Modern clothing are made of mostly man made
fabrics or combination natural/synthetic fabrics which has
opened up fabulous markets and trends in the garment industry.
Poly-cottons, nylons, poly-viscose just to name
a few are great for looks, wash and dry easily, hang nicely
and are comparatively stronger than natural fibres. Unfortunately these
fabrics have one serious draw back ie. the high
speed of combustion in the event of a contact with fire.
As a result the garment melts on the body,
forming an airtight barrier on the accident victim,
similar to "shrink wrap". This leads to skin
suffocation and subsequent death. There are many cases of
pilots having met their maker through the unfortunate fact
that they were dressed with this type of clothing. Undoubtedly
a large proportion of them would have walked away
virtually unharmed, had they been wearing the correct kind of
Since aviation is still using petroleum based
fuels for propulsion with it’s inherent dangers, it makes
sense to avoid wearing any combustion supporting fabrics
whilst in and around aircraft.
As a minimum protection with a closed cockpit,
avgas or jet fuel driven aircraft/helicopter, we recommend to
wear a suit made in 100% cotton. The best protection is a fire
resistant Kermel® or Nomex® suit. With the correct fabric
weight, a suit of this type will give excellent protection in
the event of a flash fire or to a person having to run through
Over the years, we at Airwear®, have found
that a 230gr/m² (~7 oz) is the most effective fabric
thickness to use. It offers very good fire protection, retains
a reasonable amount of body heat in winter and is very
acceptable in summer.
Incidently cotton socks or at least a high
cotton content pair of socks and leather shoes, preferably
boot types, are of utmost importance. Sneakers are a definite no-no.
Asides the protection issue, all Airwear®
suits are tailormade therefore comfortable to wear, last for
years and are cost effective.
We supply thermal suits and poly cotton
suits only to the microlight (weight shift) and parachute
fraternity, respectively. The fire risks in these two sports
are minimal and do not warrant specific fire protection.
Medical rescue can use either poly-cotton or pure cotton suits
as per customer request.
Our web-site gives all relevant information as
to technical data, cost, how to measure for a proper fit and
Anyone requiring more detailed information is
welcome to contact us via e-mail, phone or fax.
"If you value your skin, protect it,
it’s the only one you have"
As a final word: We know of two local
accidents in the past few years, where pilots were wearing our
suit and managed to get away with minor or no injury. Need we