CHAPTER 4—Seaplane Operations – Preflight and Takeoffs


In light winds, it is easy to counteract the weathervaning tendency during the early part of the takeoff run by creating an allowance for it from the beginning. Prior to adding takeoff power, use the water rudders to set up a heading somewhat downwind of the aim point. The angle will depend on the speed of the wind—the higher the wind, the greater the lead angle. Create just enough of a lead angle so that when the water rudders are raised and power is applied, the seaplane weathervanes to the desired heading during the time it gains enough speed to make the air rudder and ailerons effective. As the seaplane transitions to the plowing attitude, the weathervaning tendency decreases as the fronts of the floats come out of the water, adding vertical surface area at the front of the seaplane. Use full aileron into the wind as the takeoff run begins, and maintain enough aileron to keep the upwind wing from lifting as airspeed builds. [Figure 4-15 on previous page]

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