Thursday, June 02, 2005

Provisions for Provisions

Flight through Canada into Alaska, and in Alaska itself, requires extended time in remote country. As a result, both Canada and Alaska mandate that airmen carry survival equipment and supplies. Here's the respective lists:

  • rations for each occupant sufficient to sustain life for one week
  • one axe or hatchet
  • one first aid kit
  • an assortment of tackle such as hooks, flies, lines, and sinkers
  • one knife
  • fire starter
  • one mosquito headnet for each occupant
  • two small signaling devices such as colored smoke bombs, railroad fuses, or Very pistol shells, in sealed metal containers


survival equipment, sufficient for the survival on the ground of each person on board, given the geographical area, the season of the year and anticipated seasonal climatic variations, that provides the means for

(a) starting a fire;

(b) providing shelter;

(c) providing or purifying water; and

(d) visually signalling distress.

Canada used to have substantially more detailed regulations on what you had to carry. Witnesseth:

Emergency Equipment for Flights in Sparsely Settled Areas (most of the area north of 52 degrees North latitude is designated as "Sparsely Settled")
  1. Food having a caloric value of at least 10,000 calories per person carried, not subject to deterioration by heat or cold and stored in a sealed waterproof container bearing a tag or label on which the operator of the aircraft or his representative has certified the amount and satisfactory condition of the food in the container following an inspection made not more than 6 months prior to the flight.
  2. Cooking utensils.
  3. Matches in a waterproof container.
  4. A stove and a supply of fuel or a self-contained means of providing heat for cooking when operating north of the tree line.
  5. A portable compass.
  6. An axe of at least 2 1/2 pounds or 1 kilogram weight with a handle of not less than 28 inches or 70 centimeters in length (typically referred to as a "Hudson Bay" axe).
  7. A flexible saw blade or equivalent cutting tool.
  8. Snare wire of at least 30 feet or 9 meters and instructions for its use.
  9. Fishing equipment including still fishing bait and a gill net of not more than a 2 inch or 3 centimeter mesh.
  10. Mosquito nets or netting and insect repellant sufficient to meet the needs of all persons carried when operating in an area where insects are likely to be hazardous.
  11. Tents or engine and wing covers of a suitable design, coloured or having panels coloured in international orange or other high visibility colour, sufficient to accommodate all persons when operating north of the tree line.
  12. Winter sleeping bags sufficient in quantity to accommodate all persons carried when operating in an area where the mean daily temperature is likely to be 7 degrees C (approx. 45 degrees F) or less.
  13. Two pairs of snow shoes when operating in areas where the ground snow cover is
    likely to be 12 inches or 30 centimeters of more.
  14. A signalling mirror.
  15. At least 3 pyrotechnical distress signals.
  16. A sharp jack-knife or hunting knife of good quality.
  17. A suitable survival instruction manual.
  18. Conspicuity panel.

Thankfully those have been eliminated, in favor of the more straight-fowarded list above. Looks like we can avoid the whole gun thing, as neither Alaska nor Canada seem to require it anymore. (I think Alaska used to mandate one.)

If I'm missing something here, would somebody please let me know?

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