Aircraft parachute manufacturer Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS) has teamed with Millennium Aerospace to reintroduce the General Aviation Recovery Device (GARD) -150 emergency parachute system for the Cessna 150 piston single.
BRS clinched US approval for the two-seat Cessna 150/152 series parachute in 1993, becoming the first whole-aircraft supporting parachute system to be approved by any certification agency.
The system was marketed directly to Cessna 150 owners until 1998 when BRS was forced to redesign the parachute's rocket system following changes in US shipping regulations after the crash of a ValuJet McDonnell Douglas DC-9 in the Florida Everglades. The redesign is now completed.
Chicago-based Millennium Aerospace is acquiring "a number" of Cessna 150s which will be refurbished at its new facility, set for completion this month. The aircraft will be available with new paint and interiors and the Garmin 530 flat panel avionics display.
Millennium Aerospace says: "They will compete favourably with new [piston single] aircraft, given a selling price target less than half that of a basic new Cessna 172 [around $800,000]." The company anticipates huge interest for the modified aircraft, particularly from flight schools. "The idea of a parachute-equipped aircraft should create additional interest from newcomers to flying training."
BRS also builds parachute systems for the Cessna 172 Skyhawk and Cirrus SR20 piston singles, for which it is fitted as standard. The firm is also developing a system for the new Cirrus SR22 and is working towards blanket US approval for a range of airframes with weights similar to the Skyhawk.