Shortly after takeoff Friday morning from Indianapolis Regional Airport, pilot Timothy Borrup’s Cirrus Vision Jet SF50 started sputtering and stalling — and the plane started to “nose up” and lose power.
That’s when Borrup, of Palm Bay, deployed the single-engine jet’s emergency parachute system.
A large orange-and-white parachute billowed into shape in the sky, attached to the front of the aircraft. And, sitting in the pilot’s seat, Borrup floated back earthward before splashing down in a retention pond near Interstate 70 west of Greenfield, Ind., the Hancock County Sheriff’s Office reported in a press release.
No injuries were reported in the unusual plane crash, which took place at 8:05 a.m. Friday northeast of Indianapolis, the National Transportation Safety Board reported.
Borrup, 54, was the plane’s lone occupant. The NTSB and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.
“The pilot reported that shortly after take-off, he experienced flight control difficulties and elected to deploy the aircraft’s parachute system,” the NTSB reported in a Saturday statement.
“The recovery process for the aircraft will start today, and it will be taken to an offsite facility for further analysis. The investigators expect to conclude their on-scene work in the next few days,” the statement continued.
The plane was enroute to Florida, the sheriff’s press release said. Upon landing, deputies on scene said, “Mr. Borrup was uninjured and only had wet feet from walking out of the pond.”
Attempts to contact Borrup were unsuccessful Saturday morning.
Hancock County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Robert Harris said FAA and NTSB investigators were removing electronics from the downed plane Saturday, including its “black box” flight data recorder.
Verijet, the charter company that owns the jet, said in a Friday Facebook post that Borrup was uninjured and in good spirits. He had pulled the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System off Runway 25 at Indianapolis Regional Airport, the post said.
“CAPS is one component of an envelope of safety that protects SF50 passengers and crew in all phases of the flight, including take-off and climb-out,” the post said.
“We are grateful for this outcome.”