Float flying technique

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Meddler
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Float flying technique

#1 Post by Meddler » Fri Aug 19, 2016 10:33 am

This stems from comments on the thread about the float 208 accident in China.
My float experience is quite limited, Cessna only. I was taught by a very experienced float pilot to use the rolling a float technique as a matter of course, and that it helped with any remotely heavy, high, or hot takeoff. My impression is that it is easy and effective, and easier on the engine since it does certainly shorten the takeoff run.
While the assertion that a plane won't be certified if it won't fly with average pilot technique makes sense, I'm pretty sure there are lots of times the thing won't fly even well under gross no matter how long I wait. So it's one of 3 things:

1. Rolling a float out is an average pilot skill.
2. Some floats are really sticky.
3. Something else has reduced the performance of some of these aircraft over the last 40 years since certification. Imagine that!

I'm just curious how this jives with more experienced float guys and gals experience.
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phillyfan
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Re: Float flying technique

#2 Post by phillyfan » Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:27 am

Number 1.
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Slats
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Re: Float flying technique

#3 Post by Slats » Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:42 pm

Rolling a float is a very basic float flying technique.
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trey kule
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Re: Float flying technique

#4 Post by trey kule » Mon Aug 22, 2016 5:49 pm

......knowing when to use the technique is not so basic a pilot decision making skill.....

In previous threads all I read was....use it all the time... Have to use it if the plane is heavy, and of course all the fantasy scenarios of lurking killer logs....
Not one person posted using it in glassy water conditions when it just might be necessary to unstick one float first.

.....use it every time...Why? Because its neat to do. Makes one feel like a real float pilot,,
Just like step taxiing and step turning at every opportunity. Power off full flap landings in a beaver. These are all things that real float pilots do..

Nothing sweeter, IMHO than getting the plane on the sweet spot and letting it gently lift into the air...boring for the passangers. And lets face it. If I do that so gently how will they ever know that I am a super pilot...

One of the good things about getting older is I no longer have to stand on the dock as a CP and watch all the 100 hr expert float pilots....and then deal with the reasons...although some were so bizarre as to be funny,
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floatman
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Re: Float flying technique

#5 Post by floatman » Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:59 am

trey kule wrote:......knowing when to use the technique is not so basic a pilot decision making skill.....

In previous threads all I read was....use it all the time... Have to use it if the plane is heavy, and of course all the fantasy scenarios of lurking killer logs....
Not one person posted using it in glassy water conditions when it just might be necessary to unstick one float first.

.....use it every time...Why? Because its neat to do. Makes one feel like a real float pilot,,
Just like step taxiing and step turning at every opportunity. Power off full flap landings in a beaver. These are all things that real float pilots do..

Nothing sweeter, IMHO than getting the plane on the sweet spot and letting it gently lift into the air...boring for the passangers. And lets face it. If I do that so gently how will they ever know that I am a super pilot...

One of the good things about getting older is I no longer have to stand on the dock as a CP and watch all the 100 hr expert float pilots....and then deal with the reasons...although some were so bizarre as to be funny,
There is not much in the way of "humble" in your "opinion" as far as I can see. Sounds like a lot of finger wagging at so-called know it all wannabes, 100 hr wonders and fantasy merchant, log dodgers >that's you he's talking about 180<.
You've got your way of doing things trey and other people have theirs. I have done many, many 1000's of float departures all over the planet in many different types and have rolled a float on loads of them. I have done plenty of step taxis for various reasons (some even involving turns) and never felt like I had to justify it.
Personally I think only an idiot would roll a float and un-level your wings on a glassy water departure but that's just me. That's when I am highly focused on level wings and a positive rate until well clear of the surface.

Full flap, power off in a Beaver will separate the men from the girls. Not sure I would be practicing it but if you can do that routinely, you have my respect as a stick.
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trey kule
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Re: Float flying technique

#6 Post by trey kule » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:02 pm

Full flap, power off in a Beaver will separate the men from the girls. Not sure I would be practicing it but if you can do that routinely, you have my respect as a stick.
And if you can't,....... just once..........well all you really need is a good answer to the question "WHat were you thinking?" Right?

To be clear, I am not anti any technique. But experience has demonstrated to me that there are many times when pilots use inappropriate techniques for no other reason then they think it is a neat thing to do...

And reading on forums that this or that technique is used routinely is inspiration and motivation for some to use them when they are simply not necessary, my point was that the different techniques should be used appropriately, and not necessarily routinely.

Anyway, I will leave it to the float experts who like to tell how they use this or that technique all the time to lead the way.

As to the glassy water. Maybe I am the only float pilot who ever had floats " stick" on the water.
As to the rest of your glassy water technique, it was interesting to read.
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180
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Re: Float flying technique

#7 Post by 180 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:50 pm

floatman wrote:and of course all the fantasy scenarios of lurking killer logs....
>that's you he's talking about 180<

Ha ha, yes, I figured that was probably directed at me. Floatman obviously doesn't fly out of the numerous fjords, inlets, and bays of the Westcoast where "deadheads" aren't fantasy figments of imagination, but daily realities.

Deadhead joke time:

"What do you call a line of birds sitting in the water?"

"A log."
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mmm..bacon
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Re: Float flying technique

#8 Post by mmm..bacon » Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:46 pm

^ Ha ha ha!

on the subject of rolling floats i'd always thought that it didn't do much good. sure you half your wetted float area, but the other float then holds the entire weight of the plane and sinks deeper, increasing your drag proportionately. Something like that
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Re: Float flying technique

#9 Post by floatman » Tue Aug 23, 2016 4:11 pm

trey kule wrote:experience has demonstrated to me that there are many times when pilots use inappropriate techniques for no other reason then they think it is a neat thing to do…
… different techniques should be used appropriately, and not necessarily routinely.
Two good points, and I would add that appropriately may mean routinely but just not blindly. Understanding what you are doing and why are two different things and one is wasted and maybe dangerous without the other.
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Re: Float flying technique

#10 Post by Meatservo » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:38 pm

I used to encourage beginner copilots on the Twin Otter to take off slightly cross-wind, so they could get one float off before the other. It was my opinion that the plane had less tendency to try to porpoise when handled in that fashion. I found many new pilots on that plane were prone to porpoising on takeoff and using cross-wind technique seemed to lessen the plane's tendency to lead them into that particular "pilot-induced oscillation". Of course, aerodynamically speaking it seems silly to use cross-wind technique when there isn't actually a cross-wind.

Having said that, on many occasions, approaching the "decision" spot on a short lake, it is awfully tempting to try and lift a float, just to see if the plane is actually thinking about flying or not. You can learn a lot about how much lake there is left by whether a float comes unstuck or not!

It IS kind of fun, too, I won't lie. It has been a long time since I flew a seaplane, and I miss a lot of that stuff.
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floatman
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Re: Float flying technique

#11 Post by floatman » Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:53 am

Meatservo wrote: ...just to see if the plane is actually thinking about flying or not. You can learn a lot about how much lake there is left by whether a float comes unstuck or not!
Exactly.
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