[ testimonials : LIVES SAVED! ]
Ron Carlson & Ken Franzese - White Mountains, AZ
En route from Southern California to Chicago, Grumman TBM Avenger N337VT experienced smoke, flames, and loss of power over the White Mountains of Arizona. Losing precious altitude and having no place for an emergency landing, Pilot Ron Carlson and Passenger Ken Franzese bailed out. Thanks to their 306 Squadron Seat Para-Cushions and 26 FT Mid-Lites, they walked away to fly another day.
Bob Holliday - Ely, NV
A mechanical failure after a turbulence-induced spin forced 20-year veteran Glider Pilot Bob Holliday to bail out of his Schleicher ASH31Mi. After pulling the ripcord, his 26 FT Mid-Lite deposited him safely on the side of an 8,500 foot mountain. His 20 year old 305 Chair Para-Cushion was inspected, repaired, and returned to service.
Nigel Hopkins - Chateauroux, France
During airshow rehearsals, the engine and propeller of South African Aerobatic Pilot Nigel Hopkins' MX2 aircraft separated from the airframe and destroyed the right wing. Although rehearsing at only a few hundred feet of altitude, he was able to keep calm, bail out safely, and carry on.
Dan Marcotte - Highgate, VT
When the prop hub failed on Dan’s biplane and threw a blade, the entire engine dismounted, further destroying flight surfaces and crippling the aircraft. Dan’s well-rehearsed air-egress procedures and ripcord pull put him safely under a 26 FT Mid-Lite and brought him back to Earth unharmed. Dan continues to wow airshow audiences with his aerobatic performances, wearing his new 304 Para-Cushion.
Skydive Superior - Superior, WI
Two Cessna 182 jump planes carrying Skydivers and flying in formation collided on jump run, causing a wing separation and fire on one of the aircraft. All of the Skydivers exited and landed safely, and one jump plane landed successfully, but a Strong Para-Cushion brought the stricken jump plane's Pilot back to work to fly again.
Rob Davies - Warbird, Duxford UK
Warbird Pilot Rob Davies was forced to bail out of his P-51 Mustang "Big Beautiful Doll" after a mid-air collision with Douglas Skyraider during the Flying Legends Airshow in Duxford, UK. During their final flight, three aircraft were performing a close proximity maneuver when the Skyraider struck the back of the Mustang. The Skyraider was able to land with part of his wing missing, but the Mustang was unable to regain control. Mr. Davies decided his only option was to bail out of the aircraft. In a BBC interview Mr. Davies said: "Normally you wouldn't parachute below 1,000 feet and I guess at the time of decision making it was about 500 and by the time I'd got out and got the chute open I was down to 200 feet." Mr. Davies was using a Para-Cushion 304 Seat with 26' Mid-Lite. The parachute opened with time to spare allowing him to walk away from an otherwise fatal situation. Video footage by aviation videographer David Taylor of Flying Film UK is available on Strong Enterprises YouTube Channel.
Ross Loudon - Skybolt, Reno NV
"I was only about 200 ft AGL and I felt that my chute would certainly not have time to open. The first jerk was the parachute opening and the second was me impacting the ground a fraction of a second later. I reached up and pulled back the parachute to find out the aircraft was only 20 ft from me engulfed in a ball of fire. The system not only saved my life, but is a pleasure to use for everyday flight operations."
David Lawrence - Starkville, MS
Test pilot David Lawrence, Director of Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, was concluding roll rate test flights when he heard a loud explosion. The explosion was a ballistic recovery system (BRS) that activated in case the wings came off the airplane. Typically when there is a BRS the pilot would not be wearing a parachute, however Mr. Lawrence was wearing his ParaCushion 305 as the BRS had not been fully tested.
At the time of wing separation Mr. Lawrence was flying at around 162 kts in a 45 degree nose down attitude pulling about 2.5 Gs. When the BRS activated it caused an instant deceleration and the pilot and seat were catapulted through the front of the aircraft.
Next thing he remembered was being out of the airplane, free of the debris and he pulled the ripcord. He was about 500 ft. when the canopy opened. As he cleared the top of the trees he remembers thinking "this is going to be a hard landing", but after landing he was surprised to realized that nothing felt broken. He unstrapped, and walked out of the woods with only small cuts and bruises!