Why there’s no parachute in commercial aircraft?

18 Answers

  • I can think of many reasons,

    1) if everyone was issued a parachute then the weight of all those parachutes in a plane of 200 to 400 people would weigh many tonnes limiting passenger numbers and pushing ticket prices up as there would be less seats available.

    2) there would be problems controlling the plane as all the people moved towards exits to jump affecting the balance of an already hard to control plane.

    3) people jumping out of the plane at the front would likely be sucked into the engines causing more problems for an attempted controlled crash.

    4) you cannot just jump from a plane flying at 550mph. As jet fighters became able the fly at 550mph it was realised pilots could no longer parachute to safety and they realized they would need rocket powered ejector seats to fire the pilot clear of the aircraft to prevent the pilot being hit by the fast moving aircraft.

    5) Even if they could parachute clear in the short time they might have to clear the plane very few would actually get clear as if the plane was falling from the sky it would be likely only 30 seconds before the plane hit the ground. Imagine all the ladies and weak men who would baulk at the door blocking the entrance. Some passengers are stupid trying to take their luggage with them causing aisles to become blocked. Those not strapped in in a crash have no hope of survival.

    6) if the pilot still has some control of the plane there is a better chance of surviving by staying strapped in your seat. The pilot may be able to bring the aircraft in for a controlled crash landing and many people may survive.

    7) If there is an emergency who decides when to start letting people to parachute away. The pilot may still have some control while panicky passengers suddenly jump and start flowing to the emergency exits unbalancing the plane. There have been plane emergencies where the plane lost control of its tailplane but managed to keep the plane flying by delicate power control of the motors who have actually made it to an airport and crashed but many people survived. If people suddenly panicked and started moving around the plane it would have been impossible to control the plane and all would have perished.

    8) when the emergency exits are operated the emergency slides operate and these would add to the problem if they deployed in a hard to control situation as these huge inflated things hung out of each exit.

    9) maybe the area below the plane is too dangerous to parachute into such as the middle of an ocean or into a frozen waste land or even a dense impenetrable jungle.

    I am sure there are more reasons for not jumping than jumping. We hear so much about the very few aircraft that crash killing all onboard but most crashes happen near the ground where parachuting is not an option and the fact is a good percentage of those passengers survive. Flying on passenger aircraft with a reputable Airline is much safer than driving to your destination and I am sure it would not worry you driving a trip.

  • its almost impossible to parachute off commercial plane

  • The space and weight of a multitude of parachutes prohibits packing them along. Then there is the training of passengers to use them and…….

  • Don’t listen to all those people on here who think they are experts. Parachutes aren’t on airplanes because of the expense. The technology is there, but the will isn’t. Most airplane malfunctions happen at cruise altitude, so this would be a good idea. Its a shame manufactures wont spend $200 on a simple parachute!

  • Not this clueless question again.

  • what for?

    it’s rarely more than a few milliseconds from “uh oh!” to SPLAT. in a recent incident here in canada (link) many passenger injuries were due to them not being in the brace position, because the flight crew had no idea something bad was about to happen.

    my usual challenge stands: please provide an example of an incident where parachutes would have made a difference. investigation reports are public. go for it.

  • It is not practical on many levels.

    Most airplane accidents happen during take off or landing phases of flight. Even if it was hypothetically possible for 300 people to buckle on their parachutes, hook up to the static line and shuffle to the doors in an orderly manner, there just wouldn’t be enough time to get every one off in time.

    Military transports used to drop paratroopers are equipped with heavy air stream deflectors at the rear door. Jumping out of the plane without such deflector will slam the jumper against the fuselage, an impact that will most likely be fatal. Passenger planes are not equipped with such deflectors.

    Using a parachute requires training. Are you seriously proposing to put every man, woman and child (that’s over seven billion people and raising) through this training before they set foot aboard the plane? Even if you did manage to train seven billion people to use parachutes and equip every plane to be able to drop parachutists, can you imagine what would happen if a full load of passengers jumps out of an A380 over North Pacific? They’ll be scattered over hundreds of square miles. So, in addition to jump training, we also need to train everyone in jungle, arctic, desert and ocean survival and also provide survival gear to every passenger. Essentially, that means giving an equivalent of special forces training to every human being on this planet.

    It is much cheaper, easier, and infinitely more practical to institute design, maintenance and training measures to make sure that the planes don’t crash in the first place.

  • Why there’s no BRAIN in the person asking this question?

  • Parachuting takes training and practice which most people don’t have, so it’s actually safer to remain in the aircraft while a trained, skillful pilot like Sully lands the whole plane as best he can.

  • I’ve asked the same question. I think because it would be too hard to escort all of those people one by one. Especially if they don’t know how to use the parachute. So basically not enough time or patience. They’d rather them crash and burn.

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