March 2016 Issue

Autonomy is the New Parachute

If the FAA gives it the nod, autonomy could help sell some airplanes. More on that in a minute. As Cirrus and other manufacturers have proven, whole airplane parachutes are deal-closing accessories, especially for new pilots and skeptical passengers. This when-all-else-fails backstop has even trickled down to unsuspecting backwoods utility taildraggers, with Cubcrafters recently introducing a BRS (Ballistic Recovery System) option for its Carbon Cub and Sport Cub models. The BRS will add roughly 40 pounds to the airframe, while tacking on $14,000 to the price. Itís also available for retrofit.

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