It’s a toss up on what the coolest recent invention has been for civil aviation. Its either the GPS or the recovery parachute. Most people know what a GPS is and might have even look forward to using one however a recovery parachute is something that you don’t want to use unless you are in quite a fix. What is it you might ask? Well, its a device that mounts onto a light aircraft that will fire a parachute out of a mortar mounted on your plane. Why would anyone want to do that? Well, the idea is that if you stall, your engine quits, or even if the pilot has a heart attack the ‘chute will arrest the forward motion of the plane and gently land you on the ground safely. So far the system has saved 184 lives. Thats quite an impressive record. It’s too bad you can’t mount one on a commercial jet (the device would be about half the size of the jet !) but you can use it on small aircraft and even ultralights.
[via Flight Nest]