Cirrus Airframe Parachute System: Cost of Ownership

The Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) can be one of the first items on your mind when considering a Cirrus aircraft. Typical questions are: When is the repack required and how much does it cost? Where is an authorized service center for the repack?

How much does a Cirrus Airframe Parachute System repack cost?

Cirrus SR22 Airframe Parachute System activation handle and protective cover with instructions
Cirrus SR22 Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) activation handle and protective cover with instructions, photo by wikiWings®

Unlike other costs of ownership, the timing and amount of a CAPS repack are predictable, which helps you with planning a budget. The CAPS repack is required every ten (10) years. If you want to know the exact date look in the aircraft log book. You’ll want to check the parachute and rocket motor certification dates. These won’t be the same but should be within about 30 days of each other.

The repack helps ensure the system is ready to deploy when you need it. The CAPS activation handle is located just above the pilot and copilot seat on the aircraft ceiling (refer to photo).

The itemized table below is a repack expense listing from a 2014 Cirrus Authorized Service Center Work Order. Your cost may vary.

Repack Cost for SR22-G2 or Later Cirrus Airframe Parachute System

Parachute Assembly Cirrus SR22 5,000.00
Assembly, Motor Rocket 3400lbs 3,300.00
Freight – BRS 1,294.80
Electronic Ignition 1,025.00
Kit Retrofit Crossbeam 141.00
Parts Total 161.92
Freight – Parts 45.18
Labor $85 per hr. X 28.5 hours 2,422.50
Total $13,390.40

Cost for the SR22-G1 will be slightly higher because aircraft body composite work is required to complete the repack installation. SR22-G2 and later models included a redesign that allows for repack installation through an access panel in the luggage compartment.

Where can I find authorized service centers for the CAPS repack?

Go to Cirrus Aircraft official website and select the navigation link “Service & Support.” Use their locator tool to identify Cirrus Authorized Service Centers in your area and their contact information. The service center must be specifically certified to handle and install the CAPS replacement. Call the service centers close to you for more information.

Shared airplane ownership can cut some of your cost by more than 50% – 75%. Your savings depend on the number of members in the partnership. In the table shown above, you’d save $10,043 over individual ownership with a four member partnership (13,390 / 4 members = $3,348 each).

From an accounting perspective CAPS is a “Fixed Indirect” cost of ownership. We’ll discuss expense categorization in more detail during future articles. Usually, fixed cost would be split equally among members because it’s not calculated into the hourly operating rate.

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