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Beaver on floats lands in a Fijian cane field

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Beaver on floats lands in a Fijian cane field

Old 8th Apr 2019, 02:46
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Beaver on floats lands in a Fijian cane field

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Old 8th Apr 2019, 04:29
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I guess all that foliage was pulled into the engine by a windmilling prop. I'm sure a very polite pilot expressed: "A forced landing, sugar!". If the pilot was gentle, the plane might not be damaged.
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Old 8th Apr 2019, 07:12
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At least they didn't lose an engine on the latest occasion ...





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Old 8th Apr 2019, 20:56
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It's always nice to see that an emergency procedure that you've been taught ("if you have to put a floatplane down on land there's a fair chance that nobody will get hurt") does actually work in real life.
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Old 9th Apr 2019, 01:35
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Floatplanes regularly land on grass, usually on the change of seasons, swap floats for wheels/skis.


And when the season changes back (go to 2:55)

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Old 9th Apr 2019, 04:20
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It is the risk of a forced landing of a floatplane in high foliage which results in a dislike for bow to bow walking wires - they will catch the foliage, and flip over the plane, during an otherwise success prone land landing. I know this to have happened twice. I will no longer install a walking wire. Cub, Citabria and C 206 pilots face a challenge, sorry....

I would not characterize land landings of floatplanes as common. I've only done it once, and seen it done intentionally twice more in a few decades of float flying. A friend who force landed my buddy's 180 on a nice sod field (too much air in the tanks), did hidden damage, which revealed itself to me two flights later, and created a scary, high risk landing for me. The fact that something can be done, does not mean it should be....
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Old 9th Apr 2019, 08:26
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Whilst driving past Popham many years ago sure I saw a C180 floatplane sitting on the grass which had been landed there for a change to wheels. Anyone else remember it?
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Old 9th Apr 2019, 20:36
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Yes, I have seen it (or remember seeing a photo of same!).
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Old 10th Apr 2019, 00:41
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I would not characterize land landings of floatplanes as common
May depend where you operate I guess DAR. Remember reading about the practice many years ago.

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Old 10th Apr 2019, 13:57
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Oh I know it gets done Megan, it's just that one should not take away the impression that this is a daily activity, it is done with great caution, when there is no alternative. As the past pilot for a maintenance organization where we did dozens of annual float changeovers, I would have never landed a client's airplane on our grass (we were on the shore of a lake). I could not explain to the client why I did that. For airports with not water access, there would be no choice, but I would expect that it would be the aircraft owner choosing to land on the grass, not the maintainer's pilot. I have done a grass landing, I have never done a dolly takeoff. We discussed doing it once, but we all agreed it was not worth the risk, and took the aircraft a long way over land to the water instead. Like many things in flying, yes, it is possible, but the risks are higher, and the training is less available, is it worth trying when there is a safer alternative?
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Old 27th Apr 2019, 06:08
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Surely that would induce stresses on the floats, their attach points and airframe they are not designed for ?


While on the subject, are float planes ever landed on snow / ice ?
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Old 27th Apr 2019, 08:58
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Re my post about the C180 on floats at Popham. Pretty certain it was G-BKMM which photographs show actually had amphibious floats before changing to standard 180 undercarriage sometime around 1990 or so. So not a grass landing on floats!
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Old 27th Apr 2019, 11:23
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While on the subject, are float planes ever landed on snow / ice ?
The answer is not no. I am not aware of anyone landing a floatplane on snow. I'm sure it's been done, but would be unwise, as getting it stuck there is a risk. Skiplanes are already easy to get stuck and frozen in, and the skis have plastic non stick bottoms, float bottoms would freeze in much worse! I recall the older version of the Canadian regulations did permit landing floatplanes on snow, as long as passengers were not carried, though this has been removed (probably because it would be unwise anyway, and no wise pilot would do it routinely). I would certainly land a floatplane on snow in an emergency as a preferred surface, though float flying in the winter is less common. It is risky taking off or landing in the water below freezing air temperatures - splash freezes on the plane (ask me how I know!). When flying amphibians over snow, it is a reassuring forced landing surface. When a friend and I flew his 182 amphib across northern Norway in June, all of the snow on the ice cap looked reassuring for a forced landing, compared to doing it on wheels!

Intended landing on snow with any landing gear has another high risk, that being often the surface of the snow is unbroken, and indistinct. Judging your height about the surface for flare is very difficult. There is a specific technique called glassy water landing, which can be applied to snow (ski) flying as well, though is increased risk. You also should have an idea of how deep the snow is. I have purposely landed in 2 feet deep power snow during ski testing, and the plane could not take off out of this. There are tricks for this situation when you're "away", but they are involved and time consuming. I'd done my testing beside a cleared runway, and was on wheel penetration skis, so I just powered over to the runway, and took off there on wheels.

I have landed on floats on ice twice, and was a passenger a third time - ironically once as a passenger, the twenty some years later as the pilot of the same Cessna 185 amphibian - both times due to a right side wheel gear extension failure. The third time, I had had a cross bracing wire break during flight in a 180 straight floatplane, and chose the ice of a frozen lake, rather than the water, in case the plane collapsed on the floats. It did not, and I taxiied on the ice until the plane dropped into the water, and I taxiied to the dock at the floatplane base for repairs.

I would categorize any of the foregoing as abnormal procedures, with a higher risk, avoid if possible!
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Old 28th Apr 2019, 08:35
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
The answer is not no. I am not aware of anyone landing a floatplane on snow. I'm sure it's been done
I remember lots of great photographs in the Kenmore Air offices on Lake Washington - they were landing them high up in the mountains above Seattle (looked like 1950s) - I think Beavers but I also think there were two or three other types. Must get their book out for another read.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 05:33
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On the subject of books related to this subject I can recommend "Ski-plane adventure" (ISBN:0589003283) by [Wing Commander] Harry Wigley.

Beginning from the 1920's the author then goes into quite a bit of detail around early experiments with snow skis on Austers in the mid-1950's, moving to 180's/185's later on.

While I live and have flown in the area (so it's reasonably pertinent to me) I think it'd be an interesting read for aviators around the world, particularly those that like to get an idea of early 'bush' innovation in the field.

FP.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 11:29
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In the UK, George Cormack used to land his float equipped Cub on the grass at Cumbernauld, but he's a pretty experienced pilot really. I wouldn't fancy it.
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Old 29th Apr 2019, 18:54
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Originally Posted by Nomad2 View Post
In the UK, George Cormack used to land his float equipped Cub on the grass at Cumbernauld, but he's a pretty experienced pilot really. I wouldn't fancy it.
I've been told by various floatplane instructors, as part of the normal briefing about what to do if the engine stops whilst we're flying over land:

- Go for the road (dirt track), you probably won't even damage the floats
- Well, if we have to land on this lava moonscape, at least the floats will absorb most of the energy as they disintegrate
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Old 30th Apr 2019, 01:20
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- Go for the road (dirt track), you probably won't even damage the floats
Egads, a high friction road or dirt track would be lower on my list of preferred surfaces. If not water, wet grass is most preferred. On a past occasion, a silly pilot friend of mine landed his 180 floatplane on a grassy field, as he ran out of gas before he reached the lake. The landing had not caused damage to the floats. The grassy field was very damp, and soft, so when I went to help out, I realized that the land owner would be upset if we drove on his soft grass field to recover the plane. So I checked the fuel (there was a little in the tanks still) I fired it up, and taxiied with non precision steering, to the road. The plane taxiied easily on the wet grass, though steered unevenly, as I had only the air rudder. In hind sight, I should have poured in ten gallons of gas, I could have taken off from the grass no problem.

The same friend beat up my runway with his 185 amphib. I thought he was coming around for a second beat up, until I saw 40 flap extended, though the wheels still retracted. I ran down to the runway to wave him off, but was not quick enough. He passed in front of me, and touched down gently on the keels. He slid off to one side, but did not leave the runway. As I walked up to him, I asked: "what was the first moment you realized the wheels were up?" (It had been a really smooth landing). He said that the first occasion he knew the wheels were up, was when he pressed a brake to straighten out, and it had no effect. It took us all afternoon, and a 1/4 chord of firewood, to progressively lift it, and block it up enough to extend the gear, so he could take off.

Okay... just 'cause I'm telling stories about my friend and his experience in his floatplanes and amphibs... On another occasion, I flew him up to the other airport in his Tomahawk to pick up his other 185 amphib. As he was all set to leave, I took off, to fly back home with him. As I circled up over the airport to wait for him, I saw him taxi out, and then just stop on the grass and sit, and sit, and sit. After many minutes of orbiting, I landed back to see what the delay was. As I taxiied up, I could see the 185 sitting on two right wheels, and a left keel. It turns out that whoever hooked up the hydraulics, crossed the lines. Though he taxied out gear down, when he gave a couple of pretakeoff hand pumps with the gear selected down, to be sure it was down, the hydraulic pressure operated the left wheels to unlock, and the plane gently settled on the left keel. After an hour, some embarrassed mechanics had changed the left hydraulic lines around, actually checked the function this time, and we were on our way.
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Old 30th Apr 2019, 20:32
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
Egads, a high friction road or dirt track would be lower on my list of preferred surfaces. If not water, wet grass is most preferred.
On this part of the Island the choice, away from water, was trees or logging roads. Which weren't used very often and might indeed have been mostly grass, I don't remember. It's not as if I was allowed to fly high enough to give myself much of a choice - "we're bush pilots, we get nosebleeds if we go above 200'".

Love the stories - if I could have chosen I'd have been a BC bush pilot a few decades ago, preferably with my own Beaver.
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