None of these guys have any sort of survival instincts. A few examples:
When it rains, no one bothers to attempt to catch any of the water after they've been doing nothing but rationing water the whole time. It doesn't even occur to anyone at any point.
Horrible storm ahead? No problem. Fly directly into it.
When the one guy is saying he'll walk out of the dessert, everyone else convinces him that he'll wander around and get lost very easily and no one mentions the possibility of using a compass (which the plane would have aboard if no one else had one). Sure, the better choice would be to stay put rather than walk out into the desert, but it seems the writers were set on defeating the argument rather quickly.
I agree that these guys (i.e. the writers) are idiots, but using a compass is in fact mentioned. It's handwaved by way of supposedly magnetic mountains, and that the guy could completely miss his target, walking right past it.
It was mentioned in terms something like "See those mountains? They're magnetic!" I thought. OK no problem, you can use the mountains as a reference point!, as you begin to get too far from them to see, ..then you can use the compass just fine.
It never occurred to the survivors to make a spark-gap transmitter? They had all the materials needed (10 times over), and surely the pilot and some of the more technical people would know of them.