Parachute

Do Pilots have Parachutes?

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No, airplane pilots usually do not have parachutes. There have been many instances in the past of pilots not having parachutes even when they needed one. 

The KC-135 was a US Air Force airplane, which was built in such a way that the pilots will not need to bail out of the plane mid-air. They said there was a 99.9% chance that the parachute will not be used. 

Soon after its takeoff, the KC-135 Stratotanker crashed on January 16, 1965, in Wichita, Kansas. This crash resulted in the deaths of all 7 of its crew members and made the US Air Force seriously reconsider its no-parachute policy.

Why don’t pilots have parachutes?

The major reason that pilots do not carry parachutes is that their flight patterns are much different from a planned skydiving expedition. 

The usual flight pattern for any airplane, commercial or Air Force, requires maintaining an altitude of at least 30,000 feet, which is much higher than the recommended altitude for skydiving (about 15,000 feet). 

At 30,000 feet, Oxygen and temperature are well below habitable level, and jumping out of an airplane at this height might result in hypoxia that causes unconsciousness, and eventually death.

The reason fighter pilots in WW2 had parachutes (with the exception of Japanese kamikaze pilots) was because they flew at much lower altitudes than commercial planes do now.

Are there parachutes for pilots?

Parachute manufacturing corporations make sure that anyone with the proper training to use parachutes can operate one if needed.

There are no special parachutes for pilots, but they can use the regular ones if they want as there is mostly no difference between the two.

Why don’t commercial planes carry parachutes?

No, commercial plane pilots do not have parachutes. Having a parachute or not having one on a commercial flight makes no difference.

It is not possible for a pilot to jump out of an airplane while it is flying. So, pilots usually don’t get parachutes.

Can you survive falling out of the plane without a parachute?

No, if you fall from a great height, you die. This applies to airplanes as well.

When you fall from a great height, you gain acceleration and momentum before hitting the ground. If you had a parachute, you would be able to reduce that momentum mid-air before you hit the ground, so you don’t break your bones. But without a parachute, your fall ends with a SPLAT! 

Which planes have parachutes?

When we talk about Commercial flights, none of them carry parachutes as it would increase the cost exponentially to have a parachute for each passenger. 

Only US Air Force planes and some private jets have parachutes for passengers, but these too are not mandatory. This happens under special instructions or when a higher authority figure boards the flight.

Do small planes have parachutes?

Small planes are usually used as private jets for rich people or government-employed high-authority personnel. 

When a person of such background boards the flight, the small airplanes are given special instructions to keep parachutes handy in case of an accident. 

Can you put a parachute on a Cessna?

You are allowed to carry parachutes for yourself on any kind of flight, commercial or private. While most fliers do not know this, you have a right to carry a small one-person parachute for yourself on any flight.

But, you probably won’t need a parachute on a Cessna as these planes already have parachutes for whole planes which automatically eject in case of engine failure.

Do cargo planes have parachutes?

No, cargo airplanes do not have parachutes. This is because the crew and the Pilots are usually around the cockpit area, which is far away from the main door.

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In the time that they would take to get a parachute and run to the door, they will most likely not make it. Besides this, cargo airplanes are the same as commercial airplanes and fly at the same altitude. Jumping out of an airplane at this height will result in hypoxia.

Whole plane parachutes

Whole plane parachutes are those parachutes that are built-in into the airplane itself and self-eject when they detect engine failure.

They are helpful and work for small planes because their weight is much lighter than commercial aircraft, and they also carry much lesser passengers than any commercial flight, which reduces the weight even more.

What planes have built-in parachutes?

In the late 1990s, the Cirrus airplane manufacturing company introduced airplanes with built-in parachutes. This was a new back then that none of the airplane companies had thought to consider.

This system was named Cirrus Aircraft Parachute System or CAPS. Cirrus Airlines have also given permission to BR180s and 170s to use this technology in their airplanes. 

Are small planes safe Reddit

Reddit users are, at the end of the day, humans as well, and are concerned about their safety while on a flight. Thus, they took to their favorite platform to have a discussion about whether or not small planes are safe to use.

You can read the discussion here.

FAQ relating to Do pilots have parachutes

Here are some frequently asked questions about whether or not pilots have parachutes, along with their answers. 

Do Pilots carry parachutes?

No, pilots do not carry parachutes. Commercial plane pilots and cargo plane pilots and other crew do not carry parachutes.

Commercial planes and cargo planes do not have whole airplane parachutes or built-in parachutes that may save lives in case of a catastrophic event either. Only some small planes have built-in parachutes.

Why do pilots not fly with parachutes?

Pilots do not fly with parachutes because the height at which they fly is over 30,000 feet, where the oxygen level is very less, and the temperature goes down to below -56°C. 

Jumping out of an airplane at this height in the air may mean certain death. The other reason why airplane pilots do not carry parachutes is that parachutes are not very cheap, and an airline company will have to spend a lot of money to ensure that each pilot will have parachutes for themselves, which too will most probably never be used, or if it is it won’t save lives. 

Can a parachute save you in a plane crash?

It is most unlikely that a parachute will save you in a plane crash. During a military operation, the troops exiting through the aircraft need at least eight minutes of steady flying to get into gear, position themselves so they don’t fall on their backs, and jump out.

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If you are caught in a plane crash situation, chances are that you will never get an appropriate flying condition to jump out of the aircraft in mid-air, deploy the parachute, and land safely. Besides that, operating a parachute requires some training that passengers usually don’t have. You will most probably not be saved by a parachute in a plane crash.

If you are curious to learn how a parachute operates, here is a step-by-step guide about how to deploy a parachute and land safely.

• Step 1: Fit the Harness properly. The harness is designed to distribute the shock you feel when you first jump into the air evenly through your body.

• Step 2: Keep an oxygen cylinder handy for high-altitude bail-outs to beat hypoxia. Wear thick clothing to maintain temperature and absorb air resistance.

• Step 3: Gain stability in free fall. The face and the body should be parallel to the earth.

• Step 4: Maintain this stable position till deployment height is achieved. 

• Step 5: When you feel that you are at a height at which you should open the parachute, look at the rip-cord, grasp it with your right hand, and place your left hand on your waist. 

• Step 6: Pull your legs together, and hold your chin down. The parachute will open. If it is an automatic one, it will automatically open at a certain height. 

• Step 7: Maintain your balance by pulling the right and left strings for correct orientation. Pull your legs up for increasing your rate of descent. 

• Step 8: Take a look at your open canopy parachute. If it has multiple holes in it, then your rate of descent will be faster. 

• Step 9: If your canopy did not fully open or gets stuck, you will have to yank it open manually. 

• Step 10: Maintain a 45 degrees angle from the ground to have a perfect landing.

• Step 11: Plan your landing technique in advance. Check your drift, oscillation, and planing. You can land in an open terrain position, the bush position, or on water. When landing on water, do not quickly release your chute as hitting the water from a great height may cause a lot of pain and even death.

• Step 12: Keep a life jacket handy in case of a water landing.

Do fighter pilots wear parachutes?

US Air Force fighter pilots carry parachutes now as standard operating procedure. This was introduced as a mandate in the US military after the crash of KC-135 in 1965 that killed 7 of its crew members, including the pilot.

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The aircraft was claimed to be “uncrashable” and that there was no chance that the pilots would need to use parachutes. This claim was made by an 80 years old ex-military pilot at the time, who had served in the second world war. After the crash, it was made compulsory for all fighter planes that they will include a parachute in the necessary equipment before taking off.

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