Private jets offer a luxurious and exclusive flying experience, but do they come equipped with parachutes?
While private jets don’t come equipped with parachutes for their passengers, there is one manufacturer that offers a parachute… For the entire aircraft. The Cirrus Vision SF50 is a tiny aircraft but has a built-in parachute that can be deployed if the plane ever experiences a dire emergency.
Read on to learn more about private jets, their safety concerns, and how they’re equipped for emergencies.
What Goes Up…
Statistically, the number of air incidents is quite low when compared to other modes of transport. Although, the number of fatal air incidents is higher by comparison.
It’s a very harsh fact, but you’re much more likely to meet your maker when experiencing a plane crash than you are a car crash. With that fact in mind, what are manufacturers doing to ensure air travel is as safe as can be?
Well, the first line of defense against unfortunate air incidents is the expertise of the pilot. There’s a strict line of regulations, laws, and rules in place that make sure a pilot is experienced, accredited, and licensed.
This is true for private flying, but more so where commercial airlines are concerned, of course.
Also, aircraft manufacturers have innovated in leaps and bounds to make their planes stable, resilient, and advanced. Today, we have planes that can carry eight-hundred passengers, fly thousands of miles, and cruise at dizzying altitudes.
It’s intensely impressive, considering air travel was invented a little over a century ago.
As man took to the skies, people started to realize that they’d need a safe way to come back down again. While parachutes had existed for some two hundred years, it was around this point that they started to be perfected.
Parachutes became widespread equipment among military forces, and for entertainment and sports purposes. However, they were never employed in commercial or private flying.
You can spend ten million dollars (an average sum) on a private jet, stuff it with the hottest technology, and the most adept crew. Ultimately, you still won’t be allowed to take a parachute on board.
Why is that?
Para, Para, Parachute
The main reason behind the lack of parachutes upon planes is simple: people don’t know how to use them.
It isn’t like you see in the movies – you can’t just shrug on a parachute, leap from a plane with reckless abandon, and land some thirty-thousand feet below. There’s much more involved in the process, and the average airline passenger wouldn’t know how to cope.
They’d also be poorly equipped for the fall. The dangerously low temperature alone would massively impact the human body outside of a commercial – or private – aircraft.
CNTraveler.com explains that a skydiver jumping above fifteen-thousand feet will require supplemental oxygen, because of how thin the atmosphere is.
Let’s hypothesize for a moment and say it isn’t dramatically cold outside of the aircraft. The doors on a private jet often open ahead of the wings and engines.
This unfortunately means that a person jumping from the side of the plane would almost certainly meet a quick and nasty end. That’s another reason parachutes aren’t included on private jets – they physically cannot be deployed without harm to the user.
However, there’s no doubting the efficacy of parachutes in any form. After all, they do ultimately help a person avoid slamming into the ground at hundreds of miles-per-hour.
One manufacturer has taken efforts to incorporate parachutes into their smallest and lightest private jets. Cirrus, the creator of the small but mighty Vision Jet, has successfully included a ballistic parachute in their jet since 2016.
This system, known as the Cirrus AirFrame Parachute System, or ‘CAPS’ will save the entire plane in the event of catastrophic failure. It’s tried and proven and is the only system of its kind to be successfully deployed.
It’s worth highlighting that this kind of system has been featured in Cirrus’ planes since the early 2000s. However, this was the first jet to use such a system.
The Vision Jet itself is a miniature engineering marvel, boasting a small but sumptuous interior, and a relatively small price tag. It starts at just two million dollars, boasts adaptable seating styles, enormous viewing windows, and a sleek aesthetic.
When most entry-level jets start at around five million dollars, it’s undeniable: the Vision Jet is the more affordable, safer, and coolest choice around.