BRS Aerospace has reached a milestone: having saved over 400 lives as a result of deploying the company's whole aircraft parachute rescue system.
The milestone 400th and 401st lives were saved on 5 March, when the pilot of a Cirrus aircraft with engine out deployed the whole aircraft rescue system over water more than 20 miles from Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos. Neither pilot nor passenger were injured and were picked up by cruise ship.
The parachute and solid propellant ballistic rocket assembly, which is used on numerous European and US ultralight and experimental aircraft (including Lancair, Carbon Cub, Kitfox, Glassair, Flight Design, Rans, Van's RV 7/9/10, Kolb, Zenair, and Quicksilver) are enclosed in a canister mounted inside the fuselage that is activated manually or automatically. During life-threating situations, the BRS parachute system is deployed by a rocket, slowing the aircraft in the airstream and lowering the aircraft and its occupants to the ground in a measured decent.
"In the chronicle of aircraft safety developments, the very idea of saving an entire aircraft through a deployable parachute system is an ingenious invention that deserves its place in the history of safer flight," said Richard McSpadden, Executive Director of AOPA Air Safety Institute. "BRS pioneered the concept in certified airplanes and deserves recognition for delivering on innovation proven to be a substantial milestone in the ongoing evolution of aviation safety."
BRS Aerospace estimates that more than 30,000 systems have been installed during the past 35 years, and that one of every 120 systems has been activated as a last resort for pilot and passenger safety in lethal situations.
"This milestone and all of the lives saved is a testament to Boris Popov, who conceived the idea and whose vision for the company he founded overcame initial resistance to the very idea of aircraft parachutes from some naysayers," said BRS President/Director Enrique Dillon. "The concept's legacy are the pilots and passengers who survived to continue to live fruitful lives, and the thousands of families who have enjoyed added peace of mind when their loved ones fly."