Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 56

Thread: Hi there. Am I in the right place?

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    15

    Default Hi there. Am I in the right place?

    I live on the Oklahoma tundra, I'm not a pilot and I'm looking for some kind, patient and gentle hearted souls to answer a lot of North country flying questions that most of you will probably consider to be dumb. Am I in the right spot for that?

  2. #2
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,218

    Default

    Commence with the question asking....
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,461

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 44minimum View Post
    I live on the Oklahoma tundra, I'm not a pilot and I'm looking for some kind, patient and gentle hearted souls to answer a lot of North country flying questions that most of you will probably consider to be dumb. Am I in the right spot for that?
    Welcome, 44minimum. On this important site, there are no dumb questions . . . . . only the occasional dumb answer. You'll encounter lots and lots of experience here, so fire away ............................. !

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    alaska
    Posts
    187

    Default

    The old saying that "there are no dumb questions, it is the answers that count" applies to all subjects.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Before I start off with the questions, I would like to clarify something first. Like I said, I am not a pilot, but I do possess a great deal of mechanical aptitude and am not totally ignorant about the basics of flight. I've been in passenger airliners a few times, I've been in helicopters a few times, been up in little Cessna type airplanes a few times and one of the guys let me fly it for a ways, I was a little nervous when he told me he was going to have me land it. He finally took over the controls again when we got about 200 yards from the end of the runway and made me a happy guy. I read lots of books about flying, mostly about World War II and Vietnam. So I'm not dumb, just have a lot of dumb questions.

    Here is my first set of dumb questions. I know that at least some of the answers will be-it depends.

    Let's say that you have a family of four that flies to Alaska and then hires a Bush plane to take them into a remote fishing Lodge.
     
    1. Someone told me that the busiest floatplane airport in the world is in Anchorage. Is this true?
     
    2. How much contact is there between the pilot and the fishing lodge he is flying to? Does he call the fishing Lodge before he leaves, is he in constant radio contact with them, or does he not even bother letting them know and just show up when he wants to?

    3. If an airplane goes down, how do they go about trying to find it and the people aboard? Does the pilot have to file a flight plan and the searchers just follow along it, looking for the plane? Do those little planes that hold five or six passengers have transponders that make it easy to locate them?

    4. What kind of trees and brush grows along a fairly good sized river? I mean, a river that is big enough to permit jet boats and small outboard boats to navigate.

    5. I assume that all pilots will have a bag or something that contains survival items he would need in case he gets forced down out in the bush and has to survive on his own for a while. What would he have in this bag, besides the obvious gun, ammunition, knife, three different ways of starting fires, signal flares. Would he carry a sleeping bag and tent or are these too bulky and heavy? What else might he have?

    6. What is a good book about Bush pilots that will teach me at least a little bit about the way things are done? And if it has stories about miraculous crashes and survival, wild and crazy and funny stories of adventure, or drunken shenanigans, that would be a bonus. I think that one or two of you guys here on the board have written books.

    That's all the dumb questions that I have for the moment. If you can provide me with believable answers I would be most grateful.

  6. #6
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,218

    Default

    1. Someone told me that the busiest floatplane airport in the world is in Anchorage. Is this true?
     
    That is the rumor. Probably true during the summer months. Vancouver BC, Kenmore WA and Jack Browns in Florida are also very high up there. I saw a place in the Greek Islands that had a bunch of twin otters on floats that might give Kenmore a run for the money.

    2. How much contact is there between the pilot and the fishing lodge he is flying to? Does he call the fishing Lodge before he leaves, is he in constant radio contact with them, or does he not even bother letting them know and just show up when he wants to?
    They usually run a schedule so they know about when to expect them. Most outfits these days are running Spider Track sat-nav programs so their base can see the aircraft location while enroute. Pilots are usually in contact with other aircraft, or FAA flight service, Not with the lodge until they get pretty close. People at the lodge have other things to do, are more than likely out of radio range most of the time and could not help you if they wanted to...

    3. If an airplane goes down, how do they go about trying to find it and the people aboard? Does the pilot have to file a flight plan and the searchers just follow along it, looking for the plane? Do those little planes that hold five or six passengers have transponders that make it easy to locate them?
    YES. ALL aircraft are required to carry an Emergency Locator Beacon. Lots of bush pilots also carry additional beacons in their survival vest gear.

    4. What kind of trees and brush grows along a fairly good sized river? I mean, a river that is big enough to permit jet boats and small outboard boats to navigate.
    It depends on the area of Alaska. We are 2.5 times larger than Texas. Usually Spruce, Alders and in some areas Cottonwoods.
    In some areas which are tree barren, just waist high Willows. In South East AK, you also have huge Hemlocks.

    5. I assume that all pilots will have a bag or something that contains survival items he would need in case he gets forced down out in the bush and has to survive on his own for a while. What would he have in this bag, besides the obvious gun, ammunition, knife, three different ways of starting fires, signal flares. Would he carry a sleeping bag and tent or are these too bulky and heavy? What else might he have?
    Oddly enough Alaska law no longer requires a firearm. Too many city folks moved here I guess.

    ALASKA STATUTES Sec. 02.35.110. Emergency rations and equipment.

    An airman may not make a flight inside the state with an aircraft unless emergency equipment is carried as follows:

    (1) the following minimum equipment must be carried during the summer months:
    (A) rations for each occupant sufficient to sustain life for one week;
    (B) one axe or hatchet;
    (C) one first aid kit;
    (D) an assortment of tackle such as hooks, flies, lines, and sinkers;
    (E) one knife;
    (F) fire starter;
    (G) one mosquito headnet for each occupant;
    (H) two small signaling devices such as colored smoke bombs, railroad fuses, or Very pistol shells, in sealed metal containers;

    (2) in addition to the equipment required under (1) of this subsection, the following must be carried as minimum equipment from October 15 to April 1 of each year:
    (A) one pair of snowshoes;
    (B) one sleeping bag;
    (C) one wool blanket or equivalent for each occupant over four.

    (b) However, operators of multi-engine aircraft licensed to carry more than 15 passengers need carry only the food, mosquito nets, and signalling equipment at all times other than the period from October 15 to April 1 of each year, when two sleeping bags, and one blanket for every two passengers shall also be carried.

    All of the above requirements as to emergency rations and equipment are considered to be minimum requirements which are to remain in full force and effect, except as further safety measures may be from time to time imposed by the department.

    Most folks have their own variation of the above...


    6. What is a good book about Bush pilots that will teach me at least a little bit about the way things are done? And if it has stories about miraculous crashes and survival, wild and crazy and funny stories of adventure, or drunken shenanigans, that would be a bonus. I think that one or two of you guys here on the board have written books.
    There is a good book about Mudhole Smith, out there someplace...

    Books by Mort Mason,,,, known here as Griz http://www.amazon.com/Flying-Alaska-.../dp/0896585891

    http://www.amazon.com/Wager-Wind-The...8/ref=rec_dp_1

    http://www.amazon.com/Arctic-Bush-Pi...d_bxgy_b_img_z

    http://www.amazon.com/Alaska-Bush-Pi...d_bxgy_b_img_z
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    15

    Default

    All right. I guess it's time for the next round of dumb questions.
    1. These electronic locator beacons- where are they located in an aircraft? When they are activated, how long do they last, and would they work if they are underwater?
    2. How familiar are you with a deHavilland beaver? I think that I'm going to have lots of questions specific to that aircraft.
    3. In the area around Anchorage, what time does it get dark in late August? Or does it get dark?

  8. #8
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    2,150

    Default

    Interesting questions... Are you researching a book or planning a DB Cooper type of heist/getaway?

    Sorry for the thread hijack, I'll go back to my hole now....

  9. #9
    Member IndyCzar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Just 55 miles north of ANC ... on the lake
    Posts
    351

    Default

    ELT info...http://www.sarsat.noaa.gov/406vs121.pdf
    Beaver Specs...http://www.bush-planes.com/DeHavilla...-2-Beaver.html
    Daylight...Check weatherunderground.com

    little self research...give a man a fish and feed him for a day...teach a man to research...I mean fish and he will never go hungry...

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Posts
    15

    Default

    As much as I would like to plan and pull off a DB Cooper type stunt, that is not the case. I am attempting to write a book about a Bush pilot flying a family to a remote fishing camp, and along the way they crash and have all sorts of trouble.

    I guess I could've asked Google those questions instead of pestering you guys and I will try to do so in the future on things that I think Google will know. Google does not know everything, though.

    I have looked at the links provided, and they were a little bit helpful, but I have specific questions about flying a beaver, not about the specifications. And I don't know any way to find them out, except to ask someone that flies one or has flown one quite a bit.

    About the electronic locator transmitter- does no one monitor the 121.5 mhz beacons anymore and they are completely phased out, or are they just on the way of being phased out? I couldn't find a definitive answer for this. What I read was that the government does not monitor that frequency anymore, but do other pilots still monitor it? And I got no clear answer if they would work underwater or not.

  11. #11
    Member IndyCzar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Just 55 miles north of ANC ... on the lake
    Posts
    351

    Default

    44 Minimum...121.5 ELT's are being phased out...lots of folks still have and use them and most airlines require crews to monitor that frequency on their second radio...(121.5 is also known as Air Force Common, sorry guys had to say it)...406 beacons are encoded with the owner's name and many are tied to a GPS position when activated gives the SAR center a name and position to start to try and establish contact..

    A hundred years ago when I flew SAR for the USCG we would need two positive hits on a satellite hit to on 121.5 to launch without any other evidence...the 406 beacon required and immediate launch of rescue assets...One of the problems with ELT's is the antenna and wiring...they will only work effectively if the it stays attached during the crash sequence...It may put out a weak signal without it but satellite detection might be iffy...If the plane is upside down or underwater the range becomes extremely limited...

    I can't help you much with beaver questions as I have only flown them a few times and am NOT an expert, but one day I hope to have a mediocre reason to own one...

    Good luck on your book...sorry if I was a little short with the research questions...

  12. #12
    Member Akheloce's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Homer
    Posts
    1,135

    Default

    More than you ever wanted to know about a bush plane crash in Alaska, and how a 406 ELT can fail:

    http://www.ntsb.gov/doclib/reports/2011/AAR1103.pdf

    In this case, it was an Otter, the Beaver's big brother.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  13. #13
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Kachemak Bay Alaska
    Posts
    4,218

    Default

    FROM A 2010 REPORT FROM THE NEW ZEALAND AVAITION ATHORITY

    ELT Reliability

    Statistics are available, particularly from the United States, that indicate ELTs have a very
    high failure rate; some suggest that the failure rate is 80%, i.e. the ELT worked in only
    20% of crashes.
    CAA records for all ELT failures prior to the TSO C126 406 MHz ELT being mandated
    are incomplete so do not accurately reflect the true status because of poor reporting.
    During the 406 MHz ELT rulemaking activity, a review found that there were six cases
    recorded where the ELT had failed in a crash. Three failed because the antenna was
    severely damaged in the crash and the other three failed because the antenna cable was
    severed in the crash. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there were considerably more
    failures that just those recorded.
    The importance of defect reporting has been highlighted to industry, particularly to the
    General Aviation sector. When ELT reports are received, they are automatically classed as
    a major failure so that they will be reviewed by the CAA avionics staff. Maintenance
    providers have been advised that it is important that any ELT defects found are reported.
    The CAA Safety Investigation Unit is also specifically reporting on ELT performance and
    damage in accident investigations.
    Since the 406 MHz ELT rule came into force on 1 July 2008, 48 failures have been
    reported. The most prevalent failure has been the g-switch in Artex manufactured units
    being found unserviceable on routine checks. This problem is currently being addressed
    with the manufacturer through the FAA under the bilateral agreement process. The next
    most prevalent failure is antenna failures. Details of the current ELT reliability are in
    Appendix 1.
    Appendix 1: ELT Reliability
    Reliability Data Assessment
    The total number of aircraft required to have ELTs fitted in New Zealand is approximately
    2745.
    In the period from 1 July 2008 until 12 November 2009 there have been 48 ELT failures
    reported to the CAA. A review of the failure records shows the following failure modes:
    1. G-switch failures: 26 occurrences (54%). In every case, the ELT was an Artex item
    but over several different models. These failures are being addressed with the
    manufacturer through the FAA.
    2. Antenna failures: 8 occurrences (17%). As far as can be determined occurrences
    were all whip antennae breaking. There are two cases of the redesigned Dayton
    Grainger antenna breaking.
    3. Water ingress: 4 occurrences (8%). There have been four occurrences where there
    was an uncommanded activation of the ELT. In all cases, the root cause appears to
    be water ingress.
    4. Battery failure: 2 occurrences (4%). There have been two cases where the ELT
    battery failed prematurely. The battery failure is one that is readily detected during
    routine maintenance checks (system self-test).
    5. There have been three other ELT failures (6%) where each is the only report for
    that particular failure mode. One case had the Remote Switch LED indicator
    permanently on; in one case the ELT failed the self-test; and the other case the
    121.5 MHz transmitter failed.
    6. There were three occurrences (6%) recorded where there was no technical
    implication for the ELT system.
    7. There were two reports of aircraft crashes where the ELT failed to activate. One
    aircraft landed wheels up and slid and the other was a helicopter making a
    precautionary landing that hit a water trough. In both cases, it is likely that the
    impact forces were less than the ELT activation threshold.
    On the basis of the above data, the ELT failure rate is less than 1.2% per year of the
    installed fleet or in other terms, the failure rate is about 0.0031 per flight hour. If the G
    switch failures are removed, the failure rate is less than 0.5% for the installed fleet or
    0.0012 per flight hour.
    In the above data, there are only three actual ELT failures that may have rendered the
    system inoperative when required (this is excluding G switches, antennae and battery
    failures). This makes the actual ELT failure rate for the installed fleet 0.0002 per flight
    hour.
    In 2008 a PAC FU-24 (Fletcher) crashed near Opotiki killing the pilot. In the investigation
    it was found that the TSO C126 ELT had activated but the system was inoperative because
    the antenna cable was severed. The antenna cable was severed where it passed through the
    instrument panel bulkhead in the cockpit that had distorted because of crash forces. This
    installation was one where the TSO C91 installation had the ELT fitted to the cockpit floor
    with the antenna cable routed forward past the instrument panel to the antenna.
    The design of this FU-24 installation was deficient in a number of areas and cannot be
    considered to be crash tolerant. The first point is that it is a clear requirement that the
    antenna and ELT must be installed as close together as practicable; the antenna cable is not
    allowed to pass through bulkheads or cross production joints. The second point is that the
    ELT was mounted on the cockpit floor. This is not a survivable location since the FU-24
    cockpit does distort and has been regularly burnt out in crashes. The ELT system
    installation does need to be in the rear of the aircraft.
    The reason the TSO C91 ELTs were mounted on the cockpit floor was because rough
    airstrips had a habit of setting them off. With them mounted on the cockpit floor, pilots
    could either turn an activated ELT off or disarm it completely. With the introduction of the
    TSO C126 ELT where the remote control switch in the cockpit is a mandatory
    requirement, the intention was they these installations should be redesigned to install the
    ELT system in the rear of the aircraft.
    The well publicised crash of Eurocopter EC120 ZK-HTF near Raglan that killed Michael
    Erceg and a passenger is another case where the antenna failed. The ELT itself was found
    to have functioned correctly but a tree branch broke the non-crash tolerant ELT antenna
    during the crash sequence and so prevented the transmission of the distress signal.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  14. #14
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Fairbanks, Ak.
    Posts
    4,191

    Default

    Sorta sounds like your writing a book about Ted Stevens crash. Research that one any way. There was an ELT problem there. NTSB reports are educational. He was flying from a lodge in a company owned Otter. Must be the link that Akheloce gave you.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  15. #15
    Member BeaverDriver's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Alaska
    Posts
    112

    Default

    44 - what specifally do you want to know about a Beaver? I can tell you that Brian Denahey had it all wrong. Opening the door and banging on stuff during flight does nothing but dent metal. Kidding of course, but I would be happy to answer any Beaver specific questions. Might even have a Beaver Operating manual around somewheres.

    Most, if not all, airilne pilots still monitor 121.5 albeit very low volume due to the excess "BS" that comes over that freq that sometimes interferes with other calls. So, while not officially monitored by the cradle-to-grave nannyment, 121.5 does still have its share of listeners.

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Hawaii
    Posts
    330

    Default

    44, I have a few thousand hours in beavers in Alaska both on floats and wheels and have flown beavers for remote Alaska fishing lodges and air taxi operators. If I remember right. most ELTs in beavers are mounted just aft of the baggage compartment behind the passenger cabin area. I can probably answer just about any question you might have regarding the operation of a beaver on floats or wheels, but can't give you explicit info on mechanical specifications. Take a look at this beaver crash video of a takeoff accident at Lake Hood a few years ago. It was totally pilot error with a low time private pilot (orthopedic surgeon) at the controls. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVwlodvWh7w There are hundreds of ludicrous comments regarding the cause of this wreck. Fortunately no one was injured.

  17. #17
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,461

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 44minimum View Post
    As much as I would like to plan and pull off a DB Cooper type stunt, that is not the case. I am attempting to write a book about a Bush pilot flying a family to a remote fishing camp, and along the way they crash and have all sorts of trouble.

    I guess I could've asked Google those questions instead of pestering you guys and I will try to do so in the future on things that I think Google will know. Google does not know everything, though.

    I have looked at the links provided, and they were a little bit helpful, but I have specific questions about flying a beaver, not about the specifications. And I don't know any way to find them out, except to ask someone that flies one or has flown one quite a bit.

    About the electronic locator transmitter- does no one monitor the 121.5 mhz beacons anymore and they are completely phased out, or are they just on the way of being phased out? I couldn't find a definitive answer for this. What I read was that the government does not monitor that frequency anymore, but do other pilots still monitor it? And I got no clear answer if they would work underwater or not.
    It's really called an "EMERGENCY Locator Transmitter". I belive most airliners still monitor 121.5. A lot of Alaska's pilots monitor it, especially those whose aircraft carry two VHF radios. Satellites still monitor 121.5, though they no longer report as early nor as often as they once did. Military aircraft may still monitor 121.5, but I'm not sure of that either. Hopefully, one of this site's more experienced Alaska pilots, Mr. Pid, will see this thread and respond to some of your ELT questions. He'a quite sharp about that.

  18. #18
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    1,461

    Default

    One of the MOST FREQUENT problems with ELT's failures are the fact that many, many pilots simply don't keep charged batteries in them. The batteries are a bit expensive, and lots of Alalska pilots are a bit lax on buying fresh batteries. While it should be a part of any preflight inspection, it is most often overlooked.

  19. #19
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    February 2009. That's when satellite monitoring of 121.5 ELTs was completely turned off. 406 reliability and location technology rendered 121.5 obsolete long before that but the government still allows guys to use 121.5 to comply with mandatory ELT requirements. And now AOPA is lobbying to keep 121.5s in the system as the FCC is considering a ban on 121.5 beacon manufacturing. They aren't doing anyone any favors. 121.5 is not a life saving technology, it's a cheap way to comply with ELT regs that will likely leave the pilot and occupants on their own after an accident. Set off those 121.5 beacons. Nobody's coming. All the talk about airliners hearing 121.5 signals does no good. They can't come close to authenticating the signal let alone approximating it's origin. And that's what 406 is all about. A couple of comments in reference to statements made here. ELTs are very reliable when properly installed. The current ELT TSO requires mounting to structure. Deflection of the ELT can't exceed 1/10th of one inch under 100 pounds of force in it's most flexible direction. The TSO specifically prohibits installation to an aircraft's skin. If we did a casual walk-around at Lake Hood I'll bet better than half the installed 406 ELTs don't comply with the installation requirements. Yet mechanics sign them off at annual. Bad deal. On the battery comment? Battery condition should be inspected at annual inspection time. It's not a big deal with any 406 unit. The required panel-mounted switch has a self-test function. 406 ELTs self-interrogate to validate transmission capability and battery status. My own ELT instructions require me to perform the test once a month. The battery lasts 5 years and the status panel will notify me when it's timed out or low on charge. The current trend in ELTs is to connect them to panel-mounted or portable GPS units that we all employ. The connection of the GPS provides precise and instant location information at the first transmission of a 406 signal. This technology is light years ahead of 121.5 capability in it's prime. Yet I'll bet many pilot/owners reading this thread still use 121.5. You are, literally, on your own.

    The FAA in Alaska is decomissioning DF equipment, by the way. Old technology. Another example that triangulation to a signal is inefficient and obsolete.

  20. #20
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    3,293

    Default

    The notion of researching for a book on an internet forum seems pretty far fetched. Good luck with that.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •