Most glider pilots fly with an emergency parachute. As gliders tend to fly close to other gliders, that’s a reasonable precaution.

All occupants of a glider should be briefed on use of the supplied emergency parachute. The BGA safety briefing ‘parachuting after a mid-air collision‘ provides additional helpful advice.

The regulatory position is clear. Emergency parachutes are not subject to regulation. Emergency parachutes are neither installed on aircraft as a component nor are they required by the UK ANO or Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012 (Air Operations). Emergency parachutes are not subject of EC Regulation No. 1321/2014 (Part M). There is a BGA operational regulation that requires glider occupants to carry emergency parachutes when flying in cloud.

The BGA recommends that an owner of an emergency parachute, ie the person responsible for keeping the emergency parachute in a proper condition, maintains the parachute in accordance with the approved instructions published by the manufacturer. Parachute repacking should be carried out as advised by the manufacturer. Common sense suggests that parachutes should be kept dry and clean. Advice should be sought from an expert if a parachute becomes wet or contaminated.