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

BTW, I also carry a mirror, perhaps during sunny daytime it is much brighter than a strobe light, operative word being “sunny” …

In the end one has to limit how much weight is carried because a heavy raft is difficult to manage in an emergency, so you cant carry one of everything…

My equipment+raft is 6+5 kgs with 2kgs taken by emergency water rations, and it all adds up quickly, so one has to prioritize. Maybe for specific flights the survival jacket carry-on method has to be considered, but now I am digressing…

Any positive experiences with flares?

LESB, Spain

Instead of a mirror, I carry a CD. It works as well as a mirror but is lighter. The hole in the middle is good to put as strong through for attaching to yourself or the raft. The edges are quite sharp and capable of cutting open plastic wrapping or cereal bar wrappers. Harder to break than a mirror.🙂


My wife always carries a mirror, so I don’t have to take care about it – it’s always on board

Last Edited by Emir at 14 Mar 20:58
LDZA LDVA, Croatia

SAR people once told me that a little mirror is surprisingly effective.

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Emir wrote:

My wife always carries a mirror

I guess that means your wife is mandatory equipment onboard for overwater flights :)

LESB, Spain

Antonio wrote:

I guess that means your wife is mandatory equipment onboard for overwater flights :)

I keep her on MEL list

LDZA LDVA, Croatia

From here

maxbc wrote:

(in France it’s mandatory on takeoff over water, not on approach, but since you may depart from the opposite runway you should have vests onboard, might as well put them on)

As long as we’re talking about EASA aircraft, this is regulated by the EU, not France. But EASA regs do require life vests for SEPs for both departure and approach when the flight path is over water and there is a possibility of ditching. NCO.IDE.A.175(a)(1)(ii)

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

I stand corrected.

So had they been flying in EASA land, they would have been required to wear life vests.

EDIT: in the regulation it looks like it’s at PIC’s discretion to estimate if there is a risk of ditching, it’s not just “whenever approach / landing over water”. It’s also mandatory whenever you’re not in gliding distance (which solves the problem for this case).

Last Edited by maxbc at 15 May 15:21

Does EASA regulate (or give credit for) life rafts in any way?

There are many coastal airports where you might ditch but almost nobody wears life jackets – because they are such a hassle, and passengers tend to bugger them up. Whereas a raft can just sit on the back seat.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Life rafts are mandatory above 50nm from land (or 30 minutes at cruise speed, whichever is lesser). The approach / landing obligation may not be much enforced (because of the “pilot’s discretion” thing) but life vest whenever you’re not in gliding distance en-route is very much mandatory. It’s part of the PPL theory.

Last Edited by maxbc at 15 May 16:31
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