The training helps aircrew learn the tools and techniques they might need in the unlikely event of having to ditch into the sea during one of our off-shore wildlife surveys.
For staff at airlines this ‘wet’ drills training is normally only undertaken as part of the induction process. But APEM’s aircrew are encouraged to take part in refresher training at least once every three years.
APEM’s chief pilot, Ben Chapman, said: “Whilst the ‘sea’ at the swimming pool was flat calm, the wind was light, and the water warm(-ish), it gave us an insight into how teamwork, techniques and familiarity make a huge impact on your chances of survival.
“Even a light shower courtesy of the poolside hosepipe showed how quickly moral can change when you are bailing-out the life raft.”
Away from the water, APEM’s flight crews also undertake regular ‘dry’ training for ditching and evacuation. Every crew member has to attend at least one of these sessions each year.
Crews operate the emergency exits of the aircraft, deploy a life raft through the exits, practice donning life vests, witness life jacket operation and handle all the emergency, safety and survival equipment carried on board.
Ben added: “With so much of our flying time spent over water because of the company’s specialism in offshore wildlife surveys for the wind energy industry, it’s essential that we make sure our staff are properly trained and benefit from regular refresher courses.”