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lifejackets & legalities- bass strait

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lifejackets & legalities- bass strait

Old 22nd Feb 2016, 19:34
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lifejackets & legalities- bass strait

Hi all

I'm considering the legalities of a PVT bass straight crossing in a piston twin. Relevant CAO2.11 requires:

1) lifejackets if more than 50nm from land
2) liferaft if more than 100nm from land (or slightly longer as I can claim 115nm based on cruise speed)

My query is, that if I look at a CWS-WYY track then by complete fluke, it appears that I won't go beyond 50nm from land. Google earth puts 50nm from NE corner of 3 hummock island in exactly the same location on the CWS-WYY track as 50nm SE from Cape Liptrap.

Based on this I don't legally need lifejackets? (Should I is a different question....at least now I can take lilos instead ). Have I missed anything - I'm sufficiently jaded to struggle to believe that something in aviation is actually looking like being less expensive than more expensive!

UTR
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 20:45
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Have you read the whole reg? It rings a bell that it says something like land suitable to conduct a landing on. Assuming these islands are suitable then legally you don't need to.

Obviously as you pointed out, life jackets might be a good idea anyway.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 21:24
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Doh - "Note 1" - you're right! Stretching the 50nm in that case just a little bit further to suitable ground/beaches probably makes it 50.1nm.

Jaded aviation sterotype - confirmed.....
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 21:59
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Chances are you'll be height limited due to weather on the trip over and you'll be buzzing along at 1,500ft with no life jackets wishing that you were a better swimmer, knowing that the average man cannot swim 49 nautical miles!
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 22:19
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It's true! It really is that simple.


One lifejacket per person, within easy reach, if you are more than 50nm from a suitable place to land in a twin.


You might want to have a quick read of CAO 20.6, as well, regarding what to do in case of engine out in a twin.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 01:16
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If i remember correctly there was an ATPL practice question similar.
If the total distance between two landing points was 100nm apart then the need for life jackets would not be needed. The explanation given was that if you left the coast at point A flew out 50nm you are still within range of point A and also within range of the another landing spot 50nm further onwards at point B a total of 100nm.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 04:01
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... and don't necessarily expect the cavalry to get it right all the time.


https://www.atsb.gov.au/media/5226548/198302284.pdf
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 04:22
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Still, it may be prudent to carry life jackets anyway, the beauty of them not being required is that they can now be something sensible and robust like a Stormy Seas or similar "aviation use not approved" design.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 06:05
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This one as well as the one John T mentioned.
Investigation: 197502854 - Bristol 170 MK 21/A1, VH-SJQ, near Cape Paterson, Victoria, 10 May 1975

CC
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 06:27
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A sad one, that. The radio operator was a very talented and enthusiastic young chap whom I trained through the CPL theory subjects .. he would have had a very bright career ahead of him had he been given the opportunity to avoid this mishap.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 08:08
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Be like a good scout..

Be prepared.

why anyone would want to cross the cold deep waters of Bass Strait without being covered for any contingency...one of which may be a splash down..has got me.

The weight of 4 life jackets is bugger all, and why not have them on board anyway... if not even island hopping. Even tracking coastal some places with rugged terrain.. a water landing may be the only option. Ditto over tiger country and there's a reservoir up ahead. No contest.

I'm no swimmer, so jackets, raft, flares, smoke, tucker box, water, fishing line are all cheap insurance should the worst happen.
And a 6 pack. If its a nice sunny day you can sit back and celebrate your survival event. And give thought to how you would be if you were just dog paddling..!!

I certainly wouldn't like to be the poor guy hanging in a jacket in the bloody cold Bass Strait waiting for a pick up that never comes.

Remember Dicks doco..."Search without Rescue". Bureaucratic bummer ...and a life lost.

God, or whatever her name is, helps those that help themselves.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 08:25
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I reckon they should be worn rather than just carried. Two people alongside each other, both panicking and trying to put on a jacket correctly wouldn't be very easy.

Drifting to single engine aircraft, I have see a number of people putting their jackets behind the back seat still sealed nicely in their plastic bags.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 08:57
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Most pilots don't realise until they fly down there the first time that there's not much chance of simply ditching next to an island and swimming ashore. Some of the "islands" are literally a jagged rock with a 50ft vertical surface protruding from out of the 5 metre waves. Be prepared for a potentially long wait time whilst bobbing in the shark infested waters!
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 09:43
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UTR is a pressurised twin who will be cruising above FL200. He won't be flying along looking at the whitecaps.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 09:52
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And 'Legalities' aside, a 'nice option' to have is a GME 310 GPS EPIRB in ya top left pocket.
And register it with AMSA. Can be done 'on line'.

Yes, it should fit, they are 'cheap' insurance, and last for around 8 years or so before requiring a 'new battery'.

The reason 'new battery' is in inverted commas, 'coz, as at 1/6/14, when I enquired last, they are a sealed unit and the battery cannot be accessed to be replaced.....they will sell you another at a 'reduced rate' instead....so the Canning Vale WA GME shop said....

Cheers
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 10:59
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All that Griffo said plus..

Forget the cumbersome lifejackets of years ago. These days, they are known as 'Personal Floatation Devices' and are very comfortable to wear whilst flying. Perhaps go to BCF and buy one for each pax? I went for a "PFD Manual Level 150/150N." These importantly keep ones head out of the water.

Cost? Less than $100 each so a no brainer.

(UTR, The lilos have only been "tested" heading north. Not south.. )
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 11:14
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Hey UTR, do the HUET course if you're gunna head down there regularly mate, buy the slimline life jackets that Jabba wears when he heads down there.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 21:10
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Thank you (mostly) for the considered input.

The thread topic was lifejackets and legalities. I've figured out that there are routes across bass straight that I can take, are almost direct and be legal to fly without a lifejacket that is CASA approved.

If I can take that route then yes, a PFD or something more modern and suitable than the small set of CASA approved vests becomes possible.

But what I can't do legally (by a few hundred metres or less) is fly CWS-WYY direct or WYY-WON direct on the IFR routes with only a BCF bought special. Crazily, I can buy those, wear them as people have suggested - but so long as the bagged version are nearby.

Horses for courses - I'm not sure what survival chances are (unless you have a lilo of course) for any ditching in Bass Straight - especially with the kids and so my preferred insurance is a second engine and plenty of altitude.

For future reference - I looked at prices on some of the Australian pilot websites for the RFD aviation jackets - over $100 more than ringing the manufacturer direct.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 21:30
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Just a note which might be stating the bleeding obvious, but if you do get a PFD from BCF or wherever, make sure it doesn't have automatic inflation (i.e. auto inflates when it contacts water), makes it very hard to escape an aircraft with an inflated life jacket.
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Old 23rd Feb 2016, 21:37
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Legalities aside, crossing Bass Strait, all a lifejacket is going to do is give you a false sense of security. You ain't going to last long, as in, all it will do is prolong the suffering.
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