Ron Carlson Arctic Expeditions

Ron Carlson Arctic Expeditions
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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Over Ocean Flying - Dangers

Many of you have asked about how one would deal with an engine problem with the plane over the extended ocean flying that I will have to do, or worse, in the event that I would end up having to ditch the aircraft.  The answer is simple - a very unpleasant and cold (literally very cold) "get wet".  Although the DeHavilland Beaver's Pratt & Whitney 985 radial engine is almost bullet proof (even when more than one cylinder blows, which in itself is a rarity, this engine keeps running with surprising power).  But one never knows 100%.  There for, as I am one who tries to think of all the what if's - of the "what if's" - I will have a 2 hour immersion suit on with a specially geared ELT hooked to  the suit ("Emergency Locator Beacon" with plane and description registered to NOAA), and within arms reach, a 5 man CO2 charged inflatable life raft with shelter/beacons and a survival gear pack (with Satphone in HD Ziplock inside).  If I were to be descending and preparing to ditch, I would pull the compact raft to my lap protecting my chest from impact and hopefully be able to grab the survival gear too on the way out.  The key though is to get the raft out and deployed as I would probably have only a matter of minutes before the plane would disappear.  Pictures of my actual equipment.  The suit is custom fitted.

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