FLORHAM PARK, N.J., Oct. 28, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Aviation Safety Resources (ASR), a pioneer in life-saving safety systems for small aircraft, today announced the results of its first annual General Aviation Safety Survey and named a new member to its Innovation Team, which is dedicated to bringing the company's TriChute Safe Landing System to market.
More than 125 private pilots and charter aircraft operators from 21 U.S. states and eight countries participated in the online survey designed by ASR to gauge awareness and interest in parachute recovery systems. Conducted earlier this year, the survey revealed that more than half (54%) of all respondents were familiar with the concept of whole airplane parachute recovery systems (WARPS). Awareness among charter pilots was even higher, with 75 percent reporting that they were "somewhat familiar" with WARPS. Charter pilots, operating larger 8-20 passenger planes, said they would be willing to sacrifice weight and space for the "life-saving potential" of a parachute recovery system like ASR's TriChute Safe Landing System.
"The FAA and the General Aviation community have made great strides in deploying the latest technology, regulations and education initiatives to help mitigate risks, however, the GA fatal accident rate has remained relatively static over the last 10 years," said Dario Manfredi, ASR founder and president. "General aviation accidents involve a chain of events that almost always involves an element of human error. Even the most skilled pilots can find themselves in impossible, improbable situations. When they do, our TriChute Safe Landing System has the potential to save their planes and their lives."
Despite dramatic improvements in technology, air traffic control and pilot training in the aviation industry as a whole, NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart earlier this year said, "The fatal accident rate in general aviation has been stubbornly resistant to improvement." In its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements 2016, the NTSB identified loss of control in flight as "the worst single cause of general aviation fatal accidents." Loss of control– inadvertent spins and stalls – claimed more than 1,200 lives from 2008 through 2014.
ASR's TriChute Safe Landing System is designed to equip general aviation aircraft with a pilot-controlled mechanism that will bring passengers and aircraft safely to the ground in the event of an irreversible, in-flight emergency. The technology is designed to activate a series of ballistic systems that separate the passenger compartment from the fuel containing wings and deploys three parachutes to bring the passengers and wings down in separate, controlled level landings.
"Whole airplane recovery systems have been available in 2 – 5 passenger aircraft for more than 30 years and have an impressive record of life-saving deployments," Manfredi said. "When a catastrophic loss of control situation occurs in larger private, charter and air freight planes, however, speed, weight and altitude preclude the use of existing parachute systems. Our TriChute system will fill this void and save lives."
Respondents to the ASR survey included owners and operators of a wide variety of aircraft targeted for the TriChute system, including heavy single engine aircraft (67%) like the Cessna Caravan, light single engine (39%) and large twin engine planes (27%) like the King Air. Sixty-six percent of the respondents valued their aircraft at over $1 million. Survey findings included:
- Only five of the 125 respondents had a parachute recovery system installed on one or more of their planes and a similar number indicated that they had been in situations that warranted deploying such a system.
- 70 percent of survey respondents rated WARPS "very" to "extremely effective."
- Survey responses were almost evenly divided over the acceptability of the 3- to 4-week timeframe that ASR estimates an aircraft would be taken out of service to install a TriChute Safe Landing System: 49 percent said it was acceptable, while 51 percent said it was not.
The original TriChute patent (No. 5,009,374) was granted to Manfredi's late father, Dario J. Manfredi, who conducted a successful FAA-sanctioned flight test in a Stinson Voyager at Lakehurst (NJ) Naval Air Station in 1967. The system worked as designed, separating the wings and bringing the fuselage down safely with little or no damage. That patent was revised and updated with new technology, and a new patent (No. 7934682) was awarded in 2011.
Manfredi and his team of experts now are working on a plan for a new test of the TriChute technology on a Cessna Caravan. Joining them on the project is aircraft manufacturing veteran John S. Daniel, who spent much of his career working for Cessna Aircraft and directed a Caravan manufacturing facility. He now owns John Daniel & Associates where he consults in all aspects of aircraft manufacturing.
"I was inspired by Dario's passion for saving lives and pleased to play a part in the mission begun by his father more than 50 years ago," said Daniel. "The high-wing, 9- to 10-passenger Cessna Caravan is a perfect choice to demonstrate this new TriChute System. Caravan accidents claimed the lives of 62 pilots and/or passengers through 2015."
Manfredi added, "It has been a long road and our progress is due to the hard work and dedication of our outstanding team of pilots, engineers, DERs and business strategists. We are dedicating our efforts to two individuals who played important roles in ASR's history. The first is Fred DiMaria, our business development director who passed away in 2013. The other is Dr. Louis Hanson who purchased, flew and ultimately perished in the vintage Stinson used in my father's original flight test. Unfortunately, the plane had been reassembled after the test and sold without the TriChute system, which could have saved Dr. Hanson's life. We will not stop until other such lives are saved."
About Aviation Safety Resources
Aviation Safety Resources, based in Florham Park, NJ, is a family-owned company founded in 2000 by Dario P. Manfredi to commercialize the company's recovery system for general aviation aircraft. The company holds three patented inventions, with the potential to create revenue in excess of $44 million in the $150 billion general aviation market. The ASR Innovation Team, a blue-ribbon panel of experts in avionics, ballistics, parachutes, FAA certification and business development, supports the company. ASR promises to define a new era in general aviation safety. For more information, please visit www.aviationsafetyresources.com.
Lynette F. Viviani
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SOURCE Aviation Safety Resources