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Old 05-20-2019, 03:04 PM
mulde35d's Avatar
mulde35d mulde35d is offline
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Lithia, FL
Posts: 222
Default Kids and Aerobatics

So after searching the threads I found one other post on this topic, but it was closed after some heated discussion.

My question is, how to safely do aerobatic flight with a kid who doesn't fit or wouldn't be able to effectively use a parachute. I am still building the 14, but fully expect to take my daughter on aerobatic flights when she is ready (currently 4 years old).

The regulations say this:
§91.307 Parachutes and parachuting.
(a) No pilot of a civil aircraft may allow a parachute that is available for emergency use to be carried in that aircraft unless it is an approved type and has been packed by a certificated and appropriately rated parachute rigger—
(1) Within the preceding 180 days, if its canopy, shrouds, and harness are composed exclusively of nylon, rayon, or other similar synthetic fiber or materials that are substantially resistant to damage from mold, mildew, or other fungi and other rotting agents propagated in a moist environment; or
(2) Within the preceding 60 days, if any part of the parachute is composed of silk, pongee, or other natural fiber or materials not specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section.
(b) Except in an emergency, no pilot in command may allow, and no person may conduct, a parachute operation from an aircraft within the United States except in accordance with part 105 of this chapter.
(c) Unless each occupant of the aircraft is wearing an approved parachute, no pilot of a civil aircraft carrying any person (other than a crewmember) may execute any intentional maneuver that exceeds—
(1) A bank of 60 degrees relative to the horizon; or
(2) A nose-up or nose-down attitude of 30 degrees relative to the horizon.

(d) Paragraph (c) of this section does not apply to—
(1) Flight tests for pilot certification or rating; or
(2) Spins and other flight maneuvers required by the regulations for any certificate or rating when given by—
(i) A certificated flight instructor; or
(ii) An airline transport pilot instructing in accordance with §61.67 of this chapter.
(e) For the purposes of this section, approved parachute means—
(1) A parachute manufactured under a type certificate or a technical standard order (C-23 series); or
(2) A personnel-carrying military parachute identified by an NAF, AAF, or AN drawing number, an AAF order number, or any other military designation or specification number.

The Bold lettering is obviously what's important.

Now the thought moving forward for discussion is how to actually be safe.

Since parachutes won't likely fit her from 5-12 years old and she likely would be incapable of using it anyways, my thought was to have the adult pilot wear a parachute and for her to wear a harness with a D-ring and strap attaching her to the other person in the parachute.

The concept would be if the situation for a bailout were to occur (which is why the parachute is required for aerobatics, see Part 91.307 above), then we would unhook her seatbelt and bailout with her firmly attached to me and the parachute (the tighter the better of course). I know this is unlikely and would probably result in multiple injuries, but figure it's the best chance for true survival of both occupants in the unlikely bailout scenario.

While this doesn't meet Part 91.307 requirement, it is the only solution I can think of that would meet the intent of the FAR's and maintain a level of safety greater than just disregarding the parachute entirely. The only other solution I can think of is to not perform aerobatics until she fits in a parachute and knows how to use it effectively.

Does anyone else have any creative solutions or methods that may have worked in the past?
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Old 05-20-2019, 06:48 PM
Gt-401 Gt-401 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Wray CO
Posts: 87
Default Airframe parachute?

How about fitting your -14 with an airframe parachute. Would that satisfy the FAR? It seems like an airframe BRS would be a safer alternative to abandoning the airplane and hoping it doesn?t hit an orphanage..
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Old 05-20-2019, 07:05 PM
Scott Hersha Scott Hersha is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 1,756

First suggestion - don't do aerobatics with kids that are too young to know how to use aparachute, or too small to fit into one.
Second suggestion - If you decide to do it anyway, don't post it here, or anywhere for that matter.

Just my suggestions, take it for what its worth.

A ballistic airframe parachute does not meet the requirement of FAR 91.307.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:05 PM
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mulde35d mulde35d is offline
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Lithia, FL
Posts: 222
Default BRS

I hadn’t thought about the BRS. I don’t plan on installing one as it would add a lot of extra stuff and complexity to the build. It makes you wonder if it should satisfy the FAR. Possible that part 91.307 needs an update based on new technology.

Here is the sad part though, it would be easy to meet FAR 91.307 by putting a parachute on her. Pointless, but legal. I would like to find a way to be legal and have the layer of safety. Maybe we modify a small parachute harness to fit and then attach the Tether. Meets the letter of the law for a parachute and provides some additional level of safety being tethered to the adult wearing the parachute that would actually be deployed in a bailout (unlikely a situation as a bailout may be). I would also be interested in statistics where someone in an RV actually bailed out. I would bet it is a zero to single digit number.
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Old 05-20-2019, 09:56 PM
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ColoCardinal ColoCardinal is offline
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Morrison, CO
Posts: 372

Maybe a conversation with your local parachute rigger would prove fruitful. There are chutes for dogs and all sorts of other things. Hard to believe that there wouldn't be one for a kid. You could probably rig a tether.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:15 AM
sailvi767 sailvi767 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 1,267

Any attempt to exit a RV would only be after a catastrophic failure or loss of control. Exiting a out of control aircraft can be difficult solo and I suspect impossible with a tether arrangement.
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Old 05-21-2019, 09:02 AM
rmarshall234 rmarshall234 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 226

I am a parachute rigger and this is such a bad idea on so many levels (and I'm sure not legal as well) that I wouldn't even know where to begin in trying to dissuade the OP. So instead, here's a true story that local Brown Field jumpers will recognize:

George and Scotty decided to do a "MR. Bill" jump in which two jumpers leave the airplane hanging tightly onto each other and then immediately deploy a parachute while sub-terminal. The way it works is that after deployment and then hanging onto each other for awhile, the second person drops away and then opens his own parachute and they both land individually to a bunch of yuks and laughter. Well what happened that the initial deployment was so violent that it essentially "blew up" the parachute and slammed the two together so hard, that it broke Scotty's femur. The largest bone in the body. Needless to say, the subsequent parachute opening (to replace the blown up one) and the parachute landing with a broken femur was no joy.

So I guess the moral of the story is that parachute "test jumping" should be left to the professionals. George and Scotty both had about 1000 jumps each and thought they knew what they were doing.
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:45 PM
Capt Capt is offline
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 650

I have to say as a parent we are each responsible for our offspring, this is one stunt I would NOT do with a child!
There's an easy SAFE answer to this, take the child flying for sure but stay upright!
IF you had to bail out with your young child despite what chute arrangement you have would be extremely dangerous and the chances of a sucsesful exit and landing would be minuscule, is the risk really worth putting yr child thru such a frightening experience for a few aero's?

Please consider NOT doing this. I was in the EMS field for ten years and it broke my heart to see what parents put their children thru despite good intentions!

Last edited by Capt : 05-21-2019 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 05-21-2019, 06:56 PM
Whitman Whitman is offline
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Allentown PA
Posts: 262

Sorry to thread hijack but what have you and others found to be ?best practices? for carrying kids? I took my 6 month old up this weekend and her mother held her like she would in a commercial plane but it occurred to me that I didn?t research the topic firsthand. Any tips or suggestions? I have thick skin.
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"Poise under pressure is the single most valuable thing you can have as a pilot. Make mistakes, take corrective action as quickly and calmly as possible and press on."
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Old 05-21-2019, 07:24 PM
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RV7A Flyer RV7A Flyer is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: US
Posts: 2,373

Originally Posted by Whitman View Post
Sorry to thread hijack but what have you and others found to be ?best practices? for carrying kids? I took my 6 month old up this weekend and her mother held her like she would in a commercial plane but it occurred to me that I didn?t research the topic firsthand. Any tips or suggestions? I have thick skin.
Experiments done by auto safety folks demonstrated years ago that holding a baby or small child in your lap is can't physically hang on to them during even relatively low-speed crashes. The physics simply turns them into projectiles.

I would never let someone do this in my aircraft.
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