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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    Tom

    I use a Fladen suit for water crossings. Its not as good as a dry/immersion suit, but it will keep you alive for an hour in water that is 1-5degC. It also has a flouro top half and 3M reflective strips all over it. One of the big benefits is that it comes with a lot of bouyancy and a good hood that can be pulled on as needed. Its not designed to keep all of the water out, but to use the water that gets in like a wet suit does.

    I often use it for flying in the winter as it is warmer than my Ozee, but just as light and soft. It does not make you sweat at all and you where normal clothing under it. It can be zipped up in seconds, if worn in a 3 axis, unlike an immersion suit. You also do not have the risk of being inverted in the water due to trapped air in the suit, as would happen if you zipped up an immersion suit during flight.

    These were designed for Scandanavian sea fishermen and come in a hobby version (as I have) or a commercial version. The prices are approx 70 and 150, respectively from good on-line fishing tackle sites.

    Fladen's website

    Never had to use it yet, but it looks and feels very well designed and comes with good test certificates/kite marks. For the Irish Sea, I would recomend the 845 which meets the latest ISO 15027-1 for immersion suits and costs around 80.

    They have even been tested by RickGoddin in his swimming pool, in winter. Rick survived.

    Edit - Fladen test data and survival time graphs added

    Fladen technical data, graphs and suit catalogue 4mb pdf file

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    In my distant days I used to be a canoe instructor and a member of the corp of canoe lifeguards. The effect of extreme sudden cold immersion can lead to hydrocution. Cold water hitting the vagus nerve on the back of the throat can cause 'dry drowning'. I suggest you don't try it at home kids! But please, please take it seriously.

    Thought: If a ship was travelling at thirty knots, would you try to land on a container on its deck?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    You will find useful info on the mechanics of ditching on this site
    http://islandmicrolightclub.com/
    This is the site of the guys that fly from Malta, they are a great bunch and very professional. The two leading lights , Mark and Alex both fly for the Malta Defence Force so they know their stuff.
    Of course they have warm water believe me even in the warmest summer we do not. So it has to be imersion suit, life raft, ELT and flares.
    In my younger and even sillier days I worked as deckhand on a fishing boat and cold water shock is something you have to experiance to believe, it'll punch all the breath out of your body. Ordinary clothing will weigh you down and tire you to use all your energy very quickly.
    So, prepare well, fly as high as you can and if possible stick close to shipping lanes

    Ginge

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    I've not had any experience of this but there is a microlight guy who is qualified to tell you. I don't know his name, but he's part of the Avon microlight club and I seem to remember that he does lectures/crash courses (sorry!) too. I'll try and look him up for you.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest started a topic Ditching

    Ditching

    I'm thinking of flying to Ireland next summer, possibly following a taster session to Abbeville first, and (naturally) I'm wondering about ditching.

    Has anyone got any experience of ditching a high-wing, high-engine 3-axis microlight please?

    My concern is that even if you slow down to a stall in a tail-down attitude, the plane will still be doing approx 30mph when the wheels touch the water. Will this not cause you immediately to flip onto your back? I'm not that keen about vacating a sinking plane upside down and possibly suffering from concusion...

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks
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