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Are Survival Blankets Carried Onboard?  
User currently offlineTravellerPlus From New Zealand, joined Nov 2008, 347 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 hours ago) and read 2282 times:

This question is motivated by incidents which have caused holes in the fuselage. These happen a number of times during a year around the world. The other consideration was that I live in a part of the world where flights can be as far as 5 hours from the nearest diversion point.

I was pondering a "what if scenario" of an oxygen bottle failure (like on QF30) on a flight between South America and Australasia during winter. Even though the aircraft would descend to a safe level, the temperature at 10,000ft would still be well below zero. This may mean as much as 4-5 hours of flying with below-freezing winds blowing through the cabin.

Is there a risk of passengers suffering from hypothermia due to the prolonged exposure to sub zero temperatures?

If survival blankets are not carried, where would be the best place to put them? Under the seats with the life jackets, perhaps?


What goes around comes around....unless your luggage is not on the carousel...
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 2222 times:

Quoting TravellerPlus (Thread starter):
This may mean as much as 4-5 hours of flying with below-freezing winds blowing through the cabin.

After the initial rush of air the pressure will be equilized so there will be no air blowing through the cabin. And just because there is a hole in the fuselage the heat exchangers still work so the cabin tempature can be maintain.


User currently offlinesmi0006 From Australia, joined Jan 2008, 1531 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 2207 times:

I can't speak of other airlines, however I believe that with QF the only flights to carry survival equipment is those operating to Antarctica and QantasLink services to MT Hotham and Lord Howe Island. I am not sure if the QFLink flights carry the blankets though, but they certainly carry a lot more equipment for a crash in the cold.

I think the mainline flight carry special polar suites too, (perhaps one of the QF crew here can provide more info) they are carried in the overhead lockers and are special suites to be worn in the extreme cold of Antarctica.


User currently offlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 9
Reply 3, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 2207 times:

There is no regulatory requirement for survival blankets and they would take up rather significant volume and weight to cover each occupant so are not a likely emergency equipment addition.


35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
User currently offlinem11stephen From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (4 years 6 months 1 week 2 hours ago) and read 2153 times:

SAS use to carry special cold water survival suits. I don't know if they do anymore. In the event the scenario you described did happen, there are still tons of passengers crammed into a small space and passengers could huddle together and use regular blankets for warmth. Also, its likely that passengers have sweatshirts or jackets with them in their carry on luggage.


My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 5, posted (4 years 6 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2059 times:

Quoting TravellerPlus (Thread starter):
Even though the aircraft would descend to a safe level, the temperature at 10,000ft would still be well below zero. This may mean as much as 4-5 hours of flying with below-freezing winds blowing through the cabin.

I missed something...how is wind blowing into a hole when the inside of the fuselage is at a higher pressure? Obviously, with a hole, you can't maintain cabin altitude but the packs are still busy stuffing air into the fuselage. And, even if you were at dead equal pressure, if the air comes in where is it going to go? One of the first things that happens when cabin pressure starts to drop is the outflow valves going shut.

Tom.


User currently offliner2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2601 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (4 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1795 times:

Leaving aside the more exotic case of a "hole in the fuselage", how about just a simple diversion to an "arctic" airport due to an emergency? To my knowledge, aircraft don't carry survival blankets, and I wonder how an 'airport' somewhere in Siberia would handle the 300+ PAX of a 777 that lands there after declaring an emergency.... personally I have my doubts that all the ETOPS diversion airports in cold and/or very remote regions are adequately equipped. With this I'm not saying that a/c should therefore carry survival blankets, but rather that the equipping of these airports should be taken a closer look at.

User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (4 years 6 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 1779 times:

Quoting TravellerPlus (Thread starter):
Even though the aircraft would descend to a safe level, the temperature at 10,000ft would still be well below zero.

No it would not... the temperature would not be that low unless the ground ambiant was that low...and then it might actually be warmer then on the ground.........I've taken off with temps in the 0c range and seen the OAT rise as we climbed.



"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offline474218 From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 6340 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (4 years 6 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 1764 times:

There is no reason all airlines could not carry one of these "survival blankets" for each passenger:

http://www.amazion.com/Pack-Emergenc...vival-Pocket-Blanket/dp/B000Y8Q4G2

And there cheap, three for $7.04.


User currently offlineJeb94 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 598 posts, RR: 5
Reply 9, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 1609 times:

Quoting 474218 (Reply 8):
There is no reason all airlines
could not carry one of these "survival blankets" for each passenger:

http://www.amazion.com/Pack-Emergenc...vival-Pocket-Blanket/dp/B000Y8Q4G2

And there cheap, three for $7.04.

Lets see here. These blankets must be burn tested and certified so most likely double the cost, if not triple it. Lets say a single type fleet and the aircraft has 150 seats. The fleet is 100 strong. 150 / 3 = 50. Thats 50 packs per plane just for max passengers, crew not included. Multiply that by fleet size. 100 * 50 = 5000. We'll assume the cost you've presented. 5000 * 7.04 = 35200. So there you have basic aquisition cost for an item that would be rarely, if ever used. Keep in mind that catastrophic decompression events are extremely rare in the industry, let alone an individual airline and I chose not to include certification costs mostly because I don't know what that would come out to be. Lets factor in weight. Its roughly 2 lbs per pack so lets do that math. 50 * 2 = 100. There is 100 lbs added to every plane. That's 100 lbs less payload/fuel per plane. These things must be inspected for condition and replaced from time to time so now you've added maintenance expense. In the event of a disaster like lets say, Aloha 243, all these things would have done is blow all over the place and add to the debris flying around and create even more chaos. I'm seeing these things as more of a problem than a help, personally. I don't mean to be a jerk but this is what I see from the airlines point of view, having been a mechanic at two carriers that removed airstairs to save roughly 200 lbs.


User currently offlinereadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3222 posts, RR: 2
Reply 10, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 1536 times:

I have had one in my hand luggage for a couple of years now. The thought of surviving a ditching in the Atlantic only to freeze to death in the life raft waiting a couple of hours for rescue, seemed daft not to have one.


you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineAesma From France, joined Nov 2009, 6591 posts, RR: 9
Reply 11, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1365 times:

What life raft ? You also have it in your luggage ?


New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
User currently offlinemax999 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 1036 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1354 times:

I recall reading an article that CO's EWR-HKG carries survival materials onboard because it is a transpolar flight.


All the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal, or fattening.
User currently offlinem11stephen From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1327 times:

Quoting Aesma (Reply 11):
What life raft ? You also have it in your luggage ?

All planes that travel 162NM (or is it 150NM?) or more from shore have to carry life rafts, life vests, and ditching survival equipment.  



My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
User currently offlinetdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1276 times:

Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 10):
The thought of surviving a ditching in the Atlantic only to freeze to death in the life raft waiting a couple of hours for rescue

If you survived the ditching, how are you going to freeze to death crammed into the liferaft with several dozen of your (now) very close friends, with a roof and insulated walls?

Tom.


User currently onlinekanban From United States of America, joined Jan 2008, 3479 posts, RR: 27
Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1230 times:
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Quoting readytotaxi (Reply 10):
I have had one in my hand luggage for a couple of years now. The thought of surviving a ditching in the Atlantic only to freeze to death in the life raft waiting a couple of hours for rescue, seemed daft not to have one.

I had thought of doing this even for doing a belly flop on land in the winter and decided Homeland Security would never let me on the plane with a wad of mylar in my bag. It isn't a bad idea... maybe they should sell them in snack machines in the airport.


User currently offlineUSAirALB From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 3054 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1217 times:

Quoting m11stephen (Reply 13):
ditching survival equipment.

Which includes?

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):
with a roof and insulated walls?

How does a slide raft have a roof?

Quoting smi0006 (Reply 2):
I think the mainline flight carry special polar suites too, (perhaps one of the QF crew here can provide more info) they are carried in the overhead lockers and are special suites to be worn in the extreme cold of Antarctica.

I would think the suits would only be needed on Antartic sighseeing flights.

What about, like EWR-HKG?



E135/E140/E145/E70/E75/E90/CR2/CR7/CR9/717/732/733/734/735/73G/738/739/752/753/762/772/319/320/321/333
User currently offlinem11stephen From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1204 times:

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 16):
Which includes?

Flairs, see dye markers, and a canopy that completely encloses the raft. There is a lot more equipment in the survival kit but I can't think of it off the top of my head. Hopefully an F/A on here can tell you about the rest. Lets just say on some flights you might receive better service if you crash into the water then you would on a normal flight.   There is also an emergency locater transmitter carried on overwater aircraft that automatically activates when submerged in water.



My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
User currently offlineTZTriStar500 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1452 posts, RR: 9
Reply 18, posted (4 years 6 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1196 times:

Quoting USAirALB (Reply 16):
Quoting m11stephen (Reply 13):
ditching survival equipment.

Which includes?

Quoting tdscanuck (Reply 14):
with a roof and insulated walls?

How does a slide raft have a roof?

FAA Advisory Circular 120-47 describes what is typically required for overwater equipment including survival equipment:

http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory...62569ba007528ad/$FILE/ac120-47.pdf



35 years of American Trans Air/ATA Airlines, 1973-2008. A great little airline that will not be soon forgotten.
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