Are There Parachutes On Planes?

When it comes to the world of aviation and the features that will appear on-air transport, many people will wonder if airplanes have parachutes.

Are There Parachutes On Planes

We always see in action films that parachutes are often pulled from nowhere and will be used to escape the crashing vehicle, however, many will wonder if these parachutes feature on modern airplanes.

Because of how essential these pieces of equipment are and how important they can be to saving someone’s life, you’d expect these parachutes to appear on every plane.

But how many, if any, of these are on a plane, and are they able to be used? 

Follow the rest of our guide to find out the answer.

What Is A Parachute?

In the unlikely event that you don’t know what a parachute is, we’ll explain it to you. A parachute is an item that allows a person or object to travel through the sky safely by slowing their descent.

It works by being attached to another aircraft, balloon, rocket, or other flying device and then releasing its restraining cord once at altitude. The parachute itself consists of two main parts: the canopy and the risers.

The Canopy

The canopy is usually made up of fabric and may consist of multiple layers.

Once released from the plane, the pilot pulls the ripcord on the harness and this releases the restraining lines which hold the canopy open. This causes the canopy to fill with gas and begin to expand. 

As the canopy fills with gas, it becomes heavier and begins to pull the pilot back towards the ground. For the pilot not to become trapped inside the canopy, he must release his straps holding him into place.


Risers are the cords that connect the canopy to the body of the plane. These help keep the canopy connected to the plane as well as allow it to move freely while the plane is moving around.

If the canopy were to come away from the plane during movement, it would cause damage to both the plane and the passenger.

Do Commercial Airplanes Have Parachutes?

Are There Parachutes On Planes

If you’re wondering whether airplanes have parachutes or not, some believe that commercial planes do indeed have them.

After all, when you think about it, why wouldn’t they? They are designed to allow passengers and crew to survive crashes that could happen at any time.

With this in mind, it makes sense that they should be equipped with these items.

However, others argue that the chances of having a crash on board a plane are very slim.

Because airlines are so strict when it comes to safety and the weight of the plane, they ensure that all pilots are highly trained and that their equipment is top-notch.

Therefore, because of this, it seems more likely that the odds of finding yourself in such a situation are very low. After all, hundreds of parachutes would weigh a lot.

The Unfortunate Reality Of Parachutes

The unfortunate reality is that a lot of commercial airplanes don’t have parachutes because if the plane was crashing, then there wouldn’t be enough time to get hundreds of passengers off of the vehicle before coming to a crash.

Because of this, and the sheer weight that the number of parachutes possesses, airlines tend to opt against having parachutes on their flights.

On top of this, with the altitude that these planes fly at, parachutes would become redundant because passengers would struggle to breathe outside of the cabin that high in the air.

Combined with the high speeds that these planes fly at, passengers would have a lot of trouble opening their parachutes in these circumstances.

Are There Parachutes On Private Planes?

So it’s clear that commercial planes don’t have parachutes. However, does this mean that private ones do? Well, it depends.

When you look at the type of plane that you are flying in, you will see if there are any parachutes present. 

If there are, then obviously it means that the plane has one available. If not, then you can probably assume that no parachutes are present.

It usually comes down to who owns the plane and how many passengers there are onboard.

The Majority Of Airline Accidents Happen During Take-Off And Landing

When it comes to accidents involving commercial aircraft, most of them occur during take-off and landing. This is because of how dangerous the process is compared to cruising at the needed altitude.

Firstly, the engines need to run at full throttle to climb to an appropriate height. Secondly, the runway needs to be clear before the plane can attempt to make take-off. 

Thirdly, the plane needs to have all of its landing gear ready before even attempting to make its way down the stretch.

Because of this, it makes perfect sense that most of the accidents happen during this part of the flight.

Even though there may be some small chance of a crash occurring while in the air, it’s unlikely that something like that will happen.

When it comes to landing, some planes experience trouble with their landing gear or might experience trouble with the weather, which would cause the plane to crash.

However, at the end of the day, these unfortunate accidents don’t require any parachutes because of how close to the ground the plane is. This means that there is no need for parachutes in these situations.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, it’s rare that many, if any, parachutes will be present on a commercial airplane flight because of many different reasons.

Because the equipment is bulky and expensive, it’s easy to understand why the airplane company wouldn’t want these equipment features taking up all of the room on the flight.

With so many passengers on the plane and the lack of time involved when planes unfortunately crash, there wouldn’t be enough time for everyone to exit the plane before its untimely fate.

Without proper parachute training and with the high altitudes and speed involved, a lot of the passengers wouldn’t stand much of a chance after ejecting.

However, not having parachutes on a flight is often considered a good thing. Because of how rare and infrequent airplane crashes are, the equipment is not often needed.

Jacob Stern
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