Harrier pilots to "come and watch them drown" during their Aviation Survival Training at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. I went down with Claudia and Ed. We had a great time. The Aviation Survival Training Center is a big swimming pool. The pilots, in full flight gear start by swimming around the pool. This is designed to get them tired out so that the rest of the exercises are even more fun. We watched:
1. Pilots simulating being dragged by a parachute across the pool (while simulating that they had a broken arm.) They dropped off a 30 foot high tower while the straps simulating the parachute dragged them across the pool until they got unhooked. Oh by the way they were blindfolded.
2. Being dropped in the pool again off the platform, dragged, and then required to get into the life raft that deployed from the bottom of their ejection seat.
3. Being strapped into a seat and then turned upside down underwater. They then had to unhook from the seat and return to the surface. Phase two of this exercise was to be strapped in the seat, turned upside down, and then told that their harness had jammed. At this point they needed to find their emergency air bottle (like a little SCUBA setup) so that they could breathe while they worked to get the harness unhooked.
4. Survive a helicopter crash. A good video of the simulator is at http://youtu.be/oLqXlEGxXxo
5 As a group get into a multi-person life raft.
We were also treated to an explanation of the current flight suits, survival gear, radios and so forth by the ASTC staff. Led by LCDR Turner they were most gracious and we had a full and fun day.
Fair winds and following seas.
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