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We've been through why airlines don't provide parachutes for the passengers. But who says they have to be provided? I want to take my fate into my own hands the next time I fly, by bringing my own parachute. I will train extensively in parachuting beforehand. I'll train in wilderness survival skills, too, and bring aboard lots of survival gear for after I land, including a floatation device in case that's over water. I will at all times keep all this gear on my person ready to go and remain vigilant for any signs of a crash.

Here's what I'd do about each of the points those answers bring up:

  • "Street clothes will be torn to shreds. Oh, and it's COLD up there." Then I'll wear special Air Force-grade clothing that will keep me warm and won't get torn to shreds, or a pressurized suit if I have to.
  • "You cannot depressurize an aircraft over 12,000 feet altitude without the passengers passing out rather quickly." Then I'll bring an oxygen supply with me. I don't care about the fates of my fellow passengers. Escaping their fates is precisely why I want to do this.
  • "It is extremely difficult to exit an unstable aircraft...If the plane is spinning and you are beside the door you might get tossed out and then struck by other parts of the airframe." That's a risk I'm willing to take, a risk that I would prefer over the risk of the crash.
  • "There are very, very few aircraft accidents that occur with enough time to actually use one." "Almost all fatal accidents happen during take-off or landing, where parachutes would not be of any help." Either assume that I am notified with enough time to escape, or just forget about crashing entirely and consider that I might just decide to leave the plane whenever I want.

The other objections are all about training, which I'll have in spades, or profit, which isn't a concern because I will fund my survival myself.

My questions are:

  1. Is any of the equipment I would need forbidden by TSA rules? If so, is there a country that doesn't forbid that equipment?
  2. How could I escape the plane? This is the one objection that I can't figure out. The only suggestion is to blow the door out with explosives, which are obviously out of the question.
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    $\begingroup$ I think that you are actually allowed to do everything you've said in almost any country: you just have to join the relevant Parachute Brigade, they are equipped just like you've described 😉 $\endgroup$
    – sophit
    Nov 7, 2023 at 6:09
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    $\begingroup$ Do you have a real use case in mind? E.g. tell us about the scenario you are thinking. Most crashes are at landing or take-off (so a para is useless). Collision on air: para is useless. Bomb: para is useless. And you cannot take oxygen: it is too risky: do you want to increase chances to kill yourself or other people just for a less likely case? (and you para could kill you on normal evacuation: much more frequent). Just do not fly if you trust nobody. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2023 at 9:40
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    $\begingroup$ Can I ask the OP what precautions they take on the drive to the airport? $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2023 at 18:53
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    $\begingroup$ Why is this being downvoted without any explanations? How is that helpful to the OP? How is that helpful to SE.Aviation? If it's a bad question, why are there no close votes? If you're going to downvote here, please don't be rude and do it completely absent and kind of justification. It's unfair to silently project our expectations onto each user, perhaps the Q. is in regards to a plot device for a story? In any case, the OP is asking specific, well-formulated questions, and has a long lead-in to make sure we understand the frame of mind for the Q. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2023 at 18:54
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    $\begingroup$ Probably, @KennSebesta, because every single point the OP wants to ignore was addressed in the question he linked to. Every single point was well discussed in said linked question, and every single point he wants to ignore is being addressed again in the answers here. Basically this question boils down to, "Ignoring all the practical, real-world reasons what I'm asking can't be done, can I do this?". Maybe this would be better suited at Science Fiction & Fantasy or Worldbuilding, but not here where reality rules... $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Nov 7, 2023 at 20:09

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So, if you could even open the doors, which you can't, you'd need a parachute, oxygen supply and mask, survival gear, and probably thermal clothing.

That's a problem. The parachute would likely be legal as carry on luggage, the thermal clothing as well. Both would however make people really really look at you with suspicion about your reasons for being on the flight.

The oxygen supply is even worse, it's a pressurised cannister which is definitely prohibited.

The survival gear would almost certainly include a knife and other sharp implements, prohibited. As well as bottled water and/or food paste, and water purification tablets (and possibly other chemicals) which would either be prohibited or draw a lot of attention to you at security.

And that's without taking into consideration that all that stuff is going to be rather bulky and heavy, quite possibly putting you way over the carry on luggage restrictions. And making egress (if you could even get the door open) very problematic.

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  • $\begingroup$ If O2 is necessary for the jump, then an O2 concentrator might be a good place to start. Some are certified to 18k', and with a proper facemask have been demonstrated to go to 24k' and beyond. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2023 at 18:57
  • $\begingroup$ Can you get one past TSA, @KennSebesta? $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Nov 7, 2023 at 19:47
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    $\begingroup$ @FreeMan yes. They're medical equipment and are pretty standard for people who need supplemental O2. They scavenge O2 from the air by stripping N2 from the free gas, thereby raising the partial pressure significantly. As a result, there is no meaningful compressed O2 stored in the device, and it doesn't present a danger. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2023 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ Fair point, @KennSebesta. Hadn't really thought that through. My bad. $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Nov 8, 2023 at 14:26
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Well, it depends. Remember, first off, that most aircraft accidents take place during takeoff and landing, at altitudes were a parachute is going to be moot and not very useful for survival.

Second, as a passenger, you would have to be aware of the threat and have enough time available to realize you had to abandon the airplane, then do so with enough time that you could get out and deploy a parachute safely safely.

Third, we would have to consider the case where you were attempt to abandon the aircraft in a situation, where it’s not necessary, causes additional damage to the airframe that precipitate to crash. For instance, you open an emergency exit door in flight, and that door is torn off by wind forces, and strikes the air frame and damages it in a way that the airplane is no longer controllable, you have now caused the airplane to be incapable of continued flight, with a high risk of crashing, and you’re now liable for criminal manslaughter charges should your actions results on the death of someone.

Fourth, a catastrophic threat to the aircraft may not be known to you, the passenger, until it’s all over. Bailing out of an airplane as you suggest, is really only useful in a very slim number of accidents, chiefly ones that occur with enough altitude to reasonably assess the danger that you were in, then make a commitment and make your way to an exit to escape the aircraft. It’s possible a passenger bail out scenario might have been useful in the case of Cactus 1549 (Sully’s bird strike/ forced water landing in the Hudson), or possibly the two accidents involving the 737 MAX, which grounded it. It will not, however, save you from an incident like what happened at Tenerife in 1977.

Finally, your risk of dying in an airplane crash, while flying aboard a scheduled air carrier over international waters or a country with a stable government in place is so low, it’s not even worth worrying about. You have a greater chance of drowning in your own bathtub or choking to death on your dinner tonight. There are a hell of a lot of other things that could kill you, and are far more likely to do so, than a commercial aircraft accident.

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    $\begingroup$ And of yourself you’re orders of magnitude more likely to get killed in a training accident learning to parachute than you are on a commercial flight. $\endgroup$
    – Frog
    Nov 7, 2023 at 8:33
  • $\begingroup$ I’d go further than that and say that your most optimistic chance of survival parachuting from a commercial jet is worse than your chances of surviving a crash. $\endgroup$
    – Frog
    Nov 8, 2023 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Frog: "your most optimistic chance of survival parachuting from a commercial jet is worse than your chances of surviving a crash", test pilots have parachutes when testing commercial aircraft. There is a procedure, and exits are prepared, but that's another point, which can be explained to the OP anyway. $\endgroup$
    – mins
    Nov 8, 2023 at 19:26
  • $\begingroup$ @mins they do, but I’m not aware of a single instance of one being deployed, successfully or otherwise. $\endgroup$
    – Frog
    Nov 8, 2023 at 19:35
  • $\begingroup$ Pilots and film crews have exited a plane before a planned crash test en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2012_Boeing_727_crash_experiment $\endgroup$
    – DJohnM
    Nov 13, 2023 at 23:12
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Either assume that I am notified with enough time to escape, or just forget about crashing entirely and consider that I might just decide to leave the plane whenever I want.

You can't open the doors at altitude.

Time - Unless you are already wearing the parachute, you'll not have enough time to get it from where it is, and put it on.

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    $\begingroup$ You can't open the doors at altitude *anymore. Source: Cooper, D.B. $\endgroup$ Nov 7, 2023 at 4:19
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    $\begingroup$ @tedder42 *You can't open doors you can safely jump out of at altitude anymore. The Cooper Vane was for the specific airstair configuration. Regular aircraft doors did, and still do, depend on pressurization. Maybe the exception is the 737NG overwings. $\endgroup$
    – user71659
    Nov 7, 2023 at 5:08

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