What is this pilot wearing?

See the link below:

airliners.net/photo/Untitled … /1242957/M

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.

Any thoughts or ideas?

Looks like a seat cushion with back support. Notice how it extends under the pilot’s butt?

I’m trying to see if I can find it on the web.


leardvr – are you serious? I assume there is one of those in every seat of the airplane then?

I don’t see how you could even get a door or emergency window open to even use the parachute unless you were flying dangerously low to the ground and dangerously slow.

There’s a nice big door attached to his left arm.

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

Can you say that on Flightaware?


I think he means what sunglasses is he wearing. They look like oakleys to me. the kind with the mp3 player built in.

A search of Airliners.net produced this. It seems that this aircraft is used in parachute activity.

Or this from JetPhoto’s, read the remarks.

So lets hear it Richchatwin…“you were right Leardvr I was wrong.” Now we can all play nice.

I guess no one on this forum has ever flown floats for a living. He has on a life preserver that doubles as a vest with several pockets for survival gear.

I own one

EDIT- after looking at it a second time… Its a frickin parachute

Don’t hold your breath… :unamused:

Veracity isn’t rewarded around 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

Guess I’m use to seeing parachutes in old war movies. I would have sworn it was a seat cushion/back support thing.

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.

You were serious about that? :open_mouth:

I figured for sure you were going for comedic effect!

Long Softie…hehehe

Could be worse. You could have a Micro Softie…


I’m serious. I tend to think of parachutes being more bulky than what the guy in the original picture is wearing.

Seeing as I’ve never fancied the idea of jumping out of a perfectly good airplane when it is anywhere except on the ground, I really haven’t kept up with what parachutes look like.