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Old 24th Jan 2019, 20:52
  #78 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Dorset
Age: 45
Posts: 173
I regularly fly DCT from the SW to the Channel Islands. Iíve sailed all my life and flown for a good proportion of it. It beggars belief the risks pilots often take flying over the channel. Iíve sailed it at night often enough - it commands huge respect.

I own my own a/c and take the following precautions EVERY cross channel flight regardless of the wx conditions..

Firstly itís my plane. I know every nut bolt and rivet.. sheís properly serviced and I ensure a thorough extra walkround before the flight.

I ALWAYS ensure that Iíve told someone what Iím doing and what to do if I donít call them in x hours.

I wear:

Immersion suit (goretex and breathable)
lifejacket (manual inflate)
personal locator beacon

i then carry a life raft and grab bag, in it:

space blankets
marine flares (lots of em!)
sea dye and orange smoke
bottle of water
glow sticks
marine VHF radio
handhekd aviation radio
carkeys and wallet

total weight is negligible and cost is about £3k all up..

IMO the above, or at least most of it should be mandated for anything carrying a passenger (my view is the if the pilot is alone and he doesnít bother with this stuff, maybe he wanted to not be found). There is no excuse putting significant others, kids, friends etc in a situation where their safety isnít paramount.

Also I did the GASco Course at the RNLI. I learnt how my life raft worked (getting the canopy up was far from obvious and I wouldnít have been able to do it in a real emergency without having been shown first). We did the at night, rain, waves thing for an hour.. it was a huge eye opener!
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