Currently posted as ANN’s lead story…
Aero-News Alert: Cirrus/BRS Chute Saves 4 Lives In Canada
Updated Sat, 10 Apr '04
Details Sketchy So Far, BRS Chute Used At Night To Save 4
ANN has learned that a Cirrus Design parachute emergency system was used late yesterday in Canada to recover an aircraft in distress. Manufactured by BRS, the rocket propelled parachute recovery system was reportedly used on a flight from Kelowna, B.C. to Lethbridge, Alberta about 2115 local time.
Severe turbulence over mountains, at night, seem to be contributing factors to an emergency that occured to an SR20 that was carrying three adults and a child when the chute had to be deployed over the Monashee Mountains (note picture below of another Cirrus over the same territory… OUCH!).
Additional info, gathered from local media reports, suggests that the pilot experienced a loss of control as a result of the aforementioned severe turbulence and deployed the chute over the mountainous terrain. The aircraft impacted on a wooded hillside, at a 45 degree angle, in an area that was so remote, that they had to be helicoptered out. After reaching the ground, the pilot of the aircraft radioed aircraft overhead and directed his own rescue operations from the impact site. Damage to the aircraft is reported to be surprisingly limited.
Captain Jochen Dous of the Victoria Search and Rescue service confirmed that all four aboard were “uninjured” (outside of assorted bumps and bruises) and transported back to Kelowna, 45 miles away.
We’ll have more information as we receive it. This is the second actual emergency deployment of a certified BRS parachute system on a Cirrus Design airframe. [ANN Thanks Wyn Lewis for the use of the Monashee (center) photo and Mike Radomsky for the Cirrus test firing (bottom) photo].