David Lawrence - Starkville, Mississippi
Test pilot David Lawrence, Director of Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, was concluding roll rate test flights when he heard a loud explosion. The explosion was a ballistic recovery system (BRS) that activated in case the wings came off the airplane. Typically when there is a BRS the pilot would not be wearing a parachute, however Mr. Lawrence was wearing his ParaCushion 305 Chair as the BRS had not been fully tested.
At the time of wing separation Mr. Lawrence was flying at around 162 kts in a 45 degree nose down attitude pulling about 2.5 Gs. When the BRS activated it caused an instant deceleration and the pilot and seat were catapulted through the front of the aircraft.
Next thing he remembered was being out of the airplane, free of the debris and he pulled the ripcord. He was about 500 ft. when the canopy opened. As he cleared the top of the trees he remembers thinking "this is going to be a hard landing," but after landing he was surprised to realize that he was uninjured. He unstrapped, and walked out of the woods with only small cuts and bruises!