CHAPTER 8—Emergency Open Sea Operations


When surface visibilities are near zero, the pilot has no alternative but to fly the seaplane onto the water by instruments. A landing heading can be estimated from forecasts prior to departure, broadcast sea conditions, or reports from ships in the area. Obtain the latest local altimeter setting to minimize the possibility of altitude errors during the approach.

Due to the high possibility of damage or capsizing upon landing, be sure all occupants have life vests on and secure all loose items prior to touchdown. Remove liferafts and survival equipment from their storage containers and give them to those occupants closest to the exits. Prior to the landing pattern, unlatch doors to prevent jamming caused by airframe distortion from a hard landing. If time permits, transmit a distress call and activate the emergency locator transmitter.

After choosing a landing heading, establish a final approach with power and set up for a glassy water landing. Establish a rate of descent of 200 f.p.m. and maintain airspeed 10 to 20 percent above stall speed with flaps down. Establish the landing attitude by referring to the instruments. Maintain this approach until the seaplane makes contact with the water, or until visual contact is established.

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