I would like to add my two penn’orth to the letter by Guy Story in the March issue. In my humble opinion, if there is safety equipment available then why not use it? My experience is very limited; I’m about to sit my GFT, just waiting for a clear weather day and an available examiner. I have read plenty of articles and accident reports in an effort to learn.
I experimented with different flight suits, including a rather spectacular orange one, which was strictly a racing driver suit but flame retardant/nomex and obviously high viz. I don’t mind being teased about it, all part of the fun and banter of learning to fly. I have now settled on an olive green Nomex flight suit, acquired locally, with flame retardant leggings, socks and a roll neck top underneath. Similar gloves and a pull-on hood are in the leg pockets of the suit. I considered my own PLB to be a further worthwhile investment and my (non-automatically inflating) life vest is worn if I am flying over water. I am also looking at the most appropriate safety helmet with inbuilt headset, which will depend on headroom obviously.
The final item will be an emergency parachute. I happen to have a British Parachute Association Instructor rating, so I am fairly confident that I can successfully use the escape parachute if I ever need it. It will of course depend on the type of aeroplane, but I will take advice, that is always available.
I will keep the orange suit for any passengers; my daughter will love it, I’m sure.