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Ditching accidents, life rafts and equipment, training and related discussion

dublinpilot wrote:

No not buy a self inflating raft! It might very well kill you.

Good advice! And also valid for life vests, one more reason not to steal the yellow ones from your fav airline

Dan
Life's short... enjoy!
LSZF, Switzerland

dublinpilot wrote:

No not buy a self inflating raft! It might very well kill you.

Depends on what you call “self inflating”. Raft has to be self inflating, but obviously not on water contact but only by pulling a line.

Germany

Dan wrote:

one more reason not to steal the yellow ones from your fav airline

These also don’t self-inflate on contact of water. The main reason for me not to have same/similar models is to have a model that one can comfortably wear before and during the flight, because on a small aircraft, you won’t have the time and space to put it on.

ELLX

Am I correct in thinking aviation life rafts need deliberate inflation, but marine liferafts can accidentally inflate? Which would be a disaster.
Regarding lifejackets, I wear a marine one. I’m dubious of the quality of the airline ones for regular wear.

Maoraigh
EGPE, United Kingdom

@lionel
You’re right… was actually thinking about some self-inflating marine versions, when I wrote this, my bad.
Nevertheless, please don’t steal ‘em, even if they warrant free entrance to some obscure club in LEIB… 😋

Dan
Life's short... enjoy!
LSZF, Switzerland

Maoraigh wrote:

Am I correct in thinking aviation life rafts need deliberate inflation, but marine liferafts can accidentally inflate?

All the marine liferaft I know of are inflated by pulling a line.
The way you can set them up to auto-inflate (or are required to set them up for ferries, professional fishermen, …) is to have the liferaft stored on the outside of the boat with all the lashing connected to a water pressure sensitive device (e.g. Hammar).
So if the boat sink, the life raft is released and float to the surface. As the line is attached to the sinking boat, it will be pulled and inflate the liferaft. There is a suitably sized week link between the boat and line so that it gives enough pull to inflate the life raft but not enough to sink the raft.

So not really practical or relevant to aviation.

Nympsfield, United Kingdom

dublinpilot wrote:

No not buy a self inflating raft! It might very well kill you.

Just out of curiosity and not sure if this is the right thread, but:

How do such “water sensitive self inflation” mechanisms actually work? I mean: What is the technology used for water sensing and starting the inflation process.

I understand there is a pressure sensitive mechanism – but release only when the raft is clearly below the waterline and the pressure increases. Would not be dangerous in aircraft.
Is it electric water sensing (assume that has a high maintenance effort)? Or some chemical reaction?

Germany

Malibuflyer wrote:

How do such “water sensitive self inflation” mechanisms actually work?

Usually it seems to be a spring loaded mechanism which is blocked by a material which will dissolve in water. If marine life vests get really wet they can also release out of the water. We had one inflate in the trunk of the car after a wet sail.

www.ing-golze.de
EDAZ

Airborne_Again wrote:

My club has the RFD Beaufort Pilot raft. It is also used by the Swedish Voluntary Flying Corps which flies extensive maritime patrols in SEPs at low levels.

This looks like a good option, but I can’t figure out how to purchase it. Where did you get it and what was the cost?

EHRD, Netherlands

dutch_flyer wrote:

This looks like a good option, but I can’t figure out how to purchase it. Where did you get it and what was the cost?

We bought it from Transair in 2017. At the time it cost £1475 incl. VAT. Looking at Transair’s life raft page (https://transair.co.uk/survival-equipment/aviation-liferafts) it’s mentioned in the text but not among the web shop items. I suggest you contact them and ask.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden
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