Your aircraft or broken down vehicle can be an important survival resource or may even be repaired if you have the right tools. Versatile multi-tools can facilitate its use or that of its equipment or parts. They might even get you back in the air or back on the road. Other tools can be quite handy as well. Fiskar "Super Snips" or similar multi-purpose snips will cut through almost any light metal sheet including the typical aluminum sheet found in general aviation aircraft, and you will be able to put that metal to good use. Small needle nose Vise-Grip pliers are very useful for disassembling things and for use around a survival camp. The ability to lock the jaws in place to grip things or to hold things together can be a lifesaver.
Some pilots carry a comprehensive tool kit, leaving them prepared in case of an emergency, thouhg many feel they cannot afford the weight involved, which can have quite an impact on useful load. Those traveling by car or truck don't have such worries.
Where weight is a concern, an alternative is to carry a much smaller tool kit of 1/4 in. drive sockets (they are plenty strong enough for this use) and open end or combination wrenches to complement the multi-tool. Judicious selection of the sizes needed to disassemble the most useful parts of your aircraft will reduce the number, and weight, of these items to a minimum. A few wrenches or, perhaps, a small adjustable wrench, three to five sockets, a socket drive handle, maybe an extension and perhaps a hex wrench or two will likely do the job on most aircraft (see your A&P if you're not sure what exactly to select). These will add up to a little more or less than a pound or two and make it even easier to utilize your aircraft as a survival resource or to effect repairs.
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Revision: 010 January 12, 1999
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