Then all of a sudden your
plane gives a sudden shudder, and the engine quits! Your at
about 2,000 feet, you check to make sure your gear is up and
then set up for a dead stick landing into a finger lake
directly ahead. As you get down to 200 feet you realize that
the sun in setting and everything is getting darker, and you
are having a hard time locating the dark green water of the
lake, until it suddenly finds you!
With a bounce or two you make
a safe landing, and with your paddle are able to get your
plane to shore. BUT you now discover there are no cottages
on this lake, no roads in or out. No one knows where you
are, what route you took, or when you actually should be
Worse yet it is mid
September in Northern Ontario, where temperatures during the
day may reach 65 to 70 degree F but at night it can get down
pretty close to freezing. Checking out your situation you
find the reason your engine quit is your main fuel tank is
empty! You were so tied up in thought about being lost your
forgot about your fuel burn.
Now this story has a happy
ending because the pilot had another 5 gallons of fuel in
his reserve tank and was able to fly out the next morning,
BUT it made him come to realize a number of things.
While some of these might be obvious,
others are not. While at Airventure 2010 I came across a
tent with a banner reading Emergency Response International.
"Since 1978 ERI has specialized in Global Survival, Search
and Rescue and Emergency Preparedness training,
publications, consulting and equipment sales." If your a
pilot I would suggest that the next time you are at
Airventure or at a show where ERI has a display, that you
drop into their tent, talk to their staff, and ask them to
demonstrate the Light Aircraft Survival Kit.
They have a number of items that are of
interest to pilots. The first being The Handbook for
Aviation Survival Sense. This little GEM which would make
a great gift is very compact in size, and is written on
waterproof paper. Statistics show most people live through
ultralight and light plane accidents. However many die
because they don't know the proper steps to take to ensure
survival after the crash. The book is broken down into
several sections which include, pre-flight planning, having
a positive mental attitude, shelters, firecraft, and tips on
how to improvise. All of which would have been needed by the
pilot above had he not had that extra fuel tank!
The other item that every pilot should
have, which comes with the above, is the ERI Light Aircraft Survival Kit. This kit again is
very small, lightweight and compact in size in fact the kit
weighs in at just over 7 lbs and can fit into an area 11
inches by 9 inches by 5 inches.
It contains a Pelican waterproof container, The
Handbook for Aviation Survival Sense, 8'X10" waterproof
silicon impregnated tarp, 2 large emergency shelter
bags, 50' parachute cord, metal match, 2 waterproof
orange match containers wrapped with 6' of duct tape,
glass signal mirror, three chamber rescue whistle,
PALight LED survival strobe/flashlight, Pre-Mac SWP
(Survival Water Purifier), Platypus 1/2 liter water bag,
waterproof Otterbox for personally selected first aid
items, Mora survival knife, Buck folding saw, Leatherman
Blast Multi Tool, and a Silva compass.
BUT listing the items really doesn't do
the kit justice! To get the full impact of what this little
case can do in an emergency you have to see the separate
components in action.
For example the shelter bags, which are tough 4mm garbage
bags can be used to keep you dry and retain body heat. You
just simply cut a hole it it to allow your head through. The
kit also includes a silicone impregnated nylon tarp that is
8 feet by 10 feet in size. This can be used to make a
shelter for multiple people, when it is strung up with the
50' of parachute cord.
For making a fire the kit comes with a
metal match, and a small container to stuffed with Vaseline
impregnated cotton balls. Which ignite almost like magic
when hit with a spark from the metal match.
For signally the kit comes with a small
signal mirror a three chamber rescue whistle, which emits
three different levels of sound and a PAL LED light good for
about 160 hours which has a low beam, medium beam and a
A small waterproof medical kit, with a
list of items that will fit into it, that can be adjusted to
fit specific medical needs.
For water the kit comes with 1/2 liter
collapsible water bag that can be used to store water after
it is filtered with the supplied PreMac water filter which
uses charcoal and other elements to disinfect lake or stream
water making it safe to drink, it does not work for salt
In the tools category the kit comes with a
solid shank survival knife. This can be used to cut into and
split small pieces of dry firewood. A Leatherman multi tool,
which can be used to remove screws and panels from an
aircraft. And finally a Buck Folding saw which can be used
for cutting down trees for shelter, firewood etc.
To truly understand the real value
of this kit you need to see each item in action! So find a
show that ERI is going to be at, find them and then watch and be amazed!
For more information
Emergency Response International, Inc.
319 Olive Street, Cashmere, WA 98815
Light Sport Aircraft Pilot News Web Magazine.
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