ChannelPilot recently survived possibly one of the most stringent drop tests (while in-use, on a piloting job). It proved both, its reliability and its robustness, and just kept on going!
A couple of months ago (in November) at the CentrePort in Wellington, the ChannelPilot was in use on a container vessel that was being piloted.
The unit was knocked off the bridge wing of the ship (see height in photograph) and continued to work for an hour without the pilot realising there was anything wrong, since he was still receiving the data on his display unit!
The pilotage operation continued as normal.
The ChannelPilot fell about 15m from the bridge wing and landed upright on the top of a container just in front of the bridge. The case was cracked from the impact and the batteries had popped out of the unit (see photographs), but it continued working without the pilot realising what had happened until it came time for him to pack his bag and leave the ship.
Completing the pilotage, the pilot went over to retrieve the unit and was somewhat confused when he didn't see it there but had been using the PPU for the previous hour! Not expecting to see anything, when he looked over, the unit was sitting on a container approx. 15m below. We've since then happily fixed the unit and returned the piloting tool to its rightful owner.
Story & pictures courtesy of Capt. Steve Banks at CentrePort in Wellington.