Parachute deployed, no injuries in Florida crash of a Pipistrel aircraft owned by Mesa Airlines

Two people escaped injury on Monday in Cross City, Florida when a Pipistrel aircraft registered to Mesa Airlines made an emergency crash landing in a residential area with the apparent use of a plane parachute system.

A Facebook post by the Dixie County, Florida Sheriff’s Office states that both occupants of the plane were not injured in the incident, nor was anyone hurt on the ground. Images from law enforcement show the parachute deployed and some damage to the front of the aircraft.

The FAA Aviation Safety Information Analysis and Sharing database states that the aircraft encountered strong winds, experienced engine issues and deployed its parachute.

FAA records show the plane is registered to Mesa Airlines, which recently announced a purchase order of 29 Pipistrel Alpha Trainer 2 aircraft with an option to buy an additional 75 over the next year for its pilot training program.

While the aircraft in the crash had decals identifying it as a Pipistrel Velis Club aircraft, the all-electric model developed by the now-Textron-owned manufacturer, FAA records identify it as a Pipstrel Virus SW model, which is powered by a four-cylinder piston engine. The aircraft can be equipped with a parachute system that can be used close to terrain, according to the Pipistrel website.

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