Saturday, 25 January 2014

Survival Equipment (not to be confused with rescue gear)

In the previous post discussion and pictures focused on rescue equipment used almost wholly and exclusively by search and rescue personnel. This post will look at the equipment intended to be used in a survival situation, whether training or actual, by the crew. As a side note, tents and land survival equipment rarely reached the light of day for any purpose other than routine inspections or the occasional training exercise whereas life rafts and life jackets may not have actually been removed from their storage containers between inspections they were quite frequently readied for use in preparation for an expected and real life ditching...that almost never occurred...307 ditching in the Georgia Strait being the one actual ditching that comes to mind as I write this post.

Placement and storage of the survival equipment was mostly similar between units and from one era to the next so for the modeler there is quite a bit of latitude or choices for modelers. As I type away, I can only marvel at the results this scant information provided in this post will lead to by some of the many detail focused modelling masters an area I personally find most challenging.

This Derek Heyes picture sets the tone for the rest of this post. The green box on the left under the stretcher is one of the Flight Engineer's tool kits (it is on wheels). On the right side below the Stokes litter is the orange horse collar...this rescue tool did not actually have a particular location and even at any given unit could be found in a variety of locations.  Ahead of the stokes and hanging from the seat rail above the windows is the SAR Tech medical kit typical of the 70's and 80's.

In the photo above, Scott Hemsley has capture a wide range of equipment. To the right of the photo is the radio rack at the front left side of the cabin. The left side emergency exit has painted black and yellow placards and a yellow webbing strap to remove the door. The 10 man liferaft sits at the base of the emergency exit. Above the emergency exit is the seat rail used to secure troops seats to is a white fire extinguisher while the left side illustrates the yellow Vary (sp?) pistol housed at the front of left side radio rack common in the 80s and beyond.

In this above photo, Scott Hemsley has given us a look at the same left side emergency exit and placards, the front of the right side radio rack, the hot cups and the unmarked 10 man liferaft. Note the fire extinguisher is red and below the extinguisher is the electronic locator transmitter (ELT) and not to be omitted, the lower troop seat rail the ends to the right and below the emergency exit.

Once again Scott Hemsley offers up a good look at the radio rack in front of the left side spotter seat. Note that the green storage curtain (?) contains small and large size horse collars. The corner of the yellow 10 man lferaft is visible ahead of the radio rack. Of interest to me is the blue SAR Tech harness "monkey tail attached to the troop seat rail. This strap attached to the back of the blue SAR Tech harness. Earlier harnesses were green and had a similarly green coloured monkey tail.

Sticking with the them of variance, both small and large horse collar are pictured above, the green olive drab bag between the two was used to hold a garbage bag. An olive drab harness, at this stage of modifications, used by Flight Engineers, hanging on the Vary Pistol container. It was not the normal practice to hang the harness here except when use of the harness was impending.

Yet another look at the radio rack. The yellow and red items at the top of the radio rack are crepe paper wind drift indicator most commonly used to assess wind direction for parachuting, but occasionally used to assess wind for other procedures...which because of the effect of rotor wash not overly common much for any thing except parachute wind drift assessment.

Not really sure what is in the orange bag in this Derek Heyes photo, but note the orange equipment label on the front of the 10 man life raft and at the very front of the radio rack hangs a static discharge cable used to dissipate static electricity from the hoist cable and hook. Inside the radio rack is a crew helmet...likely a Flight Engineers as it is white. Pilots typically took and stored their helmet bags in the cockpit and SAR Techs typically work orange helmets before the use of the green helicopter (SPH-5 I believe) helmets.

The yellow script at the bottom of the picture says it all. Note that the raft is secured in position with a seat belt and that the troop seat rail is not in place at the bottom of the emergency exit.

The green first aid kit in this picture is positioned above the radio box located aft of the right spotter seat. Note the colour of the arm rest at the spotter position. Blue was pretty much atypical, however the closer the 113/113A got to retirement the more likely it would become to find this type of material variation.

Tents, snowshoes (standard CF issue), aircraft first aid kit and an unidentified orange bag beneath the left side front stretcher. Between the stretcher and tents are the tent poles in an orange bag.  Straps used to hold the tents in place were locally made so there was some variety in these.

I guess the things to note in the above picture are the green Flt Engineer tool kit on the red aluminum boxes that probably contained more FE supplies, the green helmet bag end of the stretcher. Before  the use of the green nylon American style helmet bag in the 1980s, CF helmet bags were blue cloth bags without pockets and zippers. The white bag on the aft upper stretcher is a 1970s style dive bag...suggesting the SAR Tech was older. Once upon a time dive equipment was spare and stored in locally manufactured bags or OD parachute bags. In the 1970s the white NAVY dive bag with flipper pockets were common until authority to purchase and use civilian dive accessories gained prominence on the front lines.

Mo Egan/Carole Smith took this picture during a Ottawa area CASARA training trip which would have meant the interior arrangement would be suitably rearranged to suit the trip. While the red troop seat was not common equipment, the red webbing backing for the troop seats were used when the SAR boxes were in place. The half hung status of the webbing back is pretty typical as everyone wanted a window and looking through the webbing was awkward to say the least. The read bag on the upper seat rail could be either spare headsets or more likely in this picture passenger life vests. The gray headset in use above is standard...crew headsets were usually green David Clarkes....when they were worn. Helmets were more often than not the standard headwear on CF SAR helicopters as they afforded the wearer better noise attenuation.

Brad Gough, then of 103 RU Gander is wearing the standard David Clarke headset during a SAREX search exercise. Note the orange SAR Tech first aid penetration kit at upper right side of the picture. To the left of the window is the brownish coloured heat vent that fed heat to the cabin and kept the search blisters defrosted.

In my next post, we will very briefly touch on 113 cockpits.

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