When it comes to safety while flying over water, there is no room for error. That's why it's so important to choose a suitable life raft for your needs. Not all rafts are created equal, and you need to make sure you select one that will provide the protection you need in case of an emergency. So whether you just got your wings or are an experienced pilot, it is essential to know how to choose a suitable life raft.
Rafts come in different sizes, so you need to select one that will accommodate everyone on board. The last thing you want is to be stuck in a too small and cramped raft. Additionally, it is not recommended to have a lift raft that is too big. A significant life raft can make it difficult to maneuver and put you at risk if you need to make a quick escape. Typically, rafts are rated by the number of people they can support. A smaller aircraft may only need a raft that can accommodate 2-4 people, while a larger aircraft may need a raft that can support up to 8 people.
Type of Aircraft
The type of life raft you may need depends on the type of aircraft you will be flying. For example: According to the Internal Convention for Safety of Life At Sea (SOLAS), regulations dictate that if your aircraft is over 12,500 lbs, you would need a TSO'd Life Raft. If you are flying an aircraft lighter than 12,500 lbs, you can have a recreational life raft. If you are unsure about what type of life raft you may need, feel free to ask an expert.
Buoyancy is the most critical factor to consider when choosing a life raft. It is vital to ensure that your life raft can stay afloat during an emergency. A sinking life raft is a worst-case scenario and can put you and your crew in danger. Additionally, it is good to ensure that your raft will not capsize under rough conditions. Capsizing can be a life-threatening situation if you are not prepared.
Ease of Use
You also want to make sure that the life raft is easy to use. You do not want to be fumbling around with a complicated life raft in an emergency. Make sure that the life raft comes with clear instructions on using it. It is also recommended that you practice using the life raft before taking it on your trip.
Always Make Sure it is Certified and Up to Regulation Standards
Safety is everything. Ensuring your safety equipment is up to regulation standards by SOLAS or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is essential and can save your life. Products that are not up to standards can be dangerous and cause unforeseen issues. Safety is not something that you should take lightly. Ensure that a life raft is certified and up to regulation standards.
Do Research on the Raft Company
Not all companies are created equal. Some companies are more reputable than others. Try to research the company you are looking to rent or purchase a life raft from.
Check out reviews, ask around, and make sure that you feel comfortable with the company. It is essential to do your research to have peace of mind while on your trip.
Finally, you will want to consider the price. Although safety is not something you want to sacrifice to save a few dollars, you also don't want to break the bank. Talk to the company about your budget and see if they have any options that will work for you.