Redback aviation helicopter emergency survival kit
So it's another beautiful flying day and you have planned (or spontaneously planned) a flight in your chopper. It might just be a short few miles, or maybe an overnighter. You've lodged your flight plan, notified the appropriate authorities, organised fuel and researched your route with alternatives, checked radio frequencies, programmed the GPS etc.
The chopper is given a thorough pre-flight, log books checked etc... Bags packed (if any) and you are ready to go!... or are you?? Although there are many details not included here, we are referring to one often overlooked preperation for ANY flight!
Did you pack a survival kit? The importance is obvious but to some who think, "I'm just flying to the next town or even just the next field so should be fine", well how many times have we heard of motor vehicle accidents on major roads where people were not found for days? They just happened to end up in a place of low visibility.
Sometimes a simple tool or other item can mean the difference between life and death but having a basic survival kit with you is commonly overlooked. We have all heard of stories of people dying of thirst in deserts, bleeding out from injuries or even cutting off there own arms just to save their life. Who of these people were adequetly prepared?
Though it may add but a few pounds/kilos to your gross weight calculations it should be considered a part of your aircraft that is checked during every pre-flight, not additional cargo or luggage.
- Water - at least 24hrs worth as a minimum!
- Food (long life rations for easy long term storage)
- Basic First Aid Kit
- EPIRB (very affordable insurance)
- Basic tools eg. screwdriver and spanners
- A torch, glow stick, mirror, tea candle and a magnet
- Flint for fire, waterproof matches
- String and/or rope plus fishing line
- Survival knife and or Swiss army knife
- A couple of basic mechanical spares known to occassionally fail eg. drive belts
- Survival blanket (they pack tiny and can both provide shade and be a reflective signal)
- A VHF airband handheld radio (becoming ever more affordable - see our online store)
- Survival firearm such as a .22 pistol or rifle (where legal)
- Wistle or other signalling device such as a flare
- Tube tent (super compact sizes available)
- A survival guide or instructional book
- Maybe even a cap or hat, spare sunglasses
- ...and don't forget some toilet paper! - yes really :)
Now while there is no set standard for what might be included in your kit, the above suggestions may help get you started. There are many different factors that may determine what's in your survival kit such as environmental conditions - terrain, weather, day or night etc. What is important is to have something in the way of survival and first aid so you are never caught short handed should the need arise.
Now when I said "Basic First Aid Kit" - well we all know that would include at least some band-aids, bandage and antiseptic but again this boils down to an individuals needs plus the various flight parameters and duration.
If I were to be doing an extended flight across desert areas for example, I would consider various dangers such as scorpions or snake bite. Maybe a splint or tourniquet for limb immobilization, a snake bite kit, sunburn cream etc...
On the other hand if I was considering flying over heavily wooded areas my first aid kit may include items more so for lacerations and broken bones, maybe some pain killers?
Maybe an obvious but often overlooked addition to your first aid kit would be perscription medication or preventative medicines such as for hayfever or blood pressure medication.