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Sat, Jan 10, 2004

BRS Saves Life #159

That's 159 And Counting

It's not a bad day at all when you can save a life. Friday, Ballistic Recovery Systems got word that its life-saving emergency parachute system had done just that.

It was the company's 159th saving of a life through the use of one its ballistically-deployed emergency parachutes. The fortunate pilot was Mike Daeges of Prineville (OR).

Daeges' system, installed on a Hy-Tek Hurricane ultralight, was a BRS-5-750 canister unit, manufactured in June of 1998. His altitude at the time of deployment was just 200 feet above ground. Mike tells the story in his own words:

"I was flying low and slow over a wilderness area looking for a neighbor's lost horse when the engine spit out a spark plug. I was flying up a ridge line at the time so I was able to gain some time and look for a clearing by doing a 180 down into the canyon. No clearings were visible and the only one I could think of was near the mouth of the canyon. Once I realized I couldn't glide that far I said, 'Rats' for the 100th time and then looked for a spot to hit the 'chute over. A one-acre patch of second growth trees on the hillside to my left was the best I could do.

"I heard the loud bang and was amazed at how fast I found myself nearly upside down as the chute stopped the nose of the plane and the tail swung underneath and then up. Since I was only about 200 feet up when I pulled the 'chute, the ride down was very short. The next thing I saw was a tree within arm's reach on my right side holding the right wing up and causing the left wing and tail to contact the ground first. Between the tree, the left wing and tail all folding up, there wasn't even a bump when I hit the ground. I was able to walk away without even a scratch. I then had to hike out about five miles but with the adrenaline it was easy." Daeges expressed appreciation to BRS for a successful conclusion to a threatening situation.

"Every life we save is special and important to BRS. We can build on every such real-life experience to make our products the finest they can be," said BRS president & CEO, Mark Thomas.

BRS designs, manufactures and distributes whole-aircraft emergency parachute systems for use on general aviation and recreational aircraft. Since the early 1980s BRS has delivered over 18,000 parachute systems to aircraft owners around the world including over 1,200 systems on certified aircraft. Actual documented uses of these systems are credited with saving the lives of 159 persons (of which ANN Editor-In-Chief Jim "Look Out Below" Campbell is lucky number 56... no kidding) through December 2003.

FMI: www.BRSparachutes.com

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