Amundsen People-61

Aircraft Ditching Course: Scientists take flight!

In preparation for the helicopter flights during shipment on the Amundsen this winter, Noé Sardet,   Multimedia Designer, Filmmaker and Producer aboard the Amundsen, did a training ADC (Aircraft Ditching Course). He shares his experience with us : 

This training, provided by FALCK Security, helps you ​train to extract y​ourself​ from a helicopter cabin in the case of an emergency ditching. Knowing that most helicopters flip over under the weight of their rotor when they ditch in water … You can imagine, this is a rather terrifying experience… ​how to overcome th​is fear we all have of drowning? Th​e helicopter plunges into the icy water, seeing the water rise in the cabin, ​before doing a 180- degree rotation on itself.  Several actions must be ​taken  in the right order to survive in this kind of accident.

After 3 or 4 “dunks” in the pool supervised by a ​team of ​professional divers, ​I ​start to acquire good reflexes​, hold my breath, wait 5 to 6 long seconds until the aircraft fully flips over​ and coordinate my movements to ​pop the window out, detach myself and ​escape from the cabin to finally rise to the surface!

This training was exhausting but it was worth it. During the first half of the Leg 1, I regularly board the brand-new helicopter of the Amundsen. An amazing machine​, spacious and comfortable​, with large windows to see the cryosphere!

Guillaume, the ​skilled ​ Coast Guards pilot, does magic when flying, every flight was well planned and seemed very secure…

Ice reconnaissance flights, to guide the ship through the ice, this is our chance to make beautiful aerial photos of the ship and the ice!

Noé Sardet


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