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Airlines, in an emergency I want a life jacket AND a parachute under my seat!

Updated on August 8, 2012

One thing that baffles and mystifies me about "in flight emergency procedures and equipment", is the futility of it all. It seems to me that the whole display put on by your friendly air Stewards and Stewardesses, is soley designed to comfort and reassure you prior to take off, when realistically everyone knows that when most planes plummet out of the sky, no lifejacket or inflatable slide is going to save your life. A plane hitting the sea from 30,000 feet plus above sea level, is tantamount to it hitting a slab of solid concrete, in other words, a lifejacket is not going to save your life, but a parachute issued once the aircraft was determined to be in serious trouble, combined with an open door and possibly a lifejacket too, might have made all the difference!!!.

I reckon they put laughing gas in these oxygen masks, Good Idea!

Likewise, I have a theory that those oxygen masks that they claim will drop down from the ceiling in the event of cabin depressurisation, are only going to facilitate everyone who manages to put them on, being able to enjoy the final moments of multiple screaming passengers, (plus themselves), as the metal tube carrying them, (plus tonnes of very flammable fuel), hurtles towards the inevitable horrible death that awaits them. Call me a coward, but I would rather remain amongst the lucky unconscious souls who failed to get their masks on, (or who got trapped in the toilet whilst having the illicit cigarette that would normally have resulted in them being evicted from the plane at the next available airport).

Of course there is always the fantastically effective "crash position", that we are supposed to assume in the event the plane is going down.

Great I say.........!!!

Putting my head forward with hands wrapped across the top of my head is really likely to save me from a free-fall that is far higher than any mountain anyone has ever climbed! I mean honestly, how many plane crashes ever have any survivors?? The Hudson River was a miracle one-off in itself, and they got lucky with a brilliant Pilot who beat the odds, big time!!

Talking about the Hudson River crash, did anyone notice the complete lack of those emergency inflatable slides appearing out of the Emergency Exits in the footage??? I did, and it seemed the wings became those slides instead. Does this mean there were no slides on that aircraft? Did the slides fail to inflate? Are the slides simply a myth conjured up by the airlines to act as a comforter to nervous passengers and those adults who never grew out of being big kids with a love of playing on the slides in the local park? Who will ever know for sure other than the mysterious, never seen faces, of those who run the airlines in question.

Then of course there are the inexplicable rules, such as not being allowed to remove your seat belt until the aircraft has stopped moving upon landing, (or has parked as I prefer to call it). Why is it essential for us to still wear our seatbelts whilst the plane is moving slower than a 50cc moped, especially if in the event of a sudden fire this could inhibit our ability to move freely towards an emergency exit?

After careful consideration, and many flights, I have decided that all aircraft should provide a life jacket AND a parachute under the seat, plus demonstrate full use of these items. There should be a proper parachute exit upon the aircraft and the emergency life-rafts should also be capable of being dropped by parachute, with automatic inflatability upon contact with water.

Another idea, is to equip the planes themselves with parachutes, although multiple ones would be necessary in case any failed. Surely in this modern era such technology is not impossible, and even if they only served to dramatically slow the plane's descent, it could allow enough time for passengers to use their own parachutes, and the appropriate exit, to escape the falling aircraft.

Remember, a lifejacket is only any help if you land in water, and even then, only if you land without the whole plane disintegrating after a high speed fall from thousands of feet.



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    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Lol, totally agree, and so many all at once from all age groups.

    • hotwebideas profile image

      Bruce Chamoff 

      4 years ago from New York

      @mistyhorizon2003, you would have to admin that would be some awesome skydiving! LOL

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      4 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Lol, very true, no worries, just don't open the parachute until you have dropped well away from the aircraft ;)

    • hotwebideas profile image

      Bruce Chamoff 

      4 years ago from New York

      These are all great ideas, but I think we all forgot one important fact. Although I agree with you that a parachute is a great idea, has anyone seen what happens at 30,000 feet when an aircraft is flying 225 knots and someone opens the door? Lots of wind and passengers being sucked out of the fuselage with garbage flying everywhere. WHOA!!!.

      I hope the parachute does not get caught in someone else's as I fly out of the fuselage at 100 miles an hour LOL

      Great hub and funny.

      Voting up and marked funny!


    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Is that a parchute under your shirt or are you just happy to see me! :)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks BP, no I didn't see it, but possibly it wasn't shown here in Guernsey. Glad you enjoyed this hub though :)

    • blondepoet profile image


      9 years ago from australia

      Wow you really have made some good points here, I never realised how bizarre it all is before. Did you ever see that comedy "Flying High". Haha that is the first thing that came into my head when I was reading this.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Santoin, pleased you liked it.

      Not sure if we would fit in the black box Ellandriel :)

      Thanks Mayhmong, flying is usually good fun I reckon, and very safe, but there are always exceptions. Don't be too scared :)

    • mayhmong profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      You're right, its definetely better to have a parachute than to come crashing down from 30,000 ft?! I never flown on an airplane before, this hub either helps me or scares me.

    • Ellandriel profile image


      9 years ago from Portugal

      If the black box is the one thing that survives a crash, I wanna go in the black Box!!!! lol

    • santoion profile image


      9 years ago

      Very good hub.Thank You !

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Thanks Cris and Trooper, glad to know you understand where I am coming from :)

    • trooper22 profile image


      9 years ago from Chicago

      I have flown all over the world, and your points have come to mind every time I have stepped onto an aircraft be it military or civilian.  In the military you get a parachute (if your jumping out only, or a member of the crew).  As a civilian passenger you get a plastic cup to breath oxygen, and a seatback for a floatation device...oh, and a fun little slide if you are lucky enough to have a pilot like the guy that landed his bird in the Hudson several months ago.

        I'll take the train thankyou :)

    • Cris A profile image

      Cris A 

      9 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      Some valid points you raised Cindy and you got me thinking. And I would want a bible too - just in case :D

    • Ashley Joy profile image

      Ashley Joy 

      9 years ago

      I am glad I am not the only one who has thought of all of this. But then again it was brought up in Fight Club as well.

    • Vahagan profile image


      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      Funny you mention the parachute. When I first started flying, I DID think the so-called Life Jacket under the seat was in fact a parachute. Even that thought did not comfort me as I would probably die of fear before jumping off the plane. I chuckled at your comments and having travelled extensively myself with my job (thankfully not anymore) I still think those safety measures could save a life, or two or three. The thing that may kill, in my opinion, is the panic while trying to evacuate a smoke-filled B737 or an A320, while walking and crushing on each and every passenger, regardless of age and ability... Hmm... perish the thought, I'd say.

    • profile image

      Been there  

      9 years ago

      Unlike the Sully flight - past experience demonstrated that when its time to evacuate - every man for himself. And when panic, darkness, fumes, hysteria, abound, it is nearly impossible to figure out how to inflate a life vest. Yes, we all probably know to pull the cord - suggestion: stay grounded and pay attention when you fly.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi ocbill, forgive my ignorance, but what is "Sully"?

    • ocbill profile image


      9 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      Well, if you have Sully not a lot of worries.

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Bruce, interesting idea, but the Valium would have to be extremely fast acting if you only took them at the point you knew the plane was on it's way down. The whiskey might help a bit though :)

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Hi Wanderlust, Why wouldn't a parachute help?? (sulks furiously, pouts out bottom lip). Surely once the plane gets below a certain altitude a parachute would help if the trap door to jump out of wasn't directly in front of the engine or something!! Flying is very safe generally I know, but just in case, I would like a safety procedure that might, actually, save my life! :) :) :)

      Hi 2Patricias, thanks for commenting. I feel much like you do, and carry on flying, although I can think of nicer ways to die than hitting the ground from a 30,000 feet height, (too much time for screaming at your imminent death, would rather death was instantaneous).

    • mistyhorizon2003 profile imageAUTHOR

      Cindy Lawson 

      9 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

      Not a bad plan GT, but still a good chance the impact might leave you a squished flat blob on the bottom of the box, (a bit like if you were in a lift and the cables broke). :)

      Violetsun, so sorry to hear about your friend. Spooky that her time was definitely "up" in such a way. A date with destiny as you said.

      Hi Jewels, Ahhh, but by the time you jumped the plane would no longer be at 30,000 feet, as it is still plummeting towards the earth. I see your point about walking though :) :)

    • Bruce Elkin profile image

      Bruce Elkin 

      9 years ago from Victoria, BC Canada

      Ah, Misty, just take a couple of Valium and wash them down with whisky. Then you won't care whether you've got a life vest or a parachute on, or anything else. Think of the fun you'll have!

    • 2patricias profile image


      9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      Pat says - I fly more often than average (I don't know what consistutes that airline fav, a 'frequent flyer). Becauase I usually feel a bit sorry for flight crew I pretend to listen to the safety chat. I guess if there was a fire on the runway there might be some chance of getting out alive. Should the plane crash that would be it. Although I'm in no hurry to leave this world, the idea of sudden death holds no fear. It's a long decline and senility that worries me. So I carry on flying...

      Thanks for an entertaining but thought provoking hub.

    • Wanderlust profile image


      9 years ago from New York City

      Absolutely hilarious! Unfortunately parachutes wouldn’t help….. In reality, a probability to die in a plane crash is very small. Plus, there is always a hope that a pilot on your plane as talented as Chesley Sullenberger – US Airways pilot who successfully landed a plane on the Hudson river. I personally found this landing absolutely fascinating…..

    • Jewels profile image


      9 years ago from Australia

      Parachutes, now you have me jumping from 30,000 ft! So I either die by concrete, lose consciousness because of lack of oxygen or jump to my death (because it's likely the darn thing won't open). Plus my airfare has gone up cause of the parachutes being under the seat and it now takes one hour in the plane to get instructions before takeoff. I think I'll walk, ta!

    • VioletSun profile image


      9 years ago from Oregon/ Name: Marie

      Cindy: I chuckled out loud, with your observation about the oxygen masks giving  passengers more time for multiple screams, LOL! I think its a GENIUS idea to put parachutes under the seats, wonder why no one in the airline industry has thought of this?!  Could it be because if may pose a safety hazard as with terrorists? Just thinking... 

      On a serious note, after the 9/11 aftermath in NY, one of my colleagues, decided to take an early retirement, and was on her way to the Dominican republic to check on property; her initial reservation was for Friday the 13th, but she thought it was bad luck to fly on that day, so she changed her flight for the next day.... that plane crashed at a beach I used to go to, killing all 200 plus passengers on board. It still gives me chills- she had a date with destiny. 

      As with you, I prefer to be unconcious should a plane crash and there is no way out.

    • goldentoad profile image


      9 years ago from Free and running....

      I want to be put in that indestructible box, like the one they use to save the flight data and audio records of the crash.


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