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flingwinger

Ditching

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So another question for you guys, if your engine fails and you can see the bottoms of the tree trunks as are on top of rock ledge on coastline,,,(most of BC) do you flare into the bottoms of trunks which seems a hard impact or some other option as water or tops of the 150 footers? I think it would not end well but is there an option?

 

Thanks for the inputs.

 

Chances are with having twice as many pilots working when the new regs come into effect we will have half the chance of having an incident so I don't even know why we are discussing this. It will all be safer with the new regs and we'll make more money and everybody will be sooooo happy!!

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My personal choices, if presented with options:

 

1. Shoreline water over trees if you could see the bottom (implies shallower) and if the distance from shore to dropoff was not too minimal to accommodate aircraft movement before it touched bottom due to currents/bouyancy under water;

2. Trees over water for deep shorelines, especially if the trees are deciduous because they'll bend (absorb energy) before they break;

3. Trees over water if the water is deep and cold.

 

Entering the water under control with power (as one poster stated for Vietnam) is obviously far different from entering the water with minimal time to prepare. The US Navy did a study of helo water crashes some years ago and they determined that the average time from the onset of the critical emergency to water impact in the low level flight environment was less than 1 minute (i believe 50 seconds). I don't see why this would be any different for any low level helo VFR work including bucketing, bag slinging and so on - even straight and level transit to a fuel cache for example.

 

To complicate water entry, cold water will severely affect breath hold capability due to the initial body shock reaction. if you can hold your breath for a minute in the warm pool, expect no more than 10-15 seconds in very cold water. Less breath hold time = more urgency/panic. Trees are sounding better.

 

What about your pax? Do you brief them on emergency water escape technique? How to punch the left seat door off? Landmarking your exit point so that you're going the right way? I've seen dunker training video of a guy in the left seat trying to get out via the chin bubble because of panic and disorientation. What about the folks in the back? It'a a lot easier to brief/mentally accept an emergency escape out of an aircraft hung up in the trees.

 

Final answer for me? Terra firma and the firma the better.

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To complicate water entry, cold water will severely affect breath hold capability due to the initial body shock reaction. if you can hold your breath for a minute in the warm pool, expect no more than 10-15 seconds in very cold water. Less breath hold time = more urgency/panic. Trees are sounding better.

 

There is Underwater Egress Training in Chilliwack that ends the training with a dunk in the Chilliwack River. Cold water, current and murky water. Very different than a pool.

 

Rescue Canada

 

I'm not sure that the open water is part of the regular course.

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Chances are with having twice as many pilots working when the new regs come into effect we will have half the chance of having an incident so I don't even know why we are discussing this. It will all be safer with the new regs and we'll make more money and everybody will be sooooo happy!!

 

Jim you sit and complain about some posts because it pisses you off, then you make an ignorant comment like that. Personally I thought it was an interesting thread that there is something to be learned from, apparently you are above the rest of us and you already know everything.

 

This forum is just starting to gain some credibility back and some long time veterans are starting return and contribute again.

Please don't **** that up again. If you have issues with the new regulation proposals maybe do something proactive, complaining about it will accomplish absolutely nothing.

 

Since everyone else has had a rant lately, thought maybe I would too!

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Jim you sit and complain about some posts because it pisses you off, then you make an ignorant comment like that.

 

Perhaps we could have a poll and see how many people are frustrated to the point that they make comments like that. The rules are made to govern the lowest common denominator - ie. make it safe for the worst pilot out there. Then if anyone else breaks the regs THEY are the bad guy. Rant, rave or whatever - we are not going to be safer by holding someone back from doing their job - we're going to make it worse.

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Perhaps we could have a poll and see how many people are frustrated to the point that they make comments like that. The rules are made to govern the lowest common denominator - ie. make it safe for the worst pilot out there. Then if anyone else breaks the regs THEY are the bad guy. Rant, rave or whatever - we are not going to be safer by holding someone back from doing their job - we're going to make it worse.

 

Well start a poll then, I am sure it will contribute to educating everyone on all aspects of the flaws of rotary wing industry.

 

Then after that why don't you spend the rest of your energy coming up with a way to get your voice heard, keeping your 14 hour duty days, 42 day shifts etc. etc..

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On the topic of ditching (I don't want to get off the theme of the post but just let me say I thought Jim's post about everything being safer was pretty funny, as I believe it was intended to be) I personally think I would take the water on the shoreline. This is all pretty subjective and there is some luck involved, but I'm pretty confident I could end up with a gentle landing on the water with an intact airframe. I would tell everyone onboard to release their buckles the second we settle in the water and get ready to egress... Maybe even have everyone open their doors on short-short final. My thoughts on going into the trees are that all bets are off and now you're hoping for an upright landing and no blade through the cockpit. I have gone into the trees before with no engine and believe me it's exciting. I'm for the water!

 

HV

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I think it was mentioned before, but I think that water temp and passengers would be two important factors in the decision. I flying alone would probably usually go the water way along with Harmonic Vibe's theory. However if with passengers, I think you have to consider some cannot swim and also consider what it might be like on your side in water with a full load of passengers in a small cabin.

 

One thing you can guarantee is if you went into the trees, it is going to bend a lot of parts and probably people.

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Much of my flying here in Alaska is coastal so 70% of the time have pop outs. I would take water over trees any time because I can float. Keep the Sat phone handy in a dry bag so I can call for a ride if the ship rolls upside down and we are left clinging. With out floats it makes me wonder. Just going for a swim here could be your last (remote) let alone struggling out of a sinking wreck.

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