Tests show CAPS takes only
to reduce forward velocity to zero.
253 survivorshave returned to their familiesas of March 2023.
Designed for use with multiple Cirrus aircraft, CAPS consists of a large ballistic rocket-fired parachute attached to the airframe. The rocket ensures that the parachute deploys successfully despite altitude, spin, or inversion, while a slow inflation rate and reefed risers allow for rapid transition to stable altitude under canopy.
Tests demonstrate that within 8 seconds all forward velocity is reduced to zero (relative to wind) and descent occurs at about 1700 fpm or 17 knots or 20 mph. The parachute deployment airspeed was demonstrated at Vpd of 133 knots. The demonstrated loss of altitude was 400 feet from level flight and 920 feet from initiation of a 1-1/2 turn spin. Four CAPS deployments occurred successfully at higher speeds, 168, 171, 187, and 190 knots indicated airspeed, and one deployment failed at an airspeed estimated at over 300 knots airspeed.