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Thread: Metlakatla Beaver accident

  1. #1
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    Default Metlakatla Beaver accident


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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Quartering tail wind.
    Taquan hired him ( former lower 48 skydiver and banner tow pilot) with only 5 hours of float time. I give twice that amount for float ratings and worry it is not enough.
    I am sure he probably gained another 10 or maybe 20 hours before they turned him loose. But come on....
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    My thoughts exactly. Why not take the time to land into the wind? At touchdown, picture shows neutral elevators, flat landing... Probably on the forward edge of the C.G. with a light load.

  4. #4

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    I am absolutely amazed that they let him fly passengers with that little experience.
    The report says he had cargo. Unless he really loaded everything forward the CG should not have been to bad.
    We used to deliberately load a little aft if it was a small light load. Helps the airplane rock back quicker and then up on the step.

  5. #5
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    Unhappy

    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    Quartering tail wind.
    Taquan hired him ( former lower 48 skydiver and banner tow pilot) with only 5 hours of float time. I give twice that amount for float ratings and worry it is not enough.
    I am sure he probably gained another 10 or maybe 20 hours before they turned him loose. But come on....
    My wife told me about the float time and I immediately offered the view that the 5 hours had to be with the Operator and not total float time....

    Just as a query, is it really that hard to find Alaska-experienced pilots to work at for the 135 operators?
    Back in AK

  6. #6

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    Yes, very difficult to find experienced pilots willing to work for low pay and poor schedules

  7. #7
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    pa12drvr

    That 5 hours is how many TOTAL SEAPLANE hours he had when he was hired this spring. I assume and hope that the company gave him a bunch more hours over the 20 days before he killed himself and a nurse. The FAA report did not mention that...
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearsnack View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pa12drvr View Post
    Just as a query, is it really that hard to find Alaska-experienced pilots to work at for the 135 operators?
    Yes, very difficult to find experienced pilots willing to work for low pay and poor schedules
    Over the past 20+years here, as a function of my job I've crossed paths with a whole lot of part 91 and part 135 mosquito fleet pilots, and a VERY large percentage of them are L-48 guys with low hours trying to build time in hopes of working toward a gig that pays more than peanuts...
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    I am a newbie to aviation in general, and know zilch about float or Alaska flying..so, this may be a dumb question. The photos show the plane pretty much flat and a few inches above the water at most..so, how did he manage to get the right wing in the drink when the landing was all but made?? Hard right aileron for unknown reasons? Right pontoon went in hard/deep and caused it? I am having a hard time visualizing it..I am sure you guys with float ratings have a better understanding than I.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by WannaBfromSC View Post
    I am a newbie to aviation in general, and know zilch about float or Alaska flying..so, this may be a dumb question. The photos show the plane pretty much flat and a few inches above the water at most..so, how did he manage to get the right wing in the drink when the landing was all but made?? Hard right aileron for unknown reasons? Right pontoon went in hard/deep and caused it? I am having a hard time visualizing it..I am sure you guys with float ratings have a better understanding than I.
    would pushing the yoke forward bury the nose of the floats in bad enough to flip the plane? i wonder if he had a major brain fart and did just that. are there any underwater hazards in that lake?

  11. #11

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    the more i thought about my response the more i realized he more than likely misread the wind and landed with a tailwind. i wasn't able to tell wind direction from the pictures, other than being able to see whitecaps that seem to be facing the same direction he's landing.

  12. #12
    Member stid2677's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WannaBfromSC View Post
    I am a newbie to aviation in general, and know zilch about float or Alaska flying..so, this may be a dumb question. The photos show the plane pretty much flat and a few inches above the water at most..so, how did he manage to get the right wing in the drink when the landing was all but made?? Hard right aileron for unknown reasons? Right pontoon went in hard/deep and caused it? I am having a hard time visualizing it..I am sure you guys with float ratings have a better understanding than I.
    He could have landed too fast,, exceeded hull speed of the floats, yawed hard and water looped it.

    Kind of like this.....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzPSjBPAlMQ
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

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    Quote Originally Posted by stid2677 View Post
    He could have landed too fast,, exceeded hull speed of the floats, yawed hard and water looped it.

    Kind of like this.....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EzPSjBPAlMQ

    Man, that is pretty scary there..guess the stakes are definitely higher on making a good water landing..you can get away with a certain amount of sloppiness on pavement, not that it is something to be complacent with, but won't trap you submerged.

  14. #14

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    The Beaver is just like any other airplane. You can land with some tailwind. When the photos came out I thought the same thing.....looks like the accident on the movie "Motherload" with Charleton Heston.
    One characteristic of the 4930 floats, I dont know about Aerocet..... after touchdown you can push the yoke forward almost to the stop to slow the aircraft down

  15. #15

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    First thing comes to mind when I first landed in Metlakatla bay in a beaver flying for temsco 1988,1989 the ocean has swells high and low even when it appears to be calm boat wakes can also move long distances so that being said land flat in the wrong spot can catch a float tip drawing one side and then a wing tip and the rest is history. 7,000 pluse flight hours in bristol bay 1990 through 2004 i have to say it is sad to see so meany people lose there live to the hands of the dam bunny on the sticks. I lose a very good friend to someone guy landing a c-185 Amphibious in Prince William Sound with gear down there is no excuse what so ever.

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