Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS)

  • How CAPS was developed
  • how many times CAPS has had to be used
  • The amount of fatalities and lives saved from using CAPS


The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) is a ballistic parachute recovery system  designed for planes, specifically for the Cirrus SR20, SR22 and SF50. Cirrus achieved certification by the FAA for this product in October 1998, and for 16 years was the only aircraft ballistic parachute system used as standard equipment in all of aviation.

The development of CAPS was done through a collaboration between Cirrus and Ballistic Recovery Systems. The two companies developed the parachute to be pulled from a small solid-fuel rocket that was placed in the fuselage. The first aircraft to have an emergency and have to deploy the parachute was the aircraft registered under the tail N1223S. This aircraft had to deploy the parachute and landed safely in Mesquite, TX leaving only small damages on the airframe of the aircraft. Cirrus bought the airframe back, repaired it, and used it as a demo plane. The Cirrus Vision SF50 was certified to use CAPS in October 2016 and was the first jet with a ballistic parachute.

Since aircrafts started using CAPS, the parachute system has been activated 123 times, 104 of which saw successful parachute deployment. In the 104 successful deployments, 212 lives have been saved with 1 fatality. As of December 18th 2018, 19 of the aircrafts involved in CAPS deployments have been repaired and put back into service. Cirrus has experienced an increase in CAPS deployments, and a decrease in fatalities which gives Cirrus one of the best safety records in the industry.

Pilot Duty Time Info

  • In the past 10 years, significant changes have been made in the allowance of flight hours for pilots
  • The FAA has laid out new rules and regulations


In 2011, the FAA passed renewed guidelines targeted at combating pilot fatigue. A 2 year grace period was implemented before these new rules were put in place. Two of the main changes eliminated distinctions between domestic & international flights and scheduled & unscheduled flights.

Flight time is when the plane is being powered can move at any point. Deicing, taxiing, and waiting time all fall under this as long as the engines are firing. If a pilot’s first flight begins between 5AM- 8PM, the maximum flight time is 9 hours (if only one pilot). Outside of these time, the maximum lessens to 8 hours. 3 pilots on the flight extends it to 13 hours, and 4 pilots extends to 17 hours.

Duty time begins once a pilot reports being on duty before going out on a flight and ends once the aircraft is parked. The only time once they have reported for duty that is not considered duty times is a break that coincides with the FAA regulations. Limitations arise when the first flight time of the day, the number of pilots, the number of legs on the flight and/or resting opportunities are taken into account. Single flight crews are allotted duty times from 9-14 hours while multiple pilots are allotted 13-19 hours.

Rest periods must go for 10 hours with no exceptions. Pilots are granted 8 hours of sleep during their rest break. It begins when they clock out of duty and ends once they clock back in.

The new duty time maximums per week are 60 hours (168 consecutive hours). Within 28 days, a pilot cannot go over 290 hours (no more than 100 of these hours can be flight time). In a year, no more than 1,000 hours can be exceeded.

Weather Conditions

  • No matter where in the world a flight is taking place, weather is always an important consideration
  • Depending on the aircraft, some weather must be prioritized more


Warm weather does not inherently cause problems, however high air temperature affects both flight ability as well as engine power. The warmer the air is the thinner it gets, stifling the aircrafts effectiveness. In turn, climbing performance and maximum payload is decreased, requiring a longer runway distance.

When a flight is already in the air, fog can often be avoided since it will not be present at high altitudes. Also fog is not much of an issue during landings since numerous aircraft have automatic landing and the visibility of a pilot is not mandatory. However, when the aircraft is still on the ground, problems arise. Airports usually decreases the amount of flights on foggy days to avoid aircrafts crashing into one another.  

Like fog, rain poses the biggest problem when the aircraft are still on the ground. The biggest problem with rain is reducing visibility when taxiing. Just as they do on foggy days, the amount of flights at airports are reduced to minimize the chances of an accident. One the aircraft is in the air and it is not too windy, rain is easily cleared off the windshield. Additionally, snow and ice cause similar problems. However ice also creates the need for defrosting the aircraft, which adds time before being able to take off as well as additional costs.

Lastly, strong winds can pose issues for aircraft. Generally, pilots are not too worried about turbulence because they know the aircrafts are designed to counter wind. Pilots are also trained in how to deal with wind gusts as well. The issue that can arise is possible injury to the passengers. If they are not properly fastened or if items in the plane are loose, the turbulence can cause the people or said items to be thrown about the cabin. If it is known that it will be windy, it is best to stay seated at all times with luggage sufficiently stowed away.

Returning Into The United States Post Covid

  • What is required to return back into the United States
  • The health precautions that need to be taken due to the COVID Pandemic
  • Cancellation policies due to the COVID Pandemic

As the United States continues to restrict entry for private jet charters, all non-U.S. travelers who have been out of the country  must have a negative COVID-19 test and documentation of recent recovery from COVID-19 by showing a positive test result. All travelers will also be required to submit paper results.

According to the CDC, “If you have had a positive viral test in the past three months, and you have met the criteria to end isolation, you may travel instead with documentation of your positive viral test results and a letter from your healthcare provider or a public health official that states you have been cleared for travel.”

Cancelation may happen due to the pandemic so these deadlines for international private jet flights can often be several days to even weeks before your departure. While charter operators generally try to work with customers, if you can’t get tested and they have already positioned the aircraft for your flight or had to turn down another customer, you could end up losing your payment.

WYVERN Registered Operators

  • The benefits of becoming a WYVERN Registered operator
  • What data WYVERN Registered operators have access to

In business for nearly 30 years, WYVERN was founded by a group of savvy, safety-minded professionals to become the world’s first business aviation audit company. Since then, we have earned an unmatched reputation as the pioneer in aviation safety risk management and training.

As a member of the highly regarded Wingman safety certification program, you’ll have access to WYVERN’s safety data platform and Aviation Compliance Enhancement System. These certifications enable your team to make better, more informed decisions based on the latest and greatest safety in the industry.

WYVERN Brokers have access to the data needed to identify and research operators which check and verify crucial safety information concerning the operator, aircraft, and pilots on a mission-specific basis. A Pilot & Aircraft Safety Survey (PASS) report can be easily emailed to a client as proof of an operator’s commitment to transparency of information as an effective assessment of risk. The PASS program verifies whether an operator meets WYVERN’s safety benchmark regarding pilot recency of experience, operator legal compliance, aircraft condition, and insurance liability coverage. See our ARGUS Rated Operators and IS-BAO Rated Operators blog to learn more

IS-BAO Rated Operators

  • Introduction to the development of the IS-BAO Rating
  • IS-BAOs two new progressive program developments

The International Standard for Business Aircraft Operations (IS-BAO) was established by the International Business Aviation Council (IBAC) and its member associations, as a recommended code of best practices designed to help flight departments worldwide achieve high levels of safety and professionalism for private air charters. Both the FAA and CAA in Canada recognize IS-BAO as meeting the ICAO standard and encourage participation. The European Committee for Standardization (CEN) also recognizes IS-BAO as an industry standard for business aircraft operations. IS-BAO was amended in 2012 to facilitate implementation by helicopter operators. This was a joint effort between IBAC, the helicopter associations HAI, BHA and EHA.

The IS-BAO continues to evolve and respond to the industry needs by developing two new progressive programs. FlightPlan Stage 1 offers the busy small operator a simple and speedy pathway to Stage 1 registration. This all-inclusive option for new entrants comprises professional implementation assistance, one-day audit (excluding aircraft inspection), and “on-course” 6-month proficiency validations, all included for one fee. The Progressive Stage 3 program was developed for veteran operators to leverage their advanced safety systems. As an option to the legacy Stage 3, this innovative program includes a one-day progressive audit that is customized to the operation and provides exclusive access to a new business aviation safety database.

ARGUS Rated Operators

  • What it means to be an ARGUS Rated Operators
  • Argus safety standard


Being ARGUS Rated is a standard of excellence in the private aviation industry.  Having an ARGUS Rating associated with your jet will give your passengers the confidence knowing that their flight is safe. These operators with ARGUS ratings are constantly monitored for their safety training to ensure they are known as the best in the aviation industry.

ARGUS is continually monitoring the ARGUS Rated operators data. Each operator is monitored to ensure their standards remain aligned with the ARGUS Standards. These standards are as followed : Commercial certificate holder, key management personnel, insurance coverage, pilot flight experience, flight training hours, and incident history. 

In Case Of Emergency

  • Types of Emergency Landings
  • Examples of different emergency landing scenarios
  • What a pilot should do in case of an emergency

There are three types of emergency landings for an aircraft. The first is a forced landing, which is an immediate landing, on or off an airport. This emergency procedure takes place when the aircraft cannot continue further on the flight. The next emergency landing is a precautionary landing. This is defined as a premeditated landing when there may be a problem with the aircraft and it would be best to take a look under the hood before continuing the flight. An example of a precautionary landing is for bad upcoming weather, fuel shortage, or gradually developing engine troubles. The third emergency landing is “ditching” which is defined as a forced landing on water, whether that be in the ocean or in a lake. 

Psychological hazards may also cause an emergency situation to be worse; there are several factors that may interfere with a pilot‘s ability to act promptly when in an emergency situation. When a pilot freezes up in an emergency situation, they may lead themselves into a worse situation where they may not lower the nose to maintain flying speed or delay in the selection of the most suitable landing area. When these situations happen, typical consequences are: making a 180° turn back to the runway when available altitude is insufficient; stretching the glide without regard for minimum control speed in order to reach a more appealing field; accepting an approach and touchdown situation that leaves no margin for error. The desire to save the airplane, regardless of the risks involved, may be influenced by two other factors: the pilot’s financial stake in the airplane and the certainty that an undamaged airplane implies no bodily harm. There are times, however, when a pilot should be more interested in sacrificing the airplane so that the occupants can safely walk away from it.

How the Pandemic Affected Private Aviation

  • How travel has changed during the Corona Virus Pandemic
  • The impact the Pandemic had on private aviation as a whole
  • Types of changes that have happened during the pandemic to private aviation

As the coronavirus pandemic continues, you may be thinking about ways to avoid crowded airliners and airports. If so, now is a good time to get acquainted with flying privately. Ever since COVID-19 depressed commercial air travel, stories have been emerging about the surprisingly optimistic picture in the world for the future of private aviation. It turns out that as people became afraid of traveling by plane with hundreds of strangers, the appetite to charter privately or even purchase their own aircraft or air taxi has strengthened.

Though many private charter companies have struggled due to the drop-off in business and corporate travel due to the pandemic, attracting a whole new set of customers has provided a silver lining and has helped carry them through. In a recent conversation, private operator VistaJet referenced data showing that only 10% of people who can afford to fly private actually do. That means there’s a huge untapped market out there. And the coronavirus has evidently pushed some of that market into finally taking the plunge. So, while fewer people overall have been flying privately since early 2020, the percentage of flyers choosing private jets has gone way up which was unexpected. 2020 did not turn out to be the disastrous year that one might have predicted for private air charter.

Pilot Requirements

  • Pilot safety training
  • How long it takes pilots become safety certified
  • What goes into a pilot being ready for any fatal situation

Pilot and crew flight experience, in general, and the total number of hours in the particular make/model of aircraft are the things that need to be taken into account when being certified as a driver of a safe charter journey. Once a pilot passes a minimum amount of 1,500 hours of flying, they are now eligible for the highest FAA rating a pilot can earn which is an airline transport pilot (ATP) rating. Because fatigue is one of the major components of pilot error, the most common cause of fatal crashes, the FAA mandates the maximum number of flight and duty time and requires crew rest periods. Operator policy on flight crew training and adequate rest periods are critical to mitigating the chances of an unfortunate event. At a minimum, operators should be able to document their flight times to the FAA standards and to track their pilots compliance, while some may go above and beyond these standards. Many charter operators also train their pilots in emergency procedures like first aid and CPR to be prepared for instances when emergencies arise or anyone needs medical attention during a charter flight. In addition, some aircraft operators carry a defibrillator (AED) on board and subscribe to an in-flight medical assistance program to provide additional medical assistance to passengers if needed. In perfect situations, one or more flight crew members will be trained in first aid, CPR, the proper use of an AED, and aircraft-specific emergency egress.