Survival Family
Aug 10 · 4 min read

Ok so I was researching new content for the blog when I came across a certain video from the survival subreddit.

This video was just so amazing I had to talk about it here.

It’s an incredible survival story from Matt Lehtinen, an experienced pilot who crash landed in the Quebec wilderness, survived and had to wait 5 hours for help to arrive.

Not only do I feel that anybody interested in survival skills should see it but also there are so many valuable lessons to be learned here.

So it made sense to share this story and help Matt reach even more people.

What happened?:

Don’t worry if you just want to see the video and leave I’ll drop it here then share my thoughts after.

So as you can see the issue was caused by loss of oil, he later told news station CTV Montreal that it sounded as if the engine was grinding itself into pieces.

His flight was supposed to be from Wabush NL to Quebec City.

I can’t even begin to imagine the fear he must of felt once he realised he was going down. I have a family member who is a pilot and everytime we went on a journey, I couldn’t help being anxious despite knowing I was completely safe.

Usually whenever you hear of a plane crash you automatically assume there were zero survivors, considering they slammed into the ground from above as high speed.

However he managed to engage the CAPS system which stands for Cirrus Airframe Parachute System. This amazing piece of technology releases a parachute that is attached the the aircraft to slow its decent in the event of a crash.

I was not aware of this last resort mechanism and Lehtinen believes that without it he would not be alive today.

After his quick thinking he then hit trees with such force it went through the plane, splitting the door.

Had this not happened he could have been trapped inside the plane but because of this he could leave the plane.

Incredibly he only sustained a scratch on his leg as the tree pierced through the plane.

After the Crash:

This is when Matt’s survival skills really had to kick in.

He could have been out there for days without food, water or shelter and to survive a plane crash unharmed only to succumb to starvation later would have been just as tragic.

Luckily he carried an SOS GPS Device which combines two way messaging, an SOS function and tracking via the global Iridium satellite network.

Meaning he could send messages despite being far removed from any mobile networks.

Definitely a device I shall talk about in future posts.

After transmitting his distress signal he began to start a fire to send smoke signals, another example of a good survival tactic.

I Noticed he had difficulty starting a fire at first because the wood was damp. I will be sure to post a guide on the correct way to start a controlled fire outdoors.

He then had to wait five hours whilst fending off a swarm of insects. In these situations knowledge on wildlife will be valuable.

The insects could be venomous or maybe larger predators are known to hunt in that area.

Eventually he got the attention of the Royal Canadian AIr Force. They dropped off a radio which he had to scramble through 200 meters of swamp to pick up so that they could pinpoint his location.

After this he was finally picked up by helicopter and transported to safety.

I could really feel the relief as they down to him, he could have been out there for days and had said he did not have enough supplies to last that long.

What can be learned from this?:

Here is a simple list of the survival lessons I could put together from Matt’s story.

  1. Keep a bug out bag inside the plane. Keep it packed with non perishable foods, first aid kit and shelter gear.
  2. Carry an SOS GPS Device.
  3. Have an understanding of the process, who is going to find you and do they need to air drop a locator too?
  4. Check your route and have an understanding of where you could end up. What if he crashed somewhere very cold or a desert.
  5. Learn how to start a fire
  6. Practice hunting and how to obtain drinkable water


As you can see, I just had to talk about this video.

It’s a fascinating story even for someone who isn’t really interested in learning survival skills.

The most important part of all of this is the fact that Matt was ok. I have not long ago survived a bad car crash unharmed so I understand some aspects of how he could have felt.

It is truly a blessing to come out the other side and back to your family.

What do you think of this story?

Have you also been in a similar situation?

If so please share below and it could help others be better prepared.

Till next time survivors.

Suvival Family

Welcome to Survival Family, we want to help families prepare for any distaster life may bring.

Survival Family

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This is a blog built to help families survive any disaster life may throw at them.

Suvival Family

Welcome to Survival Family, we want to help families prepare for any distaster life may bring.

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