Rapid Response Saves Pilot Trapped by his Lifejacket
The August 2017 AAIB Monthly Bulletin contains only one AAIB Field Investigation report and this, thankfully led to only minor injury to the pilot. During the ‘balloon bursting’ element of a flying display on the coast, the engine of a Druine D31Turbulent lost power and the pilot ditched in shallow water. The aircraft flipped inverted and the pilot was trapped in the cockpit by his lifejacket, which had inflated automatically, and by his proximity to the sea bed. Two members pf the public righted the aircraft and helped the pilot out of the cockpit.
The main message of this report is: never wear a lifejacket that automatically inflates on contact with water or you could well find yourself unable to exit the cockpit. Congratulations to the pilot for keeping the plane flying all the way down and thus avoiding the much worse consequences of Loss Of Control. Congratulations also to the two members of the public whose rapid response rescued the pilot in time.
Amongst the 18 Correspondence Reports are 5 more forced landings all completed without injury to the pilots or their passengers. Well done everybody!