The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s (AOPA) Air Safety Institute has released a new video and printed guide to help pilots and passengers survive conditions following an aircraft forced landing.
The program, “Survive: Beyond the Forced Landing,” covers best practices for general aviation flights that result in off-airport landings. It also reviews survival communications, preferred gear and offers advice for detection from rescuers.
“The safest pilot is one who prepares for any eventuality,” said George Perry, Air Safety Institute senior vice president. “That includes preparing for an off-airport landing. You need to take the right steps, have the right equipment and know the right techniques to ensure a successful outcome. This new video does a great job showing what pilots can do to be prepared.”
The program was developed with funding from the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA), which was concerned that pilots there were not carrying adequate survival kits, due in part to confusion over government requirements.
The video and 16-page guide cover the importance of flight plans and flight following, and the need to consider terrain along the route of flight where an emergency landing may be necessary. The video also discusses communication techniques with air traffic control and other authorities once on the ground, appropriate medical care, and the use of basic survival equipment, such as emergency locators, strobes and space blankets.
The program also notes that pilots should pack clothing that is appropriate for the weather along the planned flight path, and not just for the final destination. Beach clothing, it suggests, won’t be much good during a night on a cold mountainside.
Pilots should ensure their passengers know how to use emergency equipment in the event the pilot is incapacitated, and the Air Safety Institute already offers guidance on briefing passengers, including a separate video, a briefing checklist and customizable briefing card.