EXCLUSIVE: Dive in for an inside look at surviving an aircraft crash

ByJosh Einiger and Todd Pierce and Emily Sowa via WABC logo
Thursday, May 17, 2018
EMBED <>More Videos

Dive in with Josh Einiger for an exclusive look at escape training for surviving an aircraft crash... could you survive?

GROTON, Connecticut (WABC) -- It's the ultimate underwater nightmare: the feeling of being trapped in a sinking helicopter after ditching in a river, and sinking into the deep.

It happened in March, when a tour chopper splashed into the East River, pulling five passengers to their deaths.

Would you know how to survive a similar fate?

Survival Systems USA, a company in Groton, CT, has been teaching underwater survival skills for 20 years. Eyewitness News Reporter Josh Einiger went along for the harrowing ride.

Step inside to experience the helicopter crash simulator called METS - Modular Egress Training Simulator. It can be configured to simulate any type of airplane or helicopter, and it is used in ditching escape training.

What you're watching is just a drill...but it doesn't feel that way.

"It's keeping calm," instructor Daniel McInnis said. "Trying to realize there are motions that may be beyond your control, but at the same time, there are things you can control. And that's yourself."

The day-long course starts with four hours in a classroom, and then, participants get wet.

Josh was taught to keep his eyes closed because in a real crash, the water may be full of hydraulic fluid or fuel that could blind him.

People are not supposed to rely on underwater vision, because the light refracts and you could head towards a light thinking it's the sun on the surface, when it's really a light attached to your airplane.

Josh learned how to keep warm in the open water, how to use a life raft, and the correct way to get into a rescue basket. The high-tech training facility can simulate all kinds of scary weather.

Dive in with Josh Einiger for an exclusive look at escape training for surviving an aircraft crash...would you make it out alive?