Aviation life vest?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Peter Ha, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. Peter Ha

    Peter Ha Pre-takeoff checklist

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  2. Shoomp

    Shoomp Filing Flight Plan

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    That’s a tougher question than I thought. If boating I could tell you it’s a Class 5 PFD which means it only counts if you’re actually wearing it.
     
  3. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

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  4. Shoomp

    Shoomp Filing Flight Plan

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    I assume you mean “legal”. I’m guessing that’s described in 91.509 but it doesn’t say what is an approved PFD.

    Putting regs aside I have some strong opinions on PFDs. The ski-jacket style helps retain body heat and reduces traumatic injuries to the chest. It won’t keep the head out of the water for an unconscious person but realistically that’s a feature that if needed will probably be too little too late.

    if you’re not wearing it then it’s pretty much worthless. You’re probably not going to think about donning it if things get quiet. So if the inflatable is the only thing comfortable enough to wear on your way to the wine mixer then it’s most suitable.
     
  5. Eric Lehto

    Eric Lehto Pre-takeoff checklist

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  6. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Couple things.

    One, you do NOT want anything that floats till you’re ready for it to float, most dead people end up dead because they don’t get out of the plane. Shoulder belts to reduce a knockout are good

    Two, you will have some time if the engine takes a crap, shy of flying dirty low

    Three, think about something to cut seatbelts, also think about your sequence of opening a door latch and buckles.... upside down, figure you’ll have about 1/3 of your current IQ when the shock of the impact as well as the cold water hits.

    Don’t take your belt off till after you push the door open, have your hand on your path of egress

    In a 2 door plane without training, good chance anyone in the back is going to be dead unless they are quite fit and handle stress very well

    Have a SPOT/epirb

    Also can get a little sharky around those parts.

    Aside from that, fun location, have fun and take pictures
     
  7. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    They make similar units without the automatic inflation feature. The nice ones are about the same price ($200 ballpark) whether you get aviation or nautical ones. They do make a cheaper $90 variety, but I'm not sure of those. I like the SOSpenders design. I had worn a waistpack one on a helicopter trip out to a dive boat, but I like the one that's already "on" you.

    For a private, small aircraft operators, life jackets are not required. 91.509 applies to Large and Turbine aircraft.
     
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  8. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    Unless your flight is "for hire" or you're flying an aircraft where 91 Subpart F applies, you don't need a life preserver to be "legal." However, "legal" aside its a good self-preservation idea to have one. If you want regulated quality, buy a TSO aviation vest. But they're not cheap. If this will be a regular trip for you look in getting you a PLB/EPIRB. Also main consideration is water temps where you plan to fly as it applies to other equipment onboard.
     
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  9. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    An even better idea is a self-inflating camping mattress. You probably have one already. You stash it in the back, and on the way down you retrieve it and get ready to chuck it out the door when you splash down. If you can't it out of the airplane and keep track of it, it will self inflate if you can hold it out of the water. Good flotation. Good news is the Pacific is warm enough that you might even be able to swim to shore, depending on where you do down. Try that in Lake Michigan some time.

    Remember to fly at a higher altitude than normal. Gives you less time exposed to the water without being able to glide to shore. Also gives you more time should the mill quit. And have fun, islands are great for airplanes, even Catalina.
     
  10. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Some of these can be converted to manual mode by replacing the spool. Also, no need for the harness - you aren't going to tether yourself to the aircraft...
     
  11. nj-pilot

    nj-pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Doesn't the requirement stipulate distance >= 50nm?
    KAVX is ~8nm - are sure it's required?
     
  12. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Do the airlines still offer complementary life vests under the seats? Maybe I can grab one or two from American this week.

    :D
     
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  13. GMascelli

    GMascelli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I carry two life vests, since we often cross the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays. Our vests are from West Marine. When I purchased the vest I added Orion dye markers to each vest for added visibility in the water. I also switched out the auto inflate and now they will only blow up if you pull the red handle rip cord.

    https://gmflightlog.blogspot.com/2017/10/vested-in-safety.html


    [​IMG]
     
  14. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    If water is cool but not fridgid may consider wearing a wet suit to buy you time for a chopper to get to ya... I got a couple for going to N Fox Island in Lake Michigan- even in July august it’s still cool enuf to kill ya pretty quick- wet suit buys time for the coast guard to pick ya up still alive...
     
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  15. GLDP

    GLDP Pre-Flight

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    I wear a Switlik Aviator when I cross the water. FAA approved, manually inflated with a quick pull of the beads and has a water activated light.
     
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  16. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The water off Catalina is pretty warm most of the time. If you hit it early in the morning in the winter you might get a bit chilly.
     
  17. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    The water off Catalina is 59 degrees F right now. You'd have a few hours of survival time if you ditch. Make sure the authorities know where you are if it comes to that.

    Most deaths after a ditching are from exposure, not from the ditching itself.
     
  18. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    I don't fly farther over water than I can swim. How far that is depends on the water temperature.
     
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  19. bkspero

    bkspero Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am not familiar with the style of inflation bladder in the OP's life belt. Revere makes a similar belt which deploys a horseshoe bladder on inflation. Slide it over your head and it functions the same as a full life vest but is less obtrusive to wear in-flight. Here's an Amazon link. I've seen them for lower prices elsewhere (one place being at Sun N Fun when I was there a couple of years ago).

    https://www.amazon.com/Revere-Comfo...re+life+vest&qid=1579924011&sr=8-9&th=1&psc=1
     
  20. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I should look for my papers from water training, pretty sure most who die are the ones who don’t get out of the plane.
     
  21. flhrci

    flhrci Final Approach

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    You have to pay a "small" fee when purchasing your ticket to have one available. :D
     
  22. Weekend Warrior

    Weekend Warrior Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not a bad idea, and one I've never thought of for flying. I take a once-a-year camping trip on my jet ski, a Yamaha SUV1200, out to high island (an uninhabited island near north fox and beaver island), and I wear a full body wet suit for that. I get so warm, I have to stop occasionally and jump in the lake, and even that barely cools me off. So on second thought, maybe not such a good idea, as you would most likely over heat.
     
  23. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    For Catalina in a 152, fly it at 6500 (west) or 5500 (east) and know your turn around spot That should keep your wheels dry.

    I've personally flown there from KFUL several times and have never had a flotation device in the plane.

    [Enjoy the Bison Burgers - yum!]
     
  24. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Years ago with Independence Air went belly up, my inside salesperson who had been a flight attendant with them (in fact, part of the team that took them through the Airbus certification) and I went to the liquidation auction. We bought a bunch of furniture for the office and some other random stuff. For $10 I got like 100 approach plate binders (I finally threw them out). In another pile of random junk I got for $10 because I wanted something in it, was a whole box full (probably 200) CO2 cartridges for life vests. Someone else got the life vests in their lot. I tried to swap them some cartridges for some of the vests but they wouldn't do it. I was cleaning the hangar the other day and found I still have that box full of cartridges.

    One of the neatest things there was an "escape slide trainer. " It was essentially a tower that was as tall as the door of the airplane with an airbus escape slide attached to it. You practiced jumping off into the slide. I thought it would make a great addition to our side yard for the kids to play on. Alas, it went for thousands of dollars, much to my wife's relief. If I could have gotten it for $100, we'd have had it in the yard.
     
  25. FormerHangie

    FormerHangie En-Route

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    It looks like unless you're ditching into big seas, occupants almost always get out: http://www.equipped.com/ditchingmyths.htm
     
  26. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I was still tuned to GYY's tower frequency when I heard the Carbon Cub go down near the shore in Lake Michigan coming home from Oshkosh in 2006. I suspect if the pilot had been WEARING a floatation device he'd have survived the ditching. They weren't that far from the shore to begin with (they would have been right at the shore if the instructor hadn't decided to try and cut the corner to Gary when the engine started to fail). There was a Mooney circling over them in short order (I started to turn around, but quickly realized I was ten minutes away, luckily there were closer people).
     
  27. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I should pass this on to the seaplane community and off shore folks, save tons of money for all they warer survival training and dunk tank training I guess we don’t need.
     
  28. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    I’d stop close and put it on so I didn’t have it whole flight... fly windows open! :).
     
  29. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    My SOSpenders inflatable is comfortable enough to wear round the clock for a couple days / nights.
     
  30. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Long video, and not a trike, and not very happy, but want the lowdown on landing on water with wheels (down) here ya go, man who got out lived, the death was a kid who didn’t.

     
  31. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    Wrong.

    Just over 35miles from DANAH.
     
  32. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

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    As I understood it, life vests aren’t actually required for non-commercial ops. I am way too lazy to dig out the FAR but I remember discussing this with the examiner when I did my PPL oral.

    That said some years ago I bought a couple of single cell life vests. They’re in a tear to open pouch which would make wearing in flight hard to do. I’m thinking forward to our Bahamas trip later this year, will probably rent a life raft but wondering if I should upgrade the personal floatation gear too.
     
  33. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    The pacific along California isn’t much more than 50. It’ll kill you right quick.
     
  34. Rick182

    Rick182 Pre-Flight

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    Are you saying pow?
     
  35. Blue172

    Blue172 Filing Flight Plan

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  36. Shoomp

    Shoomp Filing Flight Plan

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    pirates too.
     
  37. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It's only 31 to KAVX to KSNA. It's about 23 miles between the two closest shore points as near as I can measure.
     
  38. DavidWhite

    DavidWhite Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    In addition to a PFD, I carried one of these velcroed to my seat to give myself a bit of extra time in the plane to assist passengers on the way out. Thankfully I never transitioned quickly from plane pilot to submarine captain to test my theory.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2020
  39. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    You looked at the charts and get a cookie for your efforts.