What supplies are in passenger aircraft liferafts?

We aren’t really talking major ocean crossings here. As always the rules vary but as an example, in Australia if you will be more than the lesser of 120 minutes or 400 NM from land then you need rafts and survival equipment. This time/distance is well within the range of all the usual passenger jets and many turboprops. The rafts don’t need to be a permanent fit, when our RJs carry rafts they are strapped to an empty row of seats. For airline operations you might find a certain number of, say, B737s are fitted for long over water flights while others aren’t, and the airline must make sure the appropriate aircraft are used on the appropriate routes. There may be many airlines that never fly their aircraft that far from land and never have need for the full survival equipment.

I got the wrong rule earlier by the way, I think it should have been the Part 125 rule. The raft contents are similar.

Looking further at the FARs, “extended overwater operations” means more than 50NM from land, so under the FARs you’d be more likely to need fully equipped rafts.

Who is “we” (“our”)? What airline do you (ostensibly) fly for, what specific airliners?

For the sake of anonymity I won’t name the company as it is relatively small and you wouldn’t know it anyway. We fly BAe146 and Avro RJ aircraft (basically the same thing).

To be clear, I don’t care if you were to use the information in this thread to work out who I work for, but I’d prefer not to have someone I know in real life by chance googling the company name and landing in this thread.

In that case, you don’t need the raw fish.


Ostensibly? This poster has been posting useful information on commercial flying for 15 years. I don’t recall any of the other commercial pilots on here questioning his bona fides.

It’s not a matter of questioning bona fides and not all of us remember what everyone here does for a living and where they work. It’s just that when someone says “what we here do”, it helps to understand what “we” is referring to.

Edited to add, some people start threads or post in existing ones in a way that seem to assume others are familiar with their history. (For example, “I talked to my sister-in-law again and she did that thing I described last time.”)

That is a tasteless comment.

forgive me.

I guess this is a bit of a hijack but the initial question seems to have been answered pretty well–what emergency supplies do planes flying over the pole (or the far north of Canada/Greenland) carry, if any? It has always scared me to go that route and imagine crash landing in the arctic wastes.

I never fly with Uruguayans on the airplane.

How many times have commercial airliners successfully ditched in the ocean far away from land? I can’t remember any news reports of airline passengers rescued from a life raft at sea, although my memory isn’t what it once was. Seems like any mid-flight emergency is either catastrophic or leaves sufficient flight capability to get back to land.

My apologies, I only realized the privacy thing after I posted and the 5 minutes was up.

Nor did I intend for it to imply the above :smack: -was just curious as to which airline he flew for (and not just due to idle curiosity, but because if I am traveling across an ocean I might like to know).

[Butch Cassidy]Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.[/Butch Cassidy]

I had wondered if maybe you’d caught me misspelling yoke as “yolk” somewhere and decided I was an imposter ;). I actually saw this happen on an aviation website, “hey guys, he spelled it y o l k, he’s not a real pilot!”

Look up BAe146 operators in Australia and I think you’ll find two that are current, I fly for the larger one. It’s a contract company, we mainly run scheduled flights for the mining industry, i.e., not available to the general public. We also fly freighters for Qantas. Most people haven’t heard of us and unless you are a fly-in/fly-out worker in the Australian resource industry you wouldn’t experience the pleasure of being a passenger with us :). The company does fly passengers for Qantas but in a different type so it’s not part of what I do personally.

As I said above, I’m happy for you to know where I work, I’d just rather not have the company name embedded in my posts.

How often has a flight gone down in an ocean or large lake and had any survivors that were able to deploy and get into rafts?

I’m ignoring US Airways 1549, aka the Miracle on the Hudson as a sizable number of passengers were able to step out of the exits and walk out on the wings to wait for rescue by water taxis and ferries.

It almost seems so statistically improbable to have a survivable open water ditching that adding instructions on how to tread water and not look tasty to sharks on the emergency info cards would be just as useful as rafts. Certainly much lighter and fuel-efficient than rafts.


Here’s a list of ditchings from passenger aircraft. Not a whole lot in the big scheme of things. A big lesson to be learned from a lot of these is that often the passengers survived the ditching itself but subsequently drowned. The current legislation regarding life jackets and rafts was in response to some of these events.

Which are heavily travelled by other aircraft, and since pretty much no-one but the Japanese Maritime Self Defence Forces operates large flying boats in an air-sea rescue capability anymore, passengers on a commercial airliner which goes down in a significant body of water and get to the life rafts are going to be there until a boat can come and get them - which, even on a modest body of water like the Tasman Sea is going to be a day or so.

Incidentally, I saw a BAe 146 taxiing on the runway during that same business trip which inspired the OP and waved at it from my seat on the offchance Richard Pearse was at the controls. :slight_smile:

Respectfully, I don’t think it has. I might be misreading the replies but I don’t think we’ve addressed what, say a Boeing 747 on the JFK-LHR route has in its life rafts? Unless it does actually have that stuff Mr Pearse described earlier, in which case that would answer the question - we just seem to have contradictory responses as someone else said the rafts don’t have anything.

I physically work directly under the usual approach path of Adelaide airport, and often look up to see a BAe 146 on final approach. I know that there is a reasonable chance Richard is up there passing overhead :smiley:

Where was it and what time/day?

The law requires at least that list of stuff for overwater flights but it’s not necessarily a factory fit so someone working at the factory such as racer72 might not have anything to do with the survival equipment.

We lost our Adelaide passenger contract earlier this year so it’s only freighters going into Adelaide at the moment, normally very early in the morning, but if you do happen to see one, there’s about a 1 in 9 chance it’ll be me. I’ll toot the horn next time.

Sydney Airport, about 11.30amish on (I think) a Thursday.

I thought I saw a Hawker Siddeley 748 that day as well, which surprised the heck out of me because I didn’t think anyone was still operating them commercially in Australia anymore, but a bit of googling tells me it was probably a Saab 340 instead. :slight_smile: