Author Topic: Plane Ditching  (Read 6395 times)

Offline Zaffex

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Plane Ditching
« on: November 12, 2006, 01:31:52 AM »
Just read Flying's I Learned About Flying From That  and it made me wonder: what would be the best way to ditch an aircraft over water (i.e. most survivable)? Would a retractable (gear up) handle better than a fixed gear on the water? Thoughts, comments?
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Offline TheSoccerMom

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2006, 02:54:09 AM »
Check out the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), Chapter 6 (Emergency Procedures), Section 3.

It's even online!!!   ;D   ;D

Go to:  www.faa.gov/ATPubs/AIM 

It has the ditching diagrams, too.  Just perfect for bad dreams.  Ha!! 

 8)
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Offline cj5_pilot

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2006, 04:09:49 PM »
Also, take a good course in underwater egress.  Heh, I even recommend it for passengers, especially spouses!
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Offline TheSoccerMom

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2006, 02:15:50 AM »
Excellent idea, on the egress training!!   :D

I watched a single-engine on floats flip over...  we were taxiing in and they were ahead of us, touching down on the water.. it was scary to see, but fortunately soon two heads popped up above the water, each next to a float.   ??? 

I've talked to two other pilots who survived ditchings, and they each kept repeating the same thing:  they could not believe how FAST the airplane sank, in each case.  Again, good fortune prevailed, and they had just enough time to get rafts out, etc., and were rescued (each had passengers), but they were still shocked, years later, at that one thing. 

I always figured empty places in fuel tanks and fuselages would (or at least, with luck, could) somehow contribute a little flotation, but they each said they had believed that once, too, and it was wrong.

Just their two cents' worth.......     
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Offline Zaffex

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2006, 10:26:36 PM »
Wow, how fast do they sink?
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Offline cj5_pilot

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2006, 10:59:03 PM »
Wow, how fast do they sink?

Depends on the circumstances.  Type of plane, weather, water conditions, how good the landing was....

The Coasties that put on the underwater egress class I attended said it can happen VERY fast.
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Offline TheSoccerMom

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2006, 01:14:27 AM »
They said one (single-engine turbine) went under in less than 4 minutes, and the other (Twin Otter) in less than TWO minutes!!  EEK.

Serious EEEK!!   :o

That was a real shock to me, anyway...  like I said, I guess I always somehow thought you'd have a LITTLE time...   ???
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Offline Zaffex

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2006, 02:30:27 AM »
Well, to be honest I thought it would sink faster (like in 30 seconds or so), so that doesn't seem so bad relative wise, but I suppose it goes by way too fast for anyone in it.  :P
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Offline Zaffex

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2006, 09:13:39 PM »
Hmm, I guess I need to pay better attention to the threads. I guess cj5_pilot already had this topic going. :-X Sorry to steal your thunder there, man.
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Offline cj5_pilot

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2006, 09:22:07 PM »
LOL, all good bro :) The more people that are aware that there are classes in how to successfully get out of a plane the better.  Lot of lakes and rivers and salt water in my part of Alaska.  Lots of flying around water and lots of float planes.  Now here's a scary thought for you:  You land on a lake during the winter on skis.  The lake looks safe.....then just as you shut the engine down, the plane goes through the ice.....
The average pilot, despite the sometimes swaggering exterior, is very much capable of such feelings as love, affection, intimacy and caring. These feelings just don't involve anyone else.

Offline Baradium

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2006, 10:36:51 PM »
LOL, all good bro :) The more people that are aware that there are classes in how to successfully get out of a plane the better.  Lot of lakes and rivers and salt water in my part of Alaska.  Lots of flying around water and lots of float planes.  Now here's a scary thought for you:  You land on a lake during the winter on skis.  The lake looks safe.....then just as you shut the engine down, the plane goes through the ice.....

At least it'll be pretty quick... won't last long at all, even if you did manage to get back out of the water (assuming it happened quick enough that you didn't make it onto the ice before the plane went through)
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Offline Zaffex

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2006, 10:39:57 PM »
Quote
Now here's a scary thought for you:  You land on a lake during the winter on skis.  The lake looks safe.....then just as you shut the engine down, the plane goes through the ice.....

Oh yes, I had heard of that scenario before. I've heard advice in an article where a pilot suggested that it's a good idea to make several runs over the landing area, making passes where you run the skis over the lake, allowing a little more weight at a time and checking for signs of stress until you can let the whole weight of the aircraft down.
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Offline Turbomallard

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2006, 07:37:52 PM »
I used to watch geese do that when I lived in an apartment complex that had a pond outside my window. The geese would make a couple of formation low passes trying to figure out if it was frozen or not. A couple of times they apparently guessed wrong. The formation would fly over, honking, apparently talking things over, then the lead would make the decision and start down to land... the others would blindly follow. Sometimes they landed on the ice, apparently expecting water, and would promptly wipe out. On more than one occasion this would result in a multi-goose pileup with much squawking and clouds of feathers.

Ducks, of course, never did such things.  ;D

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Offline chuckar101

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #13 on: November 20, 2006, 11:40:05 PM »
I'll have to disagree on that one,  I've seen ducks do that many a time.  ;D
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Offline TheSoccerMom

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Re: Plane Ditching
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2006, 12:15:05 AM »
Yeah, but not TURBOducks....   :D   :D
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