HAI Convention News

Switlik stays afloat with its lineup of life vests and rafts

 - February 22, 2009, 3:49 PM

Switlik Parachute (Booth No. 1828) is aiming for a soft landing at Heli-Expo’09 with a new contract and introduction of a new modular helicopter life vest and a civilian version of the one-man life raft being supplied to the U.S. military.
The Trenton, N.J.-based company was recently awarded a five-year contract to supply 20,000 life vests to the U.S. Marine Corps. The contract was part of a helicopter passenger egress system for Marines being transported over water by helicopter. The under-arm flotation model provides “a low-profile solution to various operations involving passengers, including the commercial market.”
For Brazilian offshore operators, Switlik recently completed delivery of nearly 800 HV-35P helicopter passenger life vests for SNETA Group of Petrobras. The consortium of seven air taxi operators agreed on a standardized vest for use by passengers in their daily operations. Follow-on purchases of vests and spares are anticipated.

At the same time, Switlik has begun deliveries of its joint-services vacuum-packed life raft (JSVPLR) for the Army Air Warrior Program. This multi-year program will supply individual soldiers with a vacuum-packed, single-place life raft that is worn in their overwater gear backpack.

At its booth here, Switlik is introducing a new FAA-approved modular life vest for helicopter operators. It is designed with looped webbing that allows users to equip the vest with pockets, holsters and accessories positioned for the specific mission profile. Expandable torso webbing provides a custom fit and operational expansion panels give extended sizing capability.

Also on display is the Quick Don MOD Vest introduced earlier to meet the requirements of flight operations without personal aircrew vests.

A civil version of the one-man life raft designed for the Army Air Warrior Program is also on display at the booth. It features a fully reversible buoyancy tube and canopy, and the low-slung floor enhances comfort and stability. The life raft can be configured as a low-profile belt pack or compact carry-on valise.