Advice to Ultralight Owners
Some customers buying an emergency parachute are unsure which model is the correct unit for their ultralight. To avoid confusion and errors, BRS would like to present some information.
BRS has six different sizes of parachutes and three containers in variations of their own. On top of these choices, BRS has created installations for more than 300 aircraft and every single one of these is slightly different from one another.
All of these choices are good. It means you can get a parachute system that is right for your needs and your aircraft. Yet how is a buyer to select properly?
BRS dealers are quite active and put effort into understanding the many variations of BRS units.
For most ultralight buyers, the following basic information should help you determine which system is best for your aircraft:
Determine your aircraft’s gross weight (not your empty weight). If you don’t know your gross weight, we recommend you don't fly until you do a weight-and-balance check.
BRS refers to gross weights published by your manufacturer. If your manufacturer says your ultralight can weigh 800 pounds, then we will require the BRS-900. BRS model numbers indicate their gross carrying capacity in pounds. You should always round up, never down, and if you live in a high elevation (like Denver), you should go up one size to compensate for the effects of density altitude. If you think you won’t fly very often at that weight (so you want a smaller, somewhat less expensive system), BRS will refuse to sell you the system. What if you need your parachute that one-and-only time you fly at max gross? Remember it is YOU who will come down under the canopy you bought, not anyone at BRS.
BRS also uses the top speed or Vne speed published by the manufacturer of your ultralight. If your manufacturer says your ultralight can fly 90 mph, then you should choose a BRS unit able to handle a minimum of that speed iF it is also correctly suited to the gross weight. Our literature always states both max weight and max speed for use of one of our systems.
If you change planes after you bought your parachute, your new plane may be outside the limits of your old parachute. Usually it is best to sell your parachute with your airplane and buy a new, correct unit for your new ultralight. If you do want to change systems, it is best to contact BRS directly for changed mounting hardware. Be advised: it is not always possible to swap parachutes among ultralights.
Some customers (and dealers) are also confused by BRS ordering procedures. BRS is organized as a build-to-order manufacturer. Because of the many variations, it is not reasonable to put units on the shelf (build-to-stock). As each unit is ordered, it is put in a production line and is built when the scheduled week arrives.
During the winter, the order process may take as little as two to four weeks. During the ultralight flying season, our orders increase and the turntime may be from six to eight weeks.
Due to the highly trained nature of BRS production employees, we cannot quickly add workers to keep production times short. Some dealers participate with BRS in a stock-in-place program where they keep “generic” units in stock until we can add the aircraft-specific mounting hardware and ship it to their customer. This can cut delays to as little as two weeks, but it depends on how well each dealer estimates which customers will ask for what unit. Stocking dealers include LEAF, Irwin International, Airtime (of San Diego), Airstar and Dewberry Aircraft. Others may also participate and BRS can supply other names as they join the program.
SHIPPING OF BRS UNITS
In 1998, the U.S. and all foreign governments extensively changed the rules about shipping rocket motors. BRS still can legally ship units anywhere in the United States or the world, but once those rocket motors have been delivered, you cannot reship it (unless you become a licensed shipper).
Please do not try to ship your rocket motor. Without a license, it cannot be done legally and the penalties are quite severe.
SERVICE OR REPACKING
When it’s time to repack your canopy, the rocket on your system can be removed and stored safely out of reach. Shipping the BRS unit without a rocket is simple and ordinary. After the unit has been serviced, customers will find it a fairly simple matter to reinstall the motor.
Older BRS-1, -2, -3, or -4 units must now be converted to BRS-5 units When the rocket motor on your BRS system expires, we will send a replacement motor (as part of your service charges). BRS will provide instructions on the correct disposal of the obsolete motor as well as instructions for the new motor.
SECOND CHANTZ OR HANDBURY SYSTEMS
We regret that due to the changes to shipping older rocket motors, BRS can no longer offer to service these older systems. In the past, BRS offered special consideration to owners of competing systems. Based on revised government rulings, BRS has ceased offering these arrangements.
CANISTER AND VLS:
Are longer lasting-- the new BRS-6 system has tested waterproof*, good because moisture is hard on parachutes;
• Need less frequent maintenance, with six-year repack cycles (six-year for VLS)
• Are easier to mount as they offer more options for positioning and aiming
• Are common installations for BRS allowing us to better support the owner’s effort
• Better weather resistance and UV protection
• Aerodynamically clean on exterior applications
Can slip into a few places where canister doesn't fit;
• 500 and 750 BRS softpacks can be repacked by any qualified rigger.
• 600,800,900,1050, 1350 and 1500 BRS softpacks require a hydraulic press to repack (except for Trike Softpack). Softpacks weigh less than Canisters or VLS systems
• BRS-6 Canister and VLS units are waterproof if factory seal remains intact.
WHERE CANOPIES INFLATE
Much confusion exists about where canopies fill with air. Lots of smart pilots see that the parachute ends up above the airplane, so they figure the rocket motor should be aimed straight up. This is incorrect.
Think of it this way: If you throw a lightweight object out of your ultralight, where will it go? Behind you (at least assuming you are flying forward). So, if you throw a parachute out, where will it go? Behind you.
True, for a short while, an upward fired rocket will pull the parachute upward. But as soon as the airflow can, it will begin pulling the parachute downwind of the aircraft.
BRS often aims units downward This makes sense for a number of reasons: missing the prop; working with gravity; more likely to avoid debris in the case of structural failure; and lots of places to securely fasten a unit.