009: EPICC Review Week 3: Survival


  • Tip 1 - Human Factors in Survival - Have a survival mindset

  • Tip 2 - The key to survival is to S.T.O.P.

  • Tip 3 - Everything depends on the Rule of 3.

  • Tip 4 - Set Priorities


Sur-viv-val - the state or fact of continuing to live or exist, typically in spite of an accident, ordeal, or difficult circumstances

  • Unexpected changes in weather

  • Mechanical Failure

  • Damage to Aircraft

  • Pilot Medical Emergency

The Psychology of Survival

(The Human Factor)

  • The Survival Mindset

  • The Will To Survive

  • Having a “I Will Survive” attitude can make all the difference

  • Preparing both mentally and physically


The Key to survival is to S.T.O.P.

  • STOP

    • Ensure Safety of Crew

    • Treat Immediate Injuries

    • Stop and Find Calm (Panic Kills)

    • Assess Situation, Scene, and Resources

    • Collect what you can from aircraft

      • Survival Kit, ELT, SAT Phone, Medical Supplies, Debris, Fuel (oil)

    • Don’t go back to burning aircraft

    • What do you have on you?

  • Think

    • What’s your situation?

      • Where are you?

      • What time of year is it?

      • What time of day it is?

      • Are you expecting inclement weather?

    • How likely is a quick rescue?

      • Were you able to get out a Mayday call?

      • Is the ELT working?

      • Are you in a heavily trafficked area?

      • Does your program use flight tracker?

      • Were you responding with other aircrafts?

    • Is anyone hurt?

    • Do you need to move to a safer location?

  • Observe

    • What type of environment are you in?

      • Mountains vs. Plains vs. Urban

    • What equipment do you have?

      • ELT

      • Sat Phone

      • Survival Gear

      • Cell Phones

    • What natural resources can you use?

      • Rock outcroppings

      • Trees

      • Will you need to dig?

    • Are you safe? 

      • Deadfall

      • Avalanche slide path

      • Cliffs

      • Rock Falls

      • Mud Slides

      • Flood Plain

  • Plan

    • Develop a Survival Plan

      • Start with the Rule of 3’s

    • Keeping Busy on Constructive Actions (DON’T WASTE ENERGY)

      • Prevents Panic and Improves Moral

      • Most situations resulting in fatalities are survivable

        • Most deaths are the result of panic

The priorities for survival should be based on Rule of 3’s for Survival

Rules of 3’s

3 Minutes without air

3 Hours without shelter

3 Days without water

3 Weeks without food

The 2 Things That Kill Most People in a Survival Situation are Exposure and Dehydration


Setting Priorities



Number 1 Priority

(3 hours without shelter in bad weather)

Protects from Heat and Cold



Included in building shelter

Provides warmth

Serves as a signal

Helps provide emotional support



Number 2 Priority

(3 days without water)

Prevent dehydration

Stay well hydrated before your shift.

Gives you a “buffer”

Carry water with you on flights



  • Ground-to-Air Signals

  • Smoke

  • Fire

  • Flags

  • Flares

  • Mirror

  • Cell Phone

  • ELT



Carry a couple of energy bars in your survival bag.

If water is scarce, don’t eat.

Digestion uses water and will accelerate dehydration.

Survival Food

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I hope you enjoy this episode! Until next time remember...

"Education is good, but excellence through collaboration is much better!"

Stay Safe, and Live Well!


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