2017 Joseph T. Nall Award Presented to Boris Popov

Boris Popov delivers his presentation and speech after receiving the Nall Award.
Photo credit to Robert and Jeanine Feldman.


Each year, the Joseph T. Nall Award is presented to someone who has made a special contribution air and transportation safety over the course of their career. This year, the IATSBA board is pleased to present the 2017 Nall award to BORIS POPOV, founder and chairman emeritus of BRS Aerospace.

Mr. Popov’s pioneering work with whole-aircraft ballistic parachute systems is one of the signature achievements in general aviation safety over the last 30 years. After a hang gliding accident nearly killed him, Mr. Popov had the idea for a parachute system that could make aviation safer. He then worked tirelessly to test, certify and build BRS’s trademark parachute system, eventually founding Ballistic Recovery Systems Inc., now BRS Aerospace, in 1980. BRS’s products have since been installed in thousands of aircraft and even become standard in all Cirrus planes. Mr. Popov’s innovative idea and relentless advocacy for the adoption and proper use of ballistic parachutes has saved hundreds of lives, and counting.

Mr. Popov was presented with his award in Seattle at this year’s IATSBA GALA Dinner. His acceptance speech and presentation on the genesis of BRS’s parachute system, the long and ongoing process of securing FAA approvals, and the difficulties of defending the products’ efficacy against questionable lawsuits was well received by all in attendance. The question and answer portion of the night was, as always, lively and illuminating for all involved.

The International Air & Transportation Safety Bar Association board and all of its members would like to congratulate Mr. Popov on this achievement and thank him for his significant contributions to aviation safety.


The video that accompanied Mr. Popov’s presentation can be found on Cirrus’s website by clicking here.