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Tue, Dec 31, 2002

Story of the Year, 2002

The story of 2002 that has the greatest potential impact on the future of aviation, we all agreed, was the deployment of Lionel Morrison's BRS ballistic parachute, in his Cirrus SR22.

This single act, the first time a certified aircraft has been saved by such a device, has brought us, hopefully, a lot closer to the day when we can all count on that last measure of safety.

Negatives? Oh, sure, you can say that we'll now fly ourselves into more trouble, knowing that we have one more "out" -- but is it realistic to think this would happen in more than a handful of cases, in the next hundred years? Pilots just aren't that stupid, gang!

The positives presaged by this story are legion, and have been ably demonstrated over the years by the ballistic 'chute deployments in the ranks of ultralighters and experimental aircraft fliers.

Now that the indisputable fact of their efficacy has been demonstrated, let's hope that the ballistic 'chute programs under development 'get a move on,' and that the FAA helps expedite certification.

Oh -- and did we mention that a HUGE round of applause is due Cirrus and BRS, for their work in bringing this technology -- in time -- to Lionel's airplane?

FMI: www.cirrusdesign.com, www.airplaneparachutes.com, www.cirruspilots.org

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