Just a routine test flight, . . . but I think I'll wear my own parachute today, I thought. I would be flying that sleek ultralight sailplane parked on our ramp at the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, an aeronautical research unit associated with Mississippi State University, continuing a series of fairly innocuous aileron-roll tests. Yes, the airplane had a built-in ballistic recovery system (BRS)--a parachute packed into a compartment just aft of the cockpit--that could be deployed ...

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