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Has a life rift ever been successfully deployed in the event of an air accident?

By successfully I mean removed from the aircraft, placed on the water, inflated and used by passengers/crew as a life raft.

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closed as too broad by Juan Jimenez, ymb1, David Richerby, user, Jamiec Jun 17 at 13:01

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ This question is too broad. The answer is yes, many, many, many times. You need to narrow it down in scope to get a reasonable answer. $\endgroup$ – Juan Jimenez Jun 17 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ It's really not all that broad and it is singularly answerable. Might not be the answer the OP is after, but it's a simple, concrete answer to the question. $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Jun 17 at 12:23
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    $\begingroup$ Actually I should have limited it to commercial airliners. Pants. $\endgroup$ – user Jun 17 at 12:26
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    $\begingroup$ It's typically not well-received when an edit invalidates an answer. Please consider reverting back to the original question, and ask a new one with more details if you want. Before you do, a Cessna 152 can be flown commercially, so be sure to properly limit the scope, to say, jet-liners than are heavier than x kg, flying over oceans and not rivers, etc. Whatever you have in mind, but in detail. $\endgroup$ – ymb1 Jun 17 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ Voted to close, I'll try again, but it's frustrating that there is no way to fix it and keep the existing answers that are appreciated. $\endgroup$ – user Jun 17 at 12:47
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Sure. For example, Eddie Rickenbacker and 6 other people spent 3 weeks adrift aboard life rafts after their B-17 ditched in WW2.

Read more -- https://www.historynet.com/eddie-rickenbacker-and-six-other-people-survive-a-b-17-crash-and-three-weeks-lost-in-the-pacific-ocean.htm

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  • $\begingroup$ I'm not sure if a WW2 bomber qualify as commercial $\endgroup$ – Quentin H Jun 17 at 12:28
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    $\begingroup$ @QuentinH that qualification was edited in after this answer. Hate it when an edit invalidates an answer. $\endgroup$ – Jamiec Jun 17 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ @Jamiec nicely spotted, I should have checked. Maybe the other guys did order some US "carpets" with next-day delivery though... that would make the answer valid. $\endgroup$ – Quentin H Jun 17 at 12:33
  • $\begingroup$ Btw the linked article could be used as the basis for other questions. Specifically-- . "In the end, however, all Y could provide was a compass course reading, which was worthless since that did not tell the crew whether they were flying toward or away from their destination. Without a bearing the pilot did not know in which direction to fly." -- How is this plausible? The author would have us believe "island Y" could tell the B-17 which direction it was flying but could not provide a bearing? This makes no sense. Actually, it's so nonsensical that it's probably not a good subject for a q $\endgroup$ – quiet flyer Jun 17 at 12:57
  • $\begingroup$ "An hour before the estimated arrival time, Captain Cherry throttled back, slowly descended to about 1,000 feet and began looking for Canton Island." -- this makes no sense either, unless there was an overcast above this level -- you've been flying over the ocean for almost 2000 miles and you don't know exactly where you are so your strategy is to descend to a thousand feet, where your field of view will be greatly limited-- a whole hour before your ETA? Interesting. I don't think the author was a pilot. $\endgroup$ – quiet flyer Jun 17 at 13:02
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US Airways Flight 1549 ditched in the Hudson river after a multi-engine bird strike on January 15, 2009.
According to these pictures, they did deploy the emergency slides which were eventually detached and used as emergency rafts:

enter image description here
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enter image description here


Emergency slides in airliners are actual life rafts. They are designed for that and often include survival kits and canopies:

enter image description here

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree with @ymb, the criteria (from the start) was that the life rafts be deployed. Make-shift rafts make out of slides don't count I'm afraid. $\endgroup$ – user Jun 17 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ Slides are NOT make-shift rafts. They are designed to be rafts once everyone is out of the aircraft. $\endgroup$ – Quentin H Jun 17 at 12:49
  • $\begingroup$ Some even have sun canopies i.pinimg.com/originals/ad/08/40/… $\endgroup$ – Quentin H Jun 17 at 12:50

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