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Pipistrel Virus I-B939 doing 245kt

This BRS chute recovery, from 2015, is a pretty interesting read.

Article local copy

The aircraft surpassed its maximum permitted operating speed of 163 kts (302 km/h) and reached 240 kts (445 km/h) indicated airspeed when the crew began to recover the extreme nose-down inverted attitude. During this action, the aircraft decelerated to 220 kts (405 km/h) and reached 6 G of load. Next, the load suddenly increased to over 10 G (flight data recorder senses a maximum of 10 G load, then becomes saturated) – at this conditions, 220 kts (405 km/h) and over 10 G, load the aircraft wings structures separated from the airframe. This was followed by an inverted steep dive with 105-120 m/s (21-24.000 fpm) sink rate. The crew activated the ballistic rescue system on board the aircraft a mere 515 m (1700 ft) above the ground when the speed of the aircraft was over 450 km/h (245 kts) flying at an almost vertical flight path referenced to the ground . The sink rate was stabilized as the parachute was fully opened approximately 150 m (500 ft) above the ground. Judging by the above facts, the crew activated the parachute rescue system 3-4 seconds before imminent impact with the ground and 1-2 seconds before it would be too late for the parachute rescue system to be deployed successfully.

I am gonna get him to do my lottery tickets

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I instruct in a Pipistrel Alphatrainer. To me this is very nice reading:

  • The aircraft is FAST
  • It can stand 6 g, fully loaded, no problems
  • It will not shed the wings before 10 g fully loaded
  • The chute works even at extreme speed, 245 kts, fully loaded

Even when you are literally doomed, the aircraft will save you. What more can you ask? This is phenomenal, seriously


Peter wrote:

I am gonna get him to do my lottery tickets

Please ask him to buy mine as well! Holy moly, that sounds like the ride from hell.

Amazing! Incredible!

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Outstanding. Reminds me of that one scene in Das Boot where the depth meter is way past the red line and yet the Hull doesn’t crack.

Excellent engineering from Pipstrel, seems like they built a sturdy aircraft.

Novice pilot
EDVM Hildesheim, Germany

They definitely got a second chance ! Sjeezes !

EBST, Belgium

Amazing that after exceeding 10G they were still conscious enough to be able to pull the chute!

EIWT Weston

If the data is correct, that’s a big tribute to the build strength of pipistrel.


The accident occurred, after the aircraft, which is not approved for flying under Instrument Flight Rules and/or in Instrument Meteorological Conditions, stalled inside clouds and departed controlled flight.

Make Aviation Great Again

dublinpilot wrote:

Amazing that after exceeding 10G they were still conscious enough to be able to pull the chute!

I guess the 10Gs were very momentary. As soon as the wings snapped, it would be 0G…

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Well, two things are sure :

1. The Pipistrel engineers must receive an annual present from all onboard
2. While sitting in a car in a parking lot, my pucker factor went from 0 to 6 reading this.

This is like nothing I’ve ever heard before.

@dublinpilot exactly! Reading it I was wondering the same… They must have been reaching for it, but 6g to 10g to 0g, like how do you make your arm move the direction you want in that hellstorm?!

Also, how is this not a movie?
Even a short film.
No one would believe it, but those people know stuff we don’t!

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