July 2000 Issue

Aviation Life Rafts

Winslow’s value-priced RescueRaft II and top-rated Island Flyer fit most GA needs. Air Cruiser’s TSO’d rafts did poorly.

[IMGCAP(1)] Since we last examined aviation life rafts four years ago, new designs have been introduced and we’ve seen significant improvements made to existing products. Light aircraft owners have benefited from the Part 135 and big-iron GA market, which drives raft development, for better or worse.

We were sent evaluation rafts from Air Cruisers, BFGoodrich, Hoover and Winslow. Once again, Eastern Aero Marine (EAM) and Survival Products declined to participate and RFD didn’t return our calls or e-mails. Survival Products later had an apparent change of heart and did provide rafts for testing.

Our testing protocol was simple but demanding. We enlisted a team of volunteers—ranging fro...

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