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Main | Sonic Boom! »

March 26, 2004


John Kachenmeister

Major, Florida Wing. Assigned to group staff. Pilot. History: Cadet 63-66, Navy (HM3)66-72. Army (major, military police) 76-93, back out of retirement 2002-2004.
Civilian: Retired city police officer. AeroRatings: Glider and ASEL. Combat Service: Vietnam (69-70)

I am curious to find out why CAP doesn't have The BRS (Ballistic Recovery System) installed in all their aircraft? CAP bought 16 or more Gippslands that cost a ton..and think of the safety enhancments it would make for the pilots if they had these systems installed. After all, as pilots we have to take a safety pledge and when there is safety equipment out there that would make us safer we should have it installed on our airplanes. We can't complain about having enought money when we just up and bye 16 or more 1/2 million dollar airplanes (Gippslands). There are also airbags with 4 point harnesses that would increase the safety for CAP pilots 10 fold. Why is it that we are not spending our money on safety instead of new planes? I know we need to work with homeland security..but if we don't have the best and safest equipment that could prevent a fatality then what good does all the new equipment do? Just something to think about. :) This is trying to be constructive criticism. I hope it is taken as such. :) I truly love CAP and what it does and stands for..just want to get some thoughts flowing from this idea and see what others feel and think....I have heard many other CAP members voice similar concerns.


Couple things:

1) Is BRS certfied for something as large as the Gippsland? I don't believe that it is. That would be one big parachute. I sort of doubt that the ROI on building/certifying a recovery system for a large plane like that would make good business sense for the BRS people. Nevermind the cost to the operators to acquire and the weight/balance penalties such an installation might incur.

2) WRT airbags: Didn't I recently read that our new 182s are coming equipped with the harness mounted airbags? Thats a start, at least. Again, retrofitting the entire fleet would likely be exhorbinately expensive, but I wouldn't be surprised if we did it over a several year period, particularly after these airbags prove their worth.

Midway Six

Ummm... This sort of a strange place for this thread, but I'll bite.

It's true that all the new Cessna 182s have seat-belt mounted airbags factory installed.

The BRS system, for the 182 costs $17,000, and weighs in at 85 lbs. 550 airframes x $17K = $9.3 Million. I just don't think the cost / benefit analysis works out.

BRS is a great technology, and a fantastic added value to a GA airplane like the Cirrus, which spends most of it's time cruising along at altitude... but the BRS is not going to help us much when we're in a search grid only 1000 feet above the ground.

CAP flying is some of the most challenging flying there is outside of military flying... It's amazing to me we manage to maintain the good safety record we do.


This place needs more activity. Why not send your address to other members of CAP.

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