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Old 10th Sep 2013, 00:36
  #20 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: CYZV
Age: 73
Posts: 1,259
YBB seaplane flying is inherently no more dangerous than landplane flying, the big difference of course being the condition of the alighting surface. Glassy water I've mentioned, the other condition that can cause you grief is the sea state, if you're landing on a large open water area. You learn to judge the sea state by checking the wave action along the shoreline, and the wind velocity. If you want to try float flying I say go for it, and I wish you the best of luck. Any good float flying school can give you instruction. A few things I would emphasize would be the afore mentioned glassy water landings, sailing an airplane backwards when it is too windy to turn around on the water and how to judge the swell conditions and wind velocity by wave action. You may never have to use any of those tricks if you just want to putter around on a fine afternoon, but they are something you should have up your sleeve if you find yourself in a situation where they may be called for. In Canada you would need a minimum of five hours instruction on a seaplane, with a minimum of five landings and takeoffs to obtain a bare seaplane rating. That isn't much time and should be looked upon as a license to learn.

That's an interesting video. I've taken off off the dolly with the Beaver and the C185. We used to employ the truck to tow the airplane out to the end of the runway and retrieve the dolly after the airplane had departed. Personally I would refuse a towed takeoff like that. A dolly takeoff is not without a certain amount of inherent risk but in my opinion that truck out front of the airplane simply doubles it. You can't hit a truck that isn't there. There are some airports who refuse to allow a take off without the truck on the grounds that the dolly will possibly take out some runway lights after the airplane has flown off it, but to me that argument is specious. Not to say it hasn't happened, but if the dolly doesn't remain on the runway after the airplane has departed it simply means it wasn't lined up properly at the start. The technique we always used was to have the run up completed, shut the engine down, position the airplane on the runway center line and disconnect the dolly tow bar. Have all your pre takeoff checks done, because now once you start the engine you no longer have brakes and the airplane will begin to roll as soon as you add anything more than idle power. The trick is to add the power smoothly while holding full right rudder to counteract P effect. The rudder becomes effective at low airspeed, with the Beaver and Cessna I seem to remember around 20 kt, so you have full rudder control very early. At that point you're simply driving a landplane with no brakes. When you reached takeoff speed simply allow the airplane to fly off the dolly - there is no need to horse it off - but lift off should be positive, you don't want to settle back down. Our dolly was equipped with brakes that were actuated by a lever that popped up when the airplane lifted off, so after a few hundred feet it rolled to a stop. If you were unfortunate enough to have the dolly run off the runway, you bought were required to buy the maintenance guys a case of beer, the same as landing with the water rudders extended.

Last edited by pigboat; 10th Sep 2013 at 00:37.
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