Ballistic parachute

A rescue system (English ballistic recovery system, BRS ) is used in aviation to enable event of technical problems the survival of the occupants of the aircraft by the entire aircraft with the passengers can float on a parachute to the ground.

System and requirements

Total recovery systems consist of a rocket that, when necessary, by hitting the aircraft wall at a breaking point and a very large round canopy parachute from the aircraft pulls, which is designed for the total weight of the aircraft and its passengers. The challenge in the design of a total reserve system is to slow down after releasing the aircraft from a possibly high speed without overloading the airframe, as well as to keep the rate of descent on the screen so small that the impact does not entail any serious injury to the occupants by itself.

Total recovery systems work very well and very fast even in low altitudes at which a parachute jump from the plane of temporal or physical reasons ( load factor ) would not be possible until impact.

Areas of application

The requirements for total recovery systems mean that they are currently only available for light and slow aircraft. This includes especially Ultralight and some single-engine passenger aircraft types such as Cirrus SR22 and currently an available system for gliders.

Terms in Germany

Total recovery systems require an authorization in Germany included extensive testing.

For Ultralight (except ultralight gyroplane ) is according to the rules of procedure for aeronautical equipment ( LuftBO ) § 3 required the installation of an approved total rescue system.


About 170 European air athletes (as of 8/2004 ) owe their lives to this total recovery systems.


Small air sports equipment, such as hang gliders, are equipped for rescue purpose usually have a simple parachute.