Here is the official letterhead response from Seaplaneforum.com on New Mexico’s proposed ban of seaplanes.
Seaplaneforum.com is proud to have welcomed it’s newest supporting industry member, providing seaplane instruction, dry lease and consulting as well as block time rentals to interested pilots and students. I am proud to have this operation in my industry supporter network, helping me to provide more services and a better, more modern services to our community while at the same time enjoying an affordable way to share the word.
Good news from our friends in British Columbia!
BC Floatplane Operators join forces!
Get Out Alive!
Most of us complete our piloting career without any ditching concerns. Others are not so lucky and unfortunately learn ditching procedures the hard way. Without any prior training or real-life lessons in ditching, it’s very difficult to understand why being inverted and underwater often leads to a traumatic experience. The physiological responses to impact followed by an immediate immersion in water, with a temperature many degrees colder than your nice warm cockpit is often totally overwhelming and lethal. Every year a number of pilots and their passengers find themselves totally unprepared and franticly searching for a door handle which was easily located only moments earlier.
Those who think swimming ability and diving experience will be sufficient to get them out of an aircraft after ditching will be amazed at how poorly they perform during the first few sessions in an egress simulator.
Here’s a quick list of things you may wish to think about when considering the possibility of ditching your aircraft.
Presuming you have enough warning prepare the cabin for impact with the water by:
- Tightening your seatbelts/harness
- Unlatching the cabin doors.
- Having passengers assume the brace position.
Once the airplane comes to a stop, it may be upside down. To orient yourself, stay seated and locate your exit. Then release your seatbelt or harness.
On average, it takes only 15 seconds for total panic to set in after a ditching once your face goes underwater in the event an exit is not immediately located.
If a door becomes jammed after water impact and the aircraft is completely flooded, try opening any hinged window available, last resort kick out the Plexiglas.
HOW MUCH TIME?
The time available before the aircraft sinks depends on the design and the damage incurred. Don’t think near-empty fuel tanks will assist your time on the surface.
Floatplane’s often do not sink after becoming inverted, which would allow it’s occupants to use the float bottoms for support. But don’t count on this, get into your PFD or into a life raft as soon as possible (or both). If still floating keels up, don’t even think about going back for your headset.
If the pilot isn’t wearing the PFD when ditching becomes imminent, he or she must remain in control of the aircraft until it comes to a stop. Stuff the PFD in your shirt or jacket to help ensure availability afterwards.
Avoid PFDs designed for recreational boaters. Instead carry inflatable PFD designed and approved for aviation since other types may prevent egress due to buoyancy. Don’t inflate PFD until you’re clear of the aircraft.
Any liferaft you carry should be certified and rated for more occupants than the aircraft can accommodate. It should be the first item to leave the aircraft and tethered to any occupant.
Consider adding and EPIRB or at least a portable ELT to your equipment even if only incidental over water flying is planned.
These are just a few suggestions to help aid you in a successful egress if required. For complete training it is suggested you contact AES and attend our S.A.F.E. training program.
Aviation Egress Systems home base is in Victoria, BC as well we travel the country teaching Egress training to both pilots and passengers. Bryan Webster has more than 11,000 hours and is currently flies a de Havilland Beaver on the West Coat of BC.
To learn more about his egress training, visit his web-site www.dunkyou.com or contact him at 250-704-6401.
Amphibious Aircraft Challenges
Written & submitted by “Bry – The Dunker Guy”
The freedom of flying and our ability to reach favorite destinations from take off at a local airport or your own dock in the front yard is immeasurable. Once the snow has disappeared and the ice has melted, airports everywhere will be a buzz with annual maintenance requirements and the usual wheels to float change overs.
Then once the tools are put away and the hangar floors are swept clean you realize flying has begun and you must now justify the cost per hour to cover these expenses by squeezing precious minutes out of an all too short season. Soon you will find yourself off for adventure with your craft high above all kinds of different terrain including flat land, mountains and often open water.
This is a time to give thought to emergencies which you, the pilot, could encounter en route and how to handle anything from an engine failure to a ditching. First question, do you have on board everything required for your particular trip such as life vests and the knowledge of how to inflate such a device under the stress of real life drama?
Secondly do you understand the effect of landing on water with fixed gear or possibly floats witch include amphibious gear in the down and locked position. To better understand think of water as the ultimate distance stopping device followed by an impact which can only be described as extremely violent, all the while enclosed in a box soon to be held underwater. For a conventional wheeled aircraft such as a Cessna 172 most ditching s result in a very sudden stop of roughly the aircraft’s length no matter the speed, then followed by an inversion. Similar reaction for the tail draggers out there due to the forward exposed gear legs making contact with the water surface first, although there is a higher certainty of one quick flop onto the aircraft’s back. As for Amphibious aircraft that all too often land upon water with the gear down, it depends mostly on the manufacturers design and front gear leg location regarding the outcome, although high percentages simply stop and flop.
Then there are the retractable s who loose power after take off out over water and pray the gear is up before landing on the liquid surface with the wheels safely stored in the wells. The reasons aircraft enter water when least expected is not important. Important is how the occupants react in the first few seconds. Water temperature and impact velocity are by far the largest variables to consider, which often cause the panic and disorientation leading to fatalities, but also hypothermia and simple drowning.
Knowing what to expect from Egress training previously will make all the difference should this ever happen to you, which is why the Military has made this course mandatory for flight crews for many decades.
Bryan Webster is a 11,000 hour plus pilot actively flying a Beaver on the BC coast today when not Egress Training. In 1977 he was a passenger involved in a water crash while the pilot attempted to avoid power lines draped over the Fraser River east of Vancouver, BC. For more information or to enrol in the AES Egress Training Program contact: “Bry the Dunker Guy” Bryan Webster (1-250-704-6401) www.dunkyou.com
The Seaplane Pilot Network is looking for your feedback on tips and tricks to make amphibious aircraft flying safer. Bryan and many other experienced pilots are available to answer specific questions. A forgotten gear is oftentimes the culprit in upsetting amphibious aircraft, sudden gusts and sometimes even shallow waters will flip an airplane just as well, even on straight floats. Be prepared, have an egress plan and brief your passengers. Use proper shoulder harnesses.
I would say, experience, levelheaded decision making- mixed in with some luck prevented the worst for two airmen who experienced a low level Engine failure shortly after departure on 8/3/2010. While the aircraft was a total loss, both pilots survived. This hits close to home as Tim, who is a “Founding Member” of the Seaplane Forum was a passenger on this flight – and shared his experience with the members. If you are a member – feel free to chime in on the discussion in regards to shoulder harnesses.
Fly Safe & Don’t Hit Stuff!
Submitted by Mr. Walter Windus:
Visitation at the Masonic Hall in Greenville, 4-7pm Friday, August 6th. Private family service at Allen family camp, Saturday at Rockwood. Florist, the Cottage, in Greenville 207 695-0777
A condolence list has been started here: