Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

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Colonel Sanders
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Colonel Sanders »

The 20th century had Macho Grande:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEQQUXRslgA



The 21st century has the bridge over the Ottawa river.

Personally, I think people who go under bridges at high
speed are VERY BAD PEOPLE:

Image

96 MPH on the GPS.


But, back on topic. I have a dumb question.


How many aircraft accidents occur every year
in Canada, that can be attributed to failed attempts
to fly a floatplane under a bridge?

Am I allowed to ask how big a problem this really is?

From the preceding four pages of hand-wringing
and harrumphing, I get the impression that we
have floatplanes splattered all over bridges in
Canada.

Is that actually the truth? It certainly wasn't
in this case.
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Rockie »

Colonel Sanders wrote:How many aircraft accidents occur every yearin Canada, that can be attributed to failed attemptsto fly a floatplane under a bridge?
Probably the same amount of accidents that occur from failed attempts at juggling chain saws. Do you have a point?
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by CID »

I don't know of any accidents where an aircraft struck a bridge under these circumstances but then again I think most pilots are smart enough to avoid this sort of risk. As far as boats go, it's not very smart to do 100 under a bridge either and there are plenty of examples of this sort of thing going terribly wrong.

http://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/winnipeg-wom ... -1.1946766
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by AirFrame »

Rockie wrote:Are you on the water when you pass under them or airborne?
You asked this about the powerlines on Galiano, but you also seemed to imply earlier that if the river pilot under the bridge was still on the step that this would be okay, but being 10' above the water was not. I'm just curious why 10' difference passing under a 100' gap is an issue? Still 80' above the plane that would have been a heck of a challenge for a Champ on floats to attain even if they were trying...
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by AirFrame »

Colonel Sanders wrote:Personally, I think people who go under bridges at high speed are VERY BAD PEOPLE
Wow, CS, you're flying so low that I can't even see your plane behind the spray from that jet boat.

But that jet boat is still on the step so it's okay for him to pass under the bridge at 100mph. :roll:
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Colonel Sanders »

How many aircraft accidents occur every year in Canada, that can be attributed to failed attempts to fly a floatplane under a bridge?
Probably the same amount of accidents that occur from failed attempts at juggling chain saws. Do you have a point?
Image
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by pdw »

Am I allowed to ask how big the problem really is ?
One of my early instructors flew under a bridge over the Niagara river upside down (was not a floatplane). No one seemed to care back then, except to celebrate the achievement.

A guy I used to worked with running the grape picking equipment around the airport used to watch the approaching aircraft overhead and eventually went and got his license. To celebrate his success on the day of his flight test he flew the piper aircraft under the St Catharines Skyway Bridge ... basically only had to stay low and go left at the Welland Canal on the straight-out departure 24, but it was so close not to stall in pulling up for unexpected light-posts of the parallell Homer Drawbridge below. Only the tower staff saw it, who made sure his license was with-held for one month until it was clear no-one else came forward with a complaint.

If there's no concern for other water-craft to go under the bridge with enough clearance, then seeing the floatplane is a watercraft designed to transition from water to air during take-off ... at least gives it a right to be there. If they'd have kept doing circuits ... ie flying under it again and again ... would be asking for trouble of course.

A take-off during float flying is all about selecting the most suitable take-off path for the moment. The question is also 'which was the safest choice of take-off-run place run for that moment in time' ... with all things considered ?
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Rockie »

AirFrame wrote:
Rockie wrote:Are you on the water when you pass under them or airborne?
You asked this about the powerlines on Galiano, but you also seemed to imply earlier that if the river pilot under the bridge was still on the step that this would be okay, but being 10' above the water was not. I'm just curious why 10' difference passing under a 100' gap is an issue? Still 80' above the plane that would have been a heck of a challenge for a Champ on floats to attain even if they were trying...
If you need me to explain the difference between being on the step and being airborne I will, but you should probably give it some thought yourself first to see if you can come up with the answer.
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Rowdy »

So, being on the step and having considerably less control is acceptable.. but being airborne at 5-10ft with full control is not? Or is this fair-weather float pilot out to lunch?
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Rockie »

Rowdy wrote:So, being on the step and having considerably less control is acceptable.. but being airborne at 5-10ft with full control is not? Or is this fair-weather float pilot out to lunch?
When you're on the step you don't have to worry about hitting the bridge above you nor do you have to worry about hitting the water because you're already on it. You've already solved the drag equation from the floats so now are maneuvering the thing in only two dimensions.

Once you're airborne you are maneuvering in 3 dimensions and now have to worry about the bridge above you and the water below you. Hitting the bridge is bad, hitting the water can be just as bad if you're not thinking about landing and ready for it.

I can't speak for you having less control when you're on the step. Why don't you ask Cat Driver why he would have stayed on the step until past the bridge? I'm sure you don't consider him an out to lunch fair-weather float pilot.
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Cat Driver »

I can't speak for you having less control when you're on the step. Why don't you ask Cat Driver why he would have stayed on the step until past the bridge? I'm sure you don't consider him an out to lunch fair-weather float pilot.
The only reason I would stay on the step going under that bridge is because of where the bridge is.

Actually I would have planned my take off so as to lift off under or just past the bridge for the simple reason that remaining on the step any longer than necessary for the take off opens you to another risk.....hitting something in the water.

This whole conversation really should be about the decision to fly under a bridge inside a city and open your self up to a public hand wringing by people who understand very little about aircraft safety.

The danger from being trashed on a public forum is far greater than the danger of hitting the bridge....which is about as likely as driving into the concrete arch of an over pass on the highway.
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Rockie »

Cat Driver wrote:This whole conversation really should be about the decision to fly under a bridge inside a city and open your self up to a public hand wringing by people who understand very little about aircraft safety.
To a large degree that's exactly what this conversation is about as it addresses judgement - or lack thereof. Flying at 50 feet down a runway is no big deal but flying at 50 feet down the 401 is. There's a time and a place and a little discretion goes a long way if you don't want to be explaining your decision to the authorities.
Cat Driver wrote:The danger from being trashed on a public forum is far greater than the danger of hitting the bridge....which is about as likely as driving into the concrete arch of an over pass on the highway.
If there is a concrete arch able to be hit by a car on an overpass sooner or later someone is going to hit it. That's why they generally put guard rails in place so no one can.

What people have their knickers in a knot over here is the suggestion they would be stupid enough or poor enough pilots to actually hit the bridge. It's the same mentality that dictates everybody else on the road is an idiot except you. If only that were true...
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by GyvAir »

Cat Driver wrote:
I can't speak for you having less control when you're on the step. Why don't you ask Cat Driver why he would have stayed on the step until past the bridge? I'm sure you don't consider him an out to lunch fair-weather float pilot.
The only reason I would stay on the step going under that bridge is because of where the bridge is.

Actually I would have planned my take off so as to lift off under or just past the bridge for the simple reason that remaining on the step any longer than necessary for the take off opens you to another risk.....hitting something in the water.

This whole conversation really should be about the decision to fly under a bridge inside a city and open your self up to a public hand wringing by people who understand very little about aircraft safety.

The danger from being trashed on a public forum is far greater than the danger of hitting the bridge....which is about as likely as driving into the concrete arch of an over pass on the highway.
The sum value of this whole 5 page thread could be nicely replaced by this one post.
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by pdw »

For the mostpart there seems to be a fair amount of support here (Cat driver). I may have been tempted to go under there as well, ... as I see perhaps this pilot's decision may have evolved as the take-off progressed ... when the step portion of the take-off grew lengthier than may have been originally been planned (on account of the low/no wind condition ?).

Some aircraft ... engine temp might also reach an extreme sooner on a warm day when holding it down on the step, seeing as how once it's up off the water it accelerates away considerably (a substantial increase in cooling airflow for any aircraft) for what seems to be an unchanged power setting here. More airspeed at the same power setting is greater engine cooling ... right ?

I recall in landing to sometimes prolong 'staying on the step' by adding power for a high-speed water-taxi which saves some time getting closer to a docking site, ... not so much though when already committed to a take-off.

OK, so here there appears to have been sufficient room even when lifting it off the water, a comfortable spacing achieved above and below the aircraft during passage beneath. Does the Ottawa river level change much at this location ? In the case where there's only a meter or two of clearance above wings when going under a bridge, it's probably even better to idle it down off the step anyway rather than plowing on through .... for what it takes time-wise.
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Colonel Sanders »

Does the Ottawa river level change much at this location?
Oh, pdw, you had me at "variable tailwinds".
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by AirFrame »

Rockie wrote:When you're on the step you don't have to worry about hitting the bridge above you nor do you have to worry about hitting the water because you're already on it.
In the first case, we're talking about a Champ, that's just lifted off the water. There's really no realistic risk of hitting the bridge above you. It has no significant climb performance.

In the second case, hitting the water below you isn't a risk to persons or people on the bridge. It's only a risk to people on the water below you, which is unchanged with the presence or absence of the bridge.

As Cat Driver says, the biggest mistake this pilot made was being seen. And the greatest danger he faced is the whining of people who are jealous that *they* didn't get to fly under a bridge too...
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Colonel Sanders »

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the world:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRWp9rhfS_0


It is greatly embarrassing, what pussies
Canadians have turned into. No shame
about the mangina. None.
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by linecrew »

After reading 5 pages worth of this ridiculous thread, it appears that basically a couple of posters think that this act was reckless. Why? Who knows...perhaps they are weary enough of their own stick and rudder skills that their perception of what is dangerous exceeds that of the others. This comment is not meant to offend but rather an observation. An observation reinforced by the fact that several other aviators in the thread, myself included, seem to support the idea that a competent pilot, given the amount of buffer up, down, left and right of the aircraft as seen in the video, would be able to safely do the same thing.

The biggest issue at hand is the fact that the departure was unfortunately observed by several non-aviation people. Folks, through no fault of their own, with a lack the understanding of just how much control the pilot actually had of his or her craft and whom unfortunately went to the media with a very sensationalized , "the sky is falling" rendition of what they thought they saw. I feel for the pilot as it's likely that TC will take some sort of punitive action due to the highly publicized event...I hope not though.
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Blakey »

A few years back a 185 on floats actually hit the bridge just South of the Arnprior airport. The people on the bridge didn't even notice and the bridge itself did not even require a paint touch-up. The 185 required extensive repair. Rock always beats scissors and bridge beats airplane every time.
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Rockie »

“pilot-in-command”

« commandant de bord »

“pilot-in-command” means, in relation to an aircraft, the pilot having responsibility and authority for the operation and safety of the aircraft during flight time;


From the Aeronautics Act

Flying under the MacDonald-Cartier bridge entails greater physical risk given the confined space above and below than not doing so. I will state flatly that any pilot incapable of seeing that should have their license revoked until such time as they can. As eh3fifty astutely pointed out in a previous post everything is a risk, and in this business more than most others we are expected to manage that risk. So how do we do that?

First we have to determine if a risk is acceptable or unacceptable. There are many factors that go into that and they are capable of changing by the minute. We don't know a lot from viewing this video but here's a couple of factors we can look at:

How many people were at risk by flying under that bridge? We don't know who was on the plane itself, but the pilot accepted the risk on behalf of everybody driving over the bridge while he was flying under it. Had they known the facts it's a sure bet most people on the bridge would vehemently oppose that decision. They did not accept the risk as one could argue if they were willingly at an airshow or some other high speed event like Hedley is wont to compare this to, but if there's a sign leading to the bridge warning motorists about aircraft flying under the bridge feel free to correct me.

A key factor in determining if a risk is acceptable or unacceptable is whether or not it is necessary. It's pretty clear in this case that it was not necessary. The pilot only had to taxi further down the river to ensure he lifted off the water beyond the bridge. Pretty simple.

If a pilot takes a risk that is not necessary and exposes other people to that risk he is acting irresponsibly. It's embarrassing to admit but I've done that myself in my impetuous youth. Given that this risk was unnecessary the pilot in question either did it inadvertently or on purpose. If it was inadvertent he f**ked up and should spend some time reassessing his decision making and knowledge of aircraft performance. If he did it on purpose he deserves a session with TC reviewing CAR 601.01.
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Colonel Sanders »

A few years back a 185 on floats actually hit the bridge just South of the Arnprior airport.

The people on the bridge didn't even notice and the bridge itself did not even require a paint touch-up.
"Give the Governor a Harrumph!"

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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Rockie »

linecrew wrote:Who knows...perhaps they are weary enough of their own stick and rudder skills that their perception of what is dangerous exceeds that of the others.
I knew this quote would come in handy some day....

"Truly superior pilots are those who use their superior judgment to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills."
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Colonel Sanders »

I think you're arguing, Rockie, that you
should stay on the ground. I cannot find
fault with that logic.
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Rockie »

Your reading comprehension skills never disappoint Hedley..
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Re: Ottawa RIver Departure under the Bridge

Post by Colonel Sanders »

Yeah, I'm pretty stupid, compared to you Rockie.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrier_Routing_System
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