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Commercial planes can't have parachutes on board because of passenger safety

Commercial planes can't have parachutes on board because of passenger safety

They have oxygen and life jackets, why not parachutes?

Have you ever wondered why passengers on planes are never given parachutes in case of an emergency?

We're given life jackets and oxygen but nothing to help us get out of the giant tin can if it plummets to Earth. Well, there's a few very good reasons why:

If you think about it, surely having parachutes under our seats would go some way to alleviating the fears of those among us who are utterly terrified of flying.

And how hard can it be? You just strap yourself in and jump, right? Pull the chord and float effortlessly down to safety.

Sadly, not quite.

The reason why we're not handed these life-saving bits of kit when we hop onboard is for our own safety.

That might seem a little counterintuitive, but don't take our word for it, see what a professional pilot has to say about it.

Ethan Gregerson is an instructor structor, so knows what he's talking about when it comes to flight safety.

Looks easy, right?

In a post to his TikTok channel, he explained that there are a number of factors that mean it's just impractical for major airlines to install parachutes for passengers.

He says: "The reason they don't boils down to three main reasons.

"Now, the first and most important reason is because of air pressure at cruising altitude for most airliners. You'd need to overcome over 10,000 pounds of force to get the door open.

"The second reason is because of weight. According to Google, a parachute weighs about 31 pound. Because of that, in order to compensate for the added weight of the parachutes, you would probably be required to carry less weight as a passenger.

"The third and final reason we don't have parachutes on planes is simply because in the context of an emergency, none of us would know how to use them effectively."

Commercial planes don't provide parachutes for passengers.

I mean, when you think about it, it would be a struggle for everyone just to get the oxygen on their face, never mind having to whip a massive chute out and line up orderly to hop out.

In another video, the YouTube channel Science ABC said the freezing temperatures would also prove to be an issue.

They explained that most parachutists skydive from about 10,000 to 13,000ft up, while commercial planes level off at over 35,000ft, meaning it is much, much colder.

"The air at this altitude is very thin, which is why planes have pressurised cabins," the channel said.

"At that altitude the air temperature would be 40C to 50C below freezing, thus a parachutist 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."

They also also made the good point that the majority of plane crashes occur during take off and landing, so parachutes wouldn't really be any use.

Featured Image Credit: Joseph Gareri/Mauricio Graiki/Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Science, Travel, Viral, TikTok, YouTube