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Ditching in the Pacific Ocean

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Ditching in the Pacific Ocean

Old 21st Aug 2019, 19:41
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Ditching in the Pacific Ocean

A happy ending to Beechcraft Bonanza engine failure. All caught on camera.




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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 04:35
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He says (at 6' 25") that before this flight, he had to sump each tank 4-5 times before he got fuel without debris. This apparently after work on the fuel system - fitting the tip tanks.

But he describes some debris in fuel as 'somewhat normal' and he still went flying?

Does that make sense? I have never seen 'particles' in fuel when sumping and would be very alarmed if I did.

Last edited by double_barrel; 22nd Aug 2019 at 05:23.
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 06:05
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So his lesson learnt is to carry lifejackets if he ever flies out over the water. It took the loss of his aircraft and risking his life to realise that.
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 11:03
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Of the very many things I have learned from bad experience:

If you believe that you could come to a sudden stop, wear your seatbelt. If you believe that a forced landing into the water is a risk, wear a lifejacket, and, if you find anything other than fuel, in your fuel sample, keep sampling until you don't, and maybe even investigate further if you're still unsure the fuel is pure. Fuel screens are not perfect, and can be plugged - I've seen it.
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Old 22nd Aug 2019, 18:37
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
wear a lifejacket
Clearly, you've never flown in the SF Bay Area in August.

He had no business flying out of gliding distance from the coast, that's his mistake. I've flown over that area in a SEP many times. At a higher altitude, so I could glide back if needed.
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 02:17
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Clearly, you've never flown in the SF Bay Area in August.
Hmmm, I'm not sure how my reference to the benefits of wearing a life jacket when ditching betrays the fact that I have not flown in the SF Bay area in August, but okay, you caught me! I have not flown in the SF Bay area in August.

I have though, managed, only just, while badly injured, to inflate my life jacket, just enough to keep me afloat while waiting for rescue, after my student put me through the windshield hitting the water. It is certain that had I not actually been wearing the lifejacket as I was ejected, I would not be alive. I could not have swum, nor gone back to the sinking plane to look for something that floated. Though, it was Canada, and in July. I don't think drowning knows the difference of what body of water, and the month.
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 11:09
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If I was on the rescue team and that pr!ck was still selfying the sh*t out of the situation whilst being hoisted up, that camera would be going for a swim it wouldn't be coming back from. Idiot.
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 11:59
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Question Is there more to this than meets the eye?

Just saying - have alook at this!

Details of pilot's criminal history and past stunts emerge, following Half Moon Bay crash - Story | KTVU
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 15:46
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Originally Posted by ph-sbe View Post
Clearly, you've never flown in the SF Bay Area in August.

He had no business flying out of gliding distance from the coast, that's his mistake. I've flown over that area in a SEP many times. At a higher altitude, so I could glide back if needed.
Well, I never wear a life jacket when flying from San Carlos or Palo Alto over the bay to Coyote Hills, and you can't get very high because the base of Class B for SFO is 2,500'. Same with the instrument approaches to Monterey, Watsonville, Santa Maria, etc.

Last edited by MarcK; 23rd Aug 2019 at 16:08. Reason: spelling
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 17:17
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
Hmmm, I'm not sure how my reference to the benefits of wearing a life jacket when ditching betrays the fact that I have not flown in the SF Bay area in August, but okay, you caught me! I have not flown in the SF Bay area in August.

I have though, managed, only just, while badly injured, to inflate my life jacket, just enough to keep me afloat while waiting for rescue, after my student put me through the windshield hitting the water. It is certain that had I not actually been wearing the lifejacket as I was ejected, I would not be alive. I could not have swum, nor gone back to the sinking plane to look for something that floated. Though, it was Canada, and in July. I don't think drowning knows the difference of what body of water, and the month.
Forgive me, I'm puzzled. Under what circumstances did your student 'put you thru' the windshield' ? Was your student the handling pilot ?
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 21:05
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Originally Posted by Capt Kremmen View Post
Forgive me, I'm puzzled. Under what circumstances did your student 'put you thru' the windshield' ? Was your student the handling pilot ?
I was thinking the same thing.
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 22:42
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Well, to drift the thread, my student, who was the owner of the plane, and a licensed PPL, while landing on the water under my supervision, made a handling error, which I could not correct in time. We both went out through the windshield, as the plane went over in the water. I did not undo my seatbelt, I ripped it out of the plane instead. Were we not wearing lifejackets at the time we were thrown into the lake, I. for certain, and possibly he too, would have drowned. I insist now, as I did for all my previous flights, including that one, that all occupants wear a lifejacket for overwater flights, or flights for which a water landing is intended. It would not be possible to retrieve and don a lifejacket from a sinking plane - if you're not wearing it when you exit, you're without it. If you're injured in the collision with the water, you might not be able to keep yourself afloat. .
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 10:17
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
Well, to drift the thread, my student, who was the owner of the plane, and a licensed PPL, while landing on the water under my supervision, made a handling error, which I could not correct in time. We both went out through the windshield, as the plane went over in the water. I did not undo my seatbelt, I ripped it out of the plane instead. Were we not wearing lifejackets at the time we were thrown into the lake, I. for certain, and possibly he too, would have drowned. I insist now, as I did for all my previous flights, including that one, that all occupants wear a lifejacket for overwater flights, or flights for which a water landing is intended. It would not be possible to retrieve and don a lifejacket from a sinking plane - if you're not wearing it when you exit, you're without it. If you're injured in the collision with the water, you might not be able to keep yourself afloat. .
I understand. Thank you. I support your comments re lifejackets including wearing full immersion when making extended flights over the briny !
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 11:39
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Yes, I wear a full immersion suit for winter or cold water overwater flying. As such flying for me is usually a search, I don't carry anyone else with me. Ironically, some of these suits though excellent flotation aides, are not qualified as lifejackets. This has created a regulatory dilemma, as Transport Canada proposed to require wearing a lifejacket over the immersion suit for over [cold] water flying. This proposal was introduced to a committee meeting I was attending many decades ago. The TC staff member presenting the proposal had not considered that the combination of an immersion suit, and lifejacket could result in being too buoyant to egress a sinking aircraft. TC conceded this point, and I think that the status quo was allowed to remain. The aircraft must carry inflatable lifejackets, but if the occupant is wearing an approved immersion suit they don't need to also wear the lifejacket. I had pointed out that while wearing an immersion suit, it might be difficult to don and later inflate a life jacket with the lessened mobility while wearing an immersion suit.

Happily, the occasions of ending up in the water while flying are low, but the criticality if it happens is high. Conditions which could be a nuisance to a healthy swimmer, could be fatal for an injured person in the water who can no longer swim. I can briefly remember being in the water, holding on to the wing, calling out for my fellow pilot, as I could not see him. I wanted to assure he was okay, and had inflated his lifejacket. But, I had no idea how badly injured I was, and I could not even manage to "jerk to inflate" my lifejacket, I had to mouth inflate it. I wasn't going to be able to help him. The crash was right in the floatplane bay of a water aerodrome, and witnessed, so rescue was swift. That made the difference, as I would not have lasted in the water.
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 15:26
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
The aircraft must carry inflatable lifejackets, but if the occupant is wearing an approved immersion suit they don't need to also wear the lifejacket. I had pointed out that while wearing an immersion suit, it might be difficult to don and later inflate a life jacket with the lessened mobility while wearing an immersion suit.
Not sure I understand this point properly. By "immersion suit", do you mean a device designed BOTH to protect against hypothermia AND provide buoyancy?

I ask because the usual (UK) definition I have always been taught is that an immersion suit (combined with suitable underclothing) provides protection only against hypothermia when immersed. Bouyancy is provided by a separate lifejacket.

Evidently, if you drown because you cannot remain afloat, hypothermia protection is no longer relevant.

Some immersion suits (as I have been taught to know them) do have an element of buoyancy at times, but that's due to inadvertently trapped air, insufficient to keep an adult afloat and usually distributed around the suit in a manner that does not safely keep the face out of water and severe windspray.

Therefore an immersion suit AND a lifejacket are advised as complementary survival aids; they protect against different threats to life.
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 18:34
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Certainly you should understand the buoyancy characteristics of the immersion suit you wear. You really should do this by reading it's instructions, and then going into the water wearing it. If you can wear a lifejacket over it, and you're confident that doing that will not make you too buoyant to swim down to exit, or that the need to do that could not occur, then I would certainly wear the lifejcaket! I have three immersion suits, one dry, and two not dry. Both of the not dry suits are also legal lifejackets, so wearing one over would be redundant. My dry immersion suit is not a legal lifejacket, though is very buoyant, both because of the insulating foam, and trapped air. That suit has built in gloves which are only moderately suitable for manipulating the hardware of a lifejacket, and I'm not confident that the combination of suit and lifejacket would make it easy to find and pull the inflation toggle on that type of lifejacket.

So, ultimately, know the requirements,both legally and practically, understand how you are going to comply with them, including understanding how your equipment works - by actually using it, and plan for the extremes of the situation you could experience: Maybe having to swim down, in which case, don't be too buoyant, having to use your hands to manipulate latches and buckles, and what you will do if you're injured, or your primary plan fails. So practice!

And, I cannot recommend highly enough, taking an underwater egress course, you'll be amazed what you learn, both what you can do, and what you thought you might, which is not so easy after all! Though I did not need to egress following the crash I was in, the confidence of that training, coupled with 25 years doing and teaching water and ice water rescue for the fire department gave me the best outcome in a very bad situation. It was my fire department colleagues who packaged me to the hospital, following the excellent initial rescue by the airport staff. Everyone said I was calm and answering their questions both in the water, and through out the whole event. All that training and practice had value for me!
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Old 27th Aug 2019, 23:58
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Originally Posted by MarcK View Post
Well, I never wear a life jacket when flying from San Carlos or Palo Alto over the bay to Coyote Hills, and you can't get very high because the base of Class B for SFO is 2,500'. Same with the instrument approaches to Monterey, Watsonville, Santa Maria, etc.
If you don't like to talk to Norcal Approach, then yes, your limit is 2,500 (or 2,300, or 1,500). But I believe out over the waters near Half Moon Bay it's 6,000. Either way, when flying under SFO's bravo I still talk to Norcal. Flight following is all you need.

Originally Posted by Pilot Dar
Hmmm, I'm not sure how my reference to the benefits of wearing a life jacket when ditching betrays the fact that I have not flown in the SF Bay area in August, but okay, you caught me! I have not flown in the SF Bay area in August.
It gets so warm here in August, that you'll taxi with your windows open. In the cloudy U.K. weather you won't have that problem
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 02:17
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It gets so warm here in August, that you'll taxi with your windows open. In the cloudy U.K. weather you won't have that problem
I've only flown in the UK a couple of times, each a nice weather day, but yes, I've heard it gets cloudy there on occasion. Here at home, summer flying can be 90 F days. I'll take a door right off - and wear my life jacket if I'm flying over water!
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 07:30
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"Some immersion suits (as I have been taught to know them) do have an element of buoyancy at times, but that's due to inadvertently trapped air, insufficient to keep an adult afloat and usually distributed around the suit in a manner that does not safely keep the face out of water and severe windspray."
Many years ago I was asked to jump off of a low platform into a water tank at the RAF IAM at Farnborough for a 30 minute experiment which involved my wearing an immersion suit, but no LJ. Great fun for the first 5 minutes floating around on my back high out of the water, Then I became aware of subtle farting sounds intermittently coming from the wrist seals , firstly my lower extremities got deeper in the water and as the pressure in the suit went up , so did the wrist seal air losses and then the neck seal.
As you will imagine this process ran away and for the last 5 minutes I was desperately trying to tread water, a process increasingly hindered as the suit went in to creases as the air was forced out and became almost vice like in constraint regarding limb movement .
I was fished out as the 30 minutes came up, nearly exhausted.
The Aviation Medics explained that all this was in support of investigations in to the consequences of a couple of Lightning ejections over the North Sea. Incidentally "keeping the face out of the water" is of course why the greatest part of an LJ's air bladder is over the chest.
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Old 28th Aug 2019, 17:38
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Originally Posted by ph-sbe View Post
If you don't like to talk to Norcal Approach, then yes, your limit is 2,500 (or 2,300, or 1,500). But I believe out over the waters near Half Moon Bay it's 6,000. Either way, when flying under SFO's bravo I still talk to Norcal. Flight following is all you need.
Are you sure you are from San Jose? There is no way you can get a Class B entry through the airliner approach paths between the West bay and the East bay. So 2,500 is as high as you can go. Try the Instrument approach to Half Moon Bay: over the water on final below 2,000. Watsonville: 11 miles over water below 3,000. Enroute, you can get higher, of course. The point being, I don't know anyone who wears a life vest when practicing instrument approaches into Watsonville (but then, I don't know everyone).
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