Technology is an important part of the safety equation. Cirrus uses layers of technology to enhance the safety of the aircraft. The principal layers are: aerodynamic and other passive features to protect you from distraction; comfort and information reduce stress and enhance situational awareness; CAPS (the Cirrus parachute) is available if you lose control; and crashworthiness is there when all else fails.
Aerodynamics and Other Passive Features:
Passive features are built into Cirrus aircraft to help with distraction or inattention. A visible example is Cirrus' “discontinuous leading edge” wing to minimize the effects of inadvertent stalls.
This is discussed more in the CAPS & Stall/Spin page.
Cirrus also uses a Garmin autopilot that features ESP (Electronic Safety and Protection) that, even when hand-flying, helps to protect you from stalling, over-speeding or otherwise losing control. Again, a passive feature there at all times.
Cirrus' autopilot also monitors you at high altitude and will bring you and your aircraft to a safe altitude in case of hypoxia.
Comfort, Situational Awareness and Stress Reduction:
Making it easy to see where you are and what’s going on around you. A moving map overlaid with NEXRAD and traffic information makes a flight less stressful. This, combined with your Cirrus' comfortable seats, helps keep you alert as you approach your destination.
Beyond this, a good autopilot lets you think things through and makes you better equipped for a safe approach and landing after a long flight.
If you lose control, or if the flight is compromised for any reason, there is a way to recover. Unique to Cirrus, CAPS is discussed in detail in the CAPS & Stall/Spin page.
No one plans to have an accident in an airplane.
But if you do, Cirrus airplanes have a number of features that may contribute to protecting you. People have survived significant accidents in Cirrus airplanes.
Modern composite structures can provide a high level of integrity, with recent regulations demanding very high cockpit standards.
These standards include:
- 26G (horizontal) seats keep you in your seat, in the airplane
- Modern occupant protection means cockpits are built to tolerate rollover and to keep everything in the airplane tied down (and not hitting you)
- Airbags (in the seat belts) to cushion an impact