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Plane Equipped With Cirrus Airframe Parachute System Crashes in Upshur County

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BUCKHANNON -

No one was hurt in Saturday's plane crash in Upshur County, and officials said it's all due to one piece of equipment.

The plane had a parachute system the pilot, James Meadows, 30, of Hendersonville, TN deployed after his plane's engine failed.

The plane is unique because it's the only one equipped to lower itself to the ground in an emergency.

Meadows was trying to land the Cirrus SR-22 aircraft at the Upshur County Regional Airport.

"I must have an angel looking over me somewhere," said King.

That comment from Billy King, 42, of Buckhannon sums it up for him after he and Meadows escaped injuries after the plane had the engine failure, and hit King's truck and crashed on Brushy Fork Road.

The Cirrus SR-22 is popular with air charter and small air taxi carriers as well as private individuals and companies. It's best known for being equipped with the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System or (CAPS).

"5,500 airplanes are equipped with it. It's not something unique to the Cirrus in the sense that this something that could be added to many other types of airplanes. Unfortunately in the marketplace very few others have, so the Cirrus is somewhat special in the regards that it has this emergency recovery system," said Rick Beach of Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association.

The CAPS provides an additional level of safety for the Cirrus design SR 22 fleet. However, it is not a guarantee. But in this case the outcome proved that the system does work.

"He jumped out, I was getting out. I sat there for a few minutes and saw what was going on, and I seen him get out. So he seem all right to me," King said.

Beach said another parachute system deployment happened Monday in France.

That brings the number of saves with this aircraft to 40 with 83 survivors.