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#79335 - 12/08/06 01:28 AM Re: survival kits in small planes, accessible?
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
A standard plot devise in survival movies is losing the survival kit at the last moment and then making do, or returning to the wreckage, and, after pushing a rather pale looking and bloated Uncle Bob out of the way retrieving the thing. My flying is in sailplanes or a Morane- Saunier Criquet. Theres really not all that much ship between me and the kit anyway. The Criquet lost power years ago, and being a glider extraordinaire anyway we almost had to get out and push the thing in for a landing on an access road in a huge lemon grove. I was all excited about actually using my PSK. Then this Californio orchard manager drove up in a company truck and gave us a ride back to the airport. I could have killed him with my Fallkniven, I was so disappointed. But he had a 12 guage for lemon poachers <img src="/images/graemlins/mad.gif" alt="" />

#79336 - 12/08/06 02:06 AM Re: survival kits in small planes, accessible?
KTOA Offline

Registered: 02/08/04
Posts: 86
Loc: SoCal
Just some general comments I give to my students:

Ditching in water -- .
Plan on ending up inverted in the water
You'll stop quick, be ready for that
Pop the door or window prior to impact
The water is always cold, be prepared
On cross-countries where I leave suburbia, I wear a paracord lanyard w/ two lights and a small BIC lighter, around my neck underneath the shirt
During an emergency having to do all the "right" things and deal with issues is difficult, be prepared

I could write pages so I'll stop know.

#79338 - 12/08/06 03:08 AM Re: survival kits in small planes, accessible?
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
When I was in the Air Force back in the '06's I was stationed at an Army base for two years (long story there). And while not on flight status, I found my self in the right seat of a U-6A (DeHavillan Beaver) a lot (another long story). Not being on flight status meant no issue flight gear, so I begged, borrowed, and stole what I felt I needed, including survival gear. But the point of this little story is ditching. On my own I read the Army manual on the aircraft, and the part on ditching suggested jettisoning the doors (there were hinge pins you could pull from the inside of the aircraft), slowing to stall speed, and jumping from the aircraft just before it hit the water.

My question is, can the doors of any private aircraft be jettisoned while in flight? And do you pilots think that it would be better to jump, or ride it down and hope that the gear hitting the water doesn't flip the aircraft onto its back, probably knocking everyone on board silly in the process? It has always seemed to me that, at least at night, it might be hard to judge your altitude, and you could easily jump way too high.

Now days, if I ever have to go down in a private aircraft, I want it to be a Beaver flown by Harrison Ford, with all the gear he carried in Six Days, Seven Nights...

#79339 - 12/08/06 03:48 AM Re: survival kits in small planes, accessible?
Packman Offline

Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 50
Loc: Southwest Coast, Florida
Well, I know lots of small planes can have the doors taken off. the Cessna 152's at the local FBO are offered for Door-Off Photo Flights. Whether they're jettisonable in flight or not, I'm not sure.

As a pilot, the last thing I want to do is jump out of my plane while it's moving. Even when you stall the plane, you are still moving forward. Not much, compared to normal flight, but in the C-152 for example, even though you've stalled, you're still moving forward at about 30-35 MPH. If you hit the water at that speed, plus your vertical speed, you're either dead or stunned. If you can't swim, we all know what happens. Plus, if the plane is truly stalled, it's not developing any lift, so it'll DROP. And, it'll drop too close for comfort to where I am.

You're right, judging height over water is difficult, even during the day. At night, it's pretty well impossible unless you have radar altimeter, and that's very rare on most small aircraft. The aircraft can flip on it's back, but that's not as common as what some people think, according to reports from the NTSB I've read. I think I'd stay in the plane until it had stopped moving, with my belt very, very tight.
In today's aircraft, we're taught to open all the door prior to impact with water/land, because the fuselage can warp and jam the door. Those U-6's were a bit quirky anyway. A close friend of mine flew them for something like 10 years, and he's got some interesting stories to tell. Neat planes though!

And, you're correct...Harrison Ford (He'll always be Han Solo to me...) does have some interesting gear in that movie.... <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Happy Flying,
"The object, gentlemen, is not to cheat death: the object is not to let him play."
-Sgt. Poteen

#79340 - 12/08/06 04:20 AM Re: survival kits in small planes, accessible?
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
"... you're still moving forward at about 30-35 MPH. If you hit the water at that speed, plus your vertical speed, you're either dead or stunned...'

That reminds me of something I read one time. The Navy SEALS learned that your forward speed and altitude should should be the same when jumping out of choppers into the water. Ten ft, ten MPH, 20, 20, but the max was 30 ft, 30 MPH. Apparently over 30/30 you get hurt real bad.

I think I'm with you, I would ride it out...

#79341 - 12/08/06 04:44 AM Re: survival kits in small planes, accessible?
Misanthrope Offline

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 156
Loc: Chicago burbs
I hate to fly. I really hate to fly in small planes. Yet every year, I head to northwest Ontario for a fly-in fishing trip. I guess I like fishing in Canada more than I hate flying.

Over the years the pilots have changed. When I started going up, they were large, grizzly adams-looking, bush pilots. Now, you're likely to have some kid with multiple piercings in his face.

However, the planes haven't changed at all. Old Vikings, Cessna, Norseman, Otter's. Usually all of the writing on the panel has been worn away, and a Garmin GPS is duck taped to the yoke. Even with the Canadian aviation rules, I don't put much faith in any outfitters "survival kit." Add in the fact that the palne is packed with gear and provisions, I find it doubtful you would be able to find it in any kind of hurry.

I carry a fairly comprehensive kit in a Mountainsmith a$$pack, worn backwards, with the pack in front, so you can sit.

In the 26 years I've been doing this, I remember one brief on ditching and the survival kit, and that was probably 26 years ago.

There's just something unnatural in flying in a plane that was built 20 years before I was born, piloted by a kid who was built while I was in college.
I hear voices....And they don't like you.

#79342 - 12/08/06 05:30 AM Re: survival kits in small planes, accessible?
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
I would have thought a retired CHiP knew about the young lady 'mooning' another carload of college freshmen who fell out the passenger window <img src="/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" />

#79343 - 12/08/06 05:56 AM Re: survival kits in small planes, accessible?
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
I remember a high school guy trying to switch from the bed of one pickup to another at about 45 mph. He may be out of the hospital by now, it has only been about 15 years...

#79344 - 12/08/06 06:31 AM Re: survival kits in small planes, accessible?
norhumco Offline

Registered: 10/29/06
Posts: 33
Loc: Penngrove, CA
Just set your plane down next the oyster guys and your saved!!!

#79345 - 12/09/06 06:56 PM Re: survival kits in small planes, accessible?
manse Offline

Registered: 12/07/06
Posts: 4
Loc: Mass
In all my private pilot flght training I have never heard an instructor suggest slowing to a stall speed and jumping out of the plane as one of the possible actions to take during a ditch.

All instructors I've flown with said to FLY (not ride) it down.

In the piper warrior, the instructors have always said to "crack the door" and wedge something in it if you can (the door opens against the airstream), so that the door cannot be jammed when you crash.

I do knot know of any small 2 - 6 seats private airplane that has the ability for the doors to be jettisoned.

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