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Sharing jackets?

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Sharing jackets?

Old 21st May 2017, 19:38
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Join Date: May 2017
Location: Jacksonville
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Sharing jackets?

I was wondering what the general consensus is regarding the new policy that is being implemented by the company I'm employed by.

Until today, each member of the aircrew was issued with their own personal lifejacket.
Yesterday we were informed that as from tomorrow, there will now be two jackets dedicated to each aircraft and the crews have to share these.
This wouldn't be too much of a problem if we were flying fixed wing and sitting in a nice cool cockpit but we are not.

We generally fly for about 4 hours each morning then another crew takes over for the afternoon's flying.
By the end of our flying, the jackets are normally quite damp from sweat as where we are is very hot and humid and we hang the damp jackets up to dry until they are needed again.
Now however, management expects the incoming crews to wear these jackets after they have been given "a bit of a wipe down" with a damp cloth, something that we are not happy to do.

Do other Pruners consider we are being unreasonable in not wishing to wear LJs that are damp with other people's sweat and possibly smelling of BO?
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Old 21st May 2017, 21:55
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Join Date: May 2002
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No short cuts on safety at your place I see!
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Old 21st May 2017, 22:22
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Originally Posted by SASless View Post
No short cuts on safety at your place I see!
A bit ironic considering that senior management love to promote the "safety culture" aspect at every opportunity.
It looks like a safety culture is fine until it impacts on the financial culture of the accountants!

At least with my own personally allocated jacket, I don't have to spend long inspecting it before putting it on as I know exactly where it's been and how it's been treated, something that won't be the case in the future.
If the jacket I get given has been worn by another person earlier in the day then passed over to yet another person for cleaning.
I will want to make sure that it's 100% serviceable before I wear it and if I'm not happy and this delays a flight, so be it.
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Old 21st May 2017, 22:57
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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Its quite common to share life jackets, in the companies i have worked for . I got told to buy my own , but they will service it for me
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Old 21st May 2017, 23:02
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Same here. Very common. Jacket servicings are easier to keep track of if each jacket (passengers included) is assigned to an aircraft.

The jackets just become equipment installed on the aircraft.

Need better A/C in your aircraft!
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Old 21st May 2017, 23:08
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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What if the jacket doesn't fit?
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Old 22nd May 2017, 00:54
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Brighton, UK
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youre either to fat or very skinny.


on a serious note, as others have mentioned it is a very common practice to have a set of life jackets installed on the aircraft for all the crews to share.


1. it is easier to keep track of the jackets for service and maintenance
2. The normally don't disappear or run over its maint tx due to being in a locker somewhere with the pilot in question being on 6 weeks leave.


in addition most of the life jackets also have a ELT/PLB installed which is again coded to the aircraft.
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Old 22nd May 2017, 07:58
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Join Date: May 2008
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It was common to have a dedicated set in the aircraft as well-but this was generally onshore, witb occasional offshore flying...

It is a totally different story when the vests have to be worn frequently....

Ask yourself:
Would you be happy to wear the helmet of a pilot just getting out of the cockpit?

If yes-you are a weird guy with probably some weird sexual fetish...

If not-why should this not apply to vests as well? Or gloves? Or shoes for the matter?


A life jacket is what-100 USD?
And they are probably there already....and like helmets and other equipment, needs servicing anyway....

No, i would refuse to wear them when sweaty...like said before:

If the flight is then delayed..it becomes a problem of the company....
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Old 22nd May 2017, 08:17
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Join Date: Oct 2007
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If i refused to wear a serviceable jacket, that had a slight wiff, I would be told to look for another job.

p.s you can get sanitiser/deodorising spray
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Old 22nd May 2017, 08:29
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Join Date: May 2017
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This is pretty common in my experience, even if stepping into someone else's sweaty jacket isn't the perfect start to a flight...
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Old 22nd May 2017, 08:45
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Join Date: May 2008
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So you consider it "safe" to wear a sweaty vest?

Cant stop shaking my head on this....especially as this is coming from the same people saying that are always looking for "unsafe" practice to justify their jobs..

Get two sets per aircraft..one crew comes back, jackets get into stores, can dry, are cleaned, checked and sanitized-and can go out the next day again, while the next crew uses the spares..
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Old 22nd May 2017, 09:39
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Every company I have worked for, has had a dedicated set of life jackets per aircraft, and then some spares. But it ha always been in a temperate climate (Europe/North Sea).
We wore survival suits a lot of the time, so the sweat does not reach the LJ, and on hot days a flight suit which kept it bearable.

I understand that changeing from your personal safety equipment to a shared piece of equipment is uncomfortable by itself. For the hygene part the solution of 2 sets per aircraft, with time to clean and dry the worn sets, seems adequate.
Really personal equipment like clothing, helmets and gloves are different. They are in direct contact with skin.

We don't change the seats where the sweaty bums have sat all day, between shifts either, do we? Where do you draw the line? I think it is where you can find agreement with the employer. Make sure you get good life jackets that are adjustable, easily cleaned and safe.
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Old 22nd May 2017, 09:49
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We don't change the seats where the sweaty bums have sat all day, between shifts either, do we? Where do you draw the line?
In my experience this was a far worse issue than the jackets!
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Old 22nd May 2017, 10:22
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Aberdeen
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At my Operator (North Sea), we have just gone in the opposite direction, going from keeping a set in the a/c to crews signing out a jacket. This has the benefit that 'Rotor High' mentioned about hygeine and also means that we can stock different size jackets for comfort. The primary reaosn, however, was the fact that we now have to fly with PSTASS and it negates going out to an aircrft only to find out that there is no air in the bottle.
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Old 22nd May 2017, 13:13
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I have flown for most of the major operators and many of the smaller ones and never have I been assigned my own life jacket. Either they have been hanging on a rack or assigned to an airframe. I currently fly SAR and we use Mark 44's with STASS. These are also not assigned to individuals - just airframes.

I have no problem with this as, unlike the comparison with helmets, they are not worn next to the skin. Seems a bit overly-sensitive to me to object to this policy. If this is an issue then what about sweaty seat covers and sweaty flying controls?
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Old 22nd May 2017, 14:36
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hueyracer, do you wear the lifejacket against our skin? Like gloves and Helmet in your examples below? Perhpas you are the one with the fetish! LOL.

I'd also like to know where you get a lifejacket for US$100! That would be very cheap. Especially when you consider many offshore crew jackets now have a PLB installed (sometimes coded to the aircraft tail number) and a re-breather set up as well, you are missing at least one zero off of your price tag.


Originally Posted by hueyracer View Post
It was common to have a dedicated set in the aircraft as well-but this was generally onshore, witb occasional offshore flying...

It is a totally different story when the vests have to be worn frequently....

Ask yourself:
Would you be happy to wear the helmet of a pilot just getting out of the cockpit?

If yes-you are a weird guy with probably some weird sexual fetish...

If not-why should this not apply to vests as well? Or gloves? Or shoes for the matter?


A life jacket is what-100 USD?
And they are probably there already....and like helmets and other equipment, needs servicing anyway....

No, i would refuse to wear them when sweaty...like said before:

If the flight is then delayed..it becomes a problem of the company....
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Old 22nd May 2017, 15:11
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Join Date: Dec 2000
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Common practice in many places, strangely enough its often the hot and sweaty climates. I mentioned this in one job but was basically told to do one. After someone had been using a jacket for 5-6 hours offshore in the far east, no air con, and sometimes 40+ degrees on the ground, it soon gets wet with sweat. The next crew come in and wear this over a thin flight suit or shirt. They also often stink to high heaven from the sweaty bacteria. You can feel the wet collar and smell it. Not pleasant so I understand the OPs point.
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Old 22nd May 2017, 15:31
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We shared jackets on the last couple of bases I was on. One in the far east.
Not a big problem. But we had a pretty good program of regular cleaning.
If however you got one that was bad..maint. had spares and they would change it immmediately just switching the PLB.
We did however have aircon most of the time.
We also had enough flight suits issued (3) that you wore a "Fresh" one every day.
In chilly North Atlantic climes we each had our assigned immersion suit also with a very good cleaning program.
Also maint stocked ear pads for our Bose headsets so that was nice. They would usually last for a tour.
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Old 22nd May 2017, 15:37
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If thats your argument, i will hand you a skull cap, and you can safely use the sweaty helmet of the previous pilot then.....

I agree its no issue when you wear an emersion suit....but with only a coverall, wearing a sweaty vest should be a no-go.....
In an environment where a company charges 3000-5000 usd per flight hour they should be able to afford 2-3 more life jackets for the crew-and they are not that expensive, just hand out a jacket, and transfer the beacons from one pilot to the other....

We can continue to find more pros and cons...but basic line should be that there should be enough equipment..there must be spare jackets anyway-to replace one that accidentally got activated, for example..why not use them?
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Old 22nd May 2017, 16:11
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Originally Posted by hueyracer View Post
but basic line should be that there should be enough equipment..there must be spare jackets anyway-to replace one that accidentally got activated, for example..why not use them?
Spares? No chance.
The only reason for the change of policy is that the company doesn't have enough pax lifejackets to equip the fleet we have so in their wisdom they have decided to take all of the LJ's off the aircrew and use these for one of the aircraft.

Sweat soaked jackets wouldn't be too much of a concern if we were wearing flying suits but as it's so hot where we are operating, it's short sleeved cotton T-shirts for everyone and it would only take seconds for someone else's sweat to soak through to skin.
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