Unique parachute feature saved lives during Virginia plane crash

Posted at 8:40 PM, Jul 22, 2013

HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) - Performance was a key factor when Will Loving went shopping for an airplane, but so was safety. After shopping around, he purchased the Cirrus SR 22T that came complete with turbo charger and parachute.

Cirrus builds their airplanes around a parachute system tucked away in the top of the plane, behind the passenger seats. The fixed gear, pilot and passenger seats are designed to withstand impact if the parachute is deployed on the aircraft, which is made of a composite material that has the parachute and lines fused to it.

The chute is deployed by a handle.

Because of that system, four men walked away from a plane crash Saturday evening in Essex County. It was a plane similar to Loving's and one whose chute worked flawlessly.

Loving says the chute is an added sense of safety and while the plane costs a little more, it is worth the investment.

CIrrus told CBS 6 that the lives of 38 people have been saved thanks to the parachute equipped planes.

Click on the video for the full CBS 6 report.