NOTE: The following post is from pilot Jeff Luboff, who activated an ACR PLB after surviving a single engine plane crash into the Pacific Ocean in 2005. Jeff checked in on the ACR/Artex Facebook Page yesterday to share his story:
Hello all, it’s been awhile, Sept 1, 2005, I headed out to sea in my single engine airplane for an 8 hour day of scouting for fish. About 25 minutes out I noticed a drop in power and my first scan of my gauges told me my oil temp was up just a little. I made a few calls on the radio and told all I was headed for nearest land , Point Dume in Malibu, 12 miles away, and at the same time noticed I was not holding altitude (1000 feet). This meant I may not make land so I instantly reached for my survival gear, first securing my ACR PLB406, 121.5 and GPS-enabled for a quick fix on position around my neck by the lanyard and tucked it in my shirt.
I released the door pins but did not jettison the doors, then got my survival suit ready and continued towards the beach. Then, at 600 feet – “Boom” – a cylinder blew off the engine, leaving only 3 and spraying all the oil on the windshield. The engine kept trying to run and at 400 feet I put out maydays and kept updating my position and heading. A minute later I successfully ditched, and got out of the airplane and activated my ACR aqua fix, which would put search and rescue within 10 square meters of my position. I then donned my survival suit and watched my plane sink in about 2 to 3 minutes. I had a bit of a bruise from the harness, and a small cut on my forehead but otherwise unscathed! An hour and 20 minutes later I was picked up. I always fly with a PLB in my pocket. Anyone out there thinking about the cost – they are WELL WORTH IT! Three years later my grandson was born – on Sept 1 st! Thanks ACR!