3 Good Reasons: Why We Don't Get Parachutes on Commercial Flights

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.08 - 2023 7:58 AM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
Why We Don't Get Parachutes on Commercial Flights.

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Have you ever wondered why passengers on planes are never given parachutes in case of an emergency? We do get life vests and oxygen, but nothing to help us get out of the giant metal bird if it's plummeting towards the ground.

Perhaps, there are a few people with a fear of flying who would find some comfort in having a parachute nearby in case of an accident?

Yes, it's not straightforward to just jump with a parachute, but they could just add a section about this part of the evacuation when going through all the safety procedures before takeoff.

Well, it turns out, there are a few (very!) good reasons why there are no parachutes on board passenger planes, and they all have one thing in common:

It's for OUR safety!

The Three Reasons

According to Pensionist, the first and most important reason is due to the air pressure at the cruising altitude of most passenger planes. You would need more than 4400 kilograms of force to open the door at that height.

Next is the weight. According to Google, a parachute weighs around 14 kg. With so much extra weight per passenger, you would likely be restricted in how much you can have in your baggage.

The third and last reason there are no parachutes on planes is simply because no one would know how to use them effectively in an emergency situation.

The Temperatures

A video on the YouTube channel Science ABC explains that temperature would also prove to be a problem.

Most skydivers jump from around 10,000 to 13,000 feet, while commercial planes usually maintain altitudes over 35,000 feet, meaning it is much, much colder.

"The air at this altitude is very thin, which is why planes have pressurized cabins," it is explained in the video.

"At that altitude, the air temperature would be between minus 40 and minus 50 degrees Celsius, so a skydiver jumping out of a commercial plane would not only need a portable oxygen supply, but they would also need a special suit to protect against the freezing cold temperature."

Additionally, they also mentioned the quite telling detail that most plane crashes happen during takeoff and landing - and there, parachutes would have a limited effect.

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