I read this article in the New York Times a while back and became intrigued –
Need better workplace morale? Simulate a plane crash.
The short of it is that somewhere in Connecticut is a place that will put you into an aircraft-like device, drop you into water, spin you upside-down and, only after water has completely filled the vessel – and apparently your nostrils, you then have you try to escape with your life.
The craziest part is that there are actually people willing to pay money to participate.
Obviously I sought to become one of those people.
The course starts this weekend and, to be honest, I’m a little nervous. Some of the reviews I have read haven’t exactly been encouraging…
“That motherfucker is Satan’s own jungle gym, forged in some obscure pit of hell for the sole purpose of torture and general nastiness,” said one participant.
“When will congress label this as torture?” added another.
I’m not exactly sure why I’m doing it. Due to financial constraints, I’m really not flying much on my own these days. I certainly do not have any intentions of flying across large bodies of water in the near future.
Ok, fine, I’m lying. I know why.
The truth is that I’m a sucker for oddities and exploring all life has to offer. Die, or nearly die, a couple solid times and you start to get a taste for absorbing as many experiences into your life as possible.
I guess a part of me is also curious how I will handle being put into such a situation. Given the nature of my day job and the fact that I’m also a pilot, I’d like to think that I’m mentally equipped to face a panic-inducing event and do what is needed to survive. But am I really? Or will I let fear dictate my response?
Here’s all that the two day course covers (other than just the water dunking):
Cabin emergency response training:
- Fire fighting in a smoke-filled cabin environment
- Crewmember duties, responsibilities and emergency coordination
- Hazards to aircraft and crewmembers
- Survival equipment carried on aircraft
- Aircraft accident/incident history
- Crewmember incapacitation
- General hijacking and other unusual situations
- Operations above 25,000 feet and rapid decompression
- Emergency breathing systems and oxygen delivery systems
- Proper brace positions, emergency exit jettisoning and cabin evacuation
- Life raft deployment
Emergency water survival skills:
- Life Preserver Units (LPU)
- Surface survival formations and hypothermia mitigation positions
- Boarding and righting a life raft
- Use of surface rescue devices in use by Search and Rescue responders
- Underwater escape training using the Modular Egress Training Simulator (METS™)
- First aid training:
- The carrier’s first aid kit contents
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)
- Use of an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED)
Curiosity killed the cat, as they say. I have no intentions of being killed, though, so I guess we’ll see what this next adventure brings.