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Thread: Which Parachute to Buy?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Which Parachute to Buy?

    Ok, that title is misleading, my point is not that one company has the best chute, but that for many planes the key is to have a chute. I had two in my plane, a Manley Butler one custom made for my front seat and a large National 425 for the back seat, but there are a number of good companies, they display at EAA etc. and in an emergency they can and have saved lives. If you fly a sport type airplane, Decathlon, Pitts etc, Stearman, or a military plane with a canopy, P-51, t-6,T-34, they were designed for the pilot to wear a chute and the seat is made for it. You have to sit on something , why not sit on something that is life insurance? If you are doing acro you may need that chute or if you are flying something that may have an engine issue or if your routinely fly over hostile terrain.
    Some examples: During the Battle of Britain 60% of RAF pilots shot down were saved by parachutes, and remember they were shot up, often wounded or on fire and still lived, and chutes these days are improved over theirs. Some ultralilghts have chutes they throw to activate and they work.
    My friend Art flew a P-51 all over the U S for years sitting on a cushion, "I paid too much for that airplane. I'm never going to jump out of it, " he said. One day he was ferryying a friends Corsair and he put on the old military chute that was in the seat despite not being packed updated, and when the engine blew up and started to burn he bailed out, was banged up by trees but lived. Art said, "Bailing out has its good points, its a lot cooler and a lot quieter than being inside on fire. But the human body is not made to go through tree tops."
    There was a man who loved to fly mild acro in his Decathlon with his young Son. They for sure wore chutes and he gave the boy careful instructons how to open the door and get out if ever needed. Sure enough, one day the elevator jammed and suddenly it was real. The man said the happiest day of his life was as he was going out the door he saw his Son's parachute opening below him.
    On another site Im reading a story about a TBM with engine failure and smoke in the cockpit over mountains east of Phoenix, no where to land, but they had chutes and both got out,had some injuries from trees, but alive. This was in May 2018, really good plane lost and hasnt been found yet. One other thing they had water etc, but nothing in the flight suit pockets.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 08-31-2018 at 06:14 AM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Franklinton, Louisiana
    Mr. Bill,

    Excellent post. As a student pilot just starting out, I have very often thought about acquiring a chute to wear when I get out on my own. I am currently building a Pulsar. I have seen online several outfitters that sell various types. Not at all sure if I will be installing a ballistic chute as I have not heard of anyone installing one on a Pulsar. I'm certain it is possible. However, if I were to install a ballistic on my Pulsar I couldn't use it if I were to fly in someone else's aircraft so I think the better route to take for me is to purchase a personal chute. That way I will always have that piece of mind.
    My plan is to earn my ticket, earn my CFI ticket, then get the one I want the most, the aerobatic ticket. I guess the only question for me is what is the best type for a person like myself. I am 72 inches tall, weigh 190-200 pounds. Any input on the most affordable and appropriate type chute would most appreciated.

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