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Do planes carry spare lifejackets?

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Do planes carry spare lifejackets?

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Old 5th Jun 2018, 14:39
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Do planes carry spare lifejackets?

I've just read in some linkbait article that the under-seat life jackets are a target for thieves. So, you've just dutifully listened to the safety briefing and you've reflexively checked under the seat for the life jacket, and it isn't there! What do you do? Does the plane carry spares?

And how often do staff check the seats?
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Old 5th Jun 2018, 15:14
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Yes, spares are carried. A percentage of life jackets are checked after every flight.
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Old 5th Jun 2018, 23:04
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Yes. They carry spares. As well as lose loaded child life jackets and life cots.

Certain routes, in Europe, are prone to theft, especially during school holidays or with large school groups onboard.
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Old 6th Jun 2018, 09:28
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So what do you do? Press the button an ask for one, I presume?
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Old 29th Jun 2018, 13:15
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The chances that a life jacket on a commercial jet aircraft will be of any benefit at all are so small I wonder why they are required to be carried.
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Old 29th Jun 2018, 13:20
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During the safety demo you should check under your seat. If it is missing - press the call bell. They should then provide you with a spare before departure.
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Old 2nd Jul 2018, 12:59
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Originally Posted by Bull at a Gate View Post
The chances that a life jacket on a commercial jet aircraft will be of any benefit at all are so small I wonder why they are required to be carried.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Airways_Flight_1549

better safe than sorry
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Old 3rd Jul 2018, 13:04
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Dave, I know that many passengers were wearing one but would anyone have died if they weren’t wearing a life vest?

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Old 3rd Jul 2018, 13:52
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Maybe, the water temperature was close to freezing.
Any other location without ferries in close proximity may have very well led to fatalities.
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Old 3rd Jul 2018, 23:02
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No one knows what the water will be like until you are in it. Also, for this extraordinary event, the Captain was able to turn the aircraft in the direction of the tide. Had the tide been on the flood? Then the water would have been very choppy indeed. Further, the lifejacket makes keeps you in the right position and more visible to rescuers - particularly if you are semi-concious or disorientated.

Put the jacket on and inflate when outside the cabin!
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Old 4th Jul 2018, 13:00
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Life jacket theft is a huge problem in certain Asian countries such as Vietnam. The pre-flight emergency briefing actually states that removing them is a criminal offence. Supposedly useful for boating activities or simply onsold.
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Old 4th Jul 2018, 14:47
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Originally Posted by Bull at a Gate View Post
Dave, I know that many passengers were wearing one but would anyone have died if they weren’t wearing a life vest?

If you pass out due to cold or tire significantly and you are wearing a life jacket, you have a chance of rescue - if you are not you don't. It is that simple.
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Old 5th Jul 2018, 09:15
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Originally Posted by Tray Surfer View Post
Certain routes, in Europe, are prone to theft, especially during school holidays or with large school groups onboard.
I understood it was not so much schoolchildren as adults with holiday boats, eg in the Mediterranean, who would pinch them on the outward flight at the start of the season, and which, for some carriers on some known routes, gives rise to additional scrutiny in the turnround check at the coastal destination.
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Old 5th Jul 2018, 11:26
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There was an issue several years ago of several bars/clubs in the Med hotspots offering free drinks etc if you had a piece of aircraft safety equipment. Plus the inevitable brief excitement of inflating a life jacket around the pool.
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Old 5th Jul 2018, 13:35
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Originally Posted by Bull at a Gate View Post
Dave, I know that many passengers were wearing one but would anyone have died if they weren’t wearing a life vest?

Until that incident, I was sceptical as to whether a large passenger jet could make a safe ditching in water that would result in the passengers being able to evacuate, so much so that I used to inwardly say 'crashing into the sea' when the crew did the 'In the event of a landing on water' part of the safety brief.

In the Hudson incident, they were lucky that (a) the plane stayed afloat long enough and (b) the local boats etc were able to get there quickly. If either of those ahdn't been there, people would have had to take to the water.
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Old 6th Jul 2018, 11:51
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Originally Posted by Davef68 View Post
Until that incident, I was sceptical as to whether a large passenger jet could make a safe ditching in water that would result in the passengers being able to evacuate, so much so that I used to inwardly say 'crashing into the sea' when the crew did the 'In the event of a landing on water' part of the safety brief.

In the Hudson incident, they were lucky that (a) the plane stayed afloat long enough and (b) the local boats etc were able to get there quickly. If either of those ahdn't been there, people would have had to take to the water.
Passengers taking to the water is actual procedure on many aircraft types anyway.

The Hudson is a perfect example of where a life jacket is of use. I.e take off and landing incidents around bodies of water or pre-planned emergency landings around bodies of water.

Everyone assumes that lifejackets are explicitely for “crashes” over oceans which is highly unlikely.
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Old 8th Jul 2018, 04:50
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But, was a single life saved because of a life jacket in the flight 1549 example?
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Old 8th Jul 2018, 09:12
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Originally Posted by Bull at a Gate View Post
But, was a single life saved because of a life jacket in the flight 1549 example?
Clearly not.

Nobody's life on US1549 was saved by an oxygen mask, either. Are you suggesting that those should be dumped, too ?
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Old 8th Jul 2018, 12:29
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I have never actually suggested that life jackets should be dumped, but I could construct a very good argument that they should be. A lot of things in life involve a cost/benefit analysis and I am not sure that the benefits of carrying life jackets outweigh the costs.

Would the flying public let it happen though? Not a chance.
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Old 10th Jul 2018, 11:41
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If it helps...
  • Yes, spare lifejackets are carried, and checked by the cabin crew as being present as part of the pre-flight equipment checks. Serviceability/Time expiry are checked by engineers periodically, as required.
  • Many aircraft do not have slide rafts at each door. The ditching procedures require some pax to swim to slide rafts or to wait on the wing until rescued or transferred to a slide raft.
  • Some aircraft carry additional rafts as part of their EROPS equipment
  • Wearing a lifejacket will preserve an unconscious survivor upright and above water level. A conscious survivor will be supported and have access to the light & whistle. Treading water for an extended period without a lifejacket is surprisingly tiring.
  • A yellow lifejacket is more visible than some dark clothing
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