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  • Donald Walker
    replied
    Ditching

    [quote=Reggie Bender]

    Pete made a great point about being able to dump fuel;

    That in itself should justify carrying fuel in a container on the back seat :&gt
    Donald

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  • Bob Hood
    replied
    Ditching

    Kev, et al,

    I can't remember if I ever got round to posting it before, but it struck me that a removable framework of tubes that you strap or bolt to the undercart of your trike before flying over water might be a good idea. The framework would be in the shape of a two runged ladder with the two longerons going forward to aft. Each longeron would have a big airbag attached that would be folded and tied to the tube so as to minimise drag, but which could be inflated on the water, so if the plane ditched the airbags would inflate and keep the aircraft on the surface. It could then be towed away rather than sunk by the coastguard, and would ensure that the occupants were not in the water but in the plane when rescued. Being removable would mean there could be a stock of them kept at Headcorn for hiring out to channel hopping aircraft for a fee plus a refundable deposit.

    Most trikes have pretty standard wheelbase and width dimensions, and most 3 axis tricycle undercart planes fall within a foot of each other for width and wheelbase, so making up a fitting kit would be fairly simple. The unweildy size and shape would be more than made up for by the peace of mind, and the weight and drag shouldn't be prohibitive if properly thought out. After all, as there are inflatable boat type flexwings flying already a floatplane type trike wouldn't be too odd.

    Just a thought,

    Best regards,

    Bob Hood.

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  • Kevin Armstrong
    replied
    Ditching

    Lots of (almost too much) good info on the various suits and survival stuff.

    Pete made a great point about being able to dump fuel; this sounds most useful when pootling along with a tank somewhere near the required volume to keep an aircraft afloat. Amusing to note that if Chris Draper's SLA executive could dump it's 100 litre fuel capacity before ditching, the aircraft would probably float forever. Even a Quik might too. Another thought is that for years we all bimbled over hard terra with two-strokes, far more likely than a 912 to die on you, yet never thought of being able to unload all that flammable gas.

    Dumping that volume of RON would take a minute or two, my Quik sinks at an horrific rate with engine off, less so with electric trim on full slow, but still only five minutes to chuck the unused mogas from say, 3,000'.The only way I can think of doing this really simply and without weight would be a big primer bulb and a pipe over the side, it's got to shift 13 litres/3 gallons per minute to work, but discussion seems to beget invention so often by lateral thinking.

    So that won't work, but this would:-

    Bro in law once supplied a carbon-fibre fireman's air tank to fill my Weirauch gas-charged gun; this is about 2,260litres, and the size of a diving bottle, bit too large that. He advises that an ARCO 400 litre carbon-fibre lightweight air bottle is light and small enough to strap to your leg. about 100-150 litres would float you and any microlight you care to name, provided it had something bag-like to fill, securely strapped into the airframe. He also sells reconditioned ones. Bet Jeremy knows the RIB manufacturer to make the bladder; this'd make a great added value accessory for those who want something on top of the BRS....

    Kev

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  • Donald Walker
    replied
    Ditching

    Peter,

    Why are you using up bandwidth unnecessarily? We have seen the picture of that Allegro dozens of times now.

    Donald

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    Actually, Pete, it is not unheard of that people injure themselves badly on the tailplane when parachute jumping. The slipstream can be a real problem.

    Paul

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    Wouldn't it be a bugger that after throwing youself out, a windmilling engine coughed into life again a flew away from you into the distance!!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    Peter Kelsey wrote:
    For a start the tailplane is highly likely to knock you out or smash your legs as it will still be moving forward at 30mph.
    I guess you have never watched people exit a parachute jump ship.

    Its a commonly held misconception that you will suddenly stop, like some Bugs Bunny cartoon character, and the aircraft will hit you.

    They are travelling at the same speed as the aircraft and so drop away from it like a stone.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    Yes Rick, I agree with all of that.

    The Fladen is a very good winter flying suit and is certified for 1.5 hours in water temps of 5degC, which is colder than the Channel gets in winter.

    I think Rick's comment about escape from a cockpit with a buoyant suit on is an issue. It could be an issue escaping from a trike too, but I suspect without resurrecting other debates I'm sure you have more chance of a simple exit from a trike.

    For the same reasons, self inflating life jackets should never be worn.

    Rick Goddin CMAe wrote: Peter and others

    Google Fladen and you should find it.

    I'm not sure about the benefits of a Fladen. It has in built buoyancy all over which could be a problem in a sinking enclosed aircraft. Also, it is not watertight nor is it meant to be. The zips let water in and the ankles are not sealed, so water can flow in and out of the suit. I imagine this is to prevent air gathering in the legs but, in any event, it would need to be worn with a lifejacket to ensure correct flotation. It is meant to offer some thermal protection, like a wet suit, with a relatively slow passage of water in and out - from memory the labelling suggests that it would give over an hour of additional protection at southern North Sea temperatures. It's mainly designed for trawlermen falling overboard etc and therefore not likely to be in the drink for too long.

    If I was a flex wing pilot I would however wear one as they are just as effective if not more so than an Ozee suit - I think Pete Croney would say the same, are you available for comment Pete? In a fixed wing there is a risk that the positive buoyancy of the suit could trap you inside the aircraft (same as inflating a life jacket before you are clear) so I would personally not wear one inside an enclosed cabin. It is also much bulkier than the Crewsaver type of suit - twice the bulk I would hazard a guess.

    Rick

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    Ginge's statement on fitting flotation gear (air matresses) inside the wings seems a good idea. Perhaps mattresses would be a bit heavy and cumbersome to fit but how about those polythene bags filled with air thingies that you get in your "Screwfix" packageing to fill out the box - you know the ones that you need two hands to burst - and they take a fair pressure to do so, well they are very light and it would not take too many packed into the wing void (providing they don't interfere with control mechanisms) to keep you afloat.
    On the actual ditching - for the X'air, I would undo the seat harness and roll out of the thing head first, about ten feet or so from the surface. Hitting the water at just over 30mph would be no worse than falling off a pair of water skis.

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  • Donald Walker
    replied
    Ditching

    jonkil wrote:
    SO TO SUMMARISE
    (1) Wear a Drysuit, the type Rick has suggested
    (2) Wear a lifejacket
    (3) Call a May-day
    (4) Carry a PLB
    (5) Carry a Dye kit to paint the sea florocent green

    And pray to whoever hell your maker is that it doesnt happen to you.

    + know where you are. Lat - Long on the GPS and fly a straight line between coasting out and coasting in waypoints. If you file a flight plan Dover Mast DCT Cap Gris Nez, fly it accurately, so that you can tell them you are "5.6 miles from Cap Gris Nez".

    The rescue helicopter for the shortest Channel crossing is based at Le Touquet, so get used to the smell of garlic and Galloise, as the winchman is going to get close and personal.

    Donald

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    [3]SO TO SUMMARISE [/3]
    (1) Wear a Drysuit, the type Rick has suggested
    (2) Wear a lifejacket
    (3) Call a May-day
    (4) Carry a PLB
    (5) Carry a Dye kit to paint the sea florocent green

    And pray to whoever hell your maker is that it doesnt happen to you.

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  • Nick Axworthy
    replied
    Ditching

    [2]
    Remembering from my scuba diving days membrane dry suits ie the thin nylon type req a very good woolly bear suit under the suit to keep you warm without they are no good in cold water, the type we used had built in rubber boots,

    The latex neck and wrist seals are a the weak part so the suit needs to be stored out of sunlight, a pair of neoprene diving gloves and bright yellow divers hood (stand out well to the chopper guys) my be worth thinking about as well, lots of heat lost there, thinking about it the downside of just a suit, not as easly seen from the air as a dingy

    Nick Axworthy.
    [/2]

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  • Bob Hood
    replied
    Ditching

    Hello all,

    Sorry to go off-subject, but to answer Peter's question about our airfield, the PPR has been on top of the club container for about 2 years. You shouldn't approach from the South, as that way lies the Elstree zone. It is also our no-fly zone, as we don't want to upset the locals in Shenley or surrounds. Our circuits are all to the North. Left hand for 05 and right hand for 23, both stay just to the North of the M25 and overfly the superstore. Our circuit height is 800ft so as not to upset the people who live next to the museum, (they complain!) and when climbing out on 05 we tend to head slightly to the right to give the museum a wide berth. That way we also avoid overflying the modeller's field just the other side of the motorway.

    Best regards,

    Bob Hood.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    Rick Hi!
    Thanks for the information regarding Survival Equipment. Very useful.
    Regards
    Gerry

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Ditching

    Rick,
    can you give us an on-line contact for the breathable suits ?

    Also, advice on ELT's would be appreciated... recommendation's, ones to buy, ones not to buy ?

    Jon

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