How cold do ya go?

This forum has been developed to discuss Bush Flying & Specialty Air Service topics.

Moderators: ahramin, sky's the limit, sepia, Sulako, North Shore, Rudder Bug

Post Reply
Message
Author
SuperchargedRS
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1290
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:30 am
Location: the stars playground

How cold do ya go?

#1 Post by SuperchargedRS » Thu Oct 15, 2015 6:36 am

Hey guys,

Curious how cold everyone folks operate piston float planes?

Living in the north where it's not uncommon for the temps to drop to -23C in winter. I've been trying to fly my 185 amphib as much as possible before the cold sets in, last year I decided not to bother with taping up oil coolers and vents for winter land ops and had reservations about landing on the lakes and rivers during the time before they froze over but when the OAT was below freezing, figured risks of freezing water up on my tail and survival if anything happened.

So now cold do ya go?
---------- ADS -----------

J31
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 914
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:21 am

Re: How cold do ya go?

#2 Post by J31 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 9:36 am

Depends on the type of float and if the water rudder cables are inside the floats or outside. below 0 degrees the internal cables like the Wips can freeze up with expected results. On the amphibs the nose wheels can freeze up and you can have trouble with the up and down locks freezing on the main wheels.

On floats like the Edos which usually have the cables on the outside of the float tend to be less prone to freezing. Greasing the Edo cables where they go through pulleys helps. However on the amphibs the nose wheel is cable actuated and will freeze.

In my experience we would not run amphibious operations with the air temperature below 0.

Water operations only.......little different story.
---------- ADS -----------

upintheair_
Rank 5
Rank 5
Posts: 332
Joined: Thu Jul 16, 2015 4:40 pm

Re: How cold do ya go?

#3 Post by upintheair_ » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:12 am

I was flying around in January on the coast and having rudder cables freeze in about 0 to +5* ish.
---------- ADS -----------

SuperchargedRS
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1290
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:30 am
Location: the stars playground

Re: How cold do ya go?

#4 Post by SuperchargedRS » Thu Oct 15, 2015 11:15 am

J31 wrote:Depends on the type of float and if the water rudder cables are inside the floats or outside. below 0 degrees the internal cables like the Wips can freeze up with expected results. On the amphibs the nose wheels can freeze up and you can have trouble with the up and down locks freezing on the main wheels.

On floats like the Edos which usually have the cables on the outside of the float tend to be less prone to freezing. Greasing the Edo cables where they go through pulleys helps. However on the amphibs the nose wheel is cable actuated and will freeze.

In my experience we would not run amphibious operations with the air temperature below 0.

Water operations only.......little different story.

She's on Edo 2790s, so basically for freezing temps you would just stay full land or full water?
---------- ADS -----------

esp803

Re: How cold do ya go?

#5 Post by esp803 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 12:00 pm

There are few things in aviation that I hate more than flying float planes in sub zero temperature, for the following reasons:

*%&$ Stiff frozen ropes
Skating rink like surface of the floats
Ditto for the dock
Frozen Rudder cables
Having to break a path in the ice for take off
Water spray on the sub zero tail
Freezing cold water if you go for a dip, not any warmer out of the water.
De Icing with the aforementioned freezing water
Grease on everything (Edo's)
Retractable gear freezes up or down (amphibs)

That's off the top of my head. If I can avoid it, I do.

E
---------- ADS -----------

User avatar
Bede
Rank 10
Rank 10
Posts: 2768
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2004 5:52 am
Contact:

Re: How cold do ya go?

#6 Post by Bede » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:41 pm

At the local flying club I always took pride in being the last guy to pull the plane out of the water in November.
---------- ADS -----------

J31
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 914
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:21 am

Re: How cold do ya go?

#7 Post by J31 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:44 pm

esp803 wrote:There are few things in aviation that I hate more than flying float planes in sub zero temperature, for the following reasons:

*%&$ Stiff frozen ropes
Skating rink like surface of the floats
Ditto for the dock
Frozen Rudder cables
Having to break a path in the ice for take off
Water spray on the sub zero tail
Freezing cold water if you go for a dip, not any warmer out of the water.
De Icing with the aforementioned freezing water
Grease on everything (Edo's)
Retractable gear freezes up or down (amphibs)

That's off the top of my head. If I can avoid it, I do.

E
All this and more to contend with in freezing temperatures! Likewise I would avoid it also.
---------- ADS -----------

J31
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 914
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:21 am

Re: How cold do ya go?

#8 Post by J31 » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:19 pm

SuperchargedRS wrote:She's on Edo 2790s, so basically for freezing temps you would just stay full land or full water?
The Edo 2790 amphib is a small float to for the 185 so you run risk of sinking it with the extra weight of ice accumulating on the airframe. So no I would not run a Edo 2790 amphib in freezing temperatures off the water. A larger float yes but but with limits and you get into what esp803 wrote about. It would be day to day and depend on the trip. The risk goes up substantially on floats as the temperature goes below freezing.

If you want to fly in freezing temperatures on land only keep in mind the grease can hold water in the pivots and up/down locks for a long time. If it freezes it can cause you grief if you retract the wheels. So it you have to fly in freezing temperatures I would leave the wheels down. However I would consider that a ferry flight as I do not like flying a amphib floatplane with the wheels down. If you do have a power loss and have to set down on anything less than a smooth firm surface you will flip the airplane over.

My recommendation is to change over to wheels or better yet wheel/skis for winter flying.
---------- ADS -----------

SuperchargedRS
Rank (9)
Rank (9)
Posts: 1290
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 1:30 am
Location: the stars playground

Re: How cold do ya go?

#9 Post by SuperchargedRS » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:23 am

J31 wrote:
SuperchargedRS wrote:She's on Edo 2790s, so basically for freezing temps you would just stay full land or full water?
The Edo 2790 amphib is a small float to for the 185 so you run risk of sinking it with the extra weight of ice accumulating on the airframe. So no I would not run a Edo 2790 amphib in freezing temperatures off the water. A larger float yes but but with limits and you get into what esp803 wrote about. It would be day to day and depend on the trip. The risk goes up substantially on floats as the temperature goes below freezing.

If you want to fly in freezing temperatures on land only keep in mind the grease can hold water in the pivots and up/down locks for a long time. If it freezes it can cause you grief if you retract the wheels. So it you have to fly in freezing temperatures I would leave the wheels down. However I would consider that a ferry flight as I do not like flying a amphib floatplane with the wheels down. If you do have a power loss and have to set down on anything less than a smooth firm surface you will flip the airplane over.

My recommendation is to change over to wheels or better yet wheel/skis for winter flying.
Yeah the 2790s are on the small side, but I like the speed.

If I had enough ice for my 2790s to be sitting that low, I wouldn't be even taxing out, but I hear ya.

Thanks for all the info guys, I probably should just put her back on wheels for the winter, it's just a matter of fitting my 2790s and the 185 on wheels into the hangar, operating near the low freezing levels and low ceilings, plus I'd be itching to get some ABWs, that would get spendy quickly :wink:
---------- ADS -----------

J31
Rank 8
Rank 8
Posts: 914
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2004 7:21 am

Re: How cold do ya go?

#10 Post by J31 » Fri Oct 16, 2015 5:45 pm

Yes be very careful with those floats on the water. Make sure all the pump outs are plugged with balls. The aft compartments are large and will take on a lot of water very quickly in large waves if the pumpouts are not sealed. I know of one that sunk in minutes turning in 1 foot waves because a few aft pump outs were not sealed.
---------- ADS -----------

peterdillon
Rank 1
Rank 1
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Sep 15, 2014 8:16 pm

Re: How cold do ya go?

#11 Post by peterdillon » Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:10 pm

I would agree with the other comments. With all the grease on 2790's they really slow down even before it freezes. Ferried one on 2790's from BC to Manitoba in Jan but just left the gear down as a safety precaution. Aerocets 3400's on the other hand work fine and we flew till well into November every year when only the rivers and bigger lakes are open. Never had a problem. Ferried one down to Minnesota in true -30 in Dec and I was reluctant to pull the gear up but it functioned fine. Back on straights now and as the picture shows your really missing something if you quit to soon.
---------- ADS -----------
Attachments
Cold Beaver.pdf
(566.49 KiB) Downloaded 221 times

Meddler
Rank 3
Rank 3
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:18 pm

Re: How cold do ya go?

#12 Post by Meddler » Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:55 pm

I think that's the first time I've wanted to click on a link to "cold beaver"
---------- ADS -----------

Post Reply

Return to “Bush Flying & Specialty Air Service”