CAPS Training and The Importance of a Chute
I recently took a trip up to Duluth, Minnesota to take part in Cirrus’ CSIP Training, a 3 day course covering all aspects and models of Cirrus’ revolutionary aircraft. Even before arriving to their factory for training, I realized Cirrus was serious about safety as the pre-training online modules were all geared towards responsible operations and CAPS decision making skills. After completing the online modules, I was provided with preparatory materials including aircraft operating manuals and the CAPS syllabus which explains, in detail, Cirrus’ expectations of pilots regarding usage of the system.
CAPS/CSIP Training: Safety in Preparation
If you are like me, you have been flying for so long without a chute on-board that remembering the option is there can be easily forgotten. During the first day of my CSIP training my instructor at the factory was constantly reminding me to call-out the altitudes at which CAPS was available for use. Cirrus teaches 3 steps in the learning process of pilots transitioning from aircraft without a chute. The first step is Knowledge and Human Factors: integrating the knowledge of the CAPS system and identifying the hazardous attitudes which could delay/prevent a pilot from deploying the system in an emergency. The second step is Muscle Memory and Procedure: practicing and rehearsing the actions required for correct deployment on the ground so as to prepare for the event in an airplane. The third step is CAPS decision making: practicing the call outs and scenarios that would warrant a CAPS deployment every flight, therefore making the pilot identify with emergency situations and not hesitating to execute procedure when necessary.
CAPS Syllabus and Recurrent Training Program
In the syllabus for the CAPS system you’ll find some limitations and certain altitudes below which it cannot be used. Cirrus stresses to its pilots the importance of refreshing themselves on this information every year. A factory approved syllabus and training program is a testament to Cirrus’ commitment to safety and education. To date, the CAPS system has prevented over 100 fatalities through the correct deployment of the system and the education of its pilots.