Cirrus Chutists Back In The Air

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Survivors of a couple of high-profile Cirrus parachute deployments resumed flying shortly after their mishaps and say they'll keep flying Cirruses. Albert Kolk, the Canadian rancher whose SR20 parachuted to safety April 8, 2004, in the rugged Monashee Mountains of south central British Columbia, told AVweb his plane is undergoing repairs and he hopes to have it back by Christmas. According to the Canadian Transportation Safety Board report on the incident, the plane went into a spiral dive while flying on autopilot at about 9,500 feet. Kolk pulled the chute and he and three other occupants stepped out of the aircraft on a rockslide near Edgewood, B.C. Ilan Reich, who blacked out at the controls of his SR22 and decided to pull the chute over Haverstraw, N.Y., has purchased a fractional share in another SR22 and is flying regularly with an instructor while he waits to get his medical back. After rescue workers plucked Reich out of the creek where his plane landed last July, an emergency-room doctor told him he had a massive brain tumor. The tumor was removed in August and, after undergoing rehabilitation to fix the paralysis of his right side that ensued, Reich has recently been able to resume flying. The FAA won't look at reissuing his medical until 2007 but Reich, along with his instructor, are still punching holes in the sky. "I hope to fly my first Angel Flight mission since the crash in early December," he told AVweb.