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Tue, Nov 15, 2005

Flight Safety Foundation Recognizes Alan Klapmeier

Cirrus Co-Founder Receives Admiral Luis de Florez Flight Safety Award

It is well known in the aero-community that Cirrus co-founder Alan Klapmeier survived a midair collision while on a training flight in 1984. This event later influenced the decision to equip all certified Cirrus aircraft with ballistic recovery system parachutes.

It is also why the Flight Safety Foundation selected Klapmeier to receive its 2005 Admiral Luis de Florez Award, "for fulfilling a commitment to safety in the design and manufacture of personal airplanes," according to a foundation release.

The award, presented by FSF since 1966, recognizes "outstanding individual contributions to aviation safety, through basic design, device or practice," according to the foundation's website.

The Admiral Luis de Florez Award is named after a retired US Navy Admiral who was influential in developing the earliest flight simulators. Adm. Florez also received the coveted Collier Trophy in 1943, and served as Foundation president in the mid 1950s.

The Cirrus SR20 was certified in 1998 with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS, and the system has been standard in every Cirrus airplane since. CAPS is designed to lower the airframe safely to the ground in an emergency, and is seen as a last-resort method -- as it was when the first CAPS was deployed in 2002, when a near-separation of an aileron left an SR22 uncontrollable.

The pilot survived, as have nine other passengers involved in five CAPS deployments since.

FMI: www.flightsafety.org, www.cirrus.com

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