The Cirrus Vision SF50 aircraft floated to safety and landed in a retention pond after the Florida pilot experienced engine trouble. Hancock County Sheriff’s Department
The Cirrus Vision SF50 aircraft floated to safety and landed in a retention pond after the Florida pilot experienced engine trouble. Hancock County Sheriff’s Department
HANCOCK COUNTY — It had to be a sight to see — a small airplane attached to a large parachute floating through the sky early Friday morning.

However, the incident no doubt made a pilot from Florida feel pretty thankful and downright lucky after he was able to walk away from his aircraft when the plane was back safely on the ground. Well… make that safely in the water.

The plane took off around 8 a.m. Friday, Nov. 25 and a few minutes later the pilot deployed a parachute, floated down and landed safely in a retention pond following an emergency.

Shortly after takeoff from the Indianapolis Regional Airport, 3867 N Aviation Way, Greenfield, pilot Timothy Borrup, 54, Palm Bay, Fla., told officials he experienced engine issues in the Cirrus Vision SF50 aircraft and headed back to the airport for an emergency landing.

Hancock County Sheriff Department Major Robert Campbell said the plane appeared to be stalling out, so the pilot deployed a parachute from the front nose of the plane and ended up right-side up in the water. The aircraft was able to float down and landed near 6508 W. FW Marks Dr., Greenfield, near the Carvana Inspection Center.

“It landed in a retention pond area there,” Campbell said. “Fortunately, no one was hurt and, remarkably, there was no property damage accept to the plane in the pond.”

Officials from the Buck Creek Township Fire Department immediately responded to the incident. Public information officer Rob White noted there were over 100 gallons of fuel onboard the plane that officials needed to clean up.

“We have absorbent materials out for safety,” White said.

As for how the incident turned out, considering what could have happened if the small plane did not have a parachute or had landed elsewhere near the airport which is surrounded by several businesses, White said, “Yes, I think he was lucky,” when asked if things could have ended far worse.

The Cirrus Vision jet is unique in that it comes with a parachute. The plane is estimated to cost anywhere from $2 to $5 million. According to the aircraft website, the SF50 features a handle that deploys a whole-aircraft parachute, a last resort when things go terribly wrong. Through April, Cirrus estimated that its Airframe Parachute System had saved 129 lives on its piston aircraft since the late 1990s.

“I think it’s rather unique, some of these smaller planes with parachutes,” Campbell said. “You don’t see that every day.”
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