Company Looks At Prevention First

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Bentley said Cirrus is doing everything it can to prevent brake-related fires. "We do take these things very seriously," he said. In most cases, he said, the fires have occurred on club or rental aircraft that see a lot of different pilots (the most recent incident was an exception). Cirrus believes the heat sensors will be most beneficial in those cases because they'll give pilots an indication of whether the brakes have been abused by those before them. And, although Cirrus says the factory-installed brakes are a common installation on aircraft of similar size and exceed design standards, the company will be offering -- as retrofit kits only -- higher-capacity brakes. The larger brakes have bigger rotors capable of dissipating more heat, thus reducing the chance of overheating. Bentley said the kits will likely be most popular with fleet operators, who will see some of that investment returned in longer brake life. The beefier brakes will not be offered as an option on new aircraft, but if you tend to taxi in a fully loaded airplane one mile downhill with a blustery quartering tailwind after landing fast, perhaps the retrofit kit is an appropriate investment.