One thing that might alleviate casualties in a helicopter crash is if all personnel were required to carry a diving face mask.
In that respect, the immediate disorientation which results if the aircraft flips over, and all hands are submerged, is negated. One can see – and this makes a great difference to the possibilities of escape from the passenger cabin.
The helicopter underwater escape training (HUET) course covers a rollover situation, but, I believe, when one’s sight is drastically reduced in a flooding and panic situation, the chances of finding a kick-out window when upside-down would be greatly increased if wearing a face mask.
It would be interesting if a comparison could be made on HUET course escapees: those wearing a mask against those not, and who needs to be rescued.
W L Bartlett
Pencaitland, East Lothian