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Thread: Single-engine over the Bering illegal?

  1. #1
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    Default Single-engine over the Bering illegal?

    A non-pilot friend told me that he was a passenger in a Cessna 180 following the Iditarod, and that the pilot told him it was "illegal" to fly single-engine over the Bering Sea.

    Is this true, or was the pilot exaggerating? I have no dfifficulty flying s/e out over the Atlantic offshore, but then the Atlantic ain't the Bering...

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    Not true. The next time someone tells you something like that ask where you can find it in the regs. However it falls into the category of legal but not very safe.

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    Member akaviator's Avatar
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    It was probably loose terminology. If it was a part 135 flight, he'd have to be within gliding distance of land. Or if he had any common sense.

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    I flew from St. Paul to Dutch Harbor one time. But, it was in a twin engine turbine helicopter with a crew of three and pretty advanced avionics (for the time). Along with a C-130 flying high cover. Needless to say that was still a pretty lonely flight and the pucker factor, although not extremly high, was certainly more than normal.

    Why would one even want to fly in the Bering in a single engine aircraft?
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    Yes, it would have been a 135 flight. My friend was a journalist covering the Iditarod, so he was a paying passenger (one of two, in fact).

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Illegal in aviation is not quite the same as what most consider illegal. Rarely to people go to jail for FAR violations.
    Your apparently a pilot, step. Are familiar with the regs on single engine over water? I believe there should be something in part 91 concerning that. A 180 for hire would fall under part 135, so you might research that as well.
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    Part 135.183 states that "No person may operate a land aircraft carrying passengers over water unless at an altitude that allows it to reach land in the case of engine failure."

    Part 135 and 121
    operations over water must be within gliding distance to shore when operating single engine. There are also rules about flotation equipment.

    Part 91.205, which deals with equipment requirements, and specifies that "if the aircraft is operated for hire over water, and beyond power-off gliding distance from shore, approved flotation gear [must be] readily available to each occupant

    I believe there is also a change for seaplanes operating over water, although if you ever watch the video of the waves tearing that Beaver apart a couple years ago, you would reconsider thinking it is safe.

    Plus there are rules and company rules about single engine IFR 135 /121 flights.
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    . . . . . or if he was carrying the required flotation equipment (raft, food, etc.) . . .

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Since the jounalist was covering the Iditarod, I assume it was during the late winter months....Big chucks of ice, pack ice, bad weather and generally a bad time...
    SO the pilot showed very good judgment in not heading out over the Bearing Sea in a single engine.
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    Member RocketRick's Avatar
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    What about fish spotters and F&G. They were flying all over Bristol Bay last year when I crewed on a drift netter. Not sure they do it over the Bering tho.

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    Because fish spotters, the moose and goose guys and most other folks are not hauling paying passengers under the rules of part 135.
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