I've seen multiple videos online of evacuation slide tests and they all tend to be almost violent as they are very fast and loud, but I can't help thinking that it must put a lot of force on those seams when they inflate and along with that the material. Is there any limit to how many times these may be deployed before they must be retired?

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    $\begingroup$ must be Overhauled Every 3 Years to be Airworthy. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2017 at 16:11

1 Answer 1


The slide has to be removed from the aircraft completely (generally) and sent back to it's manufacturer to be inspected and repacked, but yes, it can be reused.

This article talks about it in more detail.

As a far as "how many times", I would assume until it breaks ;). Though honestly, I doubt a slide would ever be deployed more than once, maybe twice in it's life span.

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    $\begingroup$ How about if it has been used as a liferaft (exposed to salt water, etc.)? If the plane itself is a writeoff, would a reconditioned/repacked slide be accepted by the FAA, etc. for use in a new plane? Could there be hidden damage from heat (fire) that they wouldn't want to risk that? If a slide is usable as a raft, I would imagine they could remove the emergency beacon and sell it for whitewater rafting use! $\endgroup$
    – Phil Perry
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 17:00
  • $\begingroup$ If it doesn't pass inspection then it isn't reused (yeah, kind of a vague response, I know. But they don't really talk about their inspection criteria in anything I read.) It would be interesting if they sold them for different purposes though, that could be an interesting rafting experience! $\endgroup$
    – Jae Carr
    Commented Jul 17, 2014 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ @phil: do whitewater rafters commonly use defective substandard equipment designed for other purposes and rejected as unfit for use? $\endgroup$ Commented May 11, 2015 at 8:16
  • $\begingroup$ @RedGrittyBrick: Commonly? Nope. But I've met plenty of uncommon folks that are willing to try just about anything once ;). The real question is if any company that makes them would be willing to put up with the liability... My guess is no. $\endgroup$
    – Jae Carr
    Commented May 11, 2015 at 8:19

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