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Flying Seaplanes

Old 10th Sep 2013, 06:30
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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I can't comment on the 2nd flick but with the beaver, there is a few issues that in my point of view that contributed to the accident.
Unstable approach, a definite no-no when landing on glassy water. Secondly, not straight ....too much left yaw. Finally in my opinion, the main problem was that he was too nose low for what appears to be Whipline floats. Touching down further back on the heels will can in most cases correct the first 2 issues.

Wether you have the water rudders up or down is irrelevant. They are spring loaded and will bounce up on touchdown if indeed they have not been retracted. However, you can expect some damage to the brackets!

FJ 01
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Old 10th Sep 2013, 09:28
  #22 (permalink)  
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Dear pigboat & floatjockey01, thank you for your comments which are very interesting.

I have been considering doing a fixed-wing PPL in order to fly float planes (I currently fly helicopters) but float plane landings and take-offs seem to have so many dangers but thank you for explaining about these.

I am going to continue researching the matter before approaching one or two float plane pilots and then hopefully make a decision.

In my first post I wrote:

I have an interesting seaplane landing from Sweden which I will post a little later.
And so now here is the video clip from Sweden:



My question is this, the construction of the floats for the Cessna 206, when the aircraft is sitting in the water the weight is carried not just by the very bottom of the float, the köl (I suppose you call it keel) but by as much of the float as is submerged, is this correct?

How then can the full weight of the aircraft be taken:

a) just only on the keel as in this video

b) instead of a "soft" material like water the float is now making contact with something much harder?

I suppose my overall question is whether using the floats on other surfaces can damage them - and yet this operator lands like this at the end of each season so I suppose it must be okay.

The same kind of question then, can you use floats to land on ice which is also very hard and only contacting the keel?
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Old 11th Sep 2013, 00:29
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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My question is this, the construction of the floats for the Cessna 206, when the aircraft is sitting in the water the weight is carried not just by the very bottom of the float, the köl (I suppose you call it keel) but by as much of the float as is submerged, is this correct?
That is essentially correct. The numbers in the rating of float indicates its buoyancy, or how much weight it will support. Flotation rules are contained in FAR Part 23.751 and states:

(a)...Each main float must have...

(1)...A buoyancy of 80% in excess of the buoyancy required by that float to support its portion of the maximum weight of the seaplane or amphibian in fresh water; and

(2)...Enough watertight compartments to provide reasonable assurance that the seaplane or amphibian will stay afloat without capsizing if any two compartments of any main float are flooded.

(b)...Each main float must contain at least four watertight compartments approximately equal in volume.

That 185 in your video is equipped with Edo 2960 floats, and its MTOW if I recall correctly is 3100 lbs, thus it is very well floated with nearly a 100% buoyancy reserve. Other aircraft aren't so well off, the 8000 lb MTOW Otter is underfloated on the standard Edo 7170's. My opinion, of course.

Float keels are made from aluminum, but usually have a steel shoe. Landing on wet grass like the video will not damage the keel, maybe rub a bit off the screw heads. Water is a pretty hard medium at the touchdown speed of the average seaplane. The risky thing about grass landing with a seaplane is if you do it often enough the genie of bad luck will pee on your careful planning and you could end up inverted. The guy in the video deserves an attaboy. He does everything exactly right, particularly the attitude during the approach and touchdown. Any flatter and he'd be touching down too far forward of the step inviting a nose over, any more nose up and the heels of the floats will touch first, forcing the airplane forward. Nose over time!

You can land on ice on floats but with a caveat. The ice should be thick enough to support the weight of the airplane. If you break through, ice can hole a float very easily and you lose the airplane. A company I used to work for did exactly that with a Beaver many years ago. Personally I wouldn't land on ice on floats unless it was an emergency situation.

Here's a vid of a float takeoff with a loaded Norseman under no-wind, glassy water conditions. Check the length of the takeoff run, it's over a minute and a half. You'll see he doesn't try to force it onto the step, simply allows the airplane to rise, then when the spray from the float is about even with the wing struts he begins to ease on forward elevator to bring the airplane up onto the step. Then at the end he raised the right wing, lifting the right float out of the water to minimize drag, and at last he's away. Classic Norseman takeoff.


Last edited by pigboat; 11th Sep 2013 at 02:51.
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Old 11th Sep 2013, 05:04
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks Mr. Pigboat, you sound like you know your stuff!

Why are floats so darn expensive? A new set of wip 8750's installed costs more than every plane I've ever owned put together! - and I've owned a gaggle of them!

FR
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Old 11th Sep 2013, 20:01
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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I think some of pigboat's seaplane landing techniques might even apply to performing a ditching.

This video shows a ditching test carried-out by NASA in 1944 using a B-24 Liberator and which I found most interesting:

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Old 12th Sep 2013, 12:36
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Mr. Ghost, that is one interesting video. Those guys had big ones, made of brass, gives a whole new meaning to 'test pilot'. No doubt they'd figured out all the tricks beforehand, but it still took nerve to ditch that thing. I seem to recall the B-24 was notorious for killing the cockpit crew in a wheels-up landing, the airplane would break apart at the leading edge of the wings, as that one did and the cockpit would be mangled. It would also break at the trailing edge, apparently the bomb bay created a weak spot. Have you seen pictures of Lady Be Good?

Frank those are hefty floats, what are they installed on, a 'van? We had the very first set of Edo 2960's - msn 001 - installed on a brand new 1966 C-185. The whole airplane including a set of Flui Dyne A3000 skis came to less than 35 grand.
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Old 13th Sep 2013, 08:00
  #27 (permalink)  
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Pigboat, I feel lucky to meet you on PPRuNe! Thank you for the good explanations.

I must say that I still feel that to land and take-off a seaplane is probably more risky than for normal wheel plane. The condition of the water rough/smooth, the waves, the position of the floats on landing etc. I think with wheels on tarmac it will be easier but I suppose with practice you can learn to make it safe.

The Norseman take off was very very long indeed but nice to watch.
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Old 18th Sep 2013, 14:51
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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Grumman Turbo Mallard



Key West Seaplanes Cessna 172 Amphibian
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Old 18th Sep 2013, 15:15
  #29 (permalink)  

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No, that ain't no Turbo Mallard....
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Old 18th Sep 2013, 15:16
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Nice pics Photoburst.

That's a Turbo Goose, not a Mallard. I know a guy who has thousands of hours on seaplanes and amphibs, mostly the PBY. He says the Turbo Goose is the most difficult to fly of any seaplane he has ever flown, because of the placement of the engines.

There's a guy who's just started a seaplane service in Key West using turbo Otters. He's on his way down from Alaska with one at the moment.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/173069206140238/
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Old 19th Sep 2013, 10:59
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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Have you seen pictures of Lady Be Good?
I have now, due to your mention of it.





Lady Be Good

Regarding the courage of the test pilots in the Liberator ditching, I agree. In fact I think that the rate of deceleration could easily have knocked you out if you weren't prepared for it!
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Old 20th Oct 2013, 15:28
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
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Taken just a few days ago:



De Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver Mk1 N4957W Lake Hood October 2013

Photo by Danny Fritsche
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Old 21st Oct 2013, 02:15
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Photoburst send that pic to Neil Aird at CURRENT COVER PAGE
That's one beautiful picture. You should also post it on this site on the book of faces.
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Old 22nd Oct 2013, 07:17
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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Yeah, this picture is really beautyful!
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Old 23rd Oct 2013, 00:14
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks for sharing Photoburst, that pic made my day yesterday.
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Old 23rd Oct 2013, 17:12
  #36 (permalink)  
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One of the things I notice about seaplane flying is that a lot of it seems to take place in very beautiful locations.
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Old 25th Oct 2013, 07:24
  #37 (permalink)  
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Some sad news.

Three dead in float plane crash off northeast tip of Vancouver Island - Business - Times Colonist
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