What is the teal colored vest that the pilot in this picture has on? I have never seen anything like that. It seems to resemble some kind of bullet proof vest, but that doesn’t make any sense under the circumstances.
Wazzu – its one thing to have the door next to you…just about all GA aircraft pilots can say the same thing when they are up in the air…but its another thing to be able to get that door (or a window) open while in flight. That’s the point of my previous post.
So I guess my question is: even if that is a parachute, how likely is it that you could even get the door open to jump out?
Actually it most jump planes I flew and aerobatic planes the front hinge was attached with a quick release pin. Pull the pin and the door disappears. I will say this, he is to low for it to do any good. Of course they might have taken the picture on approach. Oh, ya the picture says, on base leg.
But hey, nice tone of voice. Geez…from a newbie too.
And yes it’s a parachute. I believe it’s a Long Softie, You can find them HERE
leardvr – I have no problem admitting when I am wrong and yes, you were correct that its a parachute. You can pick up your door prize on your way out…
The issue I was trying to stress was that on a GA aircraft, opening a door or window in flight is tough, if not impossible. If the Caravan is some type of parachuting bird, then I see why you’d have the parachute. But if I personally owned a Caravan to fly, having something like a parachute seems to be useless if things go bad…
My guess, as others had said, is that the plane is used for skdiving. Any time you fly 'divers, all aboard must wear a chute. The idea is not that you are going to try jumping out while the plane is in flight, but if you get some catastrophic event (read someones parachute deploys and gets tangled in your vert/horz stabilizer and you no longer can control the airplane, you have a “safe” way down. Every year there are at least a couple of skydiving planes that go in, although usually more from overloading or being out of the CG envelope and entering a stall/spin on takeoff
I think there is no requirement for all aboard a jump plane to wear a parachute, unless the aircraft has been modified for jump operations (e.g. removing a door), and the STC specifically requires all on board to wear a parachute. According to the FARs (Part 91 and 105) dual-harness (skydiving) parachutes have to be worn by anybody jumping, and emergency parachutes have to be worn by passengers (not crew) if the bank/pitch angle exceeds 60/30 deg. Observers on jump planes typically are required to wear emergency rigs because pilots point the nose down way past 30 deg for a quick turn-around.
That being said, you are right in that there is always a danger of a jumper hitting/entangling the tail/stabilizer, and it makes total sense for the pilot to wear an emergency chute during jump operations. In Europe, where this pic was taken, the regs could be different.