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FireFighting Airplane crash in scooping

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FireFighting Airplane crash in scooping

Old 5th Jul 2019, 08:55
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FireFighting Airplane crash in scooping

FireFighting Airplane FireBoss crashed when scooping for water , pilot got out with no injuries.

Here is the video

I can say for sure, but it looks like the landing wheels where out the moment the pilot touched the water???? or is that the scooping for the water.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9UN...A#action=share

Can you give your opinions
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 12:53
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Hard to say, given the video resolution, but it looks like the wheels. The scoops are pretty small (3") so I don't think they would be visible at that range.

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Old 5th Jul 2019, 13:40
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Video on this link shows the wrecked floats with wheels down - though if they are hydraulically operated might just be result of loss of pressure?
https://www.rtp.pt/noticias/pais/avi...serta_n1158068
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Old 5th Jul 2019, 14:46
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Yes, both the main gear and the scoops are hydraulically actuated.
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 03:23
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This is sad, but not new, nor the last time this will happen. For those not familiar with Amphibians, recall that the only possible landing gear warning system is a speed based voice advisory of x gear position for landing on y surface, ultimately, the pilot must get it right. If the warning is ignored, or the system fails, it's back to the pilot's self discipline. In the case of a system failure, there will be silence - silence is a horrible advisory! For this reason, I'm not a fan of the advisory systems. I would rather that there be nothing, and a pilot who will state the landing gear position and surface out loud to him/herself while visually verifying the gear position, and looking to the surface. What it means is that the pilot must take a ten second step back from focusing on the flying, to confirm configuration. Unfortunately, water flying can introduce many variables not found in airport flying, which can draw the pilot's attention further away from the vital configuration confirmation. Though one might fly a conventional circuit around the intended landing surface, and be able to position prelanding checks at the appropriate places along the circuit, a landing situation might disallow a conventional circuit (topography), and that fact will further distract a pilot away from a normal routine. Ultimately, a pilot must remain just scared enough of getting it wrong, that that fear overcomes complacency. I have landed three different amphibians (two of them mine) in the last month, and each time I do it, I get more fearful I'll have a brain fart, so I get more vigilant. It just takes once though. Generally, one could simply retract the gear after every takeoff, to assure that the default position is retracted. However, this too will allow a pilot to ignore the pre landing position self advisory. It's just better to be in the habit for every landing.

When one watches the numerous videos of amphibious floatplanes landing wheels down in the water, and going over, it's interesting to note that it's not the mainwheels contacting the water which sends the plane over, but rather the nosewheels. There was a set of photos of a fellow landing a PA-18 amphib in which one mainwheel was extended, and the other three wheels retracted. The photos show that he made it work, but it looked like a heck of a ride! My flying boat mentor tells me that a few Lake Amphibians have remained upright after a wheels down in the water, but it was still a shocking stop, and ruined plane.

And, speaking from very unhappy experience (though not associated with a wheels down in the water, and I was not flying) being violently hurled into the water when your expectation was a smooth slide out is absolutely shocking. Water at landing speed is very hard, and after hitting it all wrong, either you have to find your own way out immersed and inverted, you were ejected, or you drowned. The only things you will have with you in the water will be those you were wearing at the instant of leaving (either voluntary or ejection) so wear your lifejacket for every overwater flight, and carry a whistle, light, and put your cell phone in a waterproof bag, either in your pocket, or clipped to your lifejacket. It's no good to you later wet in your pocket. The waterproof bag for mine worked, though it was torn from my lifejacket when I went through the windshield. My wife phoned it, and it rang for two days in the bag at the bottom of the lake, then succumbed to the deep forever.

My most confident amphibian students were those who came to the training already self disciplined to state the landing gear position of RG wheelplanes they flew. The water is a new, exciting and distracting environment, so best some habits already be ingrained in the pilot's actions. When you overlay another system failure, traffic (air or marine), or excited passengers, it's easy to forget.

I feel for this pilot, as the others to whom this has happened. They did it to themselves, but it's so easy to forget this vital step, I will never point a finger at them - it could still happen to me. We can all make a mistake, just wheels down in water becomes an instant, irrevocable, total mistake, with little mitigation, other than getting out alive, and adding you voice to the need for good pilot self discipline.....
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 08:20
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
When one watches the numerous videos of amphibious floatplanes landing wheels down in the water, and going over, it's interesting to note that it's not the mainwheels contacting the water which sends the plane over, but rather the nosewheels.
I believe the Wiplines on the Air Tractor have fixed nosewheels:

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Old 6th Jul 2019, 10:54
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Not sure follow that Dave, they are retracted in your pic. Have I missed something?
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Old 6th Jul 2019, 11:21
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Er, no, I'll go back to sleep.
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 09:50
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Tried to spot any cockpit gear indication from photographs, has anyone got a detailed photo? Or I can try and ask a friend.
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 11:12
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Originally Posted by N707ZS View Post
Tried to spot any cockpit gear indication from photographs, has anyone got a detailed photo? Or I can try and ask a friend.
No photo, but here's a description:

"Ten (10) indicator lights are mounted on the landing gear control unit adjacent to the landing gear handle. Four (4) blue indicator lights, labeled NOSE and MAIN (left-hand lights for the left float and right-hand lights for the right float), show by their illumination that the landing gear is up and locked. The four (4) green indicator lights, labeled NOSE and MAIN (left-hand lights for the let float and right-hand lights for the right float), are illuminated when the landing gear is down and locked. Neither set of lights is illuminated when the landing gear is in transit. Two (2) red indicator lights, labeled PUMP ON 1 and 2 illuminate when current is supplied to the landing gear motors."
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 12:12
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Tried to spot any cockpit gear indication from photographs, has anyone got a detailed photo? Or I can try and ask a friend.
Every amphibian has a landing gear position indicator system, sometimes more than one system, it's a certification requirement. There may also be an audio gear position advisory system, which is separate to the indication system. However, if a distracted pilot fails to look the the position indication, and brain farts the advisory system, nothing will prevent landing with the gear in the wrong position. We've seen the occasional video of an RG landplane being landed gear up, with the horn beeping all the way down final, and the pilot ignoring it.

New, and effective noise cancelling headsets may play a role in this. If the audio for an amphibian's gear advisory system is not coming through the headset, but rather a horn or a speaker in the cockpit, a good noise cancelling headset might make it inaudible to the pilot. There is no certification requirement for an amphibian to have a gear warning horn, as it would always be "wrong" for the water landings, so amphibs only have lights and/or physical position indicators in the floats.

If the pilot fails to stop and think about where they are landing and where the gear is, it's a big hazard. It is common for a pilot with some of lots of landplane RG time to transition to amphibs, and this is a big untraining task for the instructor. I have had to train new amphib pilot to break themselves of the habit of doing by rote "wheels down for landing". Pilots laugh at me, but when flying an RG landplane, it's a verbal: "Wheels are down for landing on land." Yeah, I know I'm landing this plane on a runway, but often I'm landing an amphib on the water, when it becomes "wheels are up for landing on water". Worse is that most amphibious float equipped planes are fixed gear planes in their wheelplane configuration. Thus the tried and true PA-18, C172, C18x, C206, C208, Kodiak, Beaver, Otter, Twin Otter, Air Tractor, that one is used to flying as a wheelplane, without ever checking the gear position, just became an RG, and sometimes you should land it wheels up.
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 14:44
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Thanks David. Got a Cessna 208 with wipline floats in our hangar will try and see what that has for curiosity next time the owner appears.
Presume it doesn't help being based on land and scooping from lakes.
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Old 16th Aug 2019, 21:53
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All well, That ends Well!

Ay Ay Ay,,,, Horrible to watch that video!
Understand he got out alright.
Good!
Only a kit, not a life.

Amphibian:
Hard to taxi wheels up on tarmac according my old Chief Pilot.
The landing was ok he said, but a bit noisy towards the end. But hardly noticeable over his swearing, I suspect.

I can defiantly see the challenge with such an operation.
Fear of a ****up is a good motivator , Eh!

Happy Landings
CptB

OK, cant write ****up, lets try screwup!

Last edited by BluSdUp; 16th Aug 2019 at 21:55. Reason: Screwup repalaced Fup
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Old 17th Aug 2019, 17:44
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I posted on July 8th:

If the pilot fails to stop and think about where they are landing and where the gear is, it's a big hazard.
A good friend allowed that mistake just over a week ago, and I attended his funeral on Wednesday. He was a very experienced water and amphibian pilot. I don't know exactly what happened to lead to the oversight, I just know the outcome. To make the story even more hear wrenching, his wife, and five kids did escape, and survive. By whatever personal strength she mustered, she paddled the inverted plane to shore, and tied it there, so it would not sink in the middle of the lake. Then spent 22 hours on shore, wet, with the kids, awaiting rescue. It seems that word of the failure to return was not circulated as quickly as intended.

His wife and I now have matching scars on our foreheads from water landings, in which we were passengers, gone wrong. She refers to hers as an exclamation mark, with a learned smile. Strong woman!
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Old 17th Aug 2019, 18:39
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It hurts to see a good pilot do a basic mistake and not get a second chance!
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 09:01
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Strangely enough, float planes without wheels seem to "routinely" land on grass at the end of the summer season in some countries (see YouTube).
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 13:53
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Landing a floatplane on grass on the keels is not a problem, I've done it. The grass is firm, and not trying to envelope the front of the floats. Landing an amphibious floatplane wheels down on the water allows the water to envelope the nosewheels and pull the plane over into the water by slowing it down very suddenly. Floats landed on pavement will still work, but generally grind down the keel(s) causing damage - I have a steel keel step I removed from an amphibian I bought, in which this was obviously done. Landing a floatplnae in mud has a good chance of flipping the floatplane, I have a friend who did this. You wreck the plane, but at least you don't drown....

The awareness of what is about to happen, and a) is it what you expect, and b) can you make it work, is critical in landing floatplanes and amphibians, so it's all about awareness.
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Old 29th Sep 2019, 13:11
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As is almost always the case with flying, Richard Bach has something worth reading on the topic...

Amazon Amazon
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