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Aviation News Talk podcast

Mar 27, 2019

103 Cirrus CAPS Parachute Pull over the Caribbean – Interview Ed Regensburg

Your Cirrus Specialist. Call me if you're thinking of buying a new Cirrus SR20 or SR22. Call 1-650-967-2500 for Cirrus purchase and training assistance.

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On March 5, 2019, two pilots flying a Cirrus SR22 noticed oil pressure dropping rapidly, and soon after, the engine quit. They turned toward land 30 miles away and pulled the airplane’s CAPS parachute. They deployed their raft, which flipped over in eight to ten foot swells. The pilot dived out to right the raft and both men got aboard. But they had no idea who might be coming to rescue them.

Thirty minutes later, a US Coast Guard plane appeared flying a search pattern looking for the men. They tried to use the two flares to signal the plane, but both flares failed to ignite. As the plane flew away in the distance, they didn’t know if they’d been seen.

One of the pilots got sick in the rough seas and began throwing up over the side. About two hours later, the other pilot spotted a ship in the distance. Both men wondered would the ship see them. And if it didn’t, would it accidentally run them over?

Princess Cruises’ Regal Princess was sailing towards St. Thomas, when the US Coast Guard requested that they reverse course to search for the men. The Regal Princess is twenty stories high and was easy for the pilots to spot miles away, but by contrast, they were just a small dot that rose and fell among the waves and white caps.

The pilots Ed Regensburg and Dan Tucker were eventually spotted and brought aboard the cruise ship. In this podcast, Ed Regensburg describe the entire experience from when he first spotted the low oil pressure warning until they were home again in Greensboro, NC.

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