Thursday 23 May 2013 06:06 UTC
Where have you been? What have you seen?
I just updated my website...
It's been a while since I've been on this forum as I have been really busy.
I should always be going away... It keeps me busy as my available time becomes more concentrated.
Yesterday I sent Mike solo off the water in his KitFox III on amphibious floats, this is a first for me as I'm not used to teaching pilots to fly floatplanes. It's been an interesting experience and there's still more to be done.
This year has been one where I have more than doubled the floatplane experience I had amassed over the past 20 years I have had the rating!
If I'd managed this before, perhaps I would have had the floatplane pilot job... Never mind, life goes on and we pass certain date markers when if we were to become this, or do that, it was the time.
I learned a strong lesson myself on Friday.
Thomas Lake was mirror smooth and I decided to see how close to the shore I could get while using this surface to judge the height.
I was bang on!
Oops I should have had more power as the mesmorising surface arrived too soon!
You have absolutely no idea of how high your hold-off is over a mirror smooth glassy water lake, mine was too low, with a little more sink than I should have. It was firm, there was no bounce, and I suppose for many it would not seem like an unusual touchdown.
But for a self critical pilot this was significant.
My student learned a strong lesson earlier on Friday too.
Amphibious gear is more dangerous when you fly on a short hop and the way to overcome this danger is to use your checks and call them out.
This is not a problem for older UK pilots who learned their BUMPF checks... "Undercarriage Up, this is a water landing, check the lever position, check the mirrors, roll the wings for contrast" (to look under the floats).
In the KitFox III the lever is up and between the close seats, you can't miss it, it's in your way when the wheels are up.
I said nothing downwind, on base, until finals, when I suggested we do an 'inspection pass' from this approach.
Alighting on the water wheels down produces a spectacular serious crash, and drowning is often the result.
It's interesting how we can miss the 'obvious', it shows how much concentration is devoted to the approach itself.
Two weeks ago a Cessna 172 floatplane crashed in Pitt Lake. Neither the pilot or the passenger were wearing their shoulder harnesses and the pilot lost his life. The passenger thought that shoulder harnesses were not fitted. They were.
The pilot was very very experienced, but had a thing about not using the shoulder harness.
I've not flown with a pilot who refused to wear the shoulder harness, but I have been in the cockpit with one or two!
I won't fly unless your lap strap is tight and your shoulder harness is snug... Tighten it if we're going to crash, but I prefer not to crash.
Many times in this life I have seen experienced bad pilots get away with it again and again and then not.
It's been an interesting year!
In BC wondering wandering
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