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Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

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Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby RKittine » Tue Jan 21, 2014 4:48 pm

On another seaplane site, :anonymous: the following question was asked:

"Anyone have first hand experience with engine out glassy water landing?

Bet we get 20 times as many comments!

Bob
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby cubdriver2 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:03 pm

We have the whole Hudson river to play with, I'll try it this summer.

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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby RKittine » Tue Jan 21, 2014 6:55 pm

Glenn,

As it appeared, the question posed was what you do if you lose an engine over true glassy water, so far from any shore point that you have no land reference at all to tell the height you are above the water.

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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby skimmerone » Tue Jan 21, 2014 8:56 pm

I replied that it is a familiar topic, but just what are the chances that it could happen...almost zilch.
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby Tim McCormack » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:01 pm

That would be a good place for the reflection procedure from a previous thread. :lol:

I guess the only thing you can do is set up for the slowest rate of descent that you can and be ready to haul back (just the right amount) when you touch.
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby cubdriver2 » Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:16 am

RKittine wrote:Glenn,

As it appeared, the question posed was what you do if you lose an engine over true glassy water, so far from any shore point that you have no land reference at all to tell the height you are above the water.

Bob


I was coming back home one evening from island Bobs and I always run Sacandaga at about 50' till the southern shore. It was dead calm and a mirror of the sky on the water. I stayed in the middle of the lake testing my judgment a 1/4 mile from shore, it almost made me dizzy by the way the sky and water were one. But in the half mile wide section of the lake it was doable but not fun. As I got further south and the big part of the lake began to widen and it went from half mile wide to five mile wide I started to lose it. I kept looking at the altimeter and knew I was still at 50 ' but it all blended together and I had trouble keeping it straight and level, my mind wouldn't let me stay there and it took all I had to climb slowly out of there. Some days I think I could do it but not that day with the patchy blotches of clouds above and below and no evidence of where they came together. I guess my answer to your question would be that if you had ever experienced true middle of the lake blindness you would be a fool to get yourself there again. But if I were crossing at a 1000' and lost the engine I would trim to 70mph and try to use the sky above to try to keep the wings level.

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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby CFII » Wed Jan 22, 2014 2:31 am

We simulate engine outs onto all kinds of water during training but the prop is idling under power.

Glenn's spooky scenario sounded closer to IMC, which is no surprise either.
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby RKittine » Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:15 am

Thanks for sharing that Glenn. This was not my question, but was on asked on another site that I did respond to. I agree with John that the chances are pretty slim that all those conditions would come together at once, but if you at 50' had lost power, you probably would have just bounced hard if you stalled in a nose up pitch as not to dig the nose of the floats in when hitting the water. From a few hundred feet it would be a lot differnent. But the earlier comment about best glide and wings level is what I always have taugh Instrument Students if they lose an engine solid IFR. At least if you have to crash land you will be in control with the most chance of the least amount of possible damage or injury.

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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby BGH » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:05 am

Back in 1989 I was training with Jean Marc Ranger to be his assistant floatplane instructor.He was teaching how to safely land a floatplane anywhere on glassy water & demonstrated to me with a student flying how it was possible to safely land ,even without a clear judgement of how high one was from true glassy water.He literally trimmed the 175 with a nose up attitude(minimal to no water showing over the front of the engine cowl on a normal landing) & descend with that slight nose up attitude at a descent rate of about 125 to 200 feet per minute.Even with a new water pilot driving & us in the middle of a large lake the student was able to safely land on the water.

When on floats I regularly practice power off landings on glassy water,but for safety I always have shore as a visual reference.My dad always said to me that you shouldn't land farther from shore than you can swim because you won't always be on your 'A' game.

Daryl
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby RKittine » Fri Jan 24, 2014 9:57 am

Sounds like tht would work if your plane would fly nose up with no engine at all. When I had my Chief, with the engine out, you had to have the nose down a little in order to stay above a stall, hence you would hit with the tips of the floats.
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby skimmerone » Fri Jan 24, 2014 12:27 pm

Many lakes have reeds growing along the shore, especially some I know down south. There it is simple - just land right on top of the reeds near open the open water.
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:34 pm

I was wrong. That other Forum actually has had more on this .............
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby jjbaker » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:55 pm

What did you expect? :lol:
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:56 pm

20 Times more posts here. Almost always more activity here.
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby jjbaker » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:11 pm

RKittine wrote:20 Times more posts here. Almost always more activity here.


Its better to die trying than to try dying. We're fine. ;)

I hope Mr. Durocher gets a complimentary SPA membership.
Looks like he single-highhandedly managed to finally get the SPA Forum going, even if just to keep bashing his article...

Maybe I should guest write an article on my rubber band float-jet launch technique (TM) for SPA?

:dingle: :horsy: :trying:

That glassy water article has sure caused a spike in systolic and diastolic blood pressures...

Amazing Feats Of Modern Medicine?

:lol:

On subject of dead sticks into glassy water:

Any forced landing scenario resulting in my passengers and me walking (or swimming) away in one piece is a successful outcome. Rest assured, I won't worry one tiny bit for the well-being of the airplane or the regulations or the opinion on subject from anyone. If glassy water is all there is, glassy water it shall be and we'll work and fly the airplane until it stops moving. If given a choice between glassy water and grass or pavement, I'll choose what appears to be (!) safer surface, or whichever looks more doable. If I later have to defend my choices in court, so be it, but I wouldn't hope defend it against my "peers", who in truth will think whatever they want, and know much better, anyways.

Its like discussing the "impossible turn" for the umpteenth time. 5 people, 12 opinions. I'll cross the bridge when I get there, none of the seaplane gods or mentors will be there to help, if and when it finally happens. The rest is armchair quarterbacking and it will happen afterwards, regardless of how the situation ended.
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:02 pm

Certainly no arguing there. I do agree with John that the chances of all those things happening at once are pretty slim, but a good procedure to at least try is great to discuss. Of course if you come home after dark like some people do then you won't even have a reflection to help. It is nice to see all the activity about one issue.
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby CFII » Tue Jan 28, 2014 1:18 pm

There can be no hard rule for this scenario. What one pilot will attempt in a given situation is highly dependent on the aircraft that's going down.

The CarbonCub and Highlander can spoil pilots for other planes because they can land so beautifully slow and therefore safely do things and get onto more types of highly demanding surfaces more safely. Other planes shouldn't even attempt such things and to those inexperienced with them it can seem very strange, even unsafe, what these STOL type aircraft will accomplish routinely.
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Re: Engine Out - Glassy Water Landing

Unread postby RKittine » Tue Jan 28, 2014 2:18 pm

Staying as much in control as possible, wings level etc., I think is always good advise for any emergency situation. Survival will depend on a lot of things, but I would agree walking away even from a totaled airplane is what we all would want to accomplish. The plane will certainly make a difference as will pilot technique and in the case outlined, if that ever actually happened, probably more than a little luck. :flying: Nice to see the activity generated by this article and subject. :popcorn:

Bob
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