Ever thought what you would do when experiencing engine trouble over mountainous area, over water, at night? Actually, engine trouble anywhere, whatever you are flying, would be enough to pucker you up as you are listening to the whistling wind over a silent engine while your training begins talking to you, “Aviate, Navigate, Communicate”.
How different would the situation be if you had an airframe parachute in your aircraft, like the ones found in the Cirrus or PiperSport LSA aircraft? A recent incident in the Bahamas involving a Cirrus equipped with a BRS (Ballistic Recovery System, airframe parachute) shows the advantages of the new paradigm in aircraft safety : http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Coast-Guard-Rescues-Air-Crash-Survivors-Off-Coast-of-Bahamas-136902393.html
Here’s a quick look at the history of BRS: (http://www.brsaerospace.com/about_brs.aspx):
- 266 lives (and two dogs!) saved as of 10/20/11
- 1980 – BRS Founded
- 1982 – 1st Save, Jay Tipton of Colorado
- 1993 – STC (Supplemental Type Certificate) for C-152
- 1998 – BRS & Cirrus produce 1st Standard CAPS
- 2002 – C-172 Receives STC
- 2007 – C-172/182 STC Retro-fit approved
- 2008 – BRS receives ISO Certification
- 2009 – BRS is awarded $20M in Defense Contracts
Guidance Aviation’s Cirrus and Piper Sport LSA’s are equipped with ballistic recovery systems.
Since CAPS was introduced, there have been 25 CAPS deployments and 44 survivors (This number is included in the total of 266 lives saved by BRS).
Bottom line, Ballistic Recovery Systems SAVE LIVES. So, if you have the choice in training, renting or purchasing an aircraft with or without BRS, which one would you choose? — Aircraft with BRS is the clear choice.