Chute saves life of pilot who ran out of fuel

Employees at a South Saint Paul company might well be jubilant today. They helped save the lives of a pilot of a Cirrus airplane that ran out of fuel off the coast of Hawaii yesterday.

He was saved by the emergency parachute system unique to the airplane. The system is made by Ballistic Recovery Systems at South Saint Paul’s Fleming Field.

The pilot was traveling from California and had radioed that he didn’t have enough fuel. A Coast Guard helicopter followed the plane and was able to get one of the rare looks at the parachute system deployed under an actual emergency.

The pilot is reported in good condition.

The company claims credit for helping save lives in 240 deployments of the chute system.