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Thread: Short landing and take off distance of 4 seat float aircraft private strip Lenght

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Campbell River B.C

    Default Short landing and take off distance of 4 seat float aircraft private strip Lenght

    I am am not a pilot but spend much of my time in the air usally beavers, otters cessna 180's or larger. I have never flown in any smaller air craft. Both my older brother and younger sister are pilots and it is in my plans to follow. My delema is where I live it is hard to find good places to store a float plane at a reasonable price or close. I own a private island about 150 miles from my home and would like to be able to fly there. I have thought about selling and purchasing a new place as there is 100 acres next to mine with a swamp that I could develop a water strip I have already researched all the rules/laws and talked to the officals and it looks good to go, I have the equipment and the resourses the issue is lenght. I would have 1500' strip with a obistacle free 1000' approach at each end, after the 1000' there are 150' trees but no hills. The elevation is approx 500' above sea level and the strip would be oriented the same as the local air port for the best wind direction average. I am stuck to the 1500' beacuse of the contour of the land. What are my options for planes that would make this a usable strip. Idealy I would like a small four seater 2 adults 2 kids or 2 adults + hunting gear I guess around 900lbs pay load with floats with at least a 350 mile range. I am not against quality expermintal as the tech of the old 1930/40s pipers must be getting out dated. I am open to all options, used of course as i will most likley spend most of my resourses biulding the strip. Thanks Jason

  2. #2
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Kachemak Bay Alaska


    You are saying "strip" but I assume that you are talking about making a Float-Plane ditch (pond) in the swamp....

    The things that affect a good water take-off or landing.
    1. Wind & water Conditions. (speed, downdrafts and so on)
    For example calm glassy water might require three times the distance as in an 8 knot wind.
    2. Wind direction
    3. Aircraft weight
    4. Density Altitude
    5. Obstacles past the water,,, I like to have at least an equal distance to climb from the time I break water.
    6. Sun direction, (particularly on glassy water)
    7. In a ditch, the width can actually make a difference.

    For a four place (loaded airplane) your 1,500 ditch would be about the minimum. On the positive side you have 1,000 feet of climb area over the swamp before worrying about the trees.

    A C-185 would do that just fine. Particularly on Aerocet floats.

    An older C-180 (the light-weight 1950s versions) would do it with two people....

    A Helio Courier would do it with room to spare.....They carry a lot of weight,,, but upkeep can be a problem.

    A 180 horse modified PA-14 family Cruiser would do it with two adults and two kids.

    a 180 horse modified stretched Pacer (PRODUCER by Steve Bryant of Anchorage or the Canadian Bushwhacker) would work.

    Maybe a 180 horse Glasair Sportman Two Plus Two for an experimental.... But only if the kids are not real big..... But they cost more than a Helio...

    Maybe a 180 horse converted Aeronca Sedan....

    On a windy day.... all sorts of things could cme and go from 1500 feet with a big load......
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    900# payload on floats? You're limiting yourself to a 185, 206, or Beaver. 1000' on floats with that load is unrealistic.


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