Has there ever been an instance of a crew having to 'bail out' during a test flight of a commercial style aircraft (I.e Airbus, Boeing etc)?

I know that test flight crews often wear orange suits, parachutes during preliminary flight in case there is an issue.

  • $\begingroup$ related: aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/7745/… $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 10:05
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ After seeing the cockpit escape hatch (aviation.stackexchange.com/questions/8199/…) in an Airbus picture, I wonder if it has been tested? I would imagine that anything on an aircraft as (potentially) important (life-saving) as an escape hatch would need to be tested beyond simulation. $\endgroup$
    – CGCampbell
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 12:25
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @CGCampbell They've obviously been tested on the ground to check that a person can get through them wearing whatever the crew will be wearing. But the only way to test them "live" would be to fit one to a plane that's known to work and then get somebody to jump through it. That would be extremely dangerous and wouldn't necessarily tell you much, since it's a different plane with different airflow. My guess is they're not tested "live": they probably just do their best and hope it won't be needed. A sensibly designed, untested escape hatch is way better than none at all. $\endgroup$ Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 13:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CGCampbell: The escape hatch in that picture looks like a standard cockpit emergency exit that is fitted to production aircraft and intended to be used on the ground only e.g. if the cockpit door is jammed after emergency landing. The additional escape hatch on prototypes intended for parachuting is on the bottom side. $\endgroup$
    – Jan Hudec
    Commented Aug 27, 2014 at 18:30
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ On the Boeing 727 there is the famous DB Cooper incident. Not aircrew, and survival is unknown, but it's a datapoint. ;) $\endgroup$
    – JasonR
    Commented Aug 28, 2014 at 12:36

1 Answer 1


In this experiment to observe a deliberate airliner crash


the crew exited in flight down the tail stairs...


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .