Surviving the impact of an emergency ditching is not the only risk facing helicopter crews flying over water. They also face the chaos of safely exiting an aircraft that may be sinking or submerged.
Night Flight Concepts and Bolo3 Group have organized underwater egress training for helicopter crews, with a special emphasis on those operating with night vision goggles (NVG). The class uses real-world scenarios and preparedness training to reinforce the tactics necessary to survive after hitting the water.
The specifics of some of the NVG training, conducted in part using a special underwater simulator, cover what to do when crewmembers’ goggles are still attached to their face as they hit the water, as well what to do should those same goggles become entangled with the crewmembers’ gear as they try to escape after impact. Training focuses on proper use of emergency breathing devices, swim techniques designed to ensure survival, life-raft training and drown proofing.