Parachutes


Bill Allen
 

I saw a recent FB post by Kyle Fowler who does a great aerobatic routine in his LongEz, and saw that he wears a parachute for (not so obvious) reasons even though FAR 91.307 doesn’t require it solo, and at low level egress time may not make it worth it.
So I didnt want to hijack Kyles FB post with scary stuff, and thus posted it here for further digestion.

There was a recent discussion on canard aviators yahoo groups, on the subject of “bailing out” of a canard; if, how, when, why etc.
It's an interesting dilemma, and having bailed out of over a hundred or so aircraft, I've given it some thought, particularly after near midair misses.

Some Points raised in these “discussions” were;

*if enough control remains to slow it, roll it, and generally get into a good position to get out, what emergency is this, and how likely is it?
* will I hit the prop?
* will I even be able to get out?

Obviously there is no SAE standard condition for such an event. Glider pilots fly with chutes and much research has gone into emergency egress and canopy ejection mechanisms (I wish Zubair had read all that data - maybe he did...) by Dr Tony Segal - see; http://journals.sfu.ca/ts/index.php/ts/article/download/117/105 for details of bailout times, canopy ejection design, scroll to page 10/11.

Gliders usually have to resort to bailouts due to mid-airs (they thermal in close proximity) or weather (Lightning strike, CBs etc) 
for an interesting read for us composite riders of the sky which we share with elemental electrical forces.

We have one more factor to consider that gliders don't; - fire. That can cause loss of control, or a runaway situation that cannot be dealt with before making a controlled landing. It's amazing how quickly fire can take hold. 
Jack Morrisons Eracer had climbed to just 2,000ft from takeoff when he smelled smoke and turned back for a forced landing. Had he been in a high cruise at the time, there wouldn't have been the opportunity to get back on the ground quickly, and a bail-out would have been a nice option to have. See: https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=135016
Another example: Back in the early days a San Antonio builder upgraded the engine in his LEZ Lyc powered machine.  On one of the subsequent test flights, it caught fire in the air.  Instead of immediately getting the machine on the ground he tried to make it back to home base.  It burned and melted the aluminum aileron torque tubes and he died ....( https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=39196.)
Rutan Aircraft Factory decided to replace alum aileron controls with steel tubes to prevent this from happening again. 

And one more; control jams due to "foreign objects". A pal of mine had his aileron controls jam ( turned out to be rear seat luggage shift during turbulence) and found he could only turn right without both hands on the stick. He had no way of knowing what it was or if it would get worse or if he could land it like that, but had no choice but to "hope" it would all work out, which it did. But in other circumstances, maybe not. Nice to have another option.

Most of us will take a lifejacket and/or a dinghy when flying any distance over water, so why not a parachute? Don't the aquatic questions of "will I be able to get out, will I be knocked out by the impact etc" present parallel dilemmas to those raised in the parachute debate... and some of the terrain I've flown over in the Rockies is so hostile that the chances of surviving a forced landing seem about equal to the chances of a successful bailout.....

Getting out requires the canopy to open sufficient for egress; the standard side hinged canopy with the gas strut geometry holding it open when open/closed when closed, would probably open wide enough to do this, but may not, or may flail about and whack one on the head (shall I start another thread about wearing helmets?)  The FHC canopy won't open (good safety point in normal ops) - anyone who has had a door pop open on them in a Piper type will have found it impossible to move either way due to aero pressure - I surmise that the FHC would be the same.

Making a canopy jettisonable Is complex. It has to go up and away without coming back and injuring the occupants - have a look at how gliders do it - spring loaded forward hinge pivots to forcefully fling the nose up and catch the freestream, canopy up and away from the cockpit- more details on the link above - it's major work to do this, and weighty too.

Another issue surrounding bailouts is altitude - in sport parachuting you generally deploy the main at 3,000ft and your cutaway decision height is around 2,000ft if you have problems with your main. So in your aircraft, how low can you make a successful exit and get under a fully inflated canopy?   - here's a recent example; https://youtu.be/2oJngucEac4
However, you could elect to use a BASE jumping rig, - but - if you deploy at a high speed, the fast/hard opening could be bad.

Then there's a bit more to it than engineering logic; there's the economics and the psychology too. 

 Economics, in that GA rigs are not cheap at $2,500-ish each (http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/pspages/paracushion_305.php)  and if you have one, yet don't buy a second for your passenger, what kind of message does that send?  So that's $5k.....And regular repacking is yet more expense and burdensome. 

Psychology, in that if you do buy a second parachute, many non-pilot GIBs (and many pilot GIBs too) don't see it as a positive thing, they will see it as "so you're planning to crash?"

However, as someone with a little skydiving experience and my own rig, IF I found myself on fire, or with a control jam, or struck by lightning (as in the above link) I would feel I missed a trick if my parachute was left on the ground.

Having said all that, if I consider all the actual instances where "if they had a 'chute, they would have survived"  are so small that I feel it's an outside chance that I'll ever need it, so I don't, - mainly out of laziness, or maybe because homo-sapiens is just bad at assessing risk, see;https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micromort

 And now that I've tempted fate, the gods and Cthulhu, I'm a marked man, so I probably will wear my paid-for rig from now on     :^)

Bill Allen
CZ4 G-BYLZ
LE N99BA FD51
VE N2CR KMTH

--


jack jackson
 

I was thinking about a BRS (balistic recovery system) whole aircraft parachute kinda like one of the manufacturers.


On Wed, Aug 24, 2022 at 2:03 PM, Bill Allen
<billallensworld@...> wrote:
I saw a recent FB post by Kyle Fowler who does a great aerobatic routine in his LongEz, and saw that he wears a parachute for (not so obvious) reasons even though FAR 91.307 doesn’t require it solo, and at low level egress time may not make it worth it.
So I didnt want to hijack Kyles FB post with scary stuff, and thus posted it here for further digestion.

There was a recent discussion on canard aviators yahoo groups, on the subject of “bailing out” of a canard; if, how, when, why etc.
It's an interesting dilemma, and having bailed out of over a hundred or so aircraft, I've given it some thought, particularly after near midair misses.

Some Points raised in these “discussions” were;

*if enough control remains to slow it, roll it, and generally get into a good position to get out, what emergency is this, and how likely is it?
* will I hit the prop?
* will I even be able to get out?

Obviously there is no SAE standard condition for such an event. Glider pilots fly with chutes and much research has gone into emergency egress and canopy ejection mechanisms (I wish Zubair had read all that data - maybe he did...) by Dr Tony Segal - see; http://journals.sfu.ca/ts/index.php/ts/article/download/117/105 for details of bailout times, canopy ejection design, scroll to page 10/11.

Gliders usually have to resort to bailouts due to mid-airs (they thermal in close proximity) or weather (Lightning strike, CBs etc) 
for an interesting read for us composite riders of the sky which we share with elemental electrical forces.

We have one more factor to consider that gliders don't; - fire. That can cause loss of control, or a runaway situation that cannot be dealt with before making a controlled landing. It's amazing how quickly fire can take hold. 
Jack Morrisons Eracer had climbed to just 2,000ft from takeoff when he smelled smoke and turned back for a forced landing. Had he been in a high cruise at the time, there wouldn't have been the opportunity to get back on the ground quickly, and a bail-out would have been a nice option to have. See: https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=135016
Another example: Back in the early days a San Antonio builder upgraded the engine in his LEZ Lyc powered machine.  On one of the subsequent test flights, it caught fire in the air.  Instead of immediately getting the machine on the ground he tried to make it back to home base.  It burned and melted the aluminum aileron torque tubes and he died ....( https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=39196.)
Rutan Aircraft Factory decided to replace alum aileron controls with steel tubes to prevent this from happening again. 

And one more; control jams due to "foreign objects". A pal of mine had his aileron controls jam ( turned out to be rear seat luggage shift during turbulence) and found he could only turn right without both hands on the stick. He had no way of knowing what it was or if it would get worse or if he could land it like that, but had no choice but to "hope" it would all work out, which it did. But in other circumstances, maybe not. Nice to have another option.

Most of us will take a lifejacket and/or a dinghy when flying any distance over water, so why not a parachute? Don't the aquatic questions of "will I be able to get out, will I be knocked out by the impact etc" present parallel dilemmas to those raised in the parachute debate... and some of the terrain I've flown over in the Rockies is so hostile that the chances of surviving a forced landing seem about equal to the chances of a successful bailout.....

Getting out requires the canopy to open sufficient for egress; the standard side hinged canopy with the gas strut geometry holding it open when open/closed when closed, would probably open wide enough to do this, but may not, or may flail about and whack one on the head (shall I start another thread about wearing helmets?)  The FHC canopy won't open (good safety point in normal ops) - anyone who has had a door pop open on them in a Piper type will have found it impossible to move either way due to aero pressure - I surmise that the FHC would be the same.

Making a canopy jettisonable Is complex. It has to go up and away without coming back and injuring the occupants - have a look at how gliders do it - spring loaded forward hinge pivots to forcefully fling the nose up and catch the freestream, canopy up and away from the cockpit- more details on the link above - it's major work to do this, and weighty too.

Another issue surrounding bailouts is altitude - in sport parachuting you generally deploy the main at 3,000ft and your cutaway decision height is around 2,000ft if you have problems with your main. So in your aircraft, how low can you make a successful exit and get under a fully inflated canopy?   - here's a recent example; https://youtu.be/2oJngucEac4
However, you could elect to use a BASE jumping rig, - but - if you deploy at a high speed, the fast/hard opening could be bad.

Then there's a bit more to it than engineering logic; there's the economics and the psychology too. 

 Economics, in that GA rigs are not cheap at $2,500-ish each (http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/pspages/paracushion_305.php)  and if you have one, yet don't buy a second for your passenger, what kind of message does that send?  So that's $5k.....And regular repacking is yet more expense and burdensome. 

Psychology, in that if you do buy a second parachute, many non-pilot GIBs (and many pilot GIBs too) don't see it as a positive thing, they will see it as "so you're planning to crash?"

However, as someone with a little skydiving experience and my own rig, IF I found myself on fire, or with a control jam, or struck by lightning (as in the above link) I would feel I missed a trick if my parachute was left on the ground.

Having said all that, if I consider all the actual instances where "if they had a 'chute, they would have survived"  are so small that I feel it's an outside chance that I'll ever need it, so I don't, - mainly out of laziness, or maybe because homo-sapiens is just bad at assessing risk, see;https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micromort

 And now that I've tempted fate, the gods and Cthulhu, I'm a marked man, so I probably will wear my paid-for rig from now on     :^)

Bill Allen
CZ4 G-BYLZ
LE N99BA FD51
VE N2CR KMTH

--


David A Froble
 

It is a great idea. Doing so might be difficult.

EZs haven't been designed with a hard point that could retain any such parachute. Every time I think about it, I imagine watching the parachute float above me, as the aircraft heads for the crash site, having the parachute attachment ripped out of the aircraft.

Bill talks about a fire. Probably rare, but has happened. Leaving the aircraft might be a good idea before the fire gets to you. Regardless, if you get close to the ground, an aircraft parachute might still be the best way to make contact with the ground.

Regardless, without a serious re-design, with extensive testing, it is a good idea that probably isn't worth considering.

On 8/24/2022 3:02 PM, jack jackson via groups.io wrote:
I was thinking about a BRS (balistic recovery system) whole aircraft parachute
kinda like one of the manufacturers.

<https://go.onelink.me/107872968?pid=InProduct&c=Global_Internal_YGrowth_AndroidEmailSig__AndroidUsers&af_wl=ym&af_sub1=Internal&af_sub2=Global_YGrowth&af_sub3=EmailSignature>

On Wed, Aug 24, 2022 at 2:03 PM, Bill Allen
<billallensworld@...> wrote:
I saw a recent FB post by Kyle Fowler who does a great aerobatic routine in
his LongEz, and saw that he wears a parachute for (not so obvious) reasons
even though FAR 91.307 doesn’t require it solo, and at low level egress time
may not make it worth it.
So I didnt want to hijack Kyles FB post with scary stuff, and thus posted it
here for further digestion.

There was a recent discussion on canard aviators yahoo groups, on the
subject of “bailing out” of a canard; if, how, when, why etc.
It's an interesting dilemma, and having bailed out of over a hundred or so
aircraft, I've given it some thought, particularly after near midair misses.

Some Points raised in these “discussions” were;

*if enough control remains to slow it, roll it, and generally get into a
good position to get out, what emergency is this, and how likely is it?
* will I hit the prop?
* will I even be able to get out?

Obviously there is no SAE standard condition for such an event. Glider
pilots fly with chutes and much research has gone into emergency egress and
canopy ejection mechanisms (I wish Zubair had read all that data - maybe he
did...) by Dr Tony Segal - see;
http://journals.sfu.ca/ts/index.php/ts/article/download/117/105 for details
of bailout times, canopy ejection design, scroll to page 10/11.

Gliders usually have to resort to bailouts due to mid-airs (they thermal in
close proximity) or weather (Lightning strike, CBs etc)
see:
http://www.pas.rochester.edu/~cline/ASK%20lightning%20strike/ASK%20accident%20report.htm.

for an interesting read for us composite riders of the sky which we share
with elemental electrical forces.

We have one more factor to consider that gliders don't; - fire. That can
cause loss of control, or a runaway situation that cannot be dealt with
before making a controlled landing. It's amazing how quickly fire can take
hold.
Jack Morrisons Eracer had climbed to just 2,000ft from takeoff when he
smelled smoke and turned back for a forced landing. Had he been in a high
cruise at the time, there wouldn't have been the opportunity to get back on
the ground quickly, and a bail-out would have been a nice option to have.
See: https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=135016
Another example: Back in the early days a San Antonio builder upgraded the
engine in his LEZ Lyc powered machine. On one of the subsequent test
flights, it caught fire in the air. Instead of immediately getting the
machine on the ground he tried to make it back to home base. It burned and
melted the aluminum aileron torque tubes and he died ....(
https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=39196.)
Rutan Aircraft Factory decided to replace alum aileron controls with steel
tubes to prevent this from happening again.

And one more; control jams due to "foreign objects". A pal of mine had his
aileron controls jam ( turned out to be rear seat luggage shift during
turbulence) and found he could only turn right without both hands on the
stick. He had no way of knowing what it was or if it would get worse or if
he could land it like that, but had no choice but to "hope" it would all
work out, which it did. But in other circumstances, maybe not. Nice to have
another option.

Most of us will take a lifejacket and/or a dinghy when flying any distance
over water, so why not a parachute? Don't the aquatic questions of "will I
be able to get out, will I be knocked out by the impact etc" present
parallel dilemmas to those raised in the parachute debate... and some of the
terrain I've flown over in the Rockies is so hostile that the chances of
surviving a forced landing seem about equal to the chances of a successful
bailout.....

Getting out requires the canopy to open sufficient for egress; the standard
side hinged canopy with the gas strut geometry holding it open when
open/closed when closed, would probably open wide enough to do this, but may
not, or may flail about and whack one on the head (shall I start another
thread about wearing helmets?) The FHC canopy won't open (good safety point
in normal ops) - anyone who has had a door pop open on them in a Piper type
will have found it impossible to move either way due to aero pressure - I
surmise that the FHC would be the same.

Making a canopy jettisonable Is complex. It has to go up and away without
coming back and injuring the occupants - have a look at how gliders do it -
spring loaded forward hinge pivots to forcefully fling the nose up and catch
the freestream, canopy up and away from the cockpit- more details on the
link above - it's major work to do this, and weighty too.

Another issue surrounding bailouts is altitude - in sport parachuting you
generally deploy the main at 3,000ft and your cutaway decision height is
around 2,000ft if you have problems with your main. So in your aircraft, how
low can you make a successful exit and get under a fully inflated canopy?
- here's a recent example; https://youtu.be/2oJngucEac4
However, you could elect to use a BASE jumping rig, - but - if you deploy at
a high speed, the fast/hard opening could be bad.

Then there's a bit more to it than engineering logic; there's the economics
and the psychology too.

Economics, in that GA rigs are not cheap at $2,500-ish each
(http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/pspages/paracushion_305.php) and if
you have one, yet don't buy a second for your passenger, what kind of
message does that send? So that's $5k.....And regular repacking is yet more
expense and burdensome.

Psychology, in that if you do buy a second parachute, many non-pilot GIBs
(and many pilot GIBs too) don't see it as a positive thing, they will see it
as "so you're planning to crash?"

However, as someone with a little skydiving experience and my own rig, IF I
found myself on fire, or with a control jam, or struck by lightning (as in
the above link) I would feel I missed a trick if my parachute was left on
the ground.

Having said all that, if I consider all the actual instances where "if they
had a 'chute, they would have survived" are so small that I feel it's an
outside chance that I'll ever need it, so I don't, - mainly out of laziness,
or maybe because homo-sapiens is just bad at assessing risk,
see;https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micromort

And now that I've tempted fate, the gods and Cthulhu, I'm a marked man, so
I probably will wear my paid-for rig from now on :^)

Bill Allen
CZ4 G-BYLZ
LE N99BA FD51
VE N2CR KMTH

--

--
David Froble Tel: 724-529-0450
Dave Froble Enterprises, Inc. E-Mail: davef@...
DFE Ultralights, Inc.
170 Grimplin Road
Vanderbilt, PA 15486


Marc J. Zeitlin
 

David A Froble wrote:

It is a great idea.  Doing so might be difficult.

I have designed and Freeflight Composites has installed per my design, a CAP BRS parachute system in a Berkut (one which is now for sale, apparently) and a COZY MKIV (now crashed, but the parachute was not deployed - no fatalities). The Berkut lost the rear seat and the COZY MKIV lost both rear seats for passengers, although there was still substantial room in both for cargo, as we were not willing to put a passenger in close proximity to the deployment rocket.

Regardless, without a serious re-design, with extensive testing, it is a good
idea that probably isn't worth considering.

Serious re-design, yes. Extensive testing - well, obviously the two systems that I assisted with (and a third on a Long-EZ which hasn't flown yet) weren't ever tested and hopefully never will be. There have been at least two other BRS installs in canards I've heard of - one in a VE and one in another canard in Europe (don't remember the type).

Personally, I try to convince folks that the cost of installation, in time, $$$ and modifications isn't justified by the tiny possible increase in safety, but if someone insists that they want one for their specific reasons, I just want to ensure that it's installed safely and that the install is well thought out.

--
Marc J. Zeitlin                      marc_zeitlin@...
                                            http://www.cozybuilders.org/
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