Recommendation Date
Recipient Name
Date Closed
Civil Aviation Rule 91.525 requires a life jacket to be available for each person on board a single-engine aircraft being flown beyond the gliding distance from shore. The life jacket is to be stowed in a readily accessible position. The Commission has previously recommended to the Director of Civil Aviation that on all flights, if at any point a ditching is likely to have a better outcome than a forced landing on unfavourable terrain, life jackets should be carried. Helicopters descend at a much higher rate in autorotation than an aeroplane does when gliding. Therefore, even if life jackets are carried, helicopter passengers are likely to be faced with minimal time to find and fit their life jackets if faced with a ditching.

On 10 December 2014 the Commission recommended to the Director of Civil Aviation that he promote the use of quick-donning life jackets for all occupants of single-engine aircraft flying over water.
Reply Text
The CAA advises there is specific reference to quick donning life jackets and their use in Vector publication, September/October 2003. The particular article is titled "The most useless things-keep emergency equipment accessible." To satisfy the intent of the recommendation, the Director is prepared to refresh the article along with the referenced Commission's accident inquiry number in a future Vector publication. An implementation date cannot be provided at this time.
Related Investigation(s)