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  #1  
Old 03-07-2009, 07:04 AM
Steve Brown Steve Brown is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alviso, CA
Posts: 405
Default Water landings in an RV?

I'm talking about ditching the airplane.

Anyone either done it or know of anyone who has done it? What was the outcome?

I've kind of assumed that the tall gear on mine would certainly cause me to flip. After which I would be hanging upside down by the belts, having only have seconds to get the canopy open, the belts off, and get me and my wife out of the airplane before it went to the bottom.

So far this has kept me within glide distance of shore. That is generally good single engine practice anyway, but watching the 1549 event got me thinking about how water is sometimes the safest place to set down. If it can be done without drowning.
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N598SD - RV9A second owner
O-320, 9:1 pistons, Catto 3 blade
KRHV - Reid Hillview airport, San Jose, CA
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2009, 07:24 AM
Bryan Wood's Avatar
Bryan Wood Bryan Wood is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 848
Default Scary Scenario

Steve,

Before flying over the ocean a couple of years ago (548 nm's) in the RV I read about ferry pilots and their techniques for just such an occasion. Basically the advice for a fixed gear airplane was to land sideways between the swells or on top but also 90 degress to the swell. The trick to doing this successfully apparently is to dip the wing at the last minute so that one wing tip hits the water first. This is supposed to transfer some of the energy that would typically cause you to flip over frontwards and make the plane try to flip to the side by adding the cartwheel type action. Only on the other side you have a wing to stop you and bleed of the kinetic energy. I wouldn't want to try this, would you? The call sign "Soily" would likely follow a successful water landing in an RV.
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Beech S35, and daydreams of a Super 8 or a Rocket starting to take over my brain.
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2009, 08:01 AM
andyrv andyrv is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Leawood, KS
Posts: 275
Default Ditching in Water

See the story here: http://www.vansairforce.net/articles/Ditching.htm


Andy
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  #4  
Old 03-07-2009, 09:24 AM
RickWoodall's Avatar
RickWoodall RickWoodall is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,461
Default Thanks

I had not read that before. What a great article to knock us all down a notch and remind us it really can happen to anyone and fast. I have been putting my survival vest together as i complete my build and will always wear it for all cross countries...you just never know. Fly safe.
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9a -TMX io-320, catto three blade, dual dynon hdx with a/p. 900+ hrs in 8 yrs flying.

Flew to Osh 11,12,15,17,19. SNF 2013. West to Cali /Washington/Vancouver/crossed the Rockies north to Red Deer east to Moosonee and over to maritimes. South to Jekyll Isl, cedar key, and Key West etc. 6 trips and 17 islands of the Bahamas. Flown turtles and dogs for Pilots n Paws too. Love our Rv's
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  #5  
Old 03-07-2009, 10:14 AM
Gary 40274 Gary 40274 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Conyers GA
Posts: 347
Cool Risk vs Benefit

I have flown several aircraft over water from Florida to the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, and the British Virgin Islands. The British Virgins are 1200 miles from Florida. We all know that the airplane doesn't know wether it is flying over land or water, but we do. I have always said that it is a mind game. If you don't mind it is fun.

I have also flown over lots of places over land that you could never land a plane in, either lots of trees, rugged terain, or very uneven ground. I always felt that water would be more survivable than trying to land in the forrests of Minnesota, Georgia or any of the other states that have woods that go on for miles and miles. My risk management mind said that it is super important to maintain the plane to the highest standards. I know we cannot eleminate all risks, but minimise them to a comfort level that you can live with.

With the current personal locator devices rescue is more likely than ever. You just need to survive the crash. Air bags might be a way to increase the odds here.

The bottom line is to find your risk comfort level. Some folks feel fine ferrying planes across the north Atlantic in winter. I would not, but I would fly over the Carribean with Islands every 20 to 50 to 100 miles depending where you are. If you can get your mind under control, you can have lots of fun.

Gary Specketer
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  #6  
Old 03-07-2009, 10:59 AM
Norman CYYJ Norman CYYJ is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Victoria B.C.
Posts: 1,279
Default

I think air bags are a great idea but would not want them in my plane if I had to ditch. I think they would prevent you from egressing or at the least make it very difficult. You are right about mind games. My float plane that I had years ago always seemed like the engine changed sounds as soon as I was not with in gliding distance of water. Like the water and sand traps on a golf course, mind games.
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  #7  
Old 03-07-2009, 11:58 AM
RV7Guy's Avatar
RV7Guy RV7Guy is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 2,932
Default They deflate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman CYYJ View Post
I think air bags are a great idea but would not want them in my plane if I had to ditch. I think they would prevent you from egressing or at the least make it very difficult. You are right about mind games. My float plane that I had years ago always seemed like the engine changed sounds as soon as I was not with in gliding distance of water. Like the water and sand traps on a golf course, mind games.
Automotive style airbags deflate almost immediately after they have been deployed. It would be nice to have some other device, not in the cabin, to inflate to give more time to get out. The panel airbag would only protect from the initial impact.
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www.JDair.com
RV-7 N717EE-Flying (Sold)
RV-7 N717AZ Flying, in paint
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  #8  
Old 03-07-2009, 02:54 PM
CFI1513840's Avatar
CFI1513840 CFI1513840 is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Evans, GA
Posts: 208
Default Consider an emergency air supply

Having an emergency air supply should allow enough time to extricate yourself from an inverted/submerged aircraft. This is an example of a unit that is about the size of a coke can.
http://www.crazyscuba.com/pd_spare_air_original.cfm
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Evans, Georgia
RV-7 N92LT - Based at Thomson-Mcduffie airport HQU
TMXIO-360, Dynon Skview
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  #9  
Old 03-07-2009, 04:06 PM
Steve Ashby's Avatar
Steve Ashby Steve Ashby is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Stone Mountain, Georgia
Posts: 483
Default Canopy je****on

Just this morning, I was discussing this very topic at the EAA Chapter 690 Pancake Breakfast in Lawrenceville, GA. I am planning a RTW flight in my 8A, once it is completed, so I have been keenly interested in this topic. From my research, it is my belief that it would be advantageous to jettison the canopy before actually striking the water, so as to prevent entrapment after the inevitable flip. I could install removeable clevis pins on the canopy frame instead of the bolts called for in the plans. I wonder, however, if aerodynamic forces would make it impossible to jettison the canopy in flight. I have read that is is virtually impossible to slide the 8 canopy back in flight because of aerodynamic forces. Any thoughts?
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N184RW (reserved)
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  #10  
Old 03-07-2009, 04:56 PM
Sid Lambert Sid Lambert is offline
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: North Atlanta
Posts: 1,120
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Ashby View Post
Just this morning, I was discussing this very topic at the EAA Chapter 690 Pancake Breakfast in Lawrenceville, GA.
I read this and was wondering how the weather on the east side of Atlanta could be so much better than the west. (200 OVC, 2 SM Vis) But then I remembered you can actually drive to EAA breakfasts as well.

We did manage to get 2 hours in this afternoon though...

Sorry to sidetrack the thread. Back to water landings.
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