There appears to be zero other information e.g. whether the pilot made any kind of radio call. I would have thought that one would have VHF reception at 30nm S. of Cannes, at any remotely sensible altitude one would be flying at that far out over water.
Off-topic, but this crash made me think of Saint-Exupéry...
Very hard to establish the cause on these types of offshore crashes, unless they recover the aircraft reasonably intact - and even then it's tricky.
Incidentally a dutch C172 ditched a couple of days ago as well; both occupants picked up from the sea, but pilot eventually died from hypothermia.
Did they have a life raft?
I always thought life jackets (with no raft) are almost pointless, assuming that you can swim. Many people can't swim and would drown immediately so for them jackets are vital.
I never fly without a life raft because even a departure on EGKA 20 followed by a turn back over land places you out of probable glide back to land for a bit of time - especially if you are trying to avoid doing a mid-air like the one they had recently.
Most people - even good swimmers - have little chance of making it into a life raft if not wearing a life jacket. Fighting swell, waves and spray takes it out of you in no time. The Med, of course, often is more akin to a still lake, so there you might stand a chance, but forget it in something like the North Sea. Of course there are the ideal ditching situations where you step from the wing into the raft, but I guess there aren't many like that.
Most people - even good swimmers - have little chance of making it into a life raft if not wearing a life jacket. Fighting swell, waves and spray takes it out of you in no time
As a windsurfer and not a good one, I agree, but I think that if you (a solo person) have to get into a raft from the water then the game will be over for most people. It can be done, and there is a procedure which works (in a pool, anyway...) but it's quite difficult.
What are the chances of actually getting the raft out of the aircraft after ditching, I suppose most pilots and pax will be full of adrenalin and only bring what they have on them when leaving the aircraft (except if it's calm waters and a perfect ditch).
I was given the opportunity to attend an under water escape course in Sweden. We simulated a ditched helicopter, in survival suits and with emergency oxygen - and even in a controlled environment with safety divers inside and outside of the "helicopter" it was hard to keep calm and do the exit procedure. (When the helicopter went upside down under water it was incredibly stressful)
When the helicopter went upside down under water it was incredibly stressful
Yes, that's what helicopters do because of the weight of the rotor. With an airplane you have a good chance of doing a smooth water ditching without toppling.
What are the chances of actually getting the raft out of the aircraft after ditching
What's the chance of executing any of the emergency checklists correctly when faced with the situation? All you can do is prepare yourself for the event. I think chances are pretty good because most likely I will be pretty high up while over the sea (not flying the Shoreham SID every week ) so I would have a lot of time to prepare. My life raft comes with a strap I can put around my wrist. Unless you tie yourself to the life raft, you will surely lose it.
So what happend to the TB20 that went missing?
Unless you tie yourself to the life raft, you will surely lose it.
I hope you keep a sharp knife handy at all times.
I strongly recommend that you do not tie yourself to an un-inflated raft!
Oh, I thought tying it with a bowline around my neck was the approved procedure...
The raft comes with a wrist strap. You put your hand through the strap and grab the raft at its handle. If you let the handle go (i.e. throw the raft), the strap will trigger the inflation. A good mechanism.
I prefer the jacket over the raft. In a 172 it is unlikely you will get the raft out of the aircraft; low wings aren't much better.
If I'm flying over any significant expanse of water (English Channel spring t mind) I will be wearing an immersion suit, life jacket and a PLB.