Seaplane regulation changes proposed

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ragbagflyer
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Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#1 Post by ragbagflyer » Mon May 23, 2016 12:04 pm

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I_Heart_Seaplanes
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#2 Post by I_Heart_Seaplanes » Mon May 23, 2016 2:56 pm

I completely agree with the egress training requirement. I am a pretty strong swimmer and very comfortable in the water. But I was surprised by the disorientation when I took Bryan Webster's course years ago. I think new seaplane pilots would be smart to have the course done before setting out on a road trip, but of course that means another $3-500 out of pocket before getting a flying job. The interesting thing will be to see who ends up paying for the recurrent course. I don't foresee small seasonal operators paying expenses and travel costs for their pilots.


The lifejacket reg is ridiculous though. All you have to do is look at video/photos of the Asiana crash in SFO to see how many people had inflated their PFDs inside the cabin.
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#3 Post by Mr. North » Mon May 23, 2016 4:48 pm

Long overdue in my opinion.

http://publications.gc.ca/collections/c ... 01-eng.pdf

How many lives have been lost in the 20+ years since these recommendations were first made?

The egress course is a lifesaver, no doubt about it. But why only stop at the training? The three different egress courses I've taken all recommend wearing PFDs not to mention the wealth of information online. The problem I_Heart_Seaplanes is referencing regarding the Asiana fiasco has more to do with human factors on a large scale. For example how many people on Asiana paid attention to the safety briefing or even concerned themselves with where the exits were? Evidently not very many. That's just a fact of life in the age of cell phones and tablets, no one is listening to the automated safety briefing they've sat through a million times before. However, seaplanes and other small charters are different in that they offer pilots and passengers the benefit of personalized briefings. Even flying the largest seaplane, you only have a handful of passengers. Get their attention and give them a good briefing. Don't rush it! The importance of a good briefing is vital in a survival situation.

It's true most fatalities occur by drowning inside the aircraft (people trying to get out). But how many of these deaths are the result of clothing being caught on wreckage or a premature inflation? Few if any I'd argue. The majority I suspect would be from structural damage to the exits, confusion, and debilitating injuries. So while exiting the aircraft presents the largest risk (with pop-out doors recommended although not financially viable), 86% percent of fatalities outside the aircraft are from drowning. This post accident fatality rate is too high and quite preventable with little addition in terms of risk to an already dangerous situation.
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#4 Post by I_Heart_Seaplanes » Mon May 23, 2016 6:26 pm

The report below is where I am getting my info: (emphasis is mine)
A 1994 TSB SAFETY STUDY OF SURVIVABILITY IN SEAPLANE ACCIDENTS
http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/rapports-repor ... sa9401.asp

4.1 Emergency Egress

The circumstances surrounding each of the fatalities were examined to determine the location of the deaths. The fatalities occurred predominantly within the confines of the aircraft cabin.

Of the 168 occupants (including pilots and passengers) who died in the 103 accidents known to have terminated in the water, 118 (70%) were located inside the aircraft, 37 (22%) were located outside the aircraft, and 3 (2%) were found onshore.5 Half of the occupants drowned while trapped in the confines of the cabin. Of the 63 pilots who died, 49 (78%) were located inside the aircraft, 10 (16%) were located outside the aircraft, and one (2%) was found onshore.6

Table 1 indicates that less than 10% of the 276 occupants escaped unhampered from the aircraft cabin.
What this data tells me is the problem lies more inside the aircraft. I am all for improving safety in seaplane aviation, but I think the measures proposed represent a massive proposed change that does noting to address the largest reason for people dying in seaplanes. I truly believe that this reg will cause more harm than good. I can only hope that there are too few accidents to draw data from in the future.
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#5 Post by ragbagflyer » Mon May 23, 2016 7:48 pm

I Heart Seaplanes, that exact same report states that 18 percent of all seaplane deaths in that period were attributed to drowning AFTER escaping from the plane. That's statistically huge. Also since that period there has been efforts to increase the rate of egress. Between better briefings, eggress training, use of shoulder harnesses (should be mandatory for all seats), improved door handles, and pop-out windows, the rate of successful egress will increase.

Inflatable's vary in their provided buoyancy A typical adult requires 7-12 pounds of buoyancy to stay afloat. Some inflatables provide up to 40 pounds which is too much for most people to fight against, whereas some provide around 20 pounds which is much more manageable, The buoyancy provided by a whitewater pfd allows you to fully maneuver while upside down in a kayak or remove yourself from underneath a capsized whitewater raft - with ease. The pull handles getting caught while exiting aren't really an issue, because despite being on full display in any photo of an inflatable life jacket, they partially stow quite nicely just inside the bottom of the velcro enclosure they protrude from. The plastic tabs could be also replaced with a piece of nylon webbing to make them less likely to grab on another object. All that said, the perfect made-for-seaplane wearable inflatable hasn't been marketed yet, because the market hasn't insisted that it be available. But when almost one five in seaplane deaths come due to drowning post egress why would you resist efforts to reduce those deaths?

I had almost 6000 hours on floats before I first tried wearing one of the mustang inflatables. I wasn't 100 percent sold on them prior to using them, but you forget they are even on you. I've left the plane and been fully engaged in other tasks in the hangar on multiple occasions before I even realized I was still wearing the damn thing. The coastal loggers got right in line and have no problem wearing them in seaplanes and they are about as rugged a bunch as you can find. Post crash, bobbing up and down in the water with few broken bones is not the time to try and don a life preserver.
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#6 Post by PilotDAR » Tue May 24, 2016 4:20 am

I will comment this regulation change in favour.

I do understand that this will introduce a new burden of maintaining and providing life jackets to passengers, and bring to the forefront the issue of a risk of drowning, but it will save lives, and is worth it. For 25 years, in my other job, I have occasionally searched Lakes Simcoe and Couchiching for people who have entered the water unexpectedly. Every person I have found alive was wearing a lifejacket when I found them. Every person known to have not been wearing a lifejacket, for whom I was asked to search, was not found alive. From my personal experience 100%. When I fly my seaplane, and train other seaplane pilots in theirs, no one will be aboard without their actually wearing a lifejacket.

Experienced seaplane passengers will willingly and properly wear lifejackets (just like wearing seatbelts during jet cruise flight). Inexperience passengers must be trained - it is our moral duty.
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#7 Post by CD » Tue May 24, 2016 8:19 am

The following is the link to the discussions from when this change was first proposed:

AvCanada: Notice of Proposed Amendment - Seaplane Operations - 2014-016
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#8 Post by Widow » Tue May 24, 2016 1:55 pm

Hopefully Mustang will step up and design a PFD specifically for floatplanes. There could have been five men survive back in 2005. Or at least, four more men's families could have had some kind of closure. If TC had acted on repetitive recommendations from TSB, years and more years, ago.

And egress training ... rocks!

Finally. This makes me very happy.

Just my 2¢
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#9 Post by phillyfan » Wed May 25, 2016 10:21 am

Whatever they figure. Lifejackets on occupants seems like a reasonable request? The government mandates seatbelt use, motorcycle helmet use etc etc. I don't see why a guy in a boat can get away without wearing a lifejacket, but a floatplane requires them? Oh well whatever? The egress course requirement for pilots is silly. I guess it will make a few folks a little richer? but it won't save American fisherman or West Coast commuters.
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#10 Post by Heliian » Thu May 26, 2016 10:14 am

It is good news, anyone who thinks otherwise has either very little experience or is a cheap ass owner. Safety costs money, get over it.
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#11 Post by Rowdy » Thu May 26, 2016 2:53 pm

While I agree we should have the PFD's being worn and that egress training should be a part of a float rating..

Looking at the stats,it is my belief that those that drown IN the aircraft were most likely knocked unconscious during the upset/impact.. Usually for a lack of proper restraints. A PFD is not going to save you from drowning if you're out cold.

I'd like some factual information on the number of light aircraft where the seats/restraints were separated from their attach points during these accidents. Also, whether or not they were equipped with proper 5 point harnesses (and being worn). That would most likely solidify my opinion on the subject..

The mandate for PFD's without proper training/awareness AND without proper restraints in float aircraft seems sort of silly...

Sure would have saved a couple of my friends.. and my face from the 3 surgeries, two plates, 9 screws and whole bunch of stainless wire..
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#12 Post by Meatservo » Sat Jun 04, 2016 11:39 am

I've done the egress training several times now, and I feel I need to admit something here: I used to be opposed to the idea of wearing a PFD inside the plane. I still don't really like it- I would prefer not to wear one, it just rubs me the wrong way to wear stuff that is consistent with the "bubble boy" safety mentality that we are bludgeoned with day in and day out of our working lives. More meaningfully, I also am worried about passengers panicking and blocking all the doors with their overly buoyant selves after inflating their lifejackets inside the plane..

... but at the last egress training, I found it almost impossible to put on the lifejacket properly when I was swimming in the pool. I got tired and out of breath and couldn't tread water with my feet fast enough to keep my head above water while my hands were occupied trying to tie up the stupid waist belt, and when I finally did inflate the damn thing, it was way more buoyant than I was and inflated around my ears-with my mouth still under water.

So I guess I've changed my tune somewhat. I've gotten older and am in worse shape than when I was a kid, and after the last session of egress training, I am no longer confident that I would be able to dive down and help someone out of the plane. That's what I pictured myself doing- calmly leaving the plane, surfacing for a breath and then shooting back down like a porpoise, swimming through the plane and heroically showing the patient passengers to the door, whereupon they would swim to the surface with me, don their lifejackets, and we would chat companionably while waiting for a helicopter to pick us up.

Now, I am pretty sure it would be more like this: everybody floundering around, accidentally punching and kicking each other in the face, inflating their lifejacket before getting it on properly, and dying of rage and water inhalation while trying to stand on each other's shoulders for a last breath.

No thanks. I think I just might wear my lifejacket.
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#13 Post by GreenStar » Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:44 pm

Meatservo: after my experience with egress training I have to agree with you. Just getting the life jacket on in the water is an ordeal, not sure if I can save myself, let alone the passengers, wearing one all the time makes sense.
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Re: Seaplane regulation changes proposed

#14 Post by PilotDAR » Tue Jun 07, 2016 9:42 am

I have commented to the government:

I would like to comment in favour of the proposed regulatory change to require the wearing of life jackets by occupants of commercial (or really all) water borne aircraft (or indeed, all water borne craft - but that's a broader battle!).

I have been a pilot for 39 years, a seaplane pilot for 30 years, a seaplane owner for 8 years, and a volunteer firefighter with extensive marine search and rescue experience for 24 years. I have taken the underwater egress course, and trained fire fighters in "go type" marine rescue. It is my first hand experience that any person entering the water by surprise, and worse if the water is cold, or the person injured, is at a very much greater risk of drowning if they do not have a lifejacket on already. Having done it in training, with briefing and practice, it is very hard to locate a stowed lifejacket, and exit a submerged plane with it, let alone don it afterward - and worse if injured or hypothermic. An injured or unconscious person in the water can be much more easily assisted, if all the rescuer has to do to stabilize the situation is to pull the inflate tab of their life jacket to keep them afloat. Otherwise both people are at an increased risk.

It is, and always has been less than fully responsible for an operator or pilot to allow any occupant of the aircraft to fly without wearing a life jacket. (I provide, and require wearing one of all my passengers). As the passengers won't take responsibility for demanding a life jacket or carrying their own, and operators won't take responsibility for requiring wearing one, it's time for regulation. Indeed, with the exception of larger vessels, I suggest that while a passenger on anything that operates on water, where water entry is a risk, the wearing of a life jacket should be mandatory. Were this an enforced regulation, hundreds of aircraft passengers, boaters, kayakers, rafters, snowmobiliers - and the whale watchers off Tofino a few years ago, would still be alive.

The risk is not the passenger's alone to assess (and dismiss). The person who accidentally enters the water, and requires rescue (or recovery) imposes risk and cost on society far out of proportion to the cost and inconvenience of wearing the lifjacket in the first place. I have personally gone into the water, and onto thin ice, and lifted a drowned person out, it's risky, and just not very nice. None were wearing a life jacket.

Therefore, I wholeheartedly support this regulatory change, and hope that in the future it will extend more broadly to all smaller water borne craft. Perhaps, like seatbelts, life jacket use will become more common and accepted, if required to begin with!
For those who have not, go and take the underwater egress course, and after that, return here to comment lifejacket use. I thought I could always get out with a life jacket in hand, until I tried to do it! I have swum in an inverted 185 during recovery, it is dark, and very disorienting. Somethings are much more difficult than you imagine!
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