On Friday, a Cirrus SF50 Vision Jet sustained substantial damage when it crashed in wooded and marshy terrain while on approach to Kissimmee Gateway Airport (KISM) near Orlando, Florida. Before crashing, the pilot deployed the Cirrus airframe parachute systems (CAPS), which is designed to slow the descent and maintain the aircraft in a level attitude. The three occupants received minor injuries.
The 2018 single-engine jet took off in Miami and was on approach when it encountered “severe turbulence,” according to the FAA preliminary report. Thunderstorms with heavy rain were in the Orlando area at the time of the crash at about 3:15 p.m. Visibility was reported as 1.75 miles and wind was from 230 to 250 degrees at 17 to 20 knots, gusting 20 to 28 knots.
“This is the first deployment of the CAPS on a fielded Vision Jet aircraft,” a company spokesperson told AIN. “We are grateful to learn of the reported outcome of the incident and our thoughts are with those involved for a quick recovery.”
In addition to the SF50, CAPS is installed in the company's SR-series piston singles. The Cirrus spokesperson said that CAPS has “returned over 230 people home safely to date” but declined to provide more details about deployments.