Parachutes Prove Golden In Aviation Sales

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Stories of financial hardship are all too common in the world of GA businesses, so numbers like "56 percent growth" tend to stand out. That number led a press release last week from Ballistic Recovery Systems (BRS), of South St. Paul, Minn., which reported gross revenues up 56 percent from the same quarter a year ago. The company credited strong sales to certified manufacturers for the upsurge, especially Cirrus Design. CEO Mark Thomas told AVweb on Tuesday that BRS is also working on certifying a parachute system for the Cessna 182, and its chute for the 172 is ready to go and just starting deliveries. "That's going to be our next big seller," Thomas said. Also in development is a system for the Light Sport Aircraft category and for heavier Experimental airplanes, up to 1,800 pounds. "We want to get them out there," Thomas said of the chutes. Cirrus Design has delivered over 800 aircraft, every one of them equipped with a BRS system. BRS is also increasing sales to the European Union, helped out by a favorable exchange rate. The company got its start designing and manufacturing parachutes for ultralights and Experimental aircraft.