Wet Egress Training

For those who don’t know, wet egress training is hands on training on how to get out of an aeroplane…underwater. Wanting to be a commercial pilot and all, I figured when the guy who does wet egress training in Canada came in to the ‘Peg, I should get in on it. For various reasons, I ended up joining last minute, but the instructor squeezed me in anyway.

Let me start by saying I am not a water person.

I’ve never had a bad experience with water. I can tread water and swim – not super fast, but I can swim. I can even hold my breath for a decent amount of time. My issue is I’m one of those unlucky people who can’t hold their breath *underwater*. Water goes up my nose and in five seconds I’m panicking. I’ve tried the humming thing, and exhaling. Nope. Apparently I’m not the only one – it’s a thing, some people’s nasal passages don’t close off when they’re holding their breath underwater. It sounds like there may be a trick for those people, and I’m thinking I might go swimming again sometime soon and try that, but as it stands, the instructor saw pretty quickly that I was having problems.

It was like my first few weeks of learning to land the plane, I suck at this, why am I having so much trouble, everyone else seems to be doing fine, etc. I could get out of the dunker, but I’d have to let go of my nose and then I’d be panicking with water down my nose and not get the PFD in the holder, even though it was right in front of me.

They suggested trying the mask, and I was like, nope. You want to put something over my face? I don’t think so. I have a thing with anything covering my face, stopping me from breathing, or for that matter, even stifling my breath. I don’t even like it if my breath is blowing on something close to my face.

Bryan was great though, he took me aside. I’m not used to getting one on one attention from an instructor. I’m not used to struggling with things. I normally just don’t bother do things I’m not good at. He talked me through getting my head in the right place. By halfway through I was okay with the mask, but I didn’t use it in the dunker, I wanted to make sure I could do that without it. By the end, I was getting out of the dunker with the PFD in hand without too much problem, just fighting through the water up my nose.

Anyway, video or it didn’t happen huh?

It was really worthwhile over all. You can have all the lectures and info in the world, and it won’t prepare you for the disorientation of being upside down underwater. I definitely feel like I have a much better shot if I ever found myself in that situation.

Advertisements

Three Things Make a Post

Quick update, because I’ve been busy and not had time to post!

Thing 1: Women In Aviation Women Fly day went great. I took nine women flying, and despite some of the planes being grounded, over four hundred women got in the air that day. The weather held right to the end of the event, at which point it turned shitty as could be, IFR right to the ground. I stayed around right up until seven pm, helping out organizing hangar space for planes that couldn’t make it back to their home airports due to the blowing snow. It was an awesome day.

Thing 2: Afterwards, there was a class for women who caught the aviation bug to prepare to write their PSTAR exam – the test you have to pass in Canada to get your student licence. I taught the class one of the four days it was on, which was fun. Aaron from Harv’s Air was kind enough to come out and mark the exams, and almost all of our students passed. We’re also going to have a class for the radio exam, starting this Sunday, and I’ll be helping out with teaching that one too.

Thing 3: Last Sunday I had C-FLUG booked to go do some circuits and drop off the new spinner cover (old spinner cover was cracked, we ordered a new one, and it needs painting before it’s put on) and the night before I figured I’d check where to drop it off, and Jill said she was heading down to International Peace Gardens, and I should come with her. I had the plane booked for the morning already, and no one else had booked it for the afternoon. It was last minute, but I looked at the weather, and the weather was really too nice to be wasted, so I went, and spent about four and a half hours in the air that day. Good practice for my upcoming three hundred nm trip. I’ll post more about that in it’s own post though, when I have more definite plans.

Keep your wings level.