Part 2 — Planning and Preparation

Objective

To facilitate the student learning:

  • estimating aircraft performance
  • seaplane bases, rules, and aids to marine navigation
  • fuelling the aircraft
  • pre-flight inspection
  • passenger safety briefing
  • starting engine

Motivation

Pilots know that careful planning and preparation is the foundation for a successful flight, whether it is just flying circuits or a long cross-country flight. They must know how to prepare, of course, and they must be in the habit of good preparation.

Estimating Aircraft Performance

Essential Background Knowledge

Compare seaplane performance with landplane performance:

  • lower centre of gravity
  • pendulum effect
  • pronounced yaw during roll and yaw effect due to keel surface
  • longer take-off run
  • more resistance due to the floats
  • float attitude and float drag
  • reduced rate of climb
  • slower cruising speed
  • greater rate of descent
  • possible higher stalling speed compared to landplane

Explain how to assess variables:

  • wind (front, back, from the sides, light and strong)
  • temperature (high and low)
  • air density (pressure, altitude, humidity)
  • surface condition (rough, choppy, calm, swells)
  • water currents
  • tides
  • surface contamination
  • load and centre of gravity
  • obstacles
  • pilot experience
  • apply correct rules
  • correctly identify the proper lift off point before taking off
  • identify the point for rejected take-off
  • wind changes around islands, points, etc.

Instruction and Student Practice

Demonstrate how to assess the variables that affect seaplane performance.

Demonstrate how to calculate seaplane weight and balance.

Demonstrate how to calculate seaplane performance.

Seaplane Bases, Rules, and Aids to Marine Navigation

Essential Background Knowledge

Explain how to locate and identify seaplane bases on charts and in the Water Aerodrome Supplement.

Explain how to identify operating restrictions at various seaplane bases, including areas not covered in the Supplement.

Explain the purpose and identification of marine navigation aids such as buoys, beacons, lights, and sound signals appropriate to aircraft operations.

Explain right-of-way rules pertinent to seaplane operations on the water.

Advice to Instructors

  • If you use 1:50,000 topographical maps in your operations, explain how to use them.
  • Marine navigation aids are a study in themselves so limit the training to those aids that most apply to seaplane operations.

Instruction and Student Practice

Demonstrate and have the student practise using charts and the Water Aerodrome Supplement.

Demonstrate and have the student practise seaplane operations in situations where some knowledge of marine navigation aids is required.

Fuelling the Aircraft

Essential Background Knowledge

Explain that if the aircraft is sitting in the water, a ground cable is not necessary, due to the excellent conductivity of water.

Explain that if the aircraft is amphibious and is on land, or is sitting on a dolly, the aircraft must be properly grounded.

Explain how to record when and how much fuel was put in the aircraft.

Advice to Instructors

  • Use only appropriate equipment, i.e. fuel pump with filter, felts, chamois, micro screen
  • Avoid using plastic or teflon due to possibility of static
  • When using a pump, always leave a space in between the bottom of the barrel and the metal pipe.
  • If using a felt, do not hit or twist because this would break the fibres, which could in turn block the carburettor screen or injector.
  • Always use the same side of either felt or shammy.
  • If possible, use aluminum funnels equipped with micro screen.
  • Always store this equipment in a clean and well-ventilated place.
  • Point out that recording fuel put in the aircraft can be helpful if subsequent search and rescue is needed — helps define the search area.

Instruction and Student Practice

Demonstrate and have the student practise fuelling the aircraft.

Pre-Flight Inspection

Essential Background Knowledge

Explain float terminology

  • deck
  • bulkheads
  • mooring cleat
  • keel
  • bumper
  • chine
  • skeg
  • step
  • bilge pump opening
  • water rudder and control cables
  • spreader bar
  • bracing wire
  • V-brace
  • splash guards
  • propeller track danger marks
  • ladder (some types)
  • anchor storage (some types)
  • dorsal fin, sea fin, ventral fin

Explain how to use aircraft manual for normal inspection.

Explain how to turn the aircraft around to accomplish a complete inspection.

Explain that in certain situations it may not be possible to do a full inspection of the aircraft due to its position at the dock.

Explain and demonstrate proper use of the equipment in the seaplane:

  • float pump, spare pump hole balls
  • inflatable safety vest
  • rope
  • appropriate survival kit and first aid kit
  • axe, saw, funnel, felt
  • aircraft documents & proper maps
  • paddles
  • anchor

Explain how to check the general condition of the float undercarriage.

Explain how to check for water and to pump each compartment of the float.

Explain how to check all cables and pullies.

Explain how to check water rudder (freedom of movement left to right in relation to aircraft rudder, and up and down).

Explain how to check all lift struts and spreader bars.

Explain how to check that ropes are fastened to floats and not tangled in water rudder cables.

Advice to Instructors

  • Check the pump operation and all drain parts on each compartment for proper function. For example, a pump operation that takes air, cracks on the float funnels, hose disconnect in the compartment.
  • To have the student visualize the aircraft level.
  • Since certain parts of the aircraft are not necessarily accessible for a pre-flight inspection (outside wing or tail section) have student rotate the aircraft from the dock when possible.
  • Encourage student to wear inflatable safety vest.
  • A glance at the heels of the floats can give an indication of possible leakage.
  • A light hop on the back of the float checks the float fittings for condition.
  • Check where floats sit in the water when the aircraft is empty and floats pumped.

Instruction and Student Practice

Demonstrate how to carry out a pre-flight inspection, including

  • determination of fuel and oil for intended flight
  • security of fuel and oil tank caps
  • rotating the aircraft to inspect both sides

Have the student practise pre-flight inspections.

Passenger Safety Briefing

Essential Background Knowledge

Explain how to conduct a passenger safety briefing:

  • Boarding and leaving
    • approaching the seaplane
    • dock surface
    • steps for boarding and leaving
    • float surface, enter and exit
    • danger from the propeller
    • never walk ahead of the strut
    • position in the seaplane.
    • seat adjustment, if possible

  • Safety equipment
    • inflatable safety vest
    • ELT
    • fire extinguisher
    • safety harnesses
    • first aid kit
    • survival kit

  • Passenger comfort
    • passenger position in the seaplane
    • seat adjustment if possible
    • safety harness adjustment
    • smoking

  • Emergency egress

Advice to instructors

  • Point out the location and use of all safety equipment that the aircraft offers rather than emphasizing the possibility of an accident.

Instruction and Student Practice

Demonstrate and have the student practise passenger safety briefings.

Starting Engine

Essential Background Knowledge

Explain the importance of positioning the seaplane to avoid creating hazards.

Explain how to ensure a suitable taxi route is available after start.

Explain how to set the engine controls (before seaplane is untied).

Explain how to control seaplane movement after start.

Explain how to avoid excessive engine RPM and temperatures.

Advice to instructors

  • Once a seaplane is untied, it's at the mercy of the wind and current. It's important to get going quickly so the plane doesn't drift into trouble.
  • The student should know how to move the aircraft around the dock by hand and how to use the wind to help. This is an excellent time to introduce efficient use of dock space and how to rearrange all the aircraft.
  • Have the students try different departure angles using both sides of the aircraft. Ensure that they try to depart with the dockside float against the dock, making the turn away difficult. Use a dock with some float protection or "bumpers".

Instruction and Student Practice

Demonstrate and have the student practise starting the engine.

Completion Standards

Aircraft Performance

The student shall be able to determine seaplane performance and limitations including:

  • using available and appropriate performance charts, tables, and data
  • computing weight and balance to ensure that weight and centre of gravity will be within limits during all phases of flight
  • calculating seaplane performance, considering density altitude, wind, and other pertinent conditions
  • describing the effect of atmospheric conditions on seaplane performance
  • making a competent decision on whether the required performance is within the operating limitations of the seaplane

Seaplane Bases, Rules, and Aids to Marine Navigation

The student shall be able to:

  • locate and identify seaplane bases on charts and in the Water Aerodrome Supplement
  • identify operating restrictions at various seaplane bases
  • explain the purpose and identification of marine navigation aids such as buoys, beacons, lights, and sound signals
  • explain right-of-way rules pertinent to seaplane operation on the water
  • generally confirm suitability of landing area visually

Pre-flight Inspection

The student shall be able to inspect the seaplane by following a checklist including:

  • fuel quantity, grade, and type
  • fuel contamination safeguards
  • oil quantity, grade, and type
  • fuel, oil, and hydraulic leaks
  • flight controls and water rudders
  • structural damage
  • float or hull inspection, including water removal
  • ice and frost removal
  • tie down and control lock removal
  • security of baggage, cargo, and equipment

Passenger Safety Briefing

The student shall be able to brief passengers including instructions for:

  • boarding and leaving
  • passenger comfort
  • the location and use of emergency exits, emergency locator transmitter, fire extinguisher
  • smoking limitations
  • use of seat belts
  • items specific to the aeroplane type being used
  • action to take in the event of an emergency landing
  • other items for use in an emergency

Starting Engine

The student shall be able to:

  • position the seaplane to avoid creating hazards
  • ensure a suitable taxi route
  • determine that the area is clear
  • adjust the engine controls
  • control seaplane movement after engine start
  • avoid excessive engine RPM and temperatures
  • check engine instruments after engine starts

Fuelling the Aircraft

The student shall be able to:

  • use appropriate equipment
  • identify the proper fuel grade and type
  • filter the fuel, as necessary
  • store equipment
  • record when and how much fuel put in aircraft
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