Three Survive With Cirrus Chute

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Pilots may debate the value of on-board parachutes for small aircraft, but one of the scenarios that is always cited in their favor is, "What if something happens to the pilot?" The value of a chute in that circumstance was proven on Monday, when the pilot of a Cirrus SR22 suffered an apparent stroke while in flight with three passengers on board. The passengers were able to deploy the chute, and all survived. The Cirrus landed in a drainage pond in a subdivision near Indianapolis, and residents rescued the passengers. The airplane had taken off from Eagle Creek Airport on the city's northwest side and was en route to Hilton Head Island, S.C. The pilot, Robert Edesess, 66, was killed in the crash. He had just picked up the airplane on Saturday, according to Bruce Kehoe, the co-owner of the Cirrus. Edesess was an experienced pilot, and this was his second Cirrus. The passengers on board, Edesess's wife, son, and his son's girlfriend, were in the hospital with injuries but all were expected to survive.