Another safe water landing?

Flightjock30

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I am beginning to think....As long as you land at the right speed and angle water crash landings seem survivable! Not a bad idea if you lose an engine on takeoff or at altitude...ditch in a river or as close to the shoreline as possible......

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7874423.stm

Always have a life vest and flares handy...better yet a life raft if you can afford it!
 

avbug

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A ditching isn't the best option. However, both the hudson even and the one you've referenced had a common thread; neither of them had any choice. Think about it.
 

Flightjock30

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I disagree!
I think the guys getting killed during engine failures are attempting to land in places that they have no business landing in in the first place.....For example, you are over a densely populated area and experience an engine failure. You spot a small field and attempt to land on it, but overshoot and get killed.
Lets say a river was nearby..You could of ditched as close to the edge of the river as possible instead and survived as long as you can swim, have a lifevest, or if there is a boat closeby.
A young pilot was killed a few years back when he experience an engine failure over Lake Michigan during the winter at night. He made a poor decision to cross that body of water at night in a single to begin with, he could have flew over land along the south shoreline instead. However....he survived the impact of the landing..the hypothermia is what killed him.
Water landings are the way to go IF there is a decent body of water nearby and IF you are not over a rural area with smooth terrain.
 

avbug

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Have you ever attempted to make a water landing?
 

avbug

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Have you ever had a forced landing? Not an instructor pulling your power back over a runway, but a genuine, honest-to-God catastrauphic engine failure or onboard fire, forced landing?
 

Say Again Over

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Have you ever had a forced landing? Not an instructor pulling your power back over a runway, but a genuine, honest-to-God catastrauphic engine failure or onboard fire, forced landing?
Oh no, here we go again, please tell us how you saved the day. :rolleyes:
 

avbug

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That's rather irrelevant.

It's one thing to say "I would do this or that" from a position of no experience with the subject...it's another view from the other side of the coin.

Putting an airplane in the water presents a multitude of hazards and greatly complicates survival and rescue in most cases. It can be considered an option when there are none better, but only under such circumstances.
 

414Flyer

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When I did air tours around the Big Island of Hawai'i, there were lots of places around there that if I had lost power, first thing I would have done was head for the water. I would have taken my chances landing just offshore, rather than a basalt lava rock field.

I had two friends I worked with who have since ditched out there. One in a Skymaster, one in a Chieftain. There was one passenger fatality in the Chieftain ditching, from a passenger who decided to inflate the life vest before getting clear of the airplane.
 

Flightjock30

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When I did air tours around the Big Island of Hawai'i, there were lots of places around there that if I had lost power, first thing I would have done was head for the water. I would have taken my chances landing just offshore, rather than a basalt lava rock field.

I had two friends I worked with who have since ditched out there. One in a Skymaster, one in a Chieftain. There was one passenger fatality in the Chieftain ditching, from a passenger who decided to inflate the life vest before getting clear of the airplane.
Exactly my point Avbug...Real world examples! You can survive water landings with the wings level, at a proper approach speed. The real threat is surviving afterwards..but with a life vest you can do it..of course if there are sharks or gators/crocs in the water then you may not survive, all depends where it is. OR if you sustain hypothermia.

If you are towing banners lets say and experience an engine failure...you'd be MUCH better off landing 300-600 yards from the beach in the shallow water.
 

avbug

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Exactly my point Avbug...Real world examples! You can survive water landings with the wings level, at a proper approach speed.
Perhaps.

Don't be so fast to assume that ditchings are survivable, because far too many variables are involved. A ditching shouldn't be your first choice if other options exist.

If you are towing banners lets say and experience an engine failure...you'd be MUCH better off landing 300-600 yards from the beach in the shallow water.
What has banner towing to do with ditching? You're making the assumption that the banner is being towed off-shore, and there's no place else to go?

I started and ran a banner towing business, and I don't see that towing a banner is any different than any other type of flying, or changes the equation in the least. Water is still the least preferable place to go, unless there is no other choice.
 

TWA

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What has banner towing to do with ditching? You're making the assumption that the banner is being towed off-shore, and there's no place else to go?

I started and ran a banner towing business, and I don't see that towing a banner is any different than any other type of flying, or changes the equation in the least. Water is still the least preferable place to go, unless there is no other choice.
I believe the banner towing scenario was used simply because many times banners are towed down beaches, where you normally have a heavily populated area on one side of you, and water on the other. It had more to do with location than type of flying.

In all of the survived water ditchings described here, there is one common denominator: they were all retracs. In a small aircraft, a ditching without gear hanging beneath you will almost always go better than if gear were down. This doesn't really apply to transport class aircraft, because the landing gear are proportionally much smaller compared to the rest of the aircraft.

Water landings, when properly executed, are a great alternative to trying to land in a soccer field, parking lot, football field (in the accident report they used the yard lines), backcountry road, etc.
 

414Flyer

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Don't be so fast to assume that ditchings are survivable, because far too many variables are involved. A ditching shouldn't be your first choice if other options exist.
Well that depends on the options available and the risk level. A water landing is inherently risky, but less so than compared to a lava rock field on the west side of Hawai'i. But an ex sugar cane field on the east side, would have been preferable than the water. There could be a number of options, and of course which you all too well know, you have to quickly decide what works and go with it.
 

avbug

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I believe the banner towing scenario was used simply because many times banners are towed down beaches, where you normally have a heavily populated area on one side of you, and water on the other.
In which case the ditching is preferred because it's the only choice. There are no better choices.

A water landing is inherently risky, but less so than compared to a lava rock field on the west side of Hawai'i.
In this case, again, preferred because there is no other choice. Landing in the lava field isn't an option, the water is. It's preferred not because it's the best place to land. It's preferred because it's the only place to go.

Water landings, when properly executed, are a great alternative to trying to land in a soccer field, parking lot, football field (in the accident report they used the yard lines), backcountry road, etc.
No, it's not. Not at all. Not remotely so.

I've landed on back country roads many times. Fields, too. Gravel strips, highways, roads, and mountainsides. Far, far preferrable to ditching in the water. Water is an option, but should be reserved for the time there are no other options.
 

JAFI

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In a water landing a fixed gear aircraft has the chance to flip forward (upside down) which adds another risk of not being able to swim out. Which leads to the other risk of a water landing - drowning...
 

414Flyer

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One friend if mine actually had to ditch in the North Atlantic during winter. He was really lucky to make it out of that one alive. Crankcase vent froze shut, blew the oil out from around the prop in a Bonanza.
 

avbug

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A ditching in an aircraft which is not equipped with floats, or is not amphibious, is not a "water landing." It's a ditching.
 

JAFI

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A ditching in an aircraft which is not equipped with floats, or is not amphibious, is not a "water landing." It's a ditching.
Correct. It makes takeoff real difficult too.........
 

BenWA

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I agree that ditching should never be considered a good option, even if it happens be the best option under a given set of circumstaces. Don't get caught in believing that a ditching will automatically save the day. It very well may not. Furthermore, the type of aircraft may have a large effect on the qualtiy of the outcome.

Although I would argue that at nighttime ditching a short ways off shore is probably the best option if you aren't near any airports, particularly if you are in forested, mountainous, or densely populated areas. Of course, getting the airplane in the water is only the beginning of the struggle that will ensue.
 
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