A Parachute -- but No Jump Mayday!

When the engine conks, a new system lets pilots and passengers stay aboard and float to safety

Some people get their brainstorms while singing in the shower. Boris Popov had his during a death-defying plunge in a crashing hang-glider. "I was about 500 ft. up over Lake Owasso," says the Minnesota businessman of the 1977 accident. A powerboat that was towing his craft over the water throttled up too fast and literally pulled Popov's gossamer wings apart. "I got all caught up in the material and was petrified. I had a lot of time to think on the way down, and I promised myself that if I survived, I would figure out a way to develop some kind...

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