CHAPTER 6—Seaplane Operations – Landings


In water landings, the major objectives are to touch down at the lowest speed possible, in the correct pitch attitude, without side drift, and with full control throughout the approach, landing, and transition to taxiing.

The correct pitch attitude at touchdown in a landplane varies between wide limits. For example, wheel landings in an airplane with conventional-gear, require a nearly flat pitch attitude, with virtually zero angle of attack, while a full-stall landing on a short field might call for a nose-high attitude. The touchdown attitude for a seaplane typically is very close to the attitude for taxiing on the step. The nose may be a few degrees higher. The objective is to touch down on the steps, with the sterns of the floats near or touching the water at the same time. [Figure 6-2] If the nose is much higher or lower, the excessive water drag puts unnecessary stress on the floats and struts, and can cause the nose to pitch down, allowing the bows of the floats to dig into the water. Touching down on the step keeps water drag forces to a minimum and allows energy to dissipate more gradually.

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