Reply to post: Re: Personal parachute

Why a detachable cabin probably won’t save your life in a plane crash

Martin Gregorie Silver badge

Re: Personal parachute

Actually, parachutes are NOT typically used in GA[*] aircraft, mainly because egress is too difficult. Most small GA aircraft only have one small door with the tailplane directly behind the middle of it. So, even if there was space to wear parachutes in comfort, its quite likely the crash would be found with one passenger hung on the tailplane and everybody else still in a scrum by the door.

I've never been offered a parachute in any GA aircraft, not even in a Tiger Moth, from which egress is easy (undo your straps and roll inverted). However, I have a feeling that aerobatic pilots may wear 'chutes, not that this affects passengers, since most aerobatic planes are single seat.

Oddly, gliders are the only class of civil aircraft in which all occupants routinely wear parachutes; in the UK and Europe anyway. In the UK this was uncommon before the mid/late '90s, but that changed after a training glider was destroyed by a lightning strike which both occupants survived because they were wearing 'chutes. This caused a sudden rethink... Besides, gliders are relatively easy to get out of (jettison the canopy, climb out and over the side).

[*] GA stands for General Aviation. This term covers all engine-powered, non-commercially operated aeroplanes and helicopters.

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