Can You Bring A Parachute On A Plane?

In the world of aviation, the parachute is an emblem of safety and the ultimate backup plan. Its invention dates back to the 18th century, and today it remains a symbol of precaution for skydivers, pilots, and even passengers. The question of whether you can bring a parachute on a plane is rooted in a complex interplay of airline regulations, security measures, and personal safety concerns. The advent of commercial air travel and heightened security protocols, particularly in the post-9/11 era, has necessitated clear guidelines for what passengers can take aboard an aircraft.

With the increase in skydiving popularity and the general public’s growing awareness of safety procedures, passengers may wonder if a personal parachute could serve as an additional safety measure during flights. This idea gained some attention after high profile aviation incidents, leading to discussions about the practicality of carrying parachutes on commercial flights. Moreover, the transportation security authorities have established policies and guidelines specific to the carriage of parachutes, which take into account both the safety of the passengers and the security concerns inherent in air travel. These regulations are regularly updated to adapt to evolving security threats and safety standards within the industry, making the subject of bringing parachutes on planes a relevant and ever-evolving topic.

Can you bring a parachute on a plane

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Can You Take A Parachute On A Plane?

Traveling with a parachute on a commercial flight is generally permitted by most airlines, but it’s essential to adhere to the airline’s specific regulations and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines. Parachutes are typically considered a piece of sporting equipment and can be brought aboard as carry-on or checked luggage. However, it’s crucial to inform the airline during the booking process or at check-in, as there may be size and weight restrictions. Additionally, passengers should have their parachutes packed properly and may be required to demonstrate that the equipment is safe and does not contain any prohibited items. For those interested in skydiving destinations or who wish to have their gear with them for peace of mind, understanding these guidelines is key. Continue reading for a detailed exploration of the rules and tips for flying with a parachute, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Carrying Parachutes on USA Domestic Flights

TSA Regulations for Parachutes

Travelers who wish to bring parachutes onto domestic flights in the USA must comply with Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations. The TSA explicitly allows parachutes in both checked and carry-on luggage. It is recommended, however, that parachots be packed in such a way that the parachutes do not get activated. Although there is no limit on the number of parachutes you can bring, be advised that checked baggage may have size and weight restrictions based on individual airline policies. For the most up-to-date information, passengers should always check the official TSA website page for parachute regulations.

Packing Parachutes for Travel

  • Parachutes should be packed neatly to avoid tangling of lines and straps.
  • Protective bags or cases are recommended to shield the parachute from damage during transit.
  • Packing instructions may vary depending on the type of parachute (e.g., round, ram-air).

Airline Policies

Airline policies regarding parachutes can vary and may impose specific requirements or additional fees for sports equipment. Travelers should reach out to their respective airline to confirm any special arrangements needed or to get clarification on the following common considerations:

  • Size and weight limits for checked sports equipment.
  • Additional fees for oversized or overweight items.
  • Special considerations for quick-release chutes and automatic activation devices.

Security Screening

At security checkpoints, passengers carrying parachutes can expect the following:

  • Parachutes are allowed through security checkpoints after thorough inspection.
  • Inspections may be manual and can require the passenger to unpack and repack their chute.
  • To facilitate the screening process, arrive with ample time before the flight and consider notifying a TSA officer that you are carrying a parachute.

Traveling with Automatic Activation Devices (AADs)

Parachutes equipped with Automatic Activation Devices (AADs) warrant special attention. These safety devices are designed to automatically deploy the parachute at certain altitudes and descent speeds. Although generally permitted, the presence of AADs may necessitate additional scrutiny:

  • If your parachute has an AAD, notify TSA officers during the security screening process.
  • Be aware that certain AAD batteries may be subject to hazardous materials regulations.

Tips for a Hassle-Free Journey

  • Label parachute bags with your contact information and an indication that the bag contains a parachute.
  • Carry documentation relating to your parachute and AAD, including manuals and certification, if possible.
  • Consider contacting the airline ahead of time to make them aware that you will be traveling with a parachute.

Please note that the provided information reflects TSA guidelines and individual airlines’ policies as of the last update before the knowledge cutoff date in early 2023. Passengers should always verify current regulations and airline policies directly with the TSA and their airline before travel.

✔ Pros ✘ Cons
Could provide a sense of security for skydivers traveling to jump destinations. May raise suspicion and require additional security checks.
Parachutes are generally allowed by airlines with proper packing and notification. Carrying a parachute could inconvenience other passengers due to space constraints.
Useful in remote areas where immediate evacuation might be necessary. Bringing a parachute on a commercial flight is impractical as one cannot use it in most emergencies.
Offers peace of mind for experienced parachutists. Increases the weight and luggage burden, possibly leading to extra fees.
Serves as essential gear for destination-based skydiving activities. May be subject to strict regulatory guidelines and restrictions.

Flying with a Parachute Internationally

Traveling with a parachute internationally requires careful planning and adherence to various regulations. Skydivers and parachuting enthusiasts must be aware of the guidelines set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as well as the specific rules that apply to the countries they are visiting or transiting through. Understanding these regulations is crucial to ensure a smooth journey with your sports equipment.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) Guidelines

  • Parachutes are generally allowed as checked baggage.
  • Some airlines may permit one parachute per passenger, including the rig and a helmet, as part of the checked baggage allowance.
  • Parachutes with Automatic Activation Devices (AADs) are typically accepted but may require special handling due to the small pyrotechnic charge used to deploy the chute.
  • Passengers should inform the airline in advance and may need to complete a ‘Dangerous Goods’ form.
  • It’s important to check the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations for any updates or changes.

For detailed IATA guidelines, refer to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations.

Country Specific Regulations

Each country has its own set of rules and regulations regarding the transportation of parachutes. It is essential to check these regulations before traveling to ensure compliance with local laws and to avoid any inconvenience at the airport.

United Kingdom

Refer to the UK government’s page on hand luggage restrictions for information on flying with a parachute.


For European regulations, consult the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) website or the specific country’s civil aviation authority.


Transport Canada provides guidelines for flying with sports equipment, including parachutes. Visit their page on aviation regulations for more details.


The Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs outlines the rules for bringing sports equipment into the country. More information can be found on their official website.

New Zealand

The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand offers guidance on air travel with sports equipment. Check their website for specifics.


Asian countries may have varying regulations. It’s advisable to check with the local civil aviation authority of the specific country you are visiting.


The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore provides information on luggage restrictions, including sports equipment. Visit their website for detailed guidelines.

10 Airline-Specific Regulations for Flying with a Parachute

When flying with a parachute, it’s not only the international and country-specific regulations that matter but also the policies of the individual airlines. Each airline has its own set of rules regarding the transportation of sports equipment, including parachutes. Below are the regulations from 10 different airlines.

American Airlines

  • Parachutes are allowed as checked baggage and are subject to standard baggage fees.
  • Advance notice is recommended.
  • Refer to American Airlines’ sports equipment policy for more details.

Delta Air Lines

  • One parachute per customer is allowed as part of the checked baggage allowance.
  • Additional fees may apply if the baggage allowance is exceeded.
  • Check Delta’s special items baggage policy for further information.

United Airlines

  • Parachutes are accepted as checked baggage.
  • There may be additional charges if the equipment is over the size and weight limits.
  • See United’s sports equipment policy for specifics.

British Airways

  • Parachutes are treated as part of the free checked baggage allowance.
  • Excess baggage fees apply if the allowance is exceeded.
  • Visit British Airways’ sports equipment page for more information.

Air Canada

  • Parachutes are accepted and may count as one piece of checked baggage.
  • Advance notice of 24 hours is required.
  • Refer to Air Canada’s special items policy for details.


  • Parachutes can be included as part of the checked baggage allowance.
  • Oversized items may be subject to additional fees.
  • For more information, visit Qantas’ sporting equipment policy.


  • Parachutes are permitted within the free baggage allowance.
  • Excess baggage charges apply for additional pieces.
  • Check Lufthansa’s baggage rules for further details.


  • One parachute set per passenger is allowed.
  • Must be properly packed and may be subject to security checks.
  • Visit Emirates’ FAQ on sporting equipment for more information.

Cathay Pacific

  • Parachutes are accepted as checked baggage and count towards the baggage allowance.
  • Excess baggage fees are charged if the free allowance is exceeded.
  • See Cathay Pacific’s sports equipment policy for details.

Singapore Airlines

  • Parachutes are subject to the standard checked baggage allowance.
  • Additional charges may apply for extra or overweight baggage.
  • For specific guidelines, refer to Singapore Airlines’ non-standard baggage information.

How to Pack a Parachute in Your Luggage

Packing a parachute for travel requires careful attention to ensure its safety and compliance with airline regulations. Whether you’re a seasoned skydiver or transporting your gear for the first time, understanding how to pack your parachute in carry-on and hold luggage is essential.

Packing a Parachute in Carry-On Luggage

Carry-on luggage is subject to strict size and weight limits, and while a parachute may fit these criteria, here’s how to pack it properly:

  • Consult with the airline beforehand to confirm that parachutes are allowed as carry-on items and if there are any specific requirements or documentation needed.
  • Use a compact, padded container that adheres to your airline’s size specifications for carry-on items.
  • Neatly fold the parachute and rig according to manufacturer instructions to ensure it remains in good condition throughout the journey.
  • Secure loose straps and hardware to prevent them from getting caught or entangled.
  • Consider a carry-on roller bag specifically designed for skydiving equipment to simplify the process.
  • Always keep the parachute with you to avoid the risk of loss or damage in the hold.

taking a parachute through airport security

Packing a Parachute in Hold Luggage

Packing your parachute in checked baggage may provide more space but also exposes it to potential rough handling:

  • Select a sturdy, rigid skydiving gear bag or a container that can withstand the rigors of air travel and protect the parachute from impacts.
  • Fold the parachute carefully, following the packing instructions to maintain its integrity.
  • Pack the parachute as the last item in your luggage, so it’s on top when the bag is opened, minimizing the need for baggage handlers to move it around.
  • Seal and secure all buckles, straps, and hardware to avoid damage during transport.
  • Clearly mark the bag as “Fragile” to encourage careful handling by airport personnel.
  • Consider adding a tracking device or using luggage tracking services for additional peace of mind.
  • Make sure to check baggage weight limits with the airline and factor in the weight of the parachute to avoid excess baggage fees.

Essential Items Similar to a Parachute for Air Travel

When preparing for air travel, alongside a parachute for emergency situations, consider packing a personal flotation device such as a life vest, which can be crucial for survival in the event of a water landing. A portable oxygen concentrator is another vital item, especially for those with respiratory issues, ensuring access to oxygen in case of cabin pressure changes. Additionally, a survival kit containing a first-aid kit, emergency food rations, water purification tablets, and a signaling mirror can be indispensable in unforeseen circumstances. Lastly, an emergency locator transmitter can be a lifesaver, helping rescue teams locate you quickly in case of a crash or emergency landing in a remote area.

FAQs About Can You Bring A Parachute On A Plane?

Travelers and skydiving enthusiasts often wonder about the policies regarding bringing parachutes onto commercial flights. With security concerns and baggage restrictions, it’s a valid question whether parachutes are allowed on board. Here we’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to clarify doubts and provide valuable information for those looking to travel with their parachutes.

Can I bring a parachute as carry-on luggage?

Yes, in most cases you can bring a parachute as carry-on luggage. However, it must meet the airline’s size and weight restrictions for carry-on items. Always check with your specific airline before traveling.

Do I need to inform the airline in advance if I’m traveling with a parachute?

While it’s not usually a requirement, it’s a good idea to inform the airline ahead of your travel that you’ll be bringing a parachute. This can help ensure a smoother security check and boarding process.

Will TSA have any special requirements for inspecting a parachute?

The TSA may require extra screening for your parachute. It is recommended to arrive at the airport earlier than usual to allow time for this. Ensure that your parachute is packed in a way that is easy for TSA agents to inspect.

Are there additional fees for bringing a parachute on a plane?

There typically aren’t additional fees for parachutes, as long as they meet the standard size and weight limits for luggage. If your parachute needs to be checked and is over the limit, you might be subject to excess baggage fees.

Can my parachute be used as a personal item on the plane?

It is unlikely that a parachute can be classified as a personal item due to its size. Personal items are usually smaller items like a purse, laptop bag, or small backpack.

Will the parachute need to be disassembled or packed in a special way?

The parachute does not need to be disassembled, but it should be properly folded and packed in its carrying case or container. This helps protect it during the flight and simplifies the inspection process.

Can I bring a parachute with an Automatic Activation Device (AAD) on a plane?

Yes, parachutes with an Automatic Activation Device (AAD) are typically permitted on planes. Still, it’s best to check with the airline and TSA, especially if the AAD contains a small pyrotechnic charge used for activation.

Is there a risk of the parachute accidentally deploying inside the aircraft?

The risk of a parachute accidentally deploying is extremely low, especially if it’s packed correctly. Ensure that the deployment handles are secured and that the parachute is stowed away where it cannot be disturbed during the flight.

Should I declare my parachute to security personnel?

Always declare your parachute to security personnel. Transparency can avoid misunderstandings and help expedite the screening process.

Are there any specific types of parachutes that are not allowed on planes?

All standard sport and emergency parachutes are generally allowed on planes. However, military-grade or other specialized parachutes might have restrictions and should be verified with the airline and TSA beforehand.

Packing It All Up

In summary, passengers are generally allowed to bring a parachute aboard a commercial airplane as a carry-on item or checked luggage, subject to the airline’s regulations and security measures. It is vital to ensure that the parachute is packed properly and is not equipped with automatic activation devices that may pose a safety risk. Travelers should familiarize themselves with the specific airline’s policies regarding sports equipment and potentially dangerous items to avoid any inconvenience during security checks or the boarding process.

Furthermore, understanding the importance of communicating with airport security and airline personnel cannot be overstated. By informing them of the presence of a parachute in one’s luggage, misunderstandings can be minimized, as security staff are well-trained to handle such items with care and professionalism. Compliance with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines is crucial, and passengers should also consider the potential need for additional screening. In essence, bringing a parachute on a plane is permissible, but it requires forethought, clear communication, and adherence to regulations to ensure a smooth and trouble-free journey for all involved.