Finally, it was time for HUET. Departing from Awana to TSTC, I knew that this was going to be one heck of a refresher. I heard we’d be using the EBS (Emergency Breathing System) for the underwater activities. True enough, we used the EBS indeed. There were additional scopes though:
1) Loading onto transfer basket and unloading from a transfer basket
2) Swinging from boat to boat landing and back
I initially struggled with breathing underwater because I didn’t understand that the bubbling while exhaling was actually normal. In fact, it wasn’t until the instructor asked me to inhale and exhale harder that I managed to get the hang of it.
Instructors preparing for the next round.
The morning was all about theory on sea safety, underwater escape, insights on the types of helicopters used in oil & gas, and so on. The instructor was En. Zama, the same guy on the same role when I attended the course four years ago, some time in July 2005. We were lucky to also learn about some of the real stories on the two crashes that took place in the last 2 years. Despite the incidents, the operating company retains a good record still – 6 crashes in 30 years. If you count that by the number of crashes over successful flights – that’s a very good flying record.
In the afternoon, we indulged in water activities in a pool with simulated course. For sea survival, we did diving from 15 feet platform, huddling in the water, swimming in a line towards life raft, climbing on it, and climbing on a safety net. After that, it was all about escaping a simulated chopper crash in the water.
Here is the dummy chopper. Oops, I blocked it.
There… our carrier that submerged under water.
Zaki and I put on fatigued smile once it was all over.
I was very exhausted at the very end of the day, I asked Pak Mat to send me straight home.