In 1908 the first parachute jump using a ripcord was made in the USA.
In 1913 both British and French aviators made successful jumps from an aircraft
Parachutes were issued to the crew of observation balloons.
Air Board decision on not to equip aircraft crew with parachutes:
"It is also the opinion of the Board that the presence of such an apparatus might impair the fighting spirit of pilots and cause them to abandon machines which might otherwise be capable of returning to base for repair."

Airman's choice - be a flamer, jump, or shoot yourself

Side 1: Parachuting from a balloon, parachute history
Side 2: Air board quote, pilot quote, and spinner with pics of body impression in the ground, revolver, or flamer's face. Background image plane crashing and burning body faling

Don't Look Down - Parachutes in WW1
Parachutes page in Spartacus Educational in General RFC History
Diary of an observation ballon crew member
Pinterest flamer & other pics
Absent Parachute by Melanie Winterton
Observer parachute and other WW1 pics - National Library of Scotland
Body impression in ground photo & other Pinterest