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Thread: ultra smooth glassy water landings danger

  1. #1
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    ultra smooth glassy water landings danger

    I was finishing up my latest BFR with some glassy water landings in a SuperCub from CubCrafters (which can totally spoil you) and the CFI said he'd had flight students that had actually touched down on glassy water so smoothly they didn't know they were on the water for a "minute"!

    Even if the time was possibly somewhat exaggerated, it shows the usefulness of having enough sink rate so that the water can be felt upon contact.
    Last edited by CFII; 01-02-2013 at 12:28 PM.
    CFII Amphibion

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    SPA MEMBER rkittine's Avatar
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    No drag or spray ????? Bet they were not very short landings either!
    Robert P. Kittine, Jr. - West Nyack Aviation, L.L.C. - New York

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    An extreme example for sure but, when power is at a certain level there can be very little of that aircraft's floats touching to cause arrest of sink rate, due to its high lift configuration and thereby very little spray out laterally, if any. Forward fixation by the pilot would take care of the rest in just the wrong situation....
    CFII Amphibion

  4. #4
    It happened to me once, on my first commercial float's season . It was in 1976 on Lac Bottine in the James Bay region with a Cessna 206. I was then a young bush pilot and applied the theory at my best. I then looked on the side and saw the water spray confirming I was down! Today, maybe because I have more experience or I am more sloppy(?), I can feel the touch down. And as you said, we need more lake!

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    How long were you down before seeing the spray Andre? Thanks for your input.
    CFII Amphibion

  6. #6
    Hard to say ....I am guessing 10 seconds. It happened almost four decades ago!! I don't think I will be able to wait one minute before looking on the side! I still remember, I was landing in a North direction on the 2.5 miles long lake located at 53-42, 73-44 and I had passengers. Sometimes, and it happened to me a few times (on wheels), that's the passengers who tell you: Eh, we are down and we didn't feel a thing!! Maybe this was the case back then!

  7. #7
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    Haven't had anything quite that smooth on water yet, though I have had a few wheel landings like that, actually could hear the mains chirp but not feel a thing on a 50,000 pound airplane last week. That was a first for me!!!

  8. #8
    SPA MEMBER worldvoyagers's Avatar
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    Happened to me last summer. Probably 10 seconds or so. It wasn't until I said to myself, "I must be down by now." and looked out the side and saw the spray. Happened only once, back when I was into landing with a bit too much power I suppose....

  9. #9
    SPA MEMBER rkittine's Avatar
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    Had it happen to me a couple times and only lasted for a few seconds. Only once on wheels, so smooth in a C-182 on 12,500 Feet at Newburg Stewart with a squimish passenger that I took extra care of in the landing. He slept through it.
    Robert P. Kittine, Jr. - West Nyack Aviation, L.L.C. - New York

  10. #10
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    You guys make me laugh. What technique do you use for glassy water landings? If the landing can be felt, I consider it to be a bad (or poor, sloppy technique) landing. A real honest to goodness glassy water landing, done properly, will be so glassy smooth that you will feel nothing, every time. The first thing that you will feel is the rate of descent changing when you get down into ground effect. If you do not get it smooth, then you need practice.

    I once had a Lake which had flush rivets on the bottom. It was not possible to know you were on the water until the spay came into your peripheral vision. A lake with protruding rivets will make a swishing sound when it touches the water.

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