A SAFETY INVESTMENT
Having witnessed the aftermath of several seaplane accidents where the airplane came to rest upside down, I was determined to design something that would assist the occupants in their escape.
Assuming the occupants are conscious, there are various factors that affect their ability to escape within that first “Golden Minute”. Disorientation is to be expected after a rapid deceleration and inversion. Darkness will also be a factor causing confusion – even in daylight the light levels a fathom down are much lower. The temperature of the incoming water will provide a further shock to the system, adding to the disorientation.
The Seaplane Underwater Cabin Exit Lighting (SUCEL) reduces the effects of these factors by illuminating the cabin interior automatically and highlighting the Exits after an upset. Thus, not only can the occupants re-orientate themselves in a bright environment, they can also clearly see the position of the exits.
The system consists of a watertight Control Box that is fixed vertically on a cabin sidewall or door interior furnishing. Measuring 8” high x 5” wide x 2” deep, it detects cabin angle and as soon as the cabin tilts more than 70 degrees away from the vertical, three banks of bright LEDs are activated and remain on for more than 15 minutes. Two LED banks are white but the third is amber and is designed to be fitted close to the door operating handle, to help find the primary means of exit. Being self-contained and waterproof, the lighting will remain on underwater to provide useful illumination for outside rescuers to reach the cabin.
Lights Activated/ Lit
Lights Off/ DarkThe complete unit weighs less than 2.2 lbs. (1.0 kg.) and is supplied with all necessary wiring and mounting hardware.
As an added benefit the system can be switched on manually to provide Emergency Lighting in the event of aircraft electrical system failure. The battery can be left on standby for several weeks without the need for recharging. Just in case the Pre-flight Check indicates low battery power, a standby battery is included in the package, which allows replacement in two minutes.
The system is independent of aircraft electrics and is easily fitted. As it is not Certificated, it can also be removed before a workshop visit or transferred to another aircraft if required. Fitting can be achieved by the average handyman with a drill and soldering iron, or can be fitted by an Approved Mechanic in less than 5 hours. A comprehensive set of instructions is provided, supported by colour photos showing each step of the process.
Each system is designed to cover one exit door, and there is a 10% discount on the second unit you purchase. The unit (apart from the Li-Ion batteries) is covered by a 12-month warranty.
For the cost of a few months of airplane insurance payments, you can have some personal insurance hardware that might just save your life.
For full details, go to this link: http://www.theseaplaneclub.org
and click on the “SUCEL” tab.
John Russell (White Feather)