Considerations for the Carriage and Use of Visual Distress Signals in Airline Overwater Survival Kits
This SAE Aerospace Information Report (AIR) is intended to promote awareness of the dangers associated with the carriage and use of pyrotechnic signaling devices in multi-place life rafts and slide/rafts on transport category aircraft. Also included is background information and a rationale for replacing these devices with alternative signaling devices, which offer effective signaling and reduced flammability, yielding an "equivalent level of safety," as required by the FAA for replacement of the required pyrotechnic signaling device.
Rationale: The risk posed to aircraft ditching survivors by pyrotechnic signaling devices can be allayed by the use of TSO C-168 approved Aviation Distress Signals (ADSs) in lieu of the pyrotechnics devices currently required in airline overwater survival kits. In addition, the high-performance ADSs provide an equivalent level of signaling capability without the costs associated with hazardous pyrotechnic materials. This AIR provides the premise for the recommended use of ADSs.