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Pilot credits training for surviving crash

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Pilot Jeremy Lukowski relied on what he had learned from his parents and from his training as an F-16 pilot in order to survive the crash of a single-engine plane into the Gulf of Mexico late Saturday night. According to federal investigators, Lukowski's 1980 Cessna 172 went down in 40 feet of water about 37 miles north of Key West. Although the plane flipped on impact, Lukowski, 33, was able to get out and tread water for about four hours before being rescued by the crew of a research… (www.gainesville.com) עוד...

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greja
jeff green 0
Like to hear good endings like this.
RobSJC
It is said, "Any landing you can walk around from, is a good one" .. Appreciate his military service.
greja
jeff green 0
Dalsip
Damon Alsip 0
Is any landing you SWIM away from also good if any landing you walk away from is good?
akarnold
Keith Arnold 0
Would have thought a flotation aid and some sort of beacon would have been a good idea.
chalet
chalet 0
It is hard to understand how a former F-16 pilot, with all the training he received did not carry the bare basics i.e. flotation collar and a hand held radio. Not only that, how in the world him and other single planes flying from mainland Florida towards Key West tend to take the shortest path, over open shark infested waters, instead of following the Keys where there airports and landing strips just in case. What is the big hurry. Just try your hand at tracking traffic with Flighaware to and from Key West, anyday, anytime even at nights, and it will make you wonder.
ashannon38
ashannon38 0
Chalet, that's like saying I should sail along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico if I'm sailing my boat from Key West to Cancun. PS. There's no such thing as "shark infested waters".
chalet
chalet 0
Mullins, you are confusing the issue, one thing is "sailing a boat" and another matter flying a single engine airplane over open waters. If the wind dies you drift until mañana, if the engine on a C172 conks out you tell me what happens even if the sharks were vacationing in the Galapagos islands or whatever. I tracked last year a DC-3 flying from Texas to Florida and they hugged the coast even if that meant an extra two hours flying time. Same thing with P12s, TBM800s, etc. flying up and down the eastern shores, most of them they skirt the Atlantic coast. That is my kind of flying.
AviatorLEO
AviatorLEO 0
I am very glad that Mr. Lukowski survived, and I thank him for his military service, but for the fact that he reportedly had so much water survival training, AND his parents own an FBO, I find it absolutely ASTOUNDING that he had no over-water survival equipment aboard, especially since he knew he would be flying over Florida Bay. No EPIRB, PPIRB, or Spot Tracker, no personal flotation device, no raft, no signaling devices, no flares, nor even a chem-light??? Simply irresponsible. He's exceptionally fortunate that the NOAA vessel was nearby, and responded to the marine distress call.
AviatorLEO
AviatorLEO 0
I am very glad that Mr. Lukowski survived, and I thank him for his military service, but for the fact that he reportedly had so much water survival training, AND his parents own an FBO, I find it absolutely ASTOUNDING that he had no over-water survival equipment aboard, especially since he knew he would be flying over Florida Bay. No EPIRB, PPIRB, or Spot Tracker, no personal flotation device, no raft, no signaling devices, no flares, nor even a chem-light??? Simply irresponsible. He's exceptionally fortunate that the NOAA vessel was nearby, and responded to the marine distress call.
AviatorLEO
AviatorLEO 0
I am very glad that Mr. Lukowski survived, and I thank him for his military service, but for the fact that he reportedly had so much water survival training, AND his parents own an FBO, I find it absolutely ASTOUNDING that he had no over-water survival equipment aboard, especially since he knew he would be flying over Florida Bay. No EPIRB, PPIRB, or Spot Tracker, no personal flotation device, no raft, no signaling devices, no flares, nor even a chem-light??? Simply irresponsible. He's exceptionally fortunate that the NOAA vessel was nearby, and responded to the marine distress call.
F4spooky
Rick Kelley 0
Doesn't take much to guess why this guy is a former Dart pilot, his ORM lite is burnt out!
smoki
smoki 0
I agree, this guy was fortunate to be rescued considering he did absolutely nothing to ensure his own safety and survival when operating over water farther than gliding distance to shore. His ability to tread water for an extended period or just long enough for a rescue vessel to get to him had very little to do with any air force fighter pilot training. That's a bit of hype on his part. He obviously was a good swimmer and in good health with a determination to survive. Not having a flotation device in the aircraft for such an obvious over the water operation is a case of rolling the dice and hoping something good happens. He survived despite such poor judgment. I bet he won't make that mistake again.
SeagullTango
SeagullTango 0
I've flown that route hundreds of times while doing SAR work -- always had extensive maritime survival gear on hand. Most critical was the personal flotation device (life vest), which we actually wore in the airplane. We don't know what he did to stay floating, but the USAF course includes the lesson of taking off one's pants, tying off the ankles, filling the legs with air and closing off the belt area -- it becomes an excellent stand-in for a life vest, even if it takes more maintenance (repeated filling, etc), to keep it in good shape. Second most critical is/was my signal mirror, which even today no matter where I fly. I keep my signal mirror on a nylon shoestring worn around my neck -- you can spot a mirror flash at 10 miles whereas a head bobbing in the water, statistically is seen 50% of the time from 1/2 of a mile slant distance. If you're floating in the water, just hold the mirror up and move it around in a circle, up and down, etc., and you're bound to flash someone. Mirrors better than flares, smokes or dye markers in the water.
chalet
chalet 0
SeagullTango, just out of curiosity what kind of aircraft have you flown to Key West, single or twin engines; if single do you take the shortest route over open waters or sort of swing along the Keys.
GVA1210
Chris Bailey 0
How funny that so many people are making comments about what a loser this guy is for not have all of this extra equipment on board. The guy hit the water hard enough to blow in the windshield and almost knock him out. Priority one is to get out of the aircraft and stay alive. I don't think he would have dove back into an upside down aircraft in the pitch black to try and find a life jacket or a flashlight. I noticed he didn't mention how long the Cessna stayed afloat.
AviatorLEO
AviatorLEO 0
Chris, that's because many of us actually have over-water flying experience. The inclusion of simple safety equipment [tucked somewhere on the pilot's body or in a simple water-tight bag] during a pre-flight is a no-brainer. The bag can be grabbed just prior to hitting the water. Unfortunately, some folks simply allow arrogance to dictate their decision making, and they're spinning the wheel of misfortune. Refer to my earlier post above.
GVA1210
Chris Bailey 0
Leo, since a Key West flight doesn't meet the requirements for "over water flights" you won't find a lot of pilots adding the equipment. Yes, if you are doing typicall "over water flights" there is no excuse, but considering what this guy was flying he was lucky he didn't drown from the impact. I mean really? Stuffing something in his shirt? Some posters act like the guy is some kind of moron and he shouldn't be judged that way.

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