I was watching a video of the first A350 flight. At 0:35 one of the pilots appears to be wearing a helmet and what looks like a parachute. Is that true? Do pilots on maiden flights wear such a kit, so that in case of an emergency they can evacuate the airplane?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ The A350 test pilots were wearing helmets, parachutes and also lifejackets. This blog post has details and pictures of the emergency evacuation system on the A350 test flight. $\endgroup$ Jul 17 '14 at 10:49
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @ColinPickard Note that that says "on some test flights". They don't on all. I remember seeing an A380 test (I forget what it's called), flying at V_md, where they mentioned that was the only test flight they flew with all evac gear on (otherwise it is merely onboard the aircraft in case it is needed). $\endgroup$
    – gsnedders
    Jul 23 '14 at 15:27

To the best of my knowledge, all commercial aircraft being tested have their pilots take on parachutes and hi-vis clothing in addition to creating a possible means of egress on all important flights, such as the first flight and high-speed tests.

Since getting the cabin doors open is practically difficult, the solution I think most producers use is to built a chute down the front cargo entrance which can open.

Bombardier produced a pretty extensive film for their new CSeries.

Here's the solution employed on the Concorde:
Concorde escape hatch

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ CONCORDE! :D Parachutes sound a bit absurd on it though because you'd probably get screwed at FL 600 and at Mach 2 if something happened up there. $\endgroup$ Jul 22 '14 at 8:02
  • $\begingroup$ And, where do you fall out when you open the hatch? Wouldn't your escape be obstructed by the cargo hold? $\endgroup$ Jul 22 '14 at 8:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @shortstheory it's been years since I've seen any of the prototype Concordes; my memory is under that door is a chute all the way down to the bottom of the fuselage. $\endgroup$
    – gsnedders
    Jul 23 '14 at 15:21
  • $\begingroup$ Hey guys, don't worry its only an "intermediate" cover, the real cover is probably somewhere else. $\endgroup$ Oct 26 '14 at 6:27

Since getting the cabin doors open is practically difficult

No, that's not the (main) reason.

There's something called a wing ... which has engines mounted to it !

Not a very good idea to jump out of a door if you're likely to be sucked into an engine on your way out !

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ jump out using the rear exit then? $\endgroup$ Jul 22 '14 at 8:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What about rear mounted engines (DC-9, most if not all private jets, etc.) Also you would be blasted by jet exhaust. $\endgroup$
    – ptgflyer
    Dec 25 '14 at 16:50
  • $\begingroup$ @shortstheory A forward chute could be easier to reach than a tail door, from the cockpit of a doomed pilotless plane. $\endgroup$
    – Dronz
    Jul 7 '15 at 22:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This doesn't answer the question $\endgroup$
    – TomMcW
    Jul 9 '16 at 22:23
  • $\begingroup$ @ptgflyer: The DC-9 has an exit in the tailcone, behind even its engines (I have no idea whether it could have been used for bailing out of the aircraft, though). $\endgroup$
    – Vikki
    Apr 20 '19 at 21:37

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.