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Old 01-25-2008, 11:19 PM
Hal-san Hal-san is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Benton City, WA
Posts: 204
Default BRS Emergency parachute

Have any of you RV builders put BRS chutes in your RVs? I wonder if it will be possible to put one in the 12 when it becomes available.
Harold Irvine
N912HM RV-12 Flying.
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Old 01-26-2008, 12:14 AM
beattiema's Avatar
beattiema beattiema is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Anaheim, Ca
Posts: 87

Heres a link to someone who installed one on a -7A

A search for "ballistic" comes up with a few threads including this one
Mark Beattie
Anaheim, Ca.
RV6 fuselage in work
N642ML reserved
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Old 01-26-2008, 10:59 AM
Mike Armstrong Mike Armstrong is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: near San Diego
Posts: 170

This subject touches a nerve with many pilots and I've seen heated discussions arise because of it. I believe the -12 should at least have a BRS as optional equipement. I brought up the subject of ballistic parachutes on another forum already so instead of formulating a new paragraph I'll just cut and paste if you guys dont mind....

"I first heard of the use of BRS several years ago but it was one of
my pilgramages to Mecca (Oshkosh) in 2003 that my wife and I watched
a demonstration film in the BRS tent that I decided to consider using
one on my homebuilt. Though I `considered' it, my wife decided in her
mind that `if' I was going to do something as `crazy' as build and
fly my own airplane that it would not leave the ground without a BRS
installed. So, in order to enjoy the rest of my (ok, our) stay at
Osh, I promised to install one on my homebuilt even though at the
time I wasn't convinced I really wanted the extra weight penalty.

Like I said, that was years ago. Any mention of installing a BRS on a
homebuilt back then was usually met with critisism's such as, `if you
plan on building a `real' airplane and not an Ultralight then you
obviously intend to be a `real' pilot so your not going to need
one'or `if you plan on crashing why are you building a plane?', ect,
ect. However nowadays BRS units are becoming commonplace and in fact
standard equipement on some aircraft. I think there is good reason
for this.

One of the past critisisms of having a ballistic parachute onboard
was that many felt (from what I had read on various Forums) that by
having a `quick way out' should a pilot `percieve' he/she is in dire
circumstances, that pilot would be more likely to just pull
the `panic' handle (to the BRS) as opposed to use the skill
they `should' have to fly and recover the aircraft. I agree with
this. I've read of BRS deployments occuring at the hands of novice or
paniced pilots that probably were not in actual non-recoverable
situations (and had that deployment chalked up as a `save'). And I
agree that having a ballistic recovery system at hand is absolutely
no excuse for good piloting skills. A BRS is simply a safety tool and
tools can fail. You cannot depend on anyone or anything else to get
you out of trouble. Your PIC and it's up to you to have the skills to
keep yourself (and others) out of trouble.

However, I also know s**t happens and that at least some of those
over 200 documented (I bring up `documented' because I wouldn't be
surprised if there were non-reported deployments in which a panicked
pilot was too embarrased to report their mistake) `saves' were indeed
legit and it only takes one, and only one, letigimate catastrophic
occurance to make you wish you had ignored the machismo in you long
enough to have installed a recovery system. I believe many pilots
that wear parachutes do so for the same letigimate reasons.

I know keeping your skills up and being the best pilot you
can `should' keep you out of trouble. You never stop learning nor
should you get to the point where you think you `know it all'. I'm
sure 99.9% of pilots will never find themselves in a catastrophic
situation in which a ballistic recovery system would have saved their
lives and therefore what are the chances any of us will ever need
such a device.

Unfortunately, some have found out too late and lost their lives for
it. One of those was known to be one of the best pilots in history, a
legend in aviation and a pilot possesing more skill and aeronautical
knowledge than anyone of us will ever have. Scott Crossfield's Cessna
had a catastrophic failure while attempting to circumvent inclimate
weather. The tail section departed the fuselage from 8,000ft. and
left one of the most skilled aviators in the world with no option but
to ride his wreck to his death. "It was an incongruous end for such
an accomplished aviator, a death akin to a NASCAR driver being killed
in a minivan on the way to the supermarket. This was a pilot who had
flown supersonic rocket planes, broke Mach 2 and helped design the X-
15, a rocket plane that touched the edge of space. He made the cover
of Life magazine in 1958 and was profiled in Tom Wolfe's
bestseller "The Right Stuff."

Unlike his many years as a record breaking test pilot where he had a
safety system on board supersonic aircraft that saved his life during
catastrophic events in the past, in his subsonic civilian
recreational aircraft he had no parachute or ejection seat to count
on. Had his aircraft been equiped with a ballistic recovery system
would he be alive? I don't know, but I'm certain what happened
without it.

Scott Crossfield's death is a rather `dramatic'example given who he
was but none the less, an aircraft had a catastrophic structural
failure and the pilot, without any other option, was killed.

What it comes down to is personal choice. I have no problem with
someone that disagree's with me on this, that's their own opinion and
I'm sure they have their own good reason for it. I figure out of the
$45,000 or so dollars I'm going to spend building my aircraft, $5,000
for a proven `last chance' safety device is worth it to me (and keeps
the wife off my back ."

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Old 01-27-2008, 10:47 PM
Jeromiemead Jeromiemead is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Richland, WA
Posts: 42

Yes you can put a BRS in an RV-12, BRS would be happy to give some help in that department and I suspect VAN's would give some pointers for the install as well. I have been a party to the design/install on a few new designs over the years it is time consuming but not difficult. Honestly, trying to make it "look good" is the single biggest problem. Weight penalty in this design is not a big issue. Having been an automotive technition for 2 decades i have seen my share of negative attitudes towards saftey devices, air bags, Antilock brakes, traction control, stability management, tire pressure monitoring systems, "On-Star", etc.... They would ask me to disable the systems because it hampered the saftey of the car. Then thier daughter or son would get into and accident and walk away with minor injuries and they would talk about how they chose that car because it was safe....

A BRS is no excuse for bad pilotage and it should never be used unless the aircraft is not controlable, EVER. But like and Airbag, it will save more than it kills. Make your wife happy. If you need help installing it, call me. Be glad to help. I will be putting one in mine, because my wife will be flying it by herself. Also why my wife has a car with all the "evil technology".

Thier are old pilots and bold pilots, but NO old bold pilots....
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Old 01-27-2008, 11:02 PM
the_other_dougreeves the_other_dougreeves is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Dallas, TX (ADS)
Posts: 2,176

The BRS is standard in the CT. It's nice to know it's there, but the rule of thumb is that you pull the BRS only if you think your chances of making a survivable landing are poor. And once you pull it, the airplane belongs to the insurance company.

Doug "The Other Doug Reeves" Reeves
CTSW N621CT - SOLD but not forgotten
Home Bases LBX, BZN
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:52 PM
Whiskey Charlie Whiskey Charlie is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Murphysboro, IL.
Posts: 125
Default I'm putting one in my 10 too!

I'm putting one in my RV-10 too!
I'll post some pic in the coming weeks!
Chuck Stuhrenberg
N180WC RV-7A Flying
RV-10 In The Works
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:58 PM
steveKs. steveKs. is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fowler, Kansas
Posts: 162

I have heard the debate pro and con for the BRS.

A pilot may push the envelope a bit more knowing he has a 'get outta death card' to play. I guess if I thought it was that big a deal I would be wearing a chute on all my flights......hmmmm maybe not so bad a idea??
Steve Edwards
Southwest Ks. (MEJ)
RV8 200hp cs
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:00 PM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,882

Good luck with installing a BRS in your aircraft. By all means, please post pictures on your solution.

For most installations, including the Cirrus, there is a minimum deployment speed for the BRS systems. Check this site for some numbers.

Should you have a structural failure, such as Scott Crossfield did, the aircraft would accelerate so fast that deploying the BRS may not save your life. It is also very possible that the quick onset of high G forces after losing a wing may inhibit one's ability to reach up and activate a BRS. (However, it would be nice to have that option in such a situation.)

There have been three fatal Cirrus accidents in the Charlotte area over the past few years. All have been on approach, two in IFR conditions and one landing in very windy conditions. None of these accidents involved the deployment of the BRS systems.

What I'm trying to point out is that if a BRS system makes you and your family feel more comfortable flying, then by all means install one. However, please keep current and manage the risks of flying as though you didn't a "magic out".
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
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Old 04-14-2008, 08:01 PM
mgomez's Avatar
mgomez mgomez is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Northern California, USA
Posts: 537
Default oh, dear...

Moderators, perhaps we could move this thread to the "Never ending debates" section?

Martin Gomez
Redwood City, CA
"My RV-7 is a composite airplane: it's made of aluminum, blood, sweat, and money"
RV-7 Slider QB
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Old 04-15-2008, 12:07 AM
JimLogajan JimLogajan is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Dexter, OR
Posts: 96

Originally Posted by mgomez View Post
Moderators, perhaps we could move this thread to the "Never ending debates" section?
Odd request - there appears to be no debate here. The original question was about whether anyone had considered putting a BRS on an RV-12 (I have considered the possibility too). None of the posters is explicitly arguing against installing one - and several have given relevant information to installation questions. So it seems premature to categorize this thread as containing any sort of serious debate.

Speaking of specific issues with respect to the 12: one "obvious" place is somewhere in the baggage area, but of course that is where the fuel tank is. I'd want to be sure that any rocket exhaust doesn't ignite any possibly leaked avgas (as say after a midair where some damage might take place - on the other hand, if a collision has caused the tank to spring a leak in that area there may not be any survivors anyway.)
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