Practice Relating to Rule 48. Attacks against Persons Parachuting from an Aircraft in Distress
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Officers (1994) provides:
No person parachuting from an aircraft in distress shall be made the object of an attack during the descent by parachute.
While landing, he shall have the opportunity to indicate his intention to surrender. However, if he attempts to escape or commits a hostile act, he may be attacked. Airborne troops are never protected, even if the aircraft is in distress.
Belgium’s Teaching Manual for Soldiers provides:
Pilots and aircrew who parachute from an aircraft in distress … are not to be attacked during their descent … They may be attacked during their descent and/or once they have reached the ground only if they themselves open fire or attempt to escape. Airborne troops, however, constitute a combatant unit as soon as they get out of the aircraft and may be made the object of an attack during their descent by parachute as well as on the ground.