What aviation raft is right for you?

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.

Pilot and ISPLR raftThe starting point when selecting a raft is to calculate how many people you need it to hold. By FAA standards, aviation life rafts are rated based on several factors within the raft including floor area, seating space and buoyancy. Minimum standards are 3.6 feet2 /person, with an overload rate of 2.4 feet2 /person.

SWITLIK offers three aviation lift rafts with different capacity ratings.


The raft for a single person, the Switlik ISPLR brings advanced military design and mission-proven durability to a single place life raft available for mariners and pilots who are serious about their personal lifesaving equipment. Depending on your aircraft, the ISPLR can be configured in 3 different packs:

soft-pack belt-pack ISPLR_Brick_Pack_Small_lightert

Loose Pack

Belt Pack

Sealed Pack

- 7" Dia. x 12" L

- 8" H x 34" L x 1.5" W

- 4 1/4" H x 14" L x 6 1/4"W

- Weighs 5.4 lbs (2.4 kg)

- Weighs 6.2 lbs (2.8 kg)

- Weighs 5.4 lbs (2.4 kg)

Loose packed

Hermetically sealed

Hermetically sealed

- Cylinders accessible for removal

- Cylinders not accessible for removal

- Cylinders not accessible for removal

- 1 year service interval

- 3 year service interval

- 5 year service interval



Rated for 4-6 persons, the CPR is the commercial version of the raft designed for and adopted by the U.S. Coast Guard for their Helicopter Operations. This professional grade life raft is now available for general aviation. Catering to both the fixed and rotary wing aircraft, the CPR is TSO-C70a Type II approved. Available with a 5 year service interval, the CPR weighs 39 pounds and is packed in a soft valise case.



Rated for 6-8 persons, the OPR is designed to be a high quality, lightweight, offshore life raft, with a convertible canopy system, 5-Year Service and heat sealed construction. The OPR provides 1,350 lbs. of inflated buoyancy and 24 sq. ft. of floor area and offers excellent ventilation as well as total protection from the elements. Packed in a soft valise, the OPR weighs 50 pounds with the FAR 91 survival kit and 56 pounds with the FAR 135 kit.

When determining which life raft is right for you, you should first determine the maximum number of passengers for your aircraft. That number will then dictate the minimum capacity life raft you’ll need.

Related Posts

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