Emergency Equipment


Emergency Equipment

  • See/Rescue Streamer
  • Each item must be inspected in accordance with 91.409 to ensure its continued serviceability and immediate readiness for its intended purpose
  • Must be readily accessible to the crew
  • Must clearly indicate its method of operation
  • When carried in a compartment or container, must have that compartment or container marked as to its contents and last date of inspection
  • Hand fire extinguishers must be provided for use by the crew, passenger, and cargo compartments in accordance with:
    • Type and quantity must be suitable for the kinds of fires that may occur
    • Must be properly secured so as not to interfere with safe operation of the aircraft but still identified and accessible
    • At least one extinguisher must be on or near the flight deck
    • At least one extinguisher must be located in the passenger compartment:
      • 1 for every 6-30 passengers
      • 2 for 30+ passengers
    • See also, InFO 18013
  • First aid kids for treatment of injuries likely to occur in flight
  • Crash axe if more than 19 passengers
  • Each passenger-carrying airplane must have a portable battery-powered megaphone readily accessible to the crew to direct evacuation:
    • 1 for airplanes with a seating capacity of 60-99 generally installed in the most rearward location
    • 2 for airplanes with a seating capacity of 100 or more, installed in the most forward and rearward location
  • Alaska State Statute 02.35.110. Emergency Rations and Equipment
    Alaska State Statute 02.35.110. Emergency Rations and Equipment
  • Alaska State Statute 02.35.110. Emergency Rations and Equipment
    Alaska State Statute 02.35.110. Emergency Rations and Equipment

Emergency Locator Transmitter:

  • Emit a distinctive audio tone on 121.5 MHz (VHF) and 243.0 MHz (UHF)
  • ELTs operate continuously for at least 48 hours over a wide range of temperatures
  • ELT batteries must be replaced or recharged if the battery is rechargeable one-half of its useful life or if used for more than one cumulative hour
  • ELTs may be tested 5 min after the hour
  • Must be in accordance with FAR 91.207 / AIM 6-2-5
  • Find more on the emergency locator transmitter page
  • Personal Locator Beacon
    Amazon, Personal Locator Beacon

Factors to Consider:

  • Type of terrain or surface
  • Type of climate and temperature conditions expected
  • Type of emergency communications needed
  • Location in the airplane
  • How to operate or use

Basic Survival Gear:

Flotation Gear:

Signaling Devices:

  • Signaling devices [Amazon] are required for VFR flight over water but can be equally as important if you ever become stranded in a remote area on land
  • Signaling Mirror
    Amazon, Signaling Mirror
  • Flare Gun
    Amazon, Flare Gun

Winter Considerations:

  • Wear or have available layers of clothing
  • Wear or have available boots or wet resistant footwear
  • Continue to hydrate, even if not sweating
  • Have blankets or tarps that can be used to create shelters or limit exposure from elements
  • Things to Remember:

    • More than one emergency at once can and has happened
    • Filing a flight plan causes SAR after you have failed to arrive at your destination and no contact has been established
    • Be sure the ELT has activated as it may not active from the crash
    • Use parts from the aircraft for survival gear
    • Common sense, "You are the most important survival tool on board"
    • Extended over water operations (135.167)
    • Survival Equipment (AIM 6-2-7h)
    • Last but not least, be creative
      • You may not think you have much, but you brought a ~2,000-pound suitcase
      • Use what you must, seats, fuel, compass, radio, your maps

    Emergency Equipment Preflight Briefing:

    • Brief passengers on all emergency equipment present and how to use it

    Private Pilot - Emergency Equipment and Survival Gear Airman Certification Standards:

    • To determine that the applicant exhibits satisfactory knowledge, risk management, and skills associated with emergency equipment, and survival gear appropriate to the airplane and environment encountered during flight and identifying appropriate equipment that should be onboard the airplane
    • References: FAA-H-8083-2, FAA-H-8083-3; POH/AFM

    Emergency Equipment and Survival Gear Knowledge:

    The applicant must demonstrate an understanding of:

    Emergency Equipment and Survival Gear Risk Management:

    The applicant demonstrates the ability to identify, assess, and mitigate risks, encompassing:
    • PA.IX.D.R1:

      Failure to plan for basic needs (water, clothing, shelter) for 48 to 72 hours

    Emergency Equipment and Survival Gear Skills:

    The applicant demonstrates the ability to:


    • According to the National Search and Rescue Plan, "The life expectancy of an injured survivor decreases as much as 80% during the first 24 hours, while the chances of survival of uninjured survivors rapidly diminish after the first 3 days"
    • An Air Force Review of 325 SAR missions conducted during a 23-month period revealed that "Time works against people who experience distress but are not on a flight plan, since 36 hours normally pass before family concern initiates an (alert)"
    • Consider the type of flying you are doing and think about investing in a Aviation Crash Kit [Amazon], just in case
    • Check out AOPA's Survive: Beyond the Forced Landing course for more information
    • Although not emergency equipment, pilots should consider wearing closed-toed shoes, long pants, sleeved shirts with conventional fabrics, and carrying a jacket or sweatshirt when appropriate - considering overnight temperatures - to protect the pilot in the event of a ditch
    • Consider reviewing the AOPA's Survival Safety Resources
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