Floatplane Crash Upside Down

Lesson Three - Why Didn't I Die? Know Thy Emergency Procedures by Heart

Thanks to you though — Yes, thanks to each of you, during the past 30+ years as an instructor and pilot examiner I’ve practiced hundreds of power-off landings. When “IT” happened, I flew the airplane down just like I had imagined a thousand times whenever I flew over strange territory and thought of what would I do if…? I just never imagined a burnt forest. Because of my practice, neither my passenger nor I sustained any significant injuries. I do have a very sore neck and back, but they are getting better quickly. The C-206 was rolled up in a ball.

Bob Hoover, renowned aerobatic and test pilot, says, “If you’re faced with a forced landing, fly the thing as far into the crash as possible.”

While I was landing my plane among the blackened trees, we started breaking the tops of the trees, severely banging the leading edges. My thoughts were: “How I am going to fix the wing.” Then the left wing hit a large tree which slewed us sideways, breaking the floats, and we rolled over.

The C-206 had been perfectly maintained. Just 20 hours prior to this engine failure the A/C had a very thorough inspection, including borescope, engine oil analysis, compression check, etc. A very thorough disassembly of the engine and propeller by the NTSB has not been able to come up with a reason the engine failed so severely.

What is the moral to this event? Sh..t happens! So be prepared.

However, as I have often said in my classes,

“You do not rise to the occasion. You rise to your level of training and practice.”

So my New Year’s greeting is: Train for the emergency.

Know, like you know 2 x 2 = 4, your speeds & emergency procedures for the aircraft you are flying.

Be prepared, then you too, with a lot of luck, will survive.

See you on the water.