Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

This forum has been developed to discuss Bush Flying & Specialty Air Service topics.

Moderators: ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, Sulako, North Shore, Rudder Bug

Message
Author
User avatar
185_guy
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 7:30 pm
Location: Where my skidoo broke down

Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#1 Post by 185_guy » Sat May 15, 2010 5:41 am

I am curious to know how many others wear a life vest while flying floats?
I did an underwater egress course last fall and it was an eye opener. I am not a strong swimmer at the best of times.
I purchased this Mustang vest and must say, it is comfortable, light, easy to put on and I don't even know I am wearing it.
Image
Cost was $200. It is a quality item, but even if it was twice the cost I would have bought one.
I highly recommend this jacket to anyone thinking about getting one. Great in the plane, great in the boat or canoe also.

Have a safe season!
---------- ADS -----------

Jerz
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:56 am

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#2 Post by Jerz » Sat May 15, 2010 6:39 am

Looks like a vest offshore helicopter guys use. I have a similar one in the door pocket , but I don't wear it. You can argue for and against it. I am a strong swimmer and we do underwater egress course every three years. I feel my chances of successfully getting a raft deployed and getting out, are better without the vest cramping my style. There is also a risk of the vest accidentally deploying inside a cabin, and then you are done for.
If you are a weak swimmer, you probably better off wearing it, just make sure, the pull cord is safely tucked in. Think about different scenarios possible in your operation and if there is no guidance from the company, make your own decision. Most people drown inside the cabin when float plane flips upside down. Would you prefer to wear vest in this scenario? You have done the underwater egress course, so you know what I am talking about. How easy is it to get out of your aircraft when sinking upside down? How big are you? How big is the door? What, if you would have to use another door or window? Just some food for thoughts.
Happy floating
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
CD
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2724
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:13 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#3 Post by CD » Sat May 15, 2010 7:28 am

There are a number of different constant-wear PFDs available that are very good ... just make sure that it is equipped with a manual inflator. Many may be equipped with an automatic inflator for use in the marine environment and that could ruin your whole day.

The current approved standards are listed here:

551.403 Life Saving Equipment Over Water - Personal Flotation Devices (PFD)

Remember to check the label before buying...
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
185_guy
Rank 6
Rank 6
Posts: 418
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2004 7:30 pm
Location: Where my skidoo broke down

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#4 Post by 185_guy » Sat May 15, 2010 11:00 am

Good points to think about Jerz, thanks.
This model, Deluxe Inflatable PFD (manual activation) :: MD3085 (3051 in Canada) does not meet TC's requirements but it is a lot more convenient to wear than the "yellow ones in the sealed bag" most float plane operators have in the seat backs. Of course that one is in the door pouch so I am legal when I fly, but having this one on ensures I'll have one with me if the unfortunate happens. I did not price a TC legal one as this one will do the same thing in my eyes.
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
CD
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2724
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:13 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#5 Post by CD » Sat May 15, 2010 11:17 am

Actually, it appears that the MD3051 is approved for use in Canada as it meets the UL1180 with Canadian Addendum, which is an acceptable standard as I linked above:

Deluxe Inflatable PFD (manual activation) :: MD3051

As I recall, the Canadian Addendum to UL1180 requires manual inflators only for Type II PFDs while I believe that the basic UL1180 standard permits either manual or automatic inflators.

As long as you are flying within 50 NM of shore, you can have either a life preserver (yellow ones in the sealed bag - TSO-C13), an IFD (those flotation seat cushions on larger aircraft - TSO-C72) or a PFD:

602.62 - Life Preservers and Flotation Devices
---------- ADS -----------

BGH
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:12 pm

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#6 Post by BGH » Sat May 15, 2010 1:01 pm

When flying on floats,or amphibs I alway wear my life vest - I tell anyone entering my aircraft on floats if you don't have one on you don't get in.I've had no accidents,or incidents in 27 years of owning my 185; I just prefer everyone to be properly equiped when in my care.
My life vests are the mustang type 1 md 1127. TSO-C13f ;Dot type approval AP-16, constant wear use

Daryl
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
CD
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2724
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:13 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#7 Post by CD » Sat May 15, 2010 1:16 pm

:smt023
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
Lost Lake
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1114
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:11 am
Location: On top

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#8 Post by Lost Lake » Sun May 16, 2010 3:14 pm

I think it's just a matter of time before TC requires water egress training for crew, as well as mandatory wearing of vests, again for crew. At least in the commercial end of floats.
---------- ADS -----------
What little I do know is either not important or I've forgotten it!
Transport Canada's mission statement: We're not happy until you're not happy

User avatar
Mr. North
Rank 7
Rank 7
Posts: 718
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 11:27 am

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#9 Post by Mr. North » Mon May 17, 2010 11:29 am

You would think so Lost Lake but then you'd be wrong.

A few years ago now I remember I attended the annual float safety seminar along with everyone else from the area. The TC guy there warned everybody that regulations to make these vests and the immersion training mandatory were imminent, and that we should get ready for it. Fast forward a little bit, I take an immersion course over the winter and show up to work the following season with a mustang vest, thinking I'd be a little proactive with safety for once. Well holy shit, did I ever get it from my boss.. He used every single argument possible to try and keep me from wearing it. He would say it tells everyone that I intend to crash, that it forms a mental barrier in emergencies similar to a pilot flying with a parachute, that it scares passengers, and will catch on things if I need to get out.. etc. I kept telling him to get used to it since the rules are gonna change sooner then later. So, at the next float safety seminar, my boss asks about any regulations coming down concerning the life vests to which the same TC official denied anything like that in the works. A full 180 reversal from his sky-is-falling diatribe of the previous year!

Next thing you know I'm looking for a new job, having gained a few valuble lessons. First, don't rely on TC to tell you what is safe and what is not. Second, stand your ground on safety, otherwise walk.

I ended up walking/got fired (depends who you talk to), and have since found better operators that endorse my vest wearing. I wear it every time I fly floats. The only negative comments I've heard from passengers are why they don't have one; as they look at their awkward yellow pfd, sealed in that plastic bag. "Thats a damn good question." I say, "you should mention that to my boss".
---------- ADS -----------

Bulawrench
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 277
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 6:02 pm
Location: Left Coast

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#10 Post by Bulawrench » Wed May 19, 2010 10:20 am

Thank you Mr. North. I agree that self inflator types may be a problem and the same mentality from my boss about it gives a perseption of " float flying is dangerous" no shit fellas. Speaking from the past year every life vest was still intact and six people lost thier lives. enough said.
---------- ADS -----------

Widow
Rank Moderator
Rank Moderator
Posts: 4588
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:57 pm
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#11 Post by Widow » Wed May 19, 2010 11:47 am

Recent events have brought PFDs and egress training back under the spotlight. Accidents, press attention, maybe even a little bit of me refusing to shut up ... There is supposed to be some kind of floatplane safety forum put on by TC Pacific come the fall. TC has done the risk assessments on this already ... these things should be included in any commercial float op's SMS.
---------- ADS -----------
"The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything." - Albert Einstein

tiny
Rank 4
Rank 4
Posts: 253
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2006 11:54 am
Location: somewhere on a river looking for dropped tools

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#12 Post by tiny » Wed May 19, 2010 3:42 pm

CAR 551 does list UL 1180 with Canadian addendum (read Mustang manual inflation vest) as approved but if you check the CAR 101.01 definition of a PFD it still excludes UL 1180 so you still have to carry the little yellow pieces of junk.
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
CD
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2724
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:13 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#13 Post by CD » Wed May 19, 2010 4:24 pm

Good point tiny...

A regulatory change proposal was made back in 2003 to remove the definition from the regulation at 101.01 in order to be able to accept all of the standards referenced in 551.403:

NPA 2003-026 - Interpretation - "Deletion of Definition for Personal Flotation Device"

It looks like the CARAC process worked in that it was accepted by the technical committee at the June 2003 meeting and the CARC at their October meeting:

CARAC NPA System: NPA Details

Now, it appears to be stuck waiting for a legal review and publication in the Canada Gazette... Like so many other regulatory change proposals, it looks like this one (and the other 23 regulatory changes in the same RU file) hasn't been deemed important enough to get through the legal review by the Department of Justice. :?

I guess the lawyers must have been spending their time on the 406 ELT issue instead..... :wink:

Still, the UL1180 Type II PFD is a good piece of kit and there doesn't seem to be anything preventing individuals from wearing them (provided that there are TSO'd life preservers on board as well :roll: ).
---------- ADS -----------

Road Trip
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 79
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 1:05 pm

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#14 Post by Road Trip » Fri May 21, 2010 5:31 am

Widow wrote:Recent events have brought PFDs and egress training back under the spotlight. Accidents, press attention, maybe even a little bit of me refusing to shut up ... There is supposed to be some kind of floatplane safety forum put on by TC Pacific come the fall. TC has done the risk assessments on this already ... these things should be included in any commercial float op's SMS.
I really hope TC gets on this. It's a no brainer like wearing a seat belt when you drive.

I have a vest but don't wear it when I'm working for all the reasons Mr. North mentioned. Without the support of TC the old bush ways just won't change and more pilots and passengers will drown and die in situations where a worn vest would have helped.
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
Lost Lake
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1114
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2008 5:11 am
Location: On top

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#15 Post by Lost Lake » Fri May 21, 2010 8:40 pm

If I remember right, the last large plane to crash on the water was in the Hudson River. I guess every person who flies near water (duh, everyone) should have to wear a life vest!

Last year, more people died from falling cranes in Manhatten than from plane crashes in all the US. People die from falling out of bed. This may be a shock for some folks, but living is a RISK. No matter what you do, what you legislate, there is a dummy out there right now wno is going to kill people. Maybe for a cause, a religion, bad luck or stupidity, but it's going to happen. I understand that some things make sense, but there is a built in risk factor to living, flying etc. Just look at drinking and driving. No matter what you say, do, or legislate, shit happens. The only plane crash I was ever close to, the pilot crashed the plane in 8 feet of water. All 4 pax got out and swam waded to land. He was unconcious and drowned. Would you suggest that there should be a watere sensitive retrieval system that automaticaaly jettisibed all crew and passengers upon contact with water. OOps, spilled my water in the plane.

I'm not trying to pick on the ideas. I have flown floats for over 30 years. I just get tired that every time there is an incident/accident there is a knee jerk reaction. Just look at travelling in the airlines!!

My 2 cents worth.
---------- ADS -----------
What little I do know is either not important or I've forgotten it!
Transport Canada's mission statement: We're not happy until you're not happy

Jerz
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:56 am

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#16 Post by Jerz » Mon May 24, 2010 1:42 am

Lost Lake, I like your 2 cents. Unfortunately, if you work for a big corporation, you can not be saying things like that, or else...The pen pushers in charge of safety fail to acknowledge that there is danger in flying and your safety system is based on that premise. I work for multi billion dollar service provider to the oil industry. I carry 800lbs of safety gear in my aircraft. Most of it is meant for a Boeing and useless to me. Unfortunately with all this weight, I have no room for fuel. Safety my a$$. Our safety record actually deteriorated since biurocrats took over our company, but they still get promotions and big bonuses for safety "improvements". Done venting. Feel better now.
---------- ADS -----------

Widow
Rank Moderator
Rank Moderator
Posts: 4588
Joined: Sun Mar 26, 2006 12:57 pm
Location: Vancouver Island

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#17 Post by Widow » Mon May 24, 2010 10:31 am

You would feel differently if someone you loved had died, and one of these long-recommended safety improvements could have made a difference. In the case of floatplanes, we aren't talking about knee jerk improvements, we are talking about things that have been recommended by the TSB AND TCCA for many years. It is telling that some operators have not actually noticed and followed those recommendations without being regulated into doing so.
---------- ADS -----------
"The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything." - Albert Einstein

BGH
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 167
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2008 2:12 pm

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#18 Post by BGH » Mon May 24, 2010 1:17 pm

Although I can see the arguements for both sides with respect to wearing pfd's i have posted above how it is handled on my private aircraft - if you're not wearing one you aren't going to be on board & believe me many have chosen not to go because they won't wear one.I went for a flight in an amphib a couple of weeks ago & of the 2 people on board I was the only one wearing a pfd when we did a circuit on Pitt Lake.

The boating industry has had similiar troubles getting people to wear pfds & the neysayers are everywhere.There is a perception from most that if you must wear an inconvenient,uncomfortable & hot "life saving device" everytime you get in then there must be more risk,or it must be an unsafe mode of travel & perhaps I should get there by another means.

You need to not only get over the perception but you also have to educate every user on how to handle getting out of the aircraft & how to correctly don & use a pfd - my guess is that along with the extra cost & flight delay to properly brief everyone will come the arguement about profit losses associated with the above.

I also believe that if you aren't already wearing a pfd when you hit the water then it's too late as has been demonstrated many times over the years.

Will more regulations help ; that is a question that will bring much heated discussions ;but not all the answers.
My humble opinion;

Daryl
---------- ADS -----------

Jerz
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 129
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 3:56 am

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#19 Post by Jerz » Tue May 25, 2010 4:36 am

Widow wrote:You would feel differently if someone you loved had died, and one of these long-recommended safety improvements could have made a difference. In the case of floatplanes, we aren't talking about knee jerk improvements, we are talking about things that have been recommended by the TSB AND TCCA for many years. It is telling that some operators have not actually noticed and followed those recommendations without being regulated into doing so.
First off all , I am sorry for your loss. Secondly, I am not against wearing PFDs. What I am saying is, it's not something you should decide on lightly. There are scenarios, when wearing PFD will kill you. I work overseas under different regulations and one of my responsibilities as a commander of the aircraft is to deploy a raft. I don't think I can do it wearing a PFD. I have proven my point during HUET training.
What I was saying in my last post was that a person who's never seen inside of an aircraft is not qualified to make "safety improvement" for me. I am not being a cowboy and I don't want to kill myself or anybody on board. And that is exactly the reason I am not wearing a PDF. There are some other scenarios, where pfds should be worn. If so, my opinion is they should not be of automatic inflation type.
Good arguments being made in this tread. Keep them coming.
BTW, I agree on mandatory underwater egress training for float drivers. Maybe even swim test?
---------- ADS -----------

flyingsafely
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 53
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2007 4:35 pm
Location: Campbell River BC Canada
Contact:

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#20 Post by flyingsafely » Mon May 31, 2010 4:02 pm

Air Cab, Pacific Eagle Air and Bella Coola Air are making their passengers wear life jackets. The story is in the Vancouver Sun: http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Broken ... story.html
---------- ADS -----------

tedcuthbert
Rank 2
Rank 2
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:37 am

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#21 Post by tedcuthbert » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:09 am

I've been on the fence on this issue for a while, I used to wear a Mustang, but haven't been lately, guess I got a bit cynical after seeing some people wear life jackets just for the appearance that they were being safe. But mostly, after much reading & research, I saw very few situations where wearing a life vest could have saved a life (such as - you are able to egress, the plane sinks so there is nothing to hold onto, and you are injured or weak so cant tread water). I also agree it could impede exiting the aircraft, and going back to retrieve passengers. In my view becoming trapped in the aircraft is the biggest killer with plane-in-water accidents. I'm now giving more thorough pre-flight briefings on how to get out of the plane.
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
Bushav8er
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 934
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:37 am
Location: Northern Can

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#22 Post by Bushav8er » Fri Jun 04, 2010 3:18 pm

CD wrote:Good point tiny...

A regulatory change proposal was made back in 2003 to remove the definition from the regulation at 101.01 in order to be able to accept all of the standards referenced in 551.403:

NPA 2003-026 - Interpretation - "Deletion of Definition for Personal Flotation Device"

It looks like the CARAC process worked in that it was accepted by the technical committee at the June 2003 meeting and the CARC at their October meeting:

CARAC NPA System: NPA Details

Now, it appears to be stuck waiting for a legal review and publication in the Canada Gazette... Like so many other regulatory change proposals, it looks like this one (and the other 23 regulatory changes in the same RU file) hasn't been deemed important enough to get through the legal review by the Department of Justice. :?

I guess the lawyers must have been spending their time on the 406 ELT issue instead..... :wink:

Still, the UL1180 Type II PFD is a good piece of kit and there doesn't seem to be anything preventing individuals from wearing them (provided that there are TSO'd life preservers on board as well :roll: ).
The CAR doesn't necessarily need to be changed if the Canadian General Standards Board Standard 65-GP-11 itself is changed. I went to check it out, and it is listed as "New" but funny thing is you need to login - pay subscription required! This is for the "Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, Canada".

http://www.ccohs.ca/legislation/cgsb.html

Many different sites for the general public reference that Standard but unless everyone pays to view it NO one can know what it says.

Maybe we are okay to use CAR 551, but can't tell? :rolleyes:
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
CD
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2724
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:13 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#23 Post by CD » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:47 pm

Bushav8er...

The site that you are referencing lists documents as "new" as a default setting when you visit. The actual CGSB website contains the list of their active standards:

Canadian General Standards Board (CGSB)

The CGSB 65-GP-11 standard is from 1972 and has itself been replaced by other, more modern standards (such as CAN/CGSB-65.11-M88 and CAN/CGSB-65.15-M88). If you have one of these old inherently bouyant PFDs meeting the 1972 standard, then of course you could use it as it meets the regulatory definition from Part I of the CARs.

However, the newer standards reflected in chapter 551 of the airworthiness manual provide additional flexibility and choice, including inflatable devices. The problem remains that the regulation takes precedence over the standards in the airworthiness manual so until the Part I definition is formally changed, the inflatable PFDs manufactured to the newer standards cannot be used on their own to comply with the section 602.62 regulation.

As far as getting access to a copy, yes, you would likely have to pay for it. Manufacturers of these devices make the purchase as they need to design the equipment to meet the minimum performance specifications in the standard. However, it's possible that a college or university library may also have copies available in their collection.
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
Bushav8er
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 934
Joined: Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:37 am
Location: Northern Can

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#24 Post by Bushav8er » Fri Jun 04, 2010 6:16 pm

The site that you are referencing lists documents as "new" as a default setting when you visit.
First visit, I should have thought of that.

If something is referenced as 'see that it meets XYZ' - I just like know the details.

This is a CAN-TSO-C13f approved Life Preserver - which is not defined by CAR 101.01 BUT is allowed by 602.62 & 551.401

Life Preserver
602.62 (1) No person shall conduct a take-off or a landing on water in an aircraft or operate an aircraft over water beyond a point where the aircraft could reach shore in the event of an engine failure, unless a life preserver, individual flotation device or personal flotation device is carried for each person on board.
---------- ADS -----------

ahramin
Rank Moderator
Rank Moderator
Posts: 5344
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2004 5:21 pm
Location: Vancouver

Re: Wearing a life vest while flying on floats

#25 Post by ahramin » Fri Aug 25, 2017 4:11 pm

602.62 (1) No person shall conduct a take-off or a landing on water in an aircraft or operate an aircraft over water beyond a point where the aircraft could reach shore in the event of an engine failure, unless a life preserver, individual flotation device or personal flotation device is carried for each person on board.
personal flotation device means a personal flotation device that meets the standards set out in the Canadian General Standards Board Standard 65-GP-11, entitled Standard for: Personal Flotation Devices, published in October 1972; (vêtement de flottaison individuel)
So personal flotation device is defined, but there's no definition of life preserver or individual flotation device. What are these and are there standards to them?
---------- ADS -----------

Post Reply

Return to “Bush Flying & Specialty Air Service”