The FAA issued a safety alert (SAFO) on May 22 to let owners, operators and riggers of Basik Air Concept Parachutes know that France’s Directorate General for Civil Aviation issued an emergency AD, EAD UF-2012-007, covering the product. The DGAC issued the AD because Basik Air Concept manufactured and shipped reserve parachute systems without production approval from the French authority.
Drake Group, an engineering services provider, recently received STC approval for deploying parachutists and cargo under parachute from a Gulfstream GV/G550. In addition to single and tandem sport parachuting, the STC allows the delivery of emergency medical supplies, survival equipment and specialized critical replacement components by static line at great distances from the aircraft departure point. The STC, a multiple certificate applicable to any GV or G550, requires no changes to the aircraft and consists of copyrighted AFM supplements.
For years, it has been an accepted axiom of aviation that you never jump out of a perfectly good airplane. But thousands do it every year, and safely, albeit with parachutes. They cram themselves into aging Caravans and Otters and joyfully leap into the clear, clean air thousands of feet above the ground.
Now The Drake Group, an engineering services provider, has taken skydiving to a new heights, so to speak, by winning a supplemental type certificate (STC) for deploying parachutists and cargo under parachute from a Gulfstream G550 and its older sister the GV.
Cirrus Aircraft said it is continuing to refine the design of the SF50 Vision single-engine jet but further development “is paced by funding,” according to chairman Dale Klapmeier. It has selected 91 percent of the suppliers for the jet and has begun development work on the jet’s parachute system, including nine test drops using weights.
South St. Paul, Minn.-based Ballistic Recovery Systems on July 24 performed a touchdown condition test on an OMF Symphony 160 fuselage. In the test, a conforming fuselage of the Part 23 two seater–sand bagged to simulate a mtow of 2,150 pounds–was hoisted to 8.5 feet and dropped by releasing the tow cable. Although no parachute was involved, the test created a descent rate calculated for a 5,000-foot density altitude.
PILATUS UV-20A, MARANA, ARIZ., MARCH 15, 2002–A U.S. Army chief warrant officer died when the Pilatus Turbo-Porter he was flying collided with a Cessna 182 during jump operations in March. The Pilatus pilot had just finished dropping five members of the Army’s Golden Knights parachute team. All of the Golden Knights jumpers landed safely, as did the pilot and four jumpers in the Cessna 182.
Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) of St. Paul, Minn., has received a $600,000 grant from NASA to develop a whole-airplane parachute system for very light jets. The company has identified eight aircraft in various stages of development that could become a market for the product and has agreements to work with three possible manufacturers of jets in the 5,000- to 8,000-lb-mtow, 350-kt-cruise-speed category.
A British aerial filming business played a small part in last month’s successful landing of a European Space Agency probe on the surface of Saturn’s moon Titan. Helifilms, the firm that delivered the aerial TV pictures at last year’s Athens Olympics (AIN, October 2004, page 113), helped develop the drogue parachutes that lowered the probe safely onto the moon’s surface.
Don’t expect to see Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) parachutes on the first crop of very light jets. The Minnesota company, which makes the parachutes for the Cirrus line of piston singles, received a $600,000 grant in 2003 to study the possibility of such parachutes, but the two-year program did not yield a marketable product.