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Monday, 20 Sep 2004

Parachute deployment saves another pilot and passenger

Pilot & his wife are “saves” 168 and 169 for the BRS system.

Ballistic Recovery Systems perhaps saved two more lives today when a 65 year-old flight instructor and his wife successfully deployed a BRS parachute system late yesterday in California, USA. Pilot William Graham, 65, told authorities he and his wife Barbara were flying a Cirrus SR22 from Redding to San Diego, California when his aircraft encountered a problem at approximately 16,000 feet. Moments later, Graham radioed that he had turned off the engine and deployed the plane's on-board emergency BRS parachute. The pilot and passenger floated down safely, landing in a tree in a walnut orchard. After a frantic search and rescue, the Graham’s were spotted by local emergency response officials with the plane’s parachute draped from some tree branches. Both pilot and passenger were able to walk away from the incident without apparently suffering any injuries to themselves and only minor damage to their plane.

BRS (Ballistic Recovery Systems) is a South St. Paul, Minnesota-based company that designs, manufactures and distributes whole-aircraft emergency parachute systems for use on general aviation and recreational aircraft.

Mark Thomas, President & CEO of BRS was thrilled to hear the news of this happy ending, and reiterated that until more aeroplanes are equipped with BRS systems, he won’t rest easy. “Improving aviation safety is the prime objective of BRS and saving lives is our most gratifying accomplishment”, added Thomas, “Our system works, and we want to continue to do our part to make aviation safer for everyone who wants to fly.”

Since the early 1980s, BRS has delivered more than 19,000 parachute systems to aircraft owners around the world including more than 1500 systems on certified aircraft such as the Cirrus Design aircraft manufactured in Duluth, Minnesota. Actual documented uses of these systems are credited with saving the lives of 169 people. In April of 2004, BRS learned of two deployments in Cirrus aircraft within 36 hours of each other. On Saturday, April 10th a Ft. Lauderdale pilot deployed his plane’s BRS parachute system, landing in a Cypress grove in North Lauderdale, Florida. Also, on April 8th flying over the rugged mountains in British Columbia, a grandfather, his grandson and two family friends encountered trouble but were able to recover and land safely after deploying a BRS parachute.

In July, the FAA certified BRS parachute system for installation on Cessna 182 models of aircraft. In September, BRS was named one of Minnesota’s fastest-growing technology companies, based on revenue growth over the last five years.

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