Steve Wilson argues that there are safety issues with Cirrus airplanes. First, Wilson feels that the Cirrus is more prone than your typical Beechcraft to crashes in which the pilot loses control of the aircraft while maneuvering. Second, Wilson feels that the Cirrus is more susceptible to crashes involving inadvertent encounters with icing conditions.

Of course, the NTSB chalks up both of these types of accidents to pilot error, not to a fault in the

Continue Reading Steve Wilson: “The Cirrus Airplane Has Serious Problems”

Cirrus aircraft are now available with "flight into known icing" (FIKI) capability.  That’s a great feature. I’ve written before, however, that Cirrus is asking for trouble with its marketing.  Cirrus sells the feature as one that both enhances safety and increases the aircraft’s utility.  But Cirrus can’t have it both ways.  If a

The Cirrus is a “new generation” aircraft loaded with safety features. For example, if a pilot flying after dark gets too close to a ridge line, the Cirrus’ on-board Terrain Awareness Warning System generates a voice urging him to “Pull Up! Pull Up!”  The plane’s wings secrete fluid that helps prevent them from icing up in poor weather. The cockpit has airbags, and its seats protect the passengers in a crash by absorbing 26 times the force of gravity.  The Cirrus is the only aircraft of its kind that comes with a rocket propelled parachute that can shoot out of the back of the plane in an emergency. Partly as a result of all its safety features, the Cirrus has become the most popular general aviation aircraft, with sales surpassing long-time industry leaders Cessna, Beechcraft, and Piper.

Critics, however, say that the aircraft has a lousy safety record, with a fatal accident rate significantly higher than the “old style” Cessnas and Beechcrafts. They say that the Cirrus, made mostly of fiberglass rather than the traditional aluminum, is not crashworthy. Not only does the

Continue Reading Recent Crashes Stoke Debate on Cirrus Safety