Tag Archives: parachute

Breakthrough research reveals parachutes don’t prevent death when jumping from a plane

Tara Haelle

About Tara Haelle

Tara Haelle (@TaraHaelle) is AHCJ's medical studies core topic leader, guiding journalists through the jargon-filled shorthand of science and research and enabling them to translate the evidence into accurate information.

Photo: David Stillman via Flickr

It’s been 15 years since BMJ published the most rigorous type of study there is — a systematic review of randomized controlled trials — to assess the evidence for using a parachute to prevent death and major injury when jumping from a plane. RCTs are considered the gold standard in research, and systematic reviews claim the top spot of the evidence pyramid.

As those familiar with this now-famous study know, the authors of that 2003 Christmas issue study found no RCTs testing of the safety of jumping from an airplane with a parachute. Continue reading