FAA Says Cirrus Won’t Have to Test Jet Parachute in Flight

The move is aimed at avoiding the cost and danger of such a test on the nonrequired system.

Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet
Cirrus is not required to test the supplemental parachute system in its SF50 Vision Jet.Cirrus

The FAA will allow Cirrus Aircraft to forego inflight testing of the SF50 Vision Jet’s whole-airframe ballistic parachute, saying such tests would incur “an unnecessary expense” while posing “inherent danger” to the test pilot.

In a notice of proposed conditions issued recently, the FAA noted that unlike the BRS parachutes in the SR20 and SR22 series airplanes, the SF50’s parachute is a “supplemental” system and no certification credit is being given to meet Part 23 standards.

“Since it is a nonrequired system, the means of substantiation have been altered to reflect the bounds of the operating envelope, the means of analysis that can be substantiated with overlapping lower-level testing/analysis, and relieve in-flight deployment to avoid unnecessary expense and the inherent danger in performing this test,” the notice said.

Cirrus might still decide to test the parachute in flight, but the FAA notice gives the manufacturer the flexibility to test the single-engine jet’s parachute system in the air or not.

Vision Jet certification is expected in the third quarter.