Military pilots and commercial pilots ejecting?

why do only Military pilots eject in an emergency and not commercial pilots isn't it unfair in a way that commercial planes cockpits are not made with that facility. Will we see in the future commercial planes being built with ejection facility for both cockpit and passengers. I have heard in ships captain leaves the ship last, will it be possible for passenger planes to have a similar system. In passenger planes passengers are shown how to use a life jacket may be show them how to use a parachute, either way its a do die situation what would be your thoughts or similar Thank you all


Zaphod unlike you I am just getting the moneys worth from answers .com you could be a professor I am a student

10 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    An ejection seat is required for military plane because they are expected to be shot at.

    Commercial aircraft do not have a requirement for survivability when their wing is blown off from missile fire; usually, commercial aircraft usually avoid flying in zones where they could be fired on.

    Fighter aircraft have short range; one of the longest range aircraft in that category have a ferry range (zero armament, full internal AND external fuel, i.e. 3 drop tanks) is the F-15, and that is 3000 NM.

    That is the range of the shortest range 737 next generation model, but with full payload/passengers.

    In other words, military aircraft compromise their payload and/or range with the ejection seat, which is about as heavy as the luggage of a typical passenger.

    Then, since it is equipped with lots of gadgets (drogue chute, seat belt auto release, oxygen supply, not to mention the ejector rocket system itself) anyone strapped into an ejector seat has to go through a certain number of training session before they are allowed to fly.

    Then you have several safety considerations.

    - fighter aircraft are most usually single seaters. Which means that when the crew escapes, the rocket blast from the seat is not cooking people seating right behind, or right besides, which would be the case in an airliner. Unless you have everyone eject at the same time, which would probably involve some interesting ejection seat collision right above.

    - Then you have this interesting looking bright red handle. How are you going to ensure that kids (or complete moron adults) are not going to pull on them, just for kicks? How are you going to ensue that people will not trip on them, when leaving their seat to go to the washroom?

    - ejection seats have to be fitted to the person using them. Most have a maximum weight capacity of about 250 lb (many passengers are over that weight). They also have a lower weight of occupant to remain stable, the Martin Baker Mk-10, for instance, requires the person to weight a minimum of 152 lb; too bad if you are traveling with young kids. Or you very tall friend, since they also have height restriction, usually in the range 5 ft 4 to 6 ft 4 (actually, even those values are subjected to restrictions, someone who is 6 ft 4 but with slightly longer legs in proportion than the average would have to kiss his knees and the rest of his legs good-bye as they will not be ejected with the rest of the body...)

    - ejection seats users wear a helmet, and oxygen mask, and a G-suit. That is because ejection at 35000 ft altitude at 600 mph is a rather harsh experience that is not survivable without protective gear.

    - ejection seats require a path to get out of the plane. Fighters have a canopy that is already hinged to board the plane and can be jettisoned just before ejection (as part of ejection sequence), except in the cases where the seat has a break-the-canopy fitting to burst through or other similar system to clear the way. Airliners have luggage compartments overhead (have you ever actually flown in your life?). People are already upset when custom and safety officials go through their luggage, imaging the passenger sitting next to you physically passing through your suitcases on the way out. And good luck passing though the structural aluminium alloy that is designed to be able to stand to the 7 pounds per square inch pressure differential.

    Now, ask yourself: how often have you heard of a commercial flight where occupants could have been saved if they were to jump out in a parachute, let alone an ejection seat? Most accidents occur at low altitude, during take off and landing, and so quickly that no one, not even the pilot who is supposed to be aware of everything that is happening, have time to react and jump out.

    Also consider the fact that the military uses several converted civilian planes for thinks like AWACS, fuel tanker, and cargo. None of them are fitted with ejection seats, even if they are expected to sometime have to fly in combat zones.

    Have you heard of a pilot union asking for ejection seats? Do you wonder why they never did?

    The answer is that it is because they know:

    - it is impractical

    - it is dangerous (more so than the risk of crash, in fact they would increase the rate of crash)

    - it does not make any sense whatsoever

    - it will not work, period

    Source(s): Aerospace engineer
  • 8 years ago

    So in a big airliner you need to eject 400 people at a time ? To do this each passenger has to be strapped into an ejection seat with full harness (all the time they are flying) and wear helmets and oxygen masks. In addition you would need explosive devices to blow the whole roof off the plane so that the seats could deploy without killing everyone. Edit.... sorry that 400 passenger airliner is now going to only carry less than 200 people cos of the weight of the ejection seats and parachutes. So your fare is more than doubled- probably quadrupled given the costs of ejection seat maintenance and inspection. And if you are not a fit young military pilot the injuries caused by rocket boosted ejection will cause injuries which will mean you won't survive when you do get down to the sea and hopefully use the lifejacket. And even fit young military pilots sometimes don't survive this procedure .

    Think again or take the boat/train

  • Lesus
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    Commercial aircraft rarely if ever encounter situations where the chances of survival would be improved by ejecting, and it's hard to imagine how a plane could be designed to be safe with 100 or more ejection seats, not to mention the what happens to people at the site where a plane crashes after the crew and passengers have ejected.

  • 8 years ago

    There are few emergency scenarios in which a commercial pilot would benefit from leaving the aircraft via an ejection seat, and there are so few problems in commercial flights to begin with that adding ejection seats would make no sense. Military pilots are much more often in harm's way with different mission profiles and thus might benefit from ejection seats, but even in the military, transport-category aircraft don't normally have such seats.

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  • 8 years ago

    Ejection seats are put in aircraft that that are involved in combat or would not be survivable in the case of a system failure. Remember though that many military aircraft, such as cargo aircraft and tankers, don't have ejection seats.

    Ejection seats for passenger aircraft would be totally impractical. The seats are heavy, and could easily kill or severely injure some people (ie the elderly, children, disabled persons). Parachutes would be useless too, as most crashes occur during takeoff or landing, when you are too low to use a parachute.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    A military aircraft is designed and built to fly in a hostile environment where the greatest danger comes from either enemy action or low level flying. The fact that an occupant can survive an accident during peacetime is entirely coincidental.

    Passenger aircraft would be able to carry only about half of the passengers they do now as a basic ejection seat weighs approximately 350lbs. On initiation of the ejection sequence a rocket pack bolted to the underside of the seat burns at about 3000 degrees centigrade immediately incinerating anything in the vicinity. Adjoining seats could not be initiated sequentialy due to the danger of a collision after ejection and the stresses placed upon the airframe prior to all the seats being initiated (it would fold in upon itself ). In addition each seat carries in the region of 12 explosive cartridges for various systems, a handy source of explosives for acts of terrorism.

    We will never see commercial aircraft with ejection seats.

    Source(s): 23 years RAF armourer 12 of which spent working on the MK10 ejection seat.
  • 8 years ago

    Only military jets with ejection seats get to eject; that doesn't include cargo aircraft. And you're not going to teach Edna or Gramma how to parachute into a storm in a pre-flight briefing she's not paying attention to anyway.

  • 8 years ago

    The only military planes that have ejection seats are the ones that fly into hostile airspace typically. Military transports don't have ejection seats.

    They are a convenient feature though when the pilot doing an airshow routine miscalculates his top gate altitude....

  • 8 years ago

    There you go thinking again, Ted. Don't you have a secretary to drive home?

  • 8 years ago

    Your ignorance is overwhelming. I'll leave it to the others to point out your naivety.

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