PPRuNe Forums - View Single Post - Air Asia Indonesia Lost Contact from Surabaya to Singapore
Old 15th Jan 2015, 21:09
  #2079 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Atlanta, GA USA
Age: 56
Posts: 183
The statistical chances of surviving ditching in the ocean are very small. Yet, every passenger aircraft has life jackets, rafts, passenger safety briefings and so on. Clearly, it is the intention of the air travel industry to give the passengers at least a reasonable chance of surviving a ditching event.
Although surviving an ocean ditching may be statistically low nowadays, the rafts, life jackets, etc are a bit of a throwback to when a survivable ocean ditching was quite possible. Back in the days when aircraft were much slower and had better glide ratios, in the pre-jet age, ocean ditching happened enough to justify rafts and life jackets. Piston engine aircraft were overall less reliable, so might have to ditch in the ocean, while still somewhat flyable. In today's reliable, but fast jet aircraft, the few times things go wrong, there's a good chance they go very wrong. A compromise in air worthiness often is either non-catastrophic or catastrophic. In the old days, there was an in between, where life jackets and rafts might come in handy. You might call it "Semi-catastrophic".
I personally feel good about the life rafts, etc still being in use, even if they are a throwback.
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