P'quaint! asked in TravelAir Travel · 8 years ago

Why don't Airlines provide parachutes to every Passenger in flight?

What with aeroplanes crashing at alarming regularity...wouldn't it be prudent to throw out passengers through emergency exits, with chutes of course, as soon as pilots see a malfunction and feel the plane is going to crash?

What are the hurdles in implementing this most important safeguard? No-one survives in case of a plane-crash. Isn't it time to think of some ways to make air travel death-proof?!?

Any other ideas?

Thanks :)



Airlines do have provision for Oxygen masks to come down at a particular cabin pressure...and they do have floaters-kind of thingie under the seat which we are expected to grab and hold in case of emergency landing on sea/watery surface and pray! Stewards and stewardesses needn't hand parachute kits to each one. It should be there like seat belts. They only have to read out/enact instructions!

And you needn't jump from a great height. As the plane plummets at a great speed, doors should open at a chosen height and passengers pushed out!

Is that non-feasible too?

Well, recently Russian Sukhoi crashed in Indonesia...killing all. Then there was this one in Islamabad. Not to speak of Helicopter crashes...

Update 2:

@Blueboots: Don't worry! I'm just behind you! Together we'll land at some exotic place and have a blast! :))

As we say in Hindi: "Jaan hai to Jahaan hai!" (No translations...this is Perfect! LOL)

Update 3:

You are all obviously very smart and knowledgeable people :) You've worked out costs and space and all that. Now, why don't you think of some alternatives too, so that we can be jitters-free flying experience?!? Pretty Please! :))

13 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Below, is my take on parachutes...lol

    There was a plane with 4 passengers ,

    one Greek, one American, and one British

    with his 10 year old son..

    Suddenly pilot makes an announcement,

    gentlemen we have a technical problem and I urge you

    to take the three parachutes which we have and jump

    to save at least 3 of your lives...

    The American says, "well I am from California,

    and I will be the next governor and I cannot die"

    So he takes one parachute and jumps...

    Then the Greek guy says, "I have a large fleet

    of ships, I am very smart so I shouldn't die"

    So he takes one of the bags and jumps...

    Then the British father says, "son, I am old,

    you have to live and grow older, please take

    the last parachute and save yourself"...

    The 10 year old British boys says,

    "Daddy don't worry, we can jump together since

    we still have two parachutes"

    Father says "how comes son there was only three"???

    The kid says, "the very smart Greek guy took

    my school backpack and he jumped dad"

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  • 8 years ago

    So what good is parachuting without proper training beforehand?

    Also, how long does it take to exit the plane? Do you think everyone's going to have enough time to jump out of the plane?

    It's just not feasible.

    Also, if you're over the ocean, where do you propose landing? You now have jumped out of a plane without a life preserver... Do you plan on treading water for hours or days until someone finds you? You could be MILES from where your plane was last detected on radar.

    There are plenty of plane crash survivors. It happens.

    But, if you slam into the side of a mountain (as the Russian flight did), you're not going to survive. And no one knows if the pilot detected any trouble. People at the control tower only knew that it disappeared on the radar. The pilot likely didn't see anything when they slammed into the mountain.

    How would parachutes have helped?

    There's a risk of taking any kind of travel. Air Travel is still one of the safest possible forms of travel.

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  • 8 years ago

    Asked and answered many dozens of times on Y!A - use the search feature. It is a totally impractical idea.

    In addition to all of the excellent, spot on, answers that others have provided, there is the simple, practical consideration of weight and storage. If you want to give up ALL overhead bins so the chutes can be there, perhaps is it possible. That means NO carry ons except what goes under the seat. If you want carry on storage AND chutes, then they will be far fewer passengers on each plane and the tickets costs will be much higher, and fuel consumption and costs to the airline will be higher.

    Finally, there is little enough room in the aisle as it is. IF people had to get into the aisle to put on the chute, then it will be complete and total chaos. You could be assured that most people would not get them fastened properly, so they would fall out of the chute harness and die anyway.

    It is extremely rare that anyone knows 30 minutes ahead of time that the plane is going to crash. It would take at least that long to get most of the passengers into a harness.

    Finally, there has NOT been a fatal crash in the US in many years. The recent crash in Indonesia was NOT as scheduled flight, it was a demonstration flight.

    20 million or so flights every year across the world. 0 to 3 crashes a year of commercial planes. Not at all the way you characterize it.

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  • 8 years ago

    Multple reasons. The following list is not exhaustive:

    1. The aviation industry concentrates its efforts on preventing accidents, not on finding ways to improve their survivability. So far, this philosophy has made air travel one of the safest modes of transportation around.

    2. Using a parachute requires training, and the training is extensive enough that it cannot be given in a 60-second safety video.

    3. There are very few accident scenarios in which parachutes would be of any use to passengers or crew.

    4. In airplane accidents (as in most vehicular accidents), it's safer to stay with the airplane until it's on the ground than it would be to try to parachute away from it.

    5. Parachutes take up a great deal of space and add a lot of weight to the aircraft. They are also expensive and must be very carefully packed.

    6. The doors of most airliners are designed to be pressed tightly closed by cabin pressurization. The cabin must be depressurized to open them. And their placement is in appropriate for jumping from the aircraft while it is in flight—anyone jumping out would stand a good chance of being hit by some other part of the airplane.

    7. At cruise altitudes, supplementary oxygen is required for anyone parachuting out of the airplane. Additionally, hypothermia is a real risk. And the airplane would have to be slowed first to a speed near its stalling speed in order to permit people to parachute out.

    Other reasons could be given. Overall, parachutes are a totally impractical idea, just as crash helmets and fireproof suits are totally impractical ideas for bus passengers.

    And you're wrong about fatality rates. Typically 75% of passengers survive an airliner crash. And if the airplane is under positive control when it hits the ground and there is no fire, the survival rates are much higher.

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  • 8 years ago

    First, airplanes aren't crashing with alarming regularity. Air travel is maybe as safe as it's ever been.

    Second, while it's rare for there to be survivors in case of a big dramatic nosedivey crash, that is not where most air accidents happen. In fact, the deadliest accident in aviation history was the Tenerife airport disaster, which happened on the ground. And even in that accident there were 61 survivors. And there are plenty of times when the training and resourcefulness of the crew saved everyone on board. Look at British Airways Flight 9, Air Canada Flight 143, and US Airways Flight 1549.

    Also, the doors on modern jet aircraft are designed so that they literally cannot be opened while the plane is in flight. So there's no throwing passengers out the exits.

    Finally, I don't see how asking flight attendants, in the middle of a disorienting emergency situation, to strap parachutes onto hundreds of passengers and make sure they all get off the plane safely is a good idea. Have you ever been skydiving? It takes at least a little bit of training to make sure you're using the parachute right.

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  • 8 years ago

    Because parachutes are heavy and if airlines gave one to everyone, then the plane cannot carry as many passengers or cargo. Also not everyone is trained to use a parachute and the chances of an airplane crash have a much higher survivability rate. Thirdly airplanes are not crashing at an alarming rate. Tens of thousands of flights take-off and land each day without incident. Flying is still the safest form of transportation. Also if a plane was crashing, what makes you think you are able to get out of your seat. The G-forces will push you back into your seat. Also think of the chaos of 300+ people jumping out of a plane at the same time.

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  • 8 years ago

    It really isn't possible to have passengers jumping out of a commercial aircraft at 35,000ft as opening a door at that altitude would cause explosive decompression, and a lack of oxygen on your way down would also kill you. Plus most mid-air accidents occur below 5000ft which leaves you and the other couple hundred passengers with very little time to strap on your parachute and make it out while safely deploying your parachute. Having the crew teach every single passenger is also a problem because if you're on a 747 you have 400 other passengers that have to learn how to use a parachute and what if 5 or 6 have problems, that just leads to used up time and by then you've hit the ground already. And to spoil the whole concept of parachuting out of a commercial aircraft is that its just not designed to have people jumping out. Speed is one concern as jumping out at 500mph would literally knock you unconscious and even if you do get it low enough the plane would stall itself. And then again you would probably slam into a wing or elevator on your way out too so anyway its a loss-loss situation. That's a little summary about why they don't have parachute and I'm pretty sure there's tons of other reasons too.

    Source(s): Mother is a flight attendant
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  • Milton
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    There would be no way to use a parachute in a crash situation. Parachutes are fine when the plane is flying properly and the jumpers are trained. All that parachutes would becomes is very complex shrouds for airline passengers. It is not possible to dive from a plane that is already pointed down and in reality most crashes are in planes that have not gained altitude or ones that are lost somewhere and smash into something like a mountain.

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    Too funny. :)

    What am I gonna do with a parachute?

    At 37000 feet in the air, now is that turbulence or something more critical? Damn, I shoulda listened to that pre-flight "in case of emergency speech". Ok, my seat is also a floatation device, and the oxygen thing a mig will pop out the ceiling if I need it, I pull some string and tie it to my face an breathe. If only I could remember where they said the parachute was located, and how to operate that? Oh shiat, we're descending fast, they're mumbling something over the intercom about no engines, but I can't hear it with all the screaming on this plane. Where the frick is the parachute, how does it work, and how do I get out of this pressurized airplane cabin with it attached? And even if I did, what then?

    Hmmm...ok now I'm one of the passengers screaming hysterically...."jump out of a plane at 23000 feet with a bag attached to my back or chest or where-ever I'm supposed to strap it on? "

    Screams louder!!!....


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  • 8 years ago

    The reason passengers on an airplane are not given parachutes is similar to the reason all cars don't have ejector seats! Just plain and simply not feasible!

    Source(s): Ex Flight Purser
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