Rescue equipment

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Rhino

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I have a background in emergency response, including medical, so I'm curious what kind of rescue/survival equipment folks carry in their aircraft. Obviously it will vary for those who travel over water, so there should be a variety of inputs. I don't see a lot of commercially available kits for private aircraft, so I'm looking at getting some of the stuff that's commonly marketed to boaters (flares, smoke, etc.) and customizing/supplementing for my needs. I'll also be adding stuff I carry in my trauma bags, but I'm curious what other people have or are considering. One thing I will recommend now, and not just for aircraft, is something called an IPOK. Google it. I will make some more recommendations later, but I kind of want to see what others have thought of along these lines.
 
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Vigilant1

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From memory: Normal first aid supplies,signal mirror (old school), space blanket, balaclava (thin, better than nothin), nylon cord, magnesium striker. I should get a PLB. Most of my flying is probably within cell phone coverage.
 

Victor Bravo

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There had been a lengthy discussion of this over on the Back Country Pilots forum a few years ago. Some of the people on that forum have extensive experience with real-world situations as you would guess.

One of the biggest things I remember from that discussion is that you are very often only likely to be left with whatever is strapped to you personally... a big beautiful survival kit with all the luxury goodies is very often going to sink, or burn, with the airplane. The best laid plans and all that.

In the XC soaring world, we always had a "land-out kit", because we'd sometimes be stuck somewhere in the desert until the ground crew arrived. But that is probably a very different animal than an actual "crash survival" kit, because we almost always had all (or most) of the glider there with us, even if we busted it on landing. (I did have one burn up, but I wasn't there at the time!)
 

Rhino

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One of the biggest things I remember from that discussion is that you are very often only likely to be left with whatever is strapped to you personally...
I'm a firm believer in the survival 'vest' method. When flying over remote areas where you might not be confident in getting quick rescue or assistance, just wear a vest with minimalist gear attached. Some people make their own out of household stuff, but there are quite a few really good 'equipment' vests out there, many of them marketed to cops. You could even use a military MOLLE vest if you wanted to go that far. I think those get too warm for a summertime cockpit though.
 

Rhino

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...signal mirror (old school)...
Fell in love with those during survival school at Fairchild AFB. It's amazing how something so simple can work so incredibly well. You have to practice with them to learn how they work though. They aren't all that intuitive, but they're really easy to master once you follow the instructions and try them out for a few minutes. Unfortunately there are some really cheap, crap versions out there though.
 

Riggerrob

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National Outdoor Leadership recommends carrying:
extra food
extra clothing
water
map
compass
flashlight
knife
fire-starter
first aid kit
cord
.........
to those, I would add extra cell phone batteries
 

Hephaestus

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I'm borderline encroaching on an alaskan kit. It's in the baggage compartment.

Found this little 'tactical' thigh bag at the surplus store, small bag & molle loops/whatever on the outside. Pondering a minimal kit to strap to me...
 

Victor Bravo

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The cheap $20-40 "photographer's vest" you can buy on Amazon and eBay will allow a lot of stuff to be on your person. Obviously what you carry depends on where you fly. A fishing setup ain't gonna do me much good here in the Mojave Desert, the big bucket hat and neck cloth ain't gonna be as much of a biggie if you're in north Oregon.
 

TFF

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My friend uses a fishing vest. It’s mesh where it’s not pockets. He is one to fly 6 hours if it has the fuel. He will put at hand flying stuff and short list things in it. He use to have to do on the deck water flying over swamps. He wore an inflatable life vest for that and would have an emergency pack in the cockpit instead of baggage for that. He would also carry a tool kit separately from the emergency kit.
 

BJC

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Mirror, fire starter, paracord, Mylar blanket, hand held radio, cell phone, clothing appropriate to the climate, water.

Basic hand tools, safety wire, four spark plugs.


BJC
 

djmcfall

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Survival items you carry on your person, the survival gear carried in a bag in the back of the plane is considered “camping gear “. The vest idea is a good alternative but if you don’t want to wear one, minimum gear would be your PLB, disposable lighter, small non-breakable signal mirror and a blood clotting bandage carried on you person. Dress accordingly to the season/weather. If possible strap your aviation hand held to your belt. In the event of a forced landing with life safety issues, activate PLB (set it up with a clear view of the sky), then when you see or hear an airliner overhead, advise emergency on guard, give aircraft N number and ask them to relay your approximate location and medical life saving issues to ATC. Rescue will normally be that day or the next morning at day break.
 

djmcfall

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I would look up what the Alaskans carry. You are pretty much considered an A$$ if you don’t up there.
In 2012 I flew my 182 to Alaska. State law requires specific survival gear. I remember a hatchet, mosquito nets and fishing gear are items I had to add to my survival kit. I think Canada Northern Territories also had requirements, but not for sure.
 

Vigilant1

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Fell in love with those during survival school at Fairchild AFB. It's amazing how something so simple can work so incredibly well.
The teams working drop zones for C-130 VFR training missions would often use a 12" x 12” mirror tile (the kind found stuck on walls in 1970s decor). I think they drilled an aiming hole in it, speed tape around the edge for safety. Pretty useful if the sun was at their back, va-VOOM if the sun was in their face. With good sun, if you could see the airplane silhouette from the DZ for aiming, the crew would see the mirror.
Okay, it was cheating.
 

dwalker

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My EDC gear is-

IFAK
CAT or SOF-T
Any one of a half dozen pocket flashlights, usually a Streamlight
Microtech Ultratech or Benchmade Infidel, depending on mood
Whichever firearm is clothing appropriate, but these days its usually a Commander length 2011 in 9mm
Spare mag or two

If I'm going into rural areas, by car, boat, etc. I will add a Scout essentials pocket kit that has compass, folding knife, fire kit, space blanket, a boo boo kit etc.

Other than that, not much else on me. I tend to carry a backpack that will have water, snacks, and other random gear.

At this point I have gone away from survival bags or kits that are not worn, and always at hand.
 

Riggerrob

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My friend uses a fishing vest. It’s mesh where it’s not pockets. He is one to fly 6 hours if it has the fuel. He will put at hand flying stuff and short list things in it. He use to have to do on the deck water flying over swamps. He wore an inflatable life vest for that and would have an emergency pack in the cockpit instead of baggage for that. He would also carry a tool kit separately from the emergency kit.
Yes,
Back during the Viet Nam War, American aircrew routinely wore mesh survival vests with various pockets sewn on.

Some Special forces, snake-eaters tied or sewed various pockets to their STABO harnesses when they patrolled deep into enemy territory.

USSR cosmonauts also took a variety of survival gear. There most amusing tool was a machete/axe similar to the American Woodsman's Pal. It can hack like a machete and it has a brush hook which is gear for clearing thorn bushes. The USSR variant could also serve as a shoulder stock for a TP-82, three-barreled pistol. Attaching the shoulder stock vastly improves accuracy of pistols.

Flotation vests should include a minimum of a strobe light, flashlight, whistle, dye marker, knife, electronic beacon, etc.
 
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Vigilant1

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Water. It is heavy, and hard to bring enough. I generally have a few small bottles within reach anyway during a trip. It would be smart to have a convenient way to carry it if leaving the vicinity of the aircraft (which is usually a bad idea, unless it is sinking or you are going somewhere very very close (e.g that farmhouse over there.))
 

dwalker

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Water. It is heavy, and hard to bring enough. I generally have a few small bottles within reach anyway during a trip. It would be smart to have a convenient way to carry it ir leaving the vic of the aircraft (which is usually a bad idea, unless it is sinking or you are going somewhere very very close (e.g that farmhouse over there.)
I have a couple of the (now discontinued) MSR MIOX water treatment kits as issued to the Marines, which are light and easy to carry but kinda annoying to use in the field. I also have several of the Sawyer water filters that attach inline to a hydration bladder or even a standard soda/water bottle and allow you to drink directly from pretty much any water supply. Super light and can be carried in a cargo pocket. I keep those "near" but not on me.

I am going to have to think on this more. IF I were to go down in a National Forest or out in the desert, and somehow managed to not die or have a severe injury, I think having some survival gear/food in the pilots seat area or similar might have merit and be more likely to be at least near me. I mean a made for movie screens crash is not as likely as a set down in an overgrown clearing and tearing up the airplane, or setting down in the middle of nowhere desert. Without cell signal, of course!

Flying over water, man I do not know. I just watched a video where a pilot ferrying a plane across the ocean had to ditch it and she lost all the survival gear not attached to her body, and she had plenty of time to get ready to ditch. IIRC, and I may not, she had to cut loose the strap to her gear to get out of the sinking plane, and lost most of her gear. I think best case for an over-water ditch is grab a pre-packed floating bag, clip it to your belt/vest/whatever and hope it stays with you.
 
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