By Matthew Everett
Aerobatics are fun and exciting, but there is a very serious side to performing aerobatics — sometimes things break. An Argentine airshow pilot recently faced one of the scariest situations flying has to offer after the wing of his Rans S-9 separated from the airframe in flight. The good news is that he had installed a BRS ballistic parachute in the aircraft and he escaped with only a burned foot.
The pilot, Dino Moline, came out of the incident with minor injuries, but the airplane is likely down for the count. Moline was performing for more than 3,500 spectators at Show Aereo 2010. The event, which took place in the northeastern Argentine town of El Trebol, was sponsored by a local flying club.
The pilot was flying a RANS S-9, a popular kit-built aerobatic plane. According to the kit manufacturer, the aircraft is rated for +6 and -4 Gs. The wing separated during an inverted, negative-G maneuver as the pilot pushed into an outside loop. The entire event was captured on video where seconds after the wing spearates, the parachute is deployed.