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Forced landing choice, water or timber?

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Forced landing choice, water or timber?

Old 17th May 2020, 11:28
  #21 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Great South East, tired and retired
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Ixixly, Arsend Charlie and Mach, how did you go doing the Huet course, did it change your perceptions?
Super, I used to conduct HUET courses, and from the comments of the participants, they were a lot happier to be in the water WITH the knowledge than without. However, it wouldn't affect their choice between water or wood.

You say a sparsely timbered hilltop. Tops of hills are better, as the trees are smaller, not having to compete in height for the sunlight. Bottoms of valleys have taller trees, much further to fall when your energy gets dissipated in the treetops. And in PNG, you would not want to be in a valley, as the walls are steep (splat, roll, die) and the rivers run deep and fast, many with a bunch of puk-puk ready to chew on you for lunch. Wouldn't want to Gumi down the Busu in the wreckage of a Cessna. Top of hill any day, maybe easier to find.
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Old 17th May 2020, 11:30
  #22 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2018
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Here is the footage of a C208 forced landing into the water in Hawaii

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Old 17th May 2020, 12:11
  #23 (permalink)  
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To follow on what AC has to say...... I used to do the HUET with him as I had the experience I never wanted.

When you experience watching the aircraft disintegrate about you, you have different perspective.

We chose water over wood, fixed gear, light aircraft.

The deceleration was spectacular but from that point it was surreal. A tumble dryer of shredded aluminum. Surprisingly we all got out relatively unscathed if not wet sore and cold.

Was it the right decision, at the time yes and I'm not going to second guess it. there are way too many decision inputs to simply say wood or wet. We missed the chance of a off site landing and the trees were very big and the water was very flat.
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Old 17th May 2020, 17:25
  #24 (permalink)  
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Reminds me of a story I was told about someone hour building in Florida. On the checkout (SE) he was told that if he had an engine failure, there were two choices - sharks or alligators. Take your pick...

(probably made up)
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Old 17th May 2020, 19:17
  #25 (permalink)  
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A fellow I know was flying an Air Tractor 802 on a fire bombing mission in Colorado. The pilot light in the engine went out just as he was coming off a bombing run, He scraped over the ridge ahead and it dropped down to a valley with a river at the bottom. He plopped it into the river which turned out to be quite shallow and so the stop was very abrupt. He was initially stunned by the impact and when a few seconds later he came to his senses and turned his head he saw a very attractive girl in a skimpy bikini, standing on the wing looking in the side window.

" I have died and gone to Heaven ! " was his first thought ......until he realized he was fine and his airplane stopped next to a beach with a bunch of girls sunbathing.....
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Old 17th May 2020, 20:22
  #26 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
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surviving a ditching

Yup. and I came-to in a hospital bed all plugged-in to an intravenous warm drip with a gorgeous nurse swimming into my field of view. 'Where am I?' quoth I before I could stop myself uttering that cliche. Clearly heaven, perhaps Valhalla, she was a classic nordic blonde; Self having plopped into the -1.5deg.C Baltic Sea. Thank you 722Sqn Royal Danish Air Force. I was at night, would not have fancied Trees!
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Old 17th May 2020, 23:58
  #27 (permalink)  
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To have the choice of timber or water - there must also be shoreline. In that case, shoreline might, just might be the best option. It offers you the opportunity of not making that decision until the very last few seconds.

In the end the better choice is best summed up by Dirty Harry: "Do you feel lucky?"
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Old 18th May 2020, 07:39
  #28 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Originally Posted by non_state_actor View Post
Here is the footage of a C208 forced landing into the water in Hawaii
Interesting video.
It looks like a very high speed ditching. 70 knots stated.
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Old 18th May 2020, 08:55
  #29 (permalink)  
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I'm no Sully!
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Old 18th May 2020, 10:54
  #30 (permalink)  
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If there's no flat area, I would personally go for the water.

Land close to the shoreline, and keeping my thumbs away from holding "around" the yoke... Seen quite a few broken thumbs after "quick stops".

Only forests in the area.... that wouldn't be fun. But I did read a swedish article about the subject at one point, and their recommendation is keep flying the aircraft as you normally would an approach, aim between the trees (ofcourse) and aim to pull up the nose when close to the ground, as you normally would. Never ever pull the nose over the trees, it may end in a stall, and nose down into the ground.

I have no experience in forestlandings, but it sounded reasonable

I do fly in rough, non-forrested terrain (Greenland), and there I would choose quite rocky ground over water at any occasion possible..... water is cold as hell.... as a cold hell I suppose. Not pointing towards rocks, and just take a "I can walk away alive"-landing as the primary goal.
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Old 18th May 2020, 13:35
  #31 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I've done HUET.

I'm a scuba diver.

HUET is scary shit if you think about the real scenario. Getting out of the aircraft is the first thing, then you've got to get a heavy bundle (raft) out of the aircraft if you haven't been smacked in the head, then you've got to get it inflated and into it before you freeze to death. mmmm. Should have taken that Macca's internship.
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Old 18th May 2020, 23:49
  #32 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Great South East, tired and retired
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Never ever pull the nose over the trees, it may end in a stall, and nose down into the ground.
Bit different for a chopper. Built like a racing tadpole, the rotors will flip off and the fuselage will start slipping down through the trees. If you entered level, then the horizontal stabilizer will probably snag on some branches, the nose swings down, the weight comes on those branches, they break off, and the tadpole is headed nose-first for the ground 100' away. And there is little protection in a fibreglass nose and perspex window for the unlucky pax.

Better to enter the trees very nose-high, and hopefully fall in the same way. The tailboom, which is disposable, might take a lot of the energy of the crash, and landing backwards gives a bit of protection with the seat, instead of hanging face-first from a seatbelt.
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Old 19th May 2020, 05:34
  #33 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2019
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So can I do the Legally Blonde thing here and say neither? I'd prefer to land on a runway

For me it really would depend on the terrain and what the body of water was. The idea of a water landing gives me the heebie jeebies though!
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Old 20th May 2020, 01:01
  #34 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
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As close to the shoreline as you can plonk it.

If over land - pasture rather than crop, grassland rather than forest. Partially cleared land ok if you can dodge stumps. If steep slope - keep speed up so you don't stall in the roundout

If forest - between the biggest tree trunks. If no gaps - stall it into the lowest looking bushes - maybe secondary forest regrowth.

If in tropics - into the canegrass along the riverbanks, or the kunai patches on hillsides. Secondary jungle growth much more forgiving, (and less height to fall) than primary jungle. Much sooner take my chances with the odd croc than disintegrate the airframe against some hard vegetation.
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Old 20th May 2020, 05:11
  #35 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Can you swim?
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