Minimizing risk when flying over water
On occasion we have periods of time during a flight where we will be traveling over water.
Last weekend we flew into Mackinac Island, Michigan during which we were over water for our flight from Harbor Springs, Michigan.
A word from The Pilot:
In a single-engine general aviation aircraft, if there’s an emergency, the pilot is going to be focused on managing the emergency as efficiently as possible. There will be no time for putting on life vests. For this reason, when crossing any body of water large enough that gliding to land is not possible during all phases of flight (takeoff, climb, cruise, descent, landing), a constant-wear life vest is recommended.
Similarly, the rule is that if you don’t have something physically on your person when you splash down, it won’t make it out of the plane with you. For this reason, I keep several rescue aids in pockets in my life vest: a satellite PLB, my cellphone, a rescue laser, a rescue streamer, and a flashlight.
Melissa wears a fanny sack at all times which contains glasses, her phone and other items that she may want to have on hand easily. In the event of any emergency this saves time and frustration. In the photo below she also had her Partner in Command items with her as we were reviewing a "what if?" scenario.
While I always plan flights to avoid time out of gliding range of land, sometimes it isn’t possible, such as when flying to Mackinac Island.
For a great perspective of taking off over water, check out the video below from our departure from Mackinac Island.