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Thread: Landing on skis

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    Member alaska4ever's Avatar
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    Default Landing on skis

    What is the maximum amount of snow a 180 can land on without being tamped?
    JOHN

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    No biggie, you just build a runway with the skies. The snot-ball is overflow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaska4ever View Post
    What is the maximum amount of snow a 180 can land on without being tamped?
    Assuming you expect to get back out? It depends. Length of operating surface, obstacles, snow consistency, aircraft weight, aircraft skis, pilot skill, altitude, etc. all contribute to different answers to your question. Several feet of powder can be great fun while a few inches of sticky slush can ruin your day. Lots of variables.

    Stopping a ski plane can be as much a limiting factor as getting one airborne. Groomed ski strips can be problematic for stopping. In general the shorter a ski plane can land the longer it'll take to get airborne, and vice-versa. Ski operators hope for a happy medium.

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    Those conditions can and will change from morn to afternoon as well. Hard question to answer completely. Not to mention different ski types.........

    Was out yesterday after noon and the snow had a lot of drag for fresh stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    Assuming you expect to get back out? It depends. Length of operating surface, obstacles, snow consistency, aircraft weight, aircraft skis, pilot skill, altitude, etc. all contribute to different answers to your question. Several feet of powder can be great fun while a few inches of sticky slush can ruin your day. Lots of variables.

    Stopping a ski plane can be as much a limiting factor as getting one airborne. Groomed ski strips can be problematic for stopping. In general the shorter a ski plane can land the longer it'll take to get airborne, and vice-versa. Ski operators hope for a happy medium.
    You bring up an interesting fact, landing and taking off. Would 500 to 800 ft of runway be an acceptable length? My property has about 3 to 5 ft of snow on and around it. Including the lake.
    JOHN

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    500-800' wouldn't be appropriate for a 180 on skis in anything less than perfect conditions with a very perfect pilot. But it depends on what's on the margins. 500-800' of defined runway in the middle of a two mile lake is way different than 500-800' between two cut banks of a river. Lots of variables.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    500-800' wouldn't be appropriate for a 180 on skis in anything less than perfect conditions with a very perfect pilot. But it depends on what's on the margins. 500-800' of defined runway in the middle of a two mile lake is way different than 500-800' between two cut banks of a river. Lots of variables.
    Ok, the east side of my property is lake, which is about 1100ft. long. The west side is marsh about 150ft. from the property and both sides plus the North end is wide open. Any suggestions or just fly up and check it out?
    JOHN

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    The pilot in command is the only one who can make the go/no go decision. You may want to establish a trail to a more suitable location for airplanes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaska4ever View Post
    Ok, the east side of my property is lake, which is about 1100ft. long. The west side is marsh about 150ft. from the property and both sides plus the North end is wide open. Any suggestions or just fly up and check it out?
    Haven't seen your property, but here's my best guess: Go up and take a look. If you just think maybe you can do it, forget about it. Give it up and go back home. If you know you can do it after looking it over, give it a shot.

    Mr. Pid might disagree, but that's really how most bush landings and takeoffs are made, really . . . . . But, as Mr. Pid said, 500' - 800' doesn't represent a very good landing spot for most pilots.

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    Hmmmmmm! I may have to give this some serious thought.
    JOHN

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    John,

    500-800' would be a satisfactory length for a skilled pilot to operate a 180 on wheels. Wheels have brakes to stop and little drag to get going again. Skis are different. No brakes being the biggest difference. When conditions are firm and slick enough to provide good take-offs the landings will require lots of space for sliding to a stop. When the conditions are draggy enough that the airplane can stop in your desired length it's unlikely the plane will be able to take back off in those same conditions as it'll take time and space to get to flying speed. That's what my initial post was referring to. Taxiing a ski plane requires space as well. Ski planes don't turn on a dime, so width AND length will be required.

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    Thanks Pid, I have a remedy of sorts. Check my thread Bushdwellers Vanishing in Remote Cabins.
    JOHN

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    John,

    500-800' would be a satisfactory length for a skilled pilot to operate a 180 on wheels. Wheels have brakes to stop and little drag to get going again. Skis are different. No brakes being the biggest difference. When conditions are firm and slick enough to provide good take-offs the landings will require lots of space for sliding to a stop. When the conditions are draggy enough that the airplane can stop in your desired length it's unlikely the plane will be able to take back off in those same conditions as it'll take time and space to get to flying speed. That's what my initial post was referring to. Taxiing a ski plane requires space as well. Ski planes don't turn on a dime, so width AND length will be required.
    Exactly. A skilled pilot can - - - and often does - - - operate a grossed C-180 from 500'. Its for neither the unskilled nor the faint of heart, but it is sufficient.

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    Mr. Pid speaks the truth.. But, he is VERY cautious. He only flys his personal "Missions". The "rust" on his his brake discs tell his story. I agreee with him on most of his posts... But, he rarely flys. Or, he just doesn't use his brakes.. His advice is 'sound' though.

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    True enough. I don't fly as much as I used to and it's by choice. Too many other fun things to do. Brake discs rust very quickly, though, so don't judge just by that. The cautious comment makes me curious, not that I'd be ashamed of being cautious.

    Who has enough time to go look at other guys' brake discs?

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    Ha ha... I knew that would get you thinking... Mr. Pid I drive around the "Lake" a couple times a week and I just notice the little things. We know some of the same people. You have a beautiful 12! Skup has wrenched on my Cub also.. Don't take offense..

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    None taken. The planes are pickled until the days get more favorable for flying. No wing covers tells the story.

    Happy New Year.

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    Don't feel bad Pod, about 20 years ago I was a winter caretaker for a lodge up in the mountains close to Mother Goose Lake. I was hungry for some real vegetables and I contacted someone I knew in Pilot Point to get them at what was considered a store. When he flew to the lodge, as he landed, his rear ski fell off. When I approached the plane, he says, dammit I'm out of baling wire. Luckily I had some.
    JOHN

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    I know this is not on the subject.
    If the land you want to fly to is off the Big Sue itís a short trip off a snowmobile trail. If you donít have snowmobile you could rent one, you could stay at one of the two lodges in the area and spend a lot more time checking it out.

    It's just something to consider.

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    Quote Originally Posted by alaska4ever View Post
    Don't feel bad Pod, about 20 years ago I was a winter caretaker for a lodge up in the mountains close to Mother Goose Lake. I was hungry for some real vegetables and I contacted someone I knew in Pilot Point to get them at what was considered a store. When he flew to the lodge, as he landed, his rear ski fell off. When I approached the plane, he says, dammit I'm out of baling wire. Luckily I had some.
    That wasn't at Painter Creek, was it? I flew with them before Joe Maxey went west . . . . .

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