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Underwater Escape from Helicopters

EASA.2019.LVP.102

HUE Research ReportThe literature review reported in this document forms the initial phase of the work commissioned to improve the understanding of the survivability issues associated with helicopter underwater escape.

The review consisted of a search for scientific papers, technical reports from the industry, accident investigation reports and other documents relating to helicopter underwater escape. Research undertaken to evaluate the underwater escape process has been broken down to allow an assessment of the different factors that may impede escape up to the point of reaching a place of relative safety (normally by boarding a life raft). Human morphology and both physiological and psychological responses have been considered as they will also have a major impact on the likelihood of survival.

Helicopter underwater escape training research has been included, providing useful data relating to the underwater escape process. 

The literature review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the problems experienced in performing an underwater escape and the research undertaken to both understand the issues and identify areas where safety improvements can be made.  

The results of the review are then analysed, with the aim of identifying any gaps in the understanding of the problems faced by survivors.  Finally, recommendations for future research are outlined.