A good mastering of technology and taking reasonable action should always determine the behaviour of the pilot.
The most frequent reason of accidents with single-engine aeroplanes is the lack of fuel.
As a consequence, security is primarily the result of professional flight management.
The engine of a well-maintained Cessna cannot fail during the flight, actually.
“But the exception proves the rule. Therefore be prepared for the emergency“.
Given good nerves, much training experience and sufficient height, even an engine breakdown is no reason to panic in the Cessna. Counting its sailing ability among its good characteristics, she can glide as far as 40 km at a height of 4.000 metres. Those are criteria in which an airfield or a runway is hopefully approachable for landing. The pilots take 15 to 20 minutes to execute the emergency checklist.
During the round-the-world flight in 2007, we carried with us full safety equipment, in order to respond to the challenges of this flight. For the African round trip we will also have suitable equipment on board.
Forced landing over landmasses
After making a soft landing, problems may occur more than ever in remote regions. How long will it take until the emergency services find the pilots? For emergencies over landmasses, the Cessna is equipped with so-called ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter), a direction-finding transmitter that sends out a distress signal alarming rescue forces after the activation by the pilot. Additionally, the pilot carries a Breitling wristwatch, which sends a locating signal on the same frequency. A tent, sleeping bags, a water filter and sterilization tablets allow the pilots to camp in the wilderness for a longer time.
Forced landing in the sea
Before each flight over the open sea, pilot and co-pilot change into water-proof survival suits also used by the US Navy and the US Coast Guard. Under it they wear fleece underwear for high comfort and breathing activity. Furthermore, they fasten a belt containing a life raft, which blows itself up automatically after pulling a release cord. In this, the pilots hang as if in a hammock, a tent tarpaulin protecting them against sun and rain. This "houseboat" is equipped with a stroboscope lamp, the lightning of which is visible for up to 6 km. Without this lamp the pilots would be invisible to the rescue forces in the darkness. On the survival suit, there also hangs the EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) whose signal is received worldwide from satellites and relayed over ground stations to the emergency services.
For the water supply above the sea, there is a desaltination system in their emergency luggage which filters drinkable water from seawater. One hour of cranking yields a litre of drinking water.