July 26, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
BRS Aerospace, growing rapidly with sales of airframe safety parachutes and parachutes for military uses, is testing an electronic means for the pilot to launch the parachute during an emergency.
Electronically fired rockets have been tested. Rockets are used to extract the parachute from its canister after a pilot determines that the emergency requires the use of the recovery chute. Currently, pilots manually pull a lever that fires the parachute.
The switch’s location is still being studied. It must be accessible but not in a position to be fired accidentally.
In other BRS news, the company and Flight Design said they have an agreement to put the BRS airframe recovery system on Flight Design's proposed new C4, the first venture by Flight Design into the fully certified aircraft market. The C4 is a 160-knot (true airspeed), four passenger high-wing composite aircraft.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
A new FAA policy on obstructive sleep apnea that addresses many of the concerns raised by AOPA is scheduled to take effect March 2.
AOPA and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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