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Do you have a life raft on your aircraft?

by Switlik on 15. Nov, 2017 in Life Rafts

Depending on your aircraft and its operation, you may be required to have a life raft(s) with rated capacity and buoyancy for all of your passengers.  The FAA now requires a life raft on-board for flights over 50 miles overwater operations for Parts 121, 125 and 135 aircraft and for Part 91.501 over 100 miles overwater. And when traveling internationally, different regulations like the ICAO or Canadian regulations may additionally require one. Even if not mandated, large bodies of water, like lakes are an unforgiving environment, with hypothermia being a constant threat. For all aircraft, including Part 91 General, a life raft is the best protection from the elements when going further than gliding distance from land.

Using your Life Raft

by Switlik on 14. Nov, 2017 in Life Rafts

Reprint from Latitutes & Attitudes
Captain Richard Switlik


What do I do if I need it? 

Now that you've installed your raft, how do you launch it when needed? Unfortunately, there is no method or sequence that is appropriate for all circumstances. Remember the lawyer’s saying, "Circumstances alter cases." The amount of time you have is the main thing to consider. Fire, the raft's location, how fast water is coming in, number and condition of crew, and wind and sea conditions all may alter your actions.

You should follow these basic steps, however, for virtually all situations:

Servicing your life raft

by Danielle Connelly on 11. Oct, 2017 in Life Rafts

 

At the end of the day, no matter what brand you bought, there are two essential functions of the life raft: it must inflate and it must hold air. The only way to test those two functions is through regular inspection.  

If you are not required to carry a life raft on your boat, the U.S. Coast Guard does not require you to have it serviced. However, as a manufacturer, we recommend you get your raft serviced regularly. By inspecting your raft based on your manufactures’ service intervals, you will increase the life expectancy of your investment.

Crossing the ocean? Don’t forget your SAR-6

by Danielle Connelly on 05. Oct, 2017 in Life Rafts

When designing a life raft, decisions are made about the relative emphasis placed on each of the features that may affect occupant survivability. If that emphasis is misplaced, a raft’s design may not be as “safe” as another. For example, a poorly designed canopy entrance may lessen survivability more than an enhanced stability system increases it.  When you are hundreds of miles away from rescue and your most likely salvation is a container ship, you want the emphasis to be placed on every part of the raft. The SAR-6 is built from the bottom-up to keep you safe and give you peace of mind in any sea conditions.

Couple lauds a life-saver

by Danielle Connelly on 20. Jul, 2017 in Life Rafts

*Reprint from The Times--Tuesday, October 17, 1989
Christiane Biamonte

Life Raft stayed afloat for 66 days

HAMILTON -- A Florida couple yesterday told employees of the Switlik Parachute Co. they have a right to be proud of their work. It was a Switlik life raft that supported Miami residents William and Simone Butler for 66 days after their sailboat sank in the Pacific on June 15. They were 30 miles off the coast of Costa Rica when they were rescued by a ship.

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