird strike to the face, or other factors. A passenger briefing including the use of the radio and autopilot if installed would also be beneficial in this case. Shutting off the engine and deploying the BPRS over a controlled airport while in radio contact may be the best option, since there are trained personnel on the ground to assist in this emergency.

5. Loss of power over unlandable terrain after take-off or during flight. The Magnum system has deployed successfully at low altitudes. If you think it is time to use the parachute, pull the handle regardless of the altitude.

To activate the Magnum system, turn off the engine with the ignition key and pull the parachute handle (located in front of the pilot on the panel) approximately 4 inches with approximately 25 pounds of force. Pull hard, and keep pulling until the rocket fires and extracts the parachute. There is no mechanical or electrical connection between the parachute and the engine, but it is not desirable to have the propeller spinning when the parachute is deployed. After deployment:

  1. Ignition Off
  2. Transmit Mayday
  3. Fuel selector valve Off
  4. Battery switch Off
  5. ELT, EPIRB, PLB On
  6. Loose items Secure
  7. Seat belts Tighten

After aircraft comes to a stop, exit quickly and move upwind. In high winds the parachute may inflate and drag the aircraft.

Jim Lee

Lee Aviation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eric Greenwell    11
Eric Greenwell

Jim, thanks for the update. It answers a number of things I was wondering about, like a water landing. Were there other new pages, and can we get PDF copies of the new pages?

My wife really likes having the BPRS, but is concerned she would not be able to deploy if I'm incapacitated. That's because it's mounted quite a distance from her (she's short, at 5'3"); the handle is positioned for a straight pull by the pilot; and it takes 25 pounds pull by a pilot. Since she would be pulling it a significant angle that probably requires a lot more force than 25 pounds, she's not sure she could do it. And, of course, it's not something she can practice in the plane!

Has the factory done any testing from the passenger seat, so they know the effort required, and how large a passenger must be to successfully deploy the BPRS? If it is too difficult for someone like my wife, it appears moving the BPRS handle about 3" to the right and angling it about 20 degrees towards the center would make it much easier for the passenger to reach and pull, while barely affecting the pilot's operation of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pqlawson    10
pqlawson

Have you Guys heard of the Galaxy system? I had one installed in my new Pipistrel Electro Taurus. I have read a little bit on the Galaxy website, but I am complete newby to gliding. My Taurus is still hasn't flown in the US yet. It will be starting its journey towards its airworthiness certification soon I hope. The Galaxy is said to be able to be deployed as low as 30 meters (100 feet). I,of course, hope it never gets deployed, but it was an option offered by Pipistrel that I elected. My understanding is that parachutes are required on new LSA aircraft in Europe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eric Greenwell    11
Eric Greenwell

I've not heard of the Galaxy system. I'd love to see the Electro Taurus, but I'm not going to be any near New Jersey in the next year or two. Get busy with learning to fly it and learning to soar, then think about working your way West!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
pqlawson    10
pqlawson

Well, I live in Utah and the glider is currently in Colorado moving toward its certification. I'll keep you posted

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×