Lady's and Gentlemen

I am looking for input on my selection of personal survival equipment. Do you have any ideas for additions, retractions?

Specifically  - Dress to Egress. What I have on my person if we crash (fixed and rotor wing). The Aircraft has a survival kit, ELT etc

I have am looking for a 1st, 2nd, 3rd line idea process. 

First line.. What is on my person

Second line.. What is in my flight vest (rotor only)

Third Line.. What's in my personal bag. 

We fly in all kinds of environments. From the barren Arctic (frozen tundra and thawed swamp), Barren treeless mountains, Trees and rolling hills and finally coastal areas. 

Here is what I am currently carrying:

 

Survival kit (in its own pouch on the vest or in my flight suit)

Matches (sealed container)

Bic Lighter

Duct Tape

550 Cord

Compass (cheap)

Whistle (cheaper)

Fishing line/Hook

Snare (wire)

Hand warmer

Fuel Pellets (fire starter)

Large Trash bag

Leatherman

Magnesium fire starter

Water Purification Tabs

Space Blanket

Bug Dope

Signal Mirror

 

In my flight suit

Pocket Knife

Pistol (mission dependent. But most of the time)

Headlamp

Flashlight

 

In my backpack

Woobie

Spare clothes

Power/Protein Bars

Water bottle

Phone charger

Solar Battery (phone)

Bug Hood

 Coat / hat / Gloves

Arctic Clothing (mission dependent) totally different bag

 

Thank you for your input.. 

Mark

 

The gene pool needs some chlorine.

 

Joined: 4/7/03   Location: Renton, WA - Barrow , AK

Original Post

Beside the duct tape -which can be pressed into service- no medical gear to stop bleeding after a crash-landing on you, if  the other equipment from aircraft isn't available (sunk after water landing, fire)? 

Do you are familiar with the content(s) of the first-aid / survival-kit(s) of the aircraft(s)? Have you already used/tested the devices in it, or is it more or less a "red box of stuff"? 

If the ELT of the crashed aircraft is not working after the incident an extra 406MHz PLB on you could be a lifesaver, there are nowadays very small and relatively inexpensive devices available.

Doug Ritter is an SME in this things he worked for years to improve safety equipment for aircrafts and boats/ ships, so life rafts and PLBs for example.

He  has his website

h ttp://www.equipped.org

h ttp://www.equipped.org/avsrvtoc.htm  (about aviation survival)

h ttp://www.dougritter.com/DR-aviator_survival_pak_index.htm  (Doughs kit)

h ttp://www.dougritter.com/DR-aviator_survival_pak_faq.htm  (in detail description WHY he choose the item, were worth reading)

Maybe switch out the bic in the winter with a Zippo.

I've had butane lighters stop working on me in the cold. And I'm talking teens and 20's. Lighter fluid works in all temperatures. Just make sure to check for evaporation of the fluid regularly. 

_____________________________________________

 

Doug

If I mention Corona, I ain't talking about beer.

 

"It's your turn to do until it's not."  TA

 

"Afterall.... if you get yourself into a fair fight.. you really haven't learned anything in all the time you have spent on Lightfighter, your tactics suck, and you don't deserve to breed."  David Reeves

 

JOINED:  9/20/09     LOCATION:  Outside of KSA Finally!

Zippo. Very small water filter for the backpack? Maybe a very small sharpener for the knives, Leatherman blades dull fast.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So low speed, i'm in Park.

"I could stand to hear a little more.." Jayne

Training is brief. Death is forever. PAY ATTENTION.

Joined: 6/14/03 1:02 PM

HydroBlu makes a cigar sized water filter straw that would fit in 1st or 2nd line. Strobe light, more than one way to make fire, tinder. The Doug Ritter/ ETS site is a great resource. Small axe, folding saw, more than one space blanket. The HD orange/silver space blankets  are good for 3rd line.  A roll of wire, like he GI booby trap wire is multi use and less space than 550 cord. Time saver for shelter building, etc. If you fly in Alaska, a mosquito headnet would be a life saver. Hot drink and soup mixes. A small Brit type mess tin to boil water/cook in also makes a good protective container. Well thought out med gear, to include minimal in 1st line.

Dave

"Keep that cheap, wail'n slut quiet!" A.J. Maggott

Great advice!

Responses:

I have an IFAC on my Flight vest and carry a CAT in my flight suit. plus some various medical gear that wouldn't do much good in a survival situation 

We are a medevac/SAR group, so I am intimate  with the medical gear on the aircraft (i'm the paramedic).

We have not trained at all with the aircraft survival kits. I plan to change  that. 

I have 3 ways to start fire (matches, Lighter, Magnesium)

Three space blankets (2 in the vest) one in my flight suit. 

I have a signal Mirror. But nothing else. I have thought of a PLB for my pack, or possibly a SPOT or other such OTC messaging device. I have been thinking a lot about a strobe.  Money is always a concern. 

Mosquito net hat is in my bag as well as lot's of Bug dope. 

Saw / Ax is in the aircraft. To big for my to carry on my person or my bag (it weighs a ton as it is).

I do carry snare wire in addition to 550 cord. 

I would rather have a filter straw over purification tablets. 

The helicopter have VHF handheld radios.. While not in my bag...I plan on wearing one on my vest when on missions to communicate with the chopper when I am out with a patient. 

 

One of my biggest worries is going down in the tundra in winter. No trees or wood to burn. I imagine lot's of stuff on the plane to burn assuming it's not under the ice. 

Anything further?

 

The gene pool needs some chlorine.

 

Joined: 4/7/03   Location: Renton, WA - Barrow , AK

Blizzard Survival Jacket.  Compact and light, maintains body warmth and doubles as signalling device.

 

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If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together    -    African proverb

 

Joined: 2003          Location: At home pretending to be retired (again).

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I have an IFAC on my Flight vest and carry a CAT in my flight suit.

Excellent that you have trauma gear on your person.  

plus, some various medical gear that wouldn't do much good in a survival situation

 If you have already loaded a patient, or there a serious wounds or other traumata within the crew, the „various (advanced) medical gear and maybe drugs may become lifesaving if the time to rescue gets longer “  

We are a medevac/SAR group, so I am intimate with the medical gear on the aircraft (I’m the paramedic).

 See that the other crew has at least basic knowledge of first aid, because you may be the disabled person in a crash.

We have not trained at all with the aircraft survival kits. I plan to change that. 

 Very good, if there is stuff vacuum packed see that it can be opened with one hand (and your teeth maybe) if the need arises. Can the survival gear itself  (also your personal gear) be operated one handed, or if you have lesser dexterity and force in your fingers than normal?

 I have 3 ways to start fire (matches, Lighter, Magnesium)

Three space blankets (2 in the vest) one in my flight suit. 

 I have a signal Mirror. But nothing else. I have thought of a PLB for my pack, or possibly a SPOT or other such OTC messaging device. I have been thinking a lot about a strobe.  Money is always a concern. 

 A signal mirror is good, but has its limitations, you can signal never in a northern direction and only in the other directions depending on momentarily stand of the sun.

In tundra (high north) and winter (very short and dim daylight, because of short angled sun over the horizon) may be not so useful. A PLB, a Laser flare, a Strobe / and / or a powerful LED flashlight with strobe or SOS strobe function + lots of spare lithium (cold resistant) batteries are approx. 1.000 $. I attended some funerals where the flower decoration was more expensive… just saying

 Mosquito net hat is in my bag as well as lot's of Bug dope. 

Saw / Ax is in the aircraft. To big for me to carry on my person or my bag (it weighs a ton as it is).

I do carry snare wire in addition to 550 cord. 

I would rather have a filter straw over purification tablets. 

The helicopter have VHF handheld radios. While not in my bag...I plan on wearing one on my vest when on missions to communicate with the chopper when I am out with a patient. 

 One of my biggest worries is going down in the tundra in winter. No trees or wood to burn. I imagine lot's of stuff on the plane to burn assuming it's not under the ice. 

 Most used material in modern planes are fire/flame retardant treated, so they do not burn well! Or if lit soaked with fuel, it will emit poisonous smoke. So never do this in a confined shelter, a fire in the open even with a reflector will not be very efficient to warm you, but the outer side of your insulating clothes if you have some. So better warm your inner by hot drinks and caloric (warm) food. That means a stove able to consume the fuel from the aircraft (kerosene, that also means the burner has to be preheated), a syphon (with a long hose) to extract fuel from the fuselage, a (big) pot to melt snow and a shelter / windbreak in with a stove can be safely operated (Kifaru tipi?). Also warmth equipment  as isolating ground mat, sleeping bag and a sturdy cover for the sleeping bag.

 Anything further?

Train! Do “wintersurvival” under save conditions, take a course or do a “test run” winter overnighter with buddies in your backyard.

 

 

Docinak posted:

 

The helicopter have VHF handheld radios.. While not in my bag...I plan on wearing one on my vest when on missions to communicate with the chopper when I am out with a patient. 

 

 

VHF FM or AM radios? FM is fine for comms with your helicopter. An aviation handheld will be more successful with other aircraft that may pass by. I would not usually recommend air band radios  but in your case, you are part of an aircrew. I don't think you'd be violating any regs.

 

Garg 'nuair dhùisgear

Longeye posted:

Particularly in the rotary wing, do you have an absolute weight limit for personal gear or a boarding weight?

With the 412 yes.. with the S-92.. no not really.. 

The gene pool needs some chlorine.

 

Joined: 4/7/03   Location: Renton, WA - Barrow , AK

If you have the room in a backpack, a tarp can be handy.   Shade from the heat or shelter in the rain or snow.   They relatively light if you have the room in a backpack.  

As to the axes in aircraft, are they crash axes or real quality outdoors axes?   All the crash axes I have seen in .mil acft have sucked in construction and design.   I would not want to attempt chopping limbs with one if I had access to a “real” axe.  

Did you review the FAA AK required survival kits? They are pretty comprehensive.

Know thy enemies, but be aware of thy friends...

 

The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:
from bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency;
from complacency to apathy;
from apathy to dependency;
from dependency back again to bondage."

CCCSD posted:

Did you review the FAA AK required survival kits? They are pretty comprehensive.

Yea, I have. I have been the one responsible for stocking our aircraft kits in my past jobs. BTW I looked at our kit on the helicopter. It's pretty comprehensive. As for an ax. The one we have is the rescue/cable shearing axe. So it's not great. BUT since the Helicopters don't fly off the slope, There is no need for a axe  as there are no trees. LoL.. 

The gene pool needs some chlorine.

 

Joined: 4/7/03   Location: Renton, WA - Barrow , AK

I think you know the local climate enough to not underestimate it. My biggest takeaway from being in that area would be a longer-term shelter. There won't be anything great to easily cut the wind if you're up on the slope. 

I'd ditch the woobie in favor of a decently packable sleeping bag with a bivi-sack. Your biggest threat is the weather forcing you to put down somewhere. If that happens, or heaven forbid you guys crash, having something that will retain heat is critical. As you know, you might be somewhere long enough for a ground rescue to be the only option. I used to carry one of the USGI bivi-sacks in a pocket on my vest for this type of thing. It's small enough to carry on your person and will keep you much warmer than a woobie just by sealing the drafts out. Having a sleeping bag will also help the non-ambulatory to retain some heat. Nothing worse than hurt people dying from the cold... 

For on body stuff, I carry a small survival tin with goodies to keep me occupied. It fits in a pocket and has some good stuff in it but not necessarily what I'd love to have. I think your backpack with food, water, etc. is good. The head net is something I would keep on my person with a spare in a bag. Headlamp in a pocket is kind of a mainstay. 

Your biggest weakness aside from shelter is signaling. A simple laser pointer is easy and can work well at night. Flares, mirrors, etc. are probably plentiful in the aircraft kits, but you might want one option on your body. I personally run a PLB for that purpose. Giving someone a location fix is better than trying to signal to them during a search. Your aircraft will have an ELT, but there are other options they might have. Lots of SAR birds have a SPOT tracker or something else onboard. If any fellow crewmembers have them make sure you know where they are and how to use them. 

Just sorting through my hill walking stuff for the winter and found three items I always have in my rucksack, SOL Bivvy bag, SOL emergency blanket and MSR Trailshot water filter (summer carry too). The two SOL items are very compact and lightweight, easily stuffed into the bottom of a ruck, pouch or pocket.

 

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If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together    -    African proverb

 

Joined: 2003          Location: At home pretending to be retired (again).

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I carry one of the SOL bivi's everywhere I go also. Best bang for the buck when it comes to immediate shelter.

I also carry the cheap Sawyer mini water filters as a one time/ disposable option. They can't be frozen once they are used, so I usually toss them pretty often. The frozen water filter is a problem in Alaska and if you aren't sure of the water is something to take into account. A pot to melt snow or a jetboil might be a good addition in winter months. I have successfully used the Jetboil in some crazy ass cold there where I wasn't sure it would work. We kept the canisters warm and were able to boil water still though. 

I have the mil issue Blizzard Casualty Survival Blanket. It’s the size of a brick but double walled and huge. That and a Basha Brit tarp/shelter with 6-8 bunggies  in its stuff sack give me a great deal of shelter capability . And a green laser pointer isn’t too expensive and will fit in the pencil pocket of the flight suit. I also kept a small squeeze light on the zipper pull of the flight suit. 

Location Texas.

 

"So what are you gonna do if we get hit on this trip?" "Me?, I'm going to shoot some good pics of you nuking their ass. You do your job, I'll do mine. If I have to do yours,(unless you're the medic) we're probably all screwed!" - Standard reply , from Desert Storm through Iraqi Freedom

For what it's worth from an "arm chair expert" here.

I've heard some pilots postulate that having a bag/backpack stowed in the back or in cargo may make it inaccessible in case of a crash.

Second, what you are wearing is crucial. Some private airplane pilots fly in very comfortable clothes e.g. sneakers and t-shirt. While great for where they are when taking off and landing, if forced down in between in extreme conditions like mountainous or desert conditions, they are very poorly dressed for the new conditions. What you are wearing and what you have on you are a critical choices when planning for disaster. 

OK, I'll go back to my lane.

 

Since I fly solo a lot, I have my bag strapped in next to me. I also carry a kit in back. If you orang it, you should be able to access it by smashing or tearing if needed.

Know thy enemies, but be aware of thy friends...

 

The average age of the world's great civilizations has been 200 years. These nations have progressed through this sequence:
from bondage to spiritual faith;
from spiritual faith to great courage;
from courage to liberty;
from liberty to abundance;
from abundance to selfishness;
from selfishness to complacency;
from complacency to apathy;
from apathy to dependency;
from dependency back again to bondage."

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