Practice Relating to Rule 48. Attacks against Persons Parachuting from an Aircraft in Distress
Spain’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides that persons baling out of an aircraft in distress by parachute may not be attacked during their descent. Furthermore, such persons, “when reaching the ground, shall have the opportunity to surrender before being attacked, unless it is apparent that they are engaged in a hostile act”.
The manual adds: “It is lawful to attack paratroops during their descent.”
Spain’s LOAC Manual (2007) states that it is prohibited to attack: “Combatants parachuting from an aircraft in distress during their descent. Upon reaching the ground, they must be given an opportunity to surrender before being attacked, unless it is apparent that they are engaging in a hostile act.”
The manual notes, however, that it is permitted to attack “airborne troops during their descent”.