KENNESAW, Ga. (WGCL ) — Two occupants of a small plane survived after crashing on the campus of Kennesaw State University Thursday night, thanks in part to the aircraft’s “whole-plane parachute system.”
The Cirrus SR22, based in a Kansas City suburb, was on its way from Omaha, Nebraska, to the Fulton County Airport when it apparently ran out of fuel, according to Denell Boyd, a spokeswoman for the Cobb County Fire Department.
As the aircraft fell from the sky, its occupants deployed the parachute system, significantly slowing down its descent. It eventually crashed into a tree and fell to the ground near a grassy area on the far western edge of campus near Bartow Avenue and Campus Loop Road.
Both of the plane’s occupants were alert and talking as paramedics loaded them onto stretchers and into ambulances.
The Cirrus SR22 comes standard with a parachute system that has saved hundreds of lives since the 1980s.
The system was invented by Boris Popov after he survived a fall in a partially collapsed hang glider in 1975. The parachute is deployed when a rocket launches it into the air, allowing a troubled aircraft to fall slowly to the ground.
“None of the people, I’m sure if you interviewed them, would ever think they were going to need a parachute device,” Popov told CBS News in 2015, “but they did, and there’s a lot of thankful spouses and parents.”
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