"From the reports I read, within less than three minutes after ditching, it is gone to the deep. Must it be that way?
Thanks for the response
Would be interesting to see what you come up with, but having done a lot testing with helo’s, we opted to lose the extra drag and weight of the floats and depend on the raft. One reason was the aircraft inevitably ended up floating upside down and the only place to sit was on the floats!
Also, attach the lanyard to the airplane BEFORE you take off. You have no idea what the crash, er landing, uh…impact sequence will be, nor do you know if you will remember to attach it before you throw it! If the raft doesn’t have a water activation device, it will sink.
I have a couple of friends alive, because the raft was thrown clear, inflated and they found it when they surfaced.
If you are going to ditch, obviously the CAPS deployment and landing is (IMHO) best. You can prepare the aircraft on the way down, change your pants and call Momma (and the USCG).
I would open the doors fully before impact. If you are able to stand and step out easily, well enough. I would throw the raft out and jump quickly. I would anticipate the airplane sinking within a matter of seconds and you want to get clear of the airplane and it’s shrouds as soon as possible. If the CAPS failed to deploy or for some reason you elect to ditch without deploying it, I would repin it before impact. I definitely would NOT deploy it after landing. No sense surviving to this point and being drug under by the CAPS.
The raft has your survival gear, (and hopefully your EPIRB) not the airplane, the airplane WILL sink. If you have a ditch kit, a portable aviation comm radio and GPS will come in handy communicating with possible rescuers.
If I am flying a single engine over cold water, I would also be wearing an exposure suit. The raft will not protect you from Hypothermia, nor will the airplane.
That ends the short lesson in Overwater Survival 101. Sorry to go on, but I have been involved in the recovery of several compadres and you can’t imagine how disorienting being trapped underwater in an aircraft is. I can’t stress the importance of getting OUT and AWAY from the airplane.
See DOPE on a ROPE (How do you put a picture within a post???)[:S]