Planned and Unplanned Emergencies
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    Life Jackets

    Eu Ops 1.825 says that land aeroplanes need to carry life jackets need to be carried when flying over water and at a distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the shore, or when taking off or landing at an aerodrome close to water so that in the event of a mishap there would be a likelihood of a ditching.  Each person on board must have a life jacket with a survivor locator light available to them, easily accessible from their seat.  Life jackets for infants can be substituted by other approved flotation devices equipped with a survivor locator light.

    When it comes to life jackets, we should also look at when passengers should be shown how to use them.  Eu Ops 1.285 (Passenger briefing) says that passengers receive a demonstration on the location and use of the life jackets if required.  What that means is that you should only demonstrate the life jacket if you are taking off or landing next to water, or if you plan to travel 50 nautical miles from the shore.

    Finally, when it comes to crew training, Eu Ops 1.1015 Appendix 1 (Cabin Crew) Eu Ops 1.965 Appendix 1 (Pilots) state that a crew member must have practical training including the donning of the life jacket every 12 months,

    Those are the rules as they are, so now lets look at some example of life jackets. Again, I will use those life jackets as fitted in the aircraft of my company.

    Eastern Aero Marine XF 35

     A twin-celled, light weight life jacket for both adult and child as long as the wearer is above 35 lbs (16 Kgs) in weight.  In its un-inflated form it will be in a plastic wrapping, or an extended life wrapping as shown below.

     To use it, take it out of the wrapping and put it on as shown below.



    The good feature of the life jacket is that you CANNOT put it on the wrong way, so don't waste time looking for a front or rear. 

    You have two useful items that come as standard on the lacket; the first is the whistle for attracting attention.

    The second is the light.  The light is water activated, and only works when submerged in water.  Its battery is a copper-halide sulfur assembly which, when in contact with water, creates a small electric charge which powers the light.  The light will operate continously for 8 hours.  If the battery is removed from the water, the light will continue to work until the battery loses its power.

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