Problems with the emergency parachute system used in all Cirrus Design Corporation aircraft are more difficult to repair than originally thought and will require the recall of the entire fleet, according to Cirrus President Alan Klapmeyer.
AOPA's director of certification, Lance Nuckolls, met with Klapmeyer at Sun 'n Fun this week to learn more about the issue, which came to light after an incident in Lexington, Kentucky. The pilot tried to use the system, designed by Ballistic Recovery Systems, Inc., in his SR20 after the engine quit but was unable to deploy the chute despite repeated tugs on the firing handle.
Cirrus has issued two service bulletins, one of which has become an airworthiness directive, but found the problem to one that cannot be fixed in the field. So now the company plans to recall all delivered aircraft to its plant in Duluth, Minnesota, to replace the parachute deployment cables. Cirrus has also revised the pilot's operating handbooks (POHs) to clarify procedures for using the parachute.