Cirrus Safety Feature Saves Former Walmart CEO
A former Walmart CEO is perhaps still alive because of a unique safety included on Cirrus aircraft.
William Simon was flying his Cirrus SR-22 when the aircraft suddenly developed engine trouble, according to the Atlantic. It was then that he decided to pull the parachute, allowing the plane to descend onto a road in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
The Duluth-based company describes its Cirrus Airframe Parachute System (CAPS) as “the most significant safety innovation in over a half-century of general aviation.” It works when an occupant of the aircraft pulls a handle on the ceiling that activates a rocket-deployed, 65-foot parachute that controls the rate of descent.
Parachutes on aircraft have been deployed in more than 50 aircraft and credited with saving 200 lives, according to CBS. Cirrus is in the final stages of FAA approval for its parachute-equipped personal jet aircraft. It’s expected to be ready by the end of 2015.
Earlier this year, TCB recognized Cirrus co-founder and CEO Dale Klapmeier by inducting him into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame.