Twin otter on the ice

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rigpiggy
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Twin otter on the ice

Post by rigpiggy »

Shepherds prayer" dear lord, please don't let me f$&@ up"

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/north/ai ... -1.5065111
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C-GGGQ
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by C-GGGQ »

Basically hit a pothole and bent a tie rod end. White snow on white ice, maybe a bright sunny day.... Definitely a "wait .... What happened?" Moment.

Seriously though from the report by the passengers it was a fairly gentle impact. I can see it doing some damage, but would figure you could swap out the damaged pieces in that case instead of trying to chopper the airframe out. Wonder what they actually broke?
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pelmet
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by pelmet »

C-GGGQ wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:25 pm
Basically hit a pothole and bent a tie rod end. White snow on white ice, maybe a bright sunny day.... Definitely a "wait .... What happened?" Moment.
It would beinteresting to know if it was sunny or flat light. That can make a big difference in whether you will see a drift(which is what the news story said they hit). Then there is the multitude of other factors that can lead to difficulties in ski operations.
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by C-GGGQ »

Absolutely. I was basically saying I can easily see how in the right (or rather wrong) conditions a drift could only be visible as you hit it basically. Just surprised it did enough damage that it was unflyable. Not like twin otters are known for being delicate.
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by co-joe »

Station 60?
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PilotDAR
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by PilotDAR »

Not like twin otters are known for being delicate.
As said, "station 60". The structure at fuselage station 60, which is where the nosewheel strut is attached is not quite as rugged at the rest of the plane. Indeed, the strut is more robust than it's attachment, so you can break the nosewheel attachment, before you break the nosewheel. 'Same thing for C 172/C 182. Station 60 damage on Twin Otters is sadly common, and a lot of work to repair. It has been done on site, but a lot of things have to go right. Experienced Twin Otter operators (maintainers) know whether to attempt a local repair and ferry out or not.
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C-GGGQ
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by C-GGGQ »

Ah yes. Islander nosewheel was attached to a rather weak bulkhead. Strut was fine but bulkhead was bent untill the nosewheel was "retracted" on a fixed gear aircraft.
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godsrcrazy
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by godsrcrazy »

I don't know any experienced Twin Otter operators that have abandoned our hired a heavy lift helicopter because of a station 60. Usually within 2 weeks its patched up enough to ferry it out.
I hate to say it but this is typical Military not having the experience to operate these aircraft.Not saying they shouldn't just saying flying circuits and strip to strip does not give you the experience for flat light on the snow .Let alone somewhere like the ocean our barren lands were hard drifts can be 3 feet high an dit will look flat.
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Heliian
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by Heliian »

godsrcrazy wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:37 am
I don't know any experienced Twin Otter operators that have abandoned our hired a heavy lift helicopter because of a station 60. Usually within 2 weeks its patched up enough to ferry it out.
I hate to say it but this is typical Military not having the experience to operate these aircraft.Not saying they shouldn't just saying flying circuits and strip to strip does not give you the experience for flat light on the snow .Let alone somewhere like the ocean our barren lands were hard drifts can be 3 feet high an dit will look flat.
I think they know what they're doing with the twotters, they've had them for decades and were out working and training. They banged a machine up and can waste the money on a heavy lift to get it out whereas a private operator would just fix it as quickly and cheaply as possible. I don't agree with some of the military sops but our people are out year round and across the country.

However, just like in the private sector, there are still a handful of "less skilled" pilots.
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by Redneck_pilot86 »

Having watched this twin otter struggle to depart from 3000', I expect a lot of their issues are from procedures getting in the way of operating the aircraft. Heck, it takes them 3 guys and 20 minutes just to get it running.
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Diadem
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by Diadem »

godsrcrazy wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:37 am
I don't know any experienced Twin Otter operators that have abandoned our hired a heavy lift helicopter because of a station 60. Usually within 2 weeks its patched up enough to ferry it out.
I hate to say it but this is typical Military not having the experience to operate these aircraft.Not saying they shouldn't just saying flying circuits and strip to strip does not give you the experience for flat light on the snow .Let alone somewhere like the ocean our barren lands were hard drifts can be 3 feet high an dit will look flat.
In your first paragraph you admit that "experienced" operators have accidents that result in station 60s frequently, but in your second paragraph you criticize the military for being so inexperienced that they had a station 60... :roll:
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shimmydampner
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by shimmydampner »

Yeah, a lot of these comments don't sound like they come from a knowledgeable place. Sunny days aren't the tough ones when ski flying, station 60s on twins aren't shocking, of all the things a twin otter can do ski flying is the one the military does know a thing or two about, and (assuming a 12500 mtow) 3000' should never be a struggle for a twin unless overloaded on floats, regardless of procedures.
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Mr. North
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by Mr. North »

Sounds like a Station 60 to me. The one significant weakness to an otherwise extremely robust bush plane.

Not sure if it was a factor in this case but as others have mentioned, landing on unproven snow or ice in flat light is not without considerable risk. Overcast conditions make recognizing the size and contours of snow drifts incredibly difficult. One mitigating factor would be to conduct a ski drag (dragging the heals of the skis over the surface) to assess the solidity of the terrain, usually followed with a second pass to inspect ones tracks. Sometimes though the contrast is so poor even a ski drag is a risk in itself.

Another factor at play here would be the use of wheel skis. The utility of wheel skis is at the expense of durability. When flying wheel skis it is important to keep in mind that they do not enjoy the flex of the leaf springs on board skis. Wheel skis are more rigid and much heavier than boards. The increased weight coupled with the broader surface area imparts much more force on the poor nose strut. Drifts that board skis would normally cut through or absorb can be quite jarring on wheel skis.

So baby that nose gear, especially on wheel skis. That means proving the ground you're about to touch down on. And on landing keep the nose off the ground until the last.. possible.. moment. Once on the ground it's also a good idea to taxi the full length of your planned take off run. Station 60's also occur on takeoff when pilots (often with a heavy load) run beyond their landing roll into unproven ground.

Sometimes despite all your efforts you break something. Its part of flying in the North.

However, returning to the incident at hand I find it interesting that the CF had to employ a heavy lift heli to recover their aircraft. There just so happens to be a well known DHC6 operator in Inuvik with a brand new hangar and a full complement of engineers with plenty of experience in just this sort of thing. But that's the bureaucracy of the CF for you. I respect our members in uniform but their methods of operating in the Arctic is always slow and cumbersome.
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by valleyboy »

Not to be unkind but the "Vampires" are not the creme de la creme of Canadian military aviation. Once upon a time they had a hard core group of t otter drivers but that has changed, main reason they stopped floats. They are low time and low experienced guys with little to none training for off strip or rugged conditions. Station 60 can and has happened to the best but the percentage of this happening is directly related to experience and training for those conditions.
I bumped into a young military t otter pilot in Eureka once who had never flown skies and was up there to do work on the sea ice. I told him the best thing he could do is track down the Bradley otter captain and get some pointers. He was just plain shit scared. I always wondered how the military could put a pilot in that situation.
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by godsrcrazy »

Diadem wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:51 pm
godsrcrazy wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:37 am
I don't know any experienced Twin Otter operators that have abandoned our hired a heavy lift helicopter because of a station 60. Usually within 2 weeks its patched up enough to ferry it out.
I hate to say it but this is typical Military not having the experience to operate these aircraft.Not saying they shouldn't just saying flying circuits and strip to strip does not give you the experience for flat light on the snow .Let alone somewhere like the ocean our barren lands were hard drifts can be 3 feet high an dit will look flat.
In your first paragraph you admit that "experienced" operators have accidents that result in station 60s frequently, but in your second paragraph you criticize the military for being so inexperienced that they had a station 60... :roll:
I will clarify my statement on experience. I am not just talking about pilots. I am mainly talking about the military experience to repair. As i said earlier this is a repair commercial operators would do in the field. They would not abandon the aircraft our hire a heavy lift aircraft. This is difference between having to make money our having the tax pay.

As for pilot experience. It use to be a bit of a laugh watching the military twin otter on floats dock. They had their own dock on East Bay in Yellowknife. On any given docking there would be 2 people with head sets on the floats. They would start docking. A Ptarmigan Twin otter would land. Park between 2 of their company planes be tied up and off loading before these guys shut down.
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by Spandau »

godsrcrazy wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:20 am
Diadem wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 9:51 pm
godsrcrazy wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:37 am
I don't know any experienced Twin Otter operators that have abandoned our hired a heavy lift helicopter because of a station 60. Usually within 2 weeks its patched up enough to ferry it out.
I hate to say it but this is typical Military not having the experience to operate these aircraft.Not saying they shouldn't just saying flying circuits and strip to strip does not give you the experience for flat light on the snow .Let alone somewhere like the ocean our barren lands were hard drifts can be 3 feet high an dit will look flat.
In your first paragraph you admit that "experienced" operators have accidents that result in station 60s frequently, but in your second paragraph you criticize the military for being so inexperienced that they had a station 60... :roll:
I will clarify my statement on experience. I am not just talking about pilots. I am mainly talking about the military experience to repair. As i said earlier this is a repair commercial operators would do in the field. They would not abandon the aircraft our hire a heavy lift aircraft. This is difference between having to make money our having the tax pay.

As for pilot experience. It use to be a bit of a laugh watching the military twin otter on floats dock. They had their own dock on East Bay in Yellowknife. On any given docking there would be 2 people with head sets on the floats. They would start docking. A Ptarmigan Twin otter would land. Park between 2 of their company planes be tied up and off loading before these guys shut down.
I've watched the Vampire float machine land on the East Bay, then Len land, tie up, borrow my truck, run over to Weaver's for some smokes, come back and pour a coffee before the 440 machine finally shut down. They must have had some pretty impressive oil temps some days... But it's not their fault, they just never had anyone to teach them, they never got to fly as much as the rest of us, and they were/are handicapped by things like having to wear a bone dome that you couldn't get through the pilot's window to see what was going on outside. While the rest of us were doing a thousand hours a year I doubt any of them got a hundred. They Station 60'd a Twin on sea ice? Does that really surprise anyone? Sh-t happens.
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by Victory »

No matter where you are there is someone more experienced. We used to cringe at the float operators when they showed up in the spring but by the end of the summer they were always up to speed. The MNR guys never seem to make it since they spend most of the summer sitting on alert. It's just a matter of doing it everyday. There is no short cut for experience and recent experience and local experience.
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The Hammer
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by The Hammer »

As stated, in a Twin Otter that runs on skis this (Station 60) is bound to happen at some point. Lake ice is bad enough, sea ice must be even more fun.

The Twin Otter's nose gear competes with a C180/185 for a poor design (main gear box is a square pop can) for an airplane flying on skis. Flying skis in in flat light is about as much fun as trying to snowmobile quickly across a lake in flat light. But a least I have the option to go slow in an Arctic Cat (at least I've heard it goes slow)
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by Meatservo »

I always found it relaxing to be asked to fly onto sea ice in flat light- because I wouldn't do it. There are certain times you can land somewhere unfamiliar in flat light... south of the tree-line you can be reasonably certain the snow will be fluffy enough that landing on it when you can't quite see it isn't going to hurt too bad. North of the tree-line, on wheel-skis, landing in a p,ace you haven't been to before and marked out for yourself is an idiotic thing to do in flat light. Doubly so on sea ice. If that's your habit, I give you 50/50 odds of completing a ski season without a station 60. The nosewheel might be the Otter's achilles heel, but I never broke one, and I flew them a fair few years, in all environments.
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by CruiserNU »

godsrcrazy wrote:
Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:37 am
I don't know any experienced Twin Otter operators that have abandoned our hired a heavy lift helicopter because of a station 60. Usually within 2 weeks its patched up enough to ferry it out.
I hate to say it but this is typical Military not having the experience to operate these aircraft.Not saying they shouldn't just saying flying circuits and strip to strip does not give you the experience for flat light on the snow .Let alone somewhere like the ocean our barren lands were hard drifts can be 3 feet high an dit will look flat.
I remember that back in the day, 402 Squadron put their Twin Otters on wheel skis in the winter and floats in the summer. It's always seemed strange to me why they no longer do this - it's wheels year 'round. Supposed to be a Search and Rescue aircraft after all, but hey - what do I know?
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Gannet167
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by Gannet167 »

402 has never operated Twin Otters.
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J31
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by J31 »

440 Transport Squadron operates the CC-138 Twin Otter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/440_Transport_Squadron
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Spandau
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by Spandau »

440 Sqn runs wheel-skis every winter on at least one machine.
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by DashFiveGuy »

CruiserNU wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:45 pm
I remember that back in the day, 402 Squadron put their Twin Otters on wheel skis in the winter and floats in the summer. It's always seemed strange to me why they no longer do this - it's wheels year 'round. Supposed to be a Search and Rescue aircraft after all, but hey - what do I know?
In answer to your question, not much apparently.

As has been previously mentioned 402 Sqn has never operated the Twin Otter.

440 Sqn still does operate on wheel skis every winter (the incident aircraft in this thread was on wheel skis).

And lastly, while the RCAF Twin Otters can be used for Search and Rescue, 440 Sqn is NOT a "Search and Rescue" unit. They are a "Transport" squadron that can be tasked to assist in searches and can airdrop some rescue equipment if required but they do not have Search and Rescue technicians (SAR Techs) in the squadron so they don't have any real "rescue" capability other than providing supplies and equipment. Their primary role is light transport duties in support of Canadian Armed Forces operations in the North.
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Re: Twin otter on the ice

Post by WileyCoyote »

From my experience, I think we would be better served by contracting this service out to the northern operators that have the experience to do the job.
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