Plane uses parachute after engine fails, saving all six on board including baby

Rescuers found the four adults and two children — one just three days old — dazed but unharmed

A demonstration of the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System in operation. Its recent deployment saved six people in Brazil. Photo: Cirrus Aircraft
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Six people on board a light aircraft had a lucky escape in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, after the plane was forced to make an emergency landing using a parachute.

The single-engine propeller aircraft was filmed by onlookers floating to Earth near jungle-covered hills in the southern province of Minas Gerais, saved by a device called the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System.

Footage of the incident was posted on Twitter on Saturday by Aeroin, a Brazilian aviation news service.

Members of the fire service were first to the scene and found the four adults and two children — one just three days old — dazed but unharmed following the crash, which was reportedly due to engine failure.

They were travelling in a US-made Cirrus SR22, which comes fitted with the safety system.

It is not the first time Cirrus aircraft have been saved by the parachute system, which is designed primarily to save the occupants but does not necessarily protect the plane from damage on impact.

Aircraft fitted with the system also have an emergency side door in case the main doors are blocked after crash landing.

Last month, another Cirrus light aircraft in Brazil had to use its parachute after developing engine trouble, saving those on board.

In 2014, a Cirrus parachute was used over Australia’s Blue Mountains, saving the three people on board. The aircraft dropped more than a kilometre before landing in a garden.

Last year, the company's Vision Jet SF50, a seven-seater jet aircraft, encountered severe turbulence near Kissimmee Gateway Airport in Orlando, Florida, and successfully used its parachute to land safely in a swampy area. The three occupants were uninjured.

Updated: March 14, 2023, 6:09 PM