A Cirrus SR22 went down in shallow water in Yuba City, California, this morning. Details are still emerging, but there were no reported injuries.
The news has sparked some controversy from people who thought it wasn’t a CAPS deployment. CAPS is the Cirrus brand name for the rocket-powered whole-airplane recovery parachute system, which comes standard with every Cirrus.
The photo, which we are working to get permission to use, has been shown online to a limited audience, but doesn’t clearly show that it was a parachute recovery. But it was. First, there’d be no explaining how the plane could have wound up where it is, in the condition it’s in, had it been a force landing. Second, when you look closely at the photograph, you can see two things—where the parachute strap on the near side has torn open its path on the fuselage.
The other controversy, of course, is that there was a field nearby and the pilot could have performed a forced landing there. The counter argument is, what the pilot did is not only consistent with the aircraft’s operating handbook but also that it’s hard to argue with “walked” away (or “waded?”) as a result.