BRS Records 4 More Saves

Rare Incident is Second for Same Pilot/Aircraft

In an extremely rare event, an ultralight pilot in Germany has used his BRS emergency parachute system to save his life for the second time. Helmet Grossklaus became BRS save number 135 after his trike-style ultralight suffered a catastrophic structural failure on May 23. He escaped the harrowing incident "without a scratch," reports German BRS agent Jürgen Schubert.

Grossklaus was towing hang gliders using his Silent Racer trike when another pilot suddenly turned in his direction. In an attempt to avoid a midair collision that would have endangered both pilots, Grossklaus was forced to make a rapid maneuver that upset his aircraft. His Silent Racer was flipped violently enough to cause structural failure. "His wing totally collapsed," said Schubert, who added that Grossklaus is the only human in history to have used his BRS rocket-deployed emergency parachute twice from the same aircraft.

BRS designs, manufactures, and markets ballistic parachute systems that lower aircraft to the ground in the event of an in-flight emergency. Through 20 years in business, the company has delivered more than 15,000 parachute systems for use on certified and recreational aircraft. So far, the company has recorded a total of 138 saves that represent 117 airborne incidents with 21 such incidents involving two persons on board the aircraft. The latest two saves are related below.

On June 23, Wallace Clark deployed his BRS parachute, becoming save number 136 on the growing list of saves recorded by the South St. Paul, Minnesota-based company. Clark's engine developed problems shortly after takeoff from a tree-lined airport in Alabama. With the airfield a quarter mile behind him and no optional landing areas, Clark deployed his BRS from only 200 feet above the ground. He landed in wood so dense that it gook 6 hours to reach the plane when he and friends went to extract the mostly undamaged Hurricane.

And while America celebrated its annual July 4th Independence Day, two more people were spared their lives when the pilot had to deploy his BRS parachute after the wing failed on a Murphy Renegade, a Canadian biplane design. Bernd Vierling and a passenger flew their Renegade in Germany when a high-G maneuver caused an interwing strut to fail, rendering the aircraft unflyable. From 1,200 feet, the BRS lowered aircraft and occupants.