Has it ever occurred to you why parachutes aren’t used in commercial flights to save the passengers when it is confirmed the plane is going to crash?
First here are some facts about planes and parachutes before discussing the point:
The most used commercial flights are:
Cost: $220 million
Weight: 178,000 Kg
Maximum flying carrying weight: 398,000 Kg
Cost: $414 million
Weight: 276,000 Kg
Maximum flying carrying weight: 560,000
Weight: 20-40 Kg
The average death rate due to airplane crashes is 500 per year varying between a minimum of 175 and a maximum of 2429 passengers.
Reasons for not having parachutes on airplanes
Training passengers to use them
A few minutes before the takeoff would not be enough to educate the passengers on to how to use a parachute. Passengers barely listen to the lady teaching you what to do in case of emergency (how to wear the mask, vest etc.)
This issue can be resolved with a mandatory few hours online video the passenger can watch before the trip.
Everyone for themselves
Using a parachute needs some serious training, and to jump alone from a plane you need to do it at least 8 times with a trainer prior to getting your license, each jump takes a total time of one hour.
Organizing passengers to maintain a jumping plan
This issue is important because keeping people calm in such situations is impossible with all the fear and adrenaline rushes. The best way would be to put the trained passengers in one section to organize groups of people that want to jump.
Parachutes are expensive, occupy too much space, and are heavy.
This excuse is not convincing for the following reasons:
Parachutes are light relative to the maximum weight an airplane can carry, plus anyone can pay an extra fee for extra baggage and the same thing could go for parachutes.
All plane seats can be used to float in case of a fire which could easily be replaced with a parachute bag that floats too.
Plane crashes do not always occur when flying, they could happen during takeoff or
landing; then a parachute would be useless.
16% of plane crashes occur when flying, and another decent percentage occurs when entering the landing zone which could be applicable to the use of a parachute, hence parachutes can be used in 25% of crashing incidents which is a considerable percentage to start using them.
Jumping from a high point is dangerous due to speed and lack of oxygen which requires a helmet and an oxygen tank.
This a serious problem but it can be overridden by adding an extra fee to the ticket price in which the cost would be low because the use would be very rare since the probability of a crash for the mentioned plane types is 1/4,700,000; but even in cases of flying with a high altitude, the passenger could wait until it is reduced to jump in case of no fires or immediate jumping necessity.
Parachutes require constant maintenance and that could be a big problem. Same thing for airplanes:
-Maintenance is required every 500 trips with about 50 hours of work
-Maintenance every 5 months, 150 hours of work
-Maintenance every 25 months with two weeks of work
-Maintenance every 6 years with two months of work
Parachutes maintenance is required every 4 months which takes about 10 minutes of repacking the parachute in the bag; So, technically parachute maintenance consumes negligible money and time relative to airplane maintenance.
Plane doors do not open during the flight, changing the system where doors would open with a password is an option but could be not very applicable.
Plane doors are also located in the middle of the plane which would lead to the death of however jumps at the high plane’s speed where his/her body would hit the wings, the wall, or the engine.
This is the biggest problem that would face using parachutes and going around it is almost impossible.
The only solution would be to have doors in the back of the plane which does not make sense except for military planes, so it would be impossible to convince the current plane corporations to change their future manufacturing design unless there is a government order to do so.
Using parachutes as a safety backup in commercial flights is not impossible but there are too many barriers for applying it today specially with no strong excuses to force it on the plane companies. So logically thinking, it is not completely due to commercial issues but it would take tremendous work and money to execute such a big plan and it would be more efficient to invest that work and money in producing better planes.
However, there is a new technology of a parachute but for the plane itself but it would illogical for the Boeing plane because it would take about 40 parachutes each with the size of a soccer field; Designing a plane with a cabinet where passengers can gather in and which detaches with its own parachute leaving the wings and the engine behind would work but we’re back to the same issue of having to redesign all future planes and today’s plane are not suitable for such an adjust.