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Under the seats in most commercial airliners can be found flotation devices - perfect if you're about to crash into a large body of water - but what if the plane is falling rapidly towards the earth and there is no water nearby?
An inflatable parachute sack is the answer. It acts as a normal parachute,
but doubles up as a flotation device for when a water landing is necessary. And when you want to do both - well, you can. As long as you dispose of the parachute by pulling a cord, between falling and hitting the water...
(?) Plane on a parachute
[kbecker, Oct 17 2004]
||How about just a single giant parachute for the airplane itself?