After the parachute is deployed there is no control where the plane is going, so why didn't Cirrus make the SR-22's parachute steerable?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm just guessing, but since you can create some pretty significant descent rates over-steering a chute this may be more dangerous than it is beneficial. On top of that, additional training would be required to effectively steer the aircraft under a chute which most passengers wouldn't take. A big selling point of the chute is for passengers to be able to deploy it if the pilot is incapacitated. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 11, 2016 at 21:02
  • $\begingroup$ I guess if you'd like to own a Cirrus and survive in emergency case, you would get additional training if it was available and learn how to steer a parachute. I agree with you in case pilot is incapacitated, but it could have both modes. $\endgroup$
    – pmoubed
    Mar 11, 2016 at 21:47
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    $\begingroup$ Upset recovery training is also good for surviving emergencies, as well as IFR because "inadvertent flight into IMC" is a major cause of accidents for VFR pilots, yet a lot of people elect not to take those additional training. And other than destroying an airframe or developing an advanced simulator, its difficult to train for just reading about it on paper... $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 11, 2016 at 21:53

1 Answer 1


Remember what the purpose of the CAPS/BRS airframe parachute is: It's a last-resort emergency measure to put the aircraft on the ground in a condition that is likely to be survivable for those onboard.

Steerable parachutes add considerable complexity: Control lines would need to be routed into the cabin, and connected in such a way as to not interfere with the chute deployment under any circumstances.
Assuming a suitable design could be devised to accomplish that a steerable parachute (even for a single person) requires quite a bit of training and skill to use. This is not something that can be adequately trained for in the case of the Cirrus airframe chute (because pulling the chute on perfectly good aircraft to teach steering would be cost-prohibitive).

Faced with the risks and complexity of a steerable chute or the relative simplicity and safety of a simple drag chute to decelerate the airframe prior to impact (hoping you land in a suitable 40-by-40 foot square) Cirrus and BRS opted for the latter. The result is a dead-simple "Pull the handle!" system that's proven very successful thus far.

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    $\begingroup$ Not to mention, If gliding the airplane to a safe landing were an option, you wouldn't have pulled the chute. $\endgroup$ Mar 12, 2016 at 11:18
  • $\begingroup$ I somewhere read that (READ) if you glide, your speed at landing would probably around 40-60 depending on aircraft. As per Cirrus, you would be dropping at 20 MPH. Rolling at 40-60 is better than Dropping at 20 (I think). Would love your answer on this. $\endgroup$
    – user46196
    Feb 24, 2020 at 9:10

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