AN incredible video shows the moment a pilot’s life is saved when he deploys a parachute attached to his out-of-control aircraft.
The remarkable footage was taken during a “spin recovery test” earlier this week during which the pilot lost too much altitude and was forced to deploy the parachute.
The pilot escaped uninjured and the aircraft was superficially damaged. managing to take to the skies the following day.
The life-saving mechanism is known as a Ballistic Recovery System (BRS) and allows aircraft to float relatively gently to the ground if something goes array mid-air.
Posting the footage online, the American manufacturers of the chute, BRS Aerospace, based in South Saint Paul, Minnesota, said the pilot became “concerned about altitude loss”.
At the start of the clip, the pilot is seen trying to control the plane as it rapidly descends while spinning around.
As the scenery speeds past, the pilot – seen wearing a green cap and a headset – the pilot pulls at various levers attempting to steady the aircraft.
However, it quickly becomes clear that the “light sport aircraft” is out of control and the pilot then begins to prepare to deploy the chute.
The plane appears to have entered a “flat spin”, where it becomes nearly impossible for pilots to recover control of the aircraft as the rudder and elevator don’t have enough air flowing over their surfaces to change the yaw or pitch needed for recovery.
Cutting the engine and stopping the propellers from rotating the aviator reaches out for the parachute t-handle and it deploys.
The live-saving chute is seen bursting out of the front of the plane from behind the propeller as the pilot prepares for impact.
As the plane thumps down the pilots cap and headset become dislodged but astonishing both he and the plane escape largely unscathed from the incident.
The only injury to pilot appears to come from the roof of the plane as he gets out of the aircraft.
The impressive safety device can cost up to £10,000 to install on some models of planes.
Developed by the company founder Boris Popov in 1980, the BRS parachute system has saved over 300 lives so far.
Speaking about the clip Mr Popov said: “The pilot wants to remain anonymous as well as the location but we can say it was filmed in Asia and the plane was flying the next day.”
Posting the clip online BRS Aerospace wrote: “Dramatic video showing the recent deployment of a BRS ballistic parachute during spin recovery testing of an LSA aircraft.
“Test pilot became concerned about altitude loss and wisely chose to deploy his recently installed BRS, with no injuries to the pilot and only minor superficial damage to aircraft.”
The clip has gone viral online, attracting nearly 400,000 views and hundreds of comments from social media users.
Nelson Brandt wrote: “He deployed that BRS just in time. Looked like he was in a flat spin.”
John Pitchlynn said: “Looked like a flat spin to me. But he didn’t panic continued to try to make correction and then pulled the chute… good job.”
Laura Radigan commented: “Smart. Great decision making and a lesson to all pilots. Know when control is lost and don’t wait to pull the chute. Great outcome.”