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Has anyone ever used the floatation device?

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Jan. 9th, 2008 | 06:25 am


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(no subject)

from: itman
date: Jan. 9th, 2008 02:49 pm (UTC)

I doubt so. It is next to impossible to land the huge aircraft on the water. There were only a couple of such accidents in the history.

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Jamie McCarthy

Ask the pilot!

from: jamiemccarthy
date: Jan. 9th, 2008 03:55 pm (UTC)

Patrick Smith writes a column about air travel on Salon.com. He says yes.


And I had no idea how many people scoff at the notion that onboard flotation devices are in fact useful and potentially lifesaving accouterments. Until finally I devoted a myth-busting column to the topic, snarky e-mails about "water landings" were rivaled in number only by those asking about the dangers of rough air.


So the next time the crew is going through that campy vest drill, best to roll your eyes and ignore it, correct?


"Water landing" is a snarky contradiction, but over the decades a handful of airliners have found themselves, through one mishap or another, floating. At least two of these -- the 1970 ditching of a DC-9 in the Caribbean, and a 1963 Aeroflot splashdown near Leningrad, were controlled impacts with many survivors.

But, you'll argue, why waste our time when a flight is over land the whole way? Well, keep in mind that planes have overshot, undershot, or otherwise parted company with runways and ended up in the harbor at a coastal airport, sometimes without leaving the ground. If you're flying from New York to Phoenix and you're smirking as the attendant blows into that plastic tube, remember that twice since the late 1980s jets went off the end of a runway at La Guardia and ended up in the bay. Both crashes left people very much alive and very much swimming.

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Re: Ask the pilot!

from: iholsman
date: Jan. 9th, 2008 11:19 pm (UTC)

nearly happened 2-3 days ago with a Qantas flight. the power went out mid-flight and they had 30minutes of battery power left to get somewhere. Luckily they landed in Bangkok.. but it could have been in the ocean.

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(no subject)

from: krong
date: Jan. 10th, 2008 04:39 am (UTC)

i stole one of the bogus lifevests with the co2 cartridges from a plane one, but i never actually used it.

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