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Old 04-02-2009, 06:10 PM   #21
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RE: Anchoring Kills

Isn't a complete understanding of the system on which your life depends the first step in a GOOD decision chain?* Admittedly, as the systems get more and more complex (e.g. commercial aircraft) there is a limit to how much you can know and understand.* I can't speak from personal experience with commercial aircraft (although I have a brother who flies for NWA).* I would be really surprised to find a pervasive culture of Switch Flippers.* There appears to be a fair amount of systems level knowledge....that's the kind of thing that allows a pilot to make a survivable ditch in the Hudson, for example, even though I doubt he knows how to properly service the APU.*
However, for a boat of the type we generally consider on this forum you SHOULD be able to understand how it all works and at least have the ability to perform basic user level maintenance and simple repairs.* The farther you go off shore, the more complete your knowledge base needs to be....if you are still interested in a reasonable chance of returning to port....
At its root, however, life is uncertain and occasionally dangerous.* All you can do is the best you can do and enjoy the ride.* A careful examination of the situations in which you find yourself should help you keep the "gambling" to a minimum!
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:26 PM   #22
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Anchoring Kills

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Yorksafloat wrote:

Isn't a complete understanding of the system on which your life depends the first step in a GOOD decision chain?* Admittedly, as the systems get more and more complex (e.g. commercial aircraft) there is a limit to how much you can know and understand.... I would be really surprised to find a pervasive culture of Switch Flippers......

However, for a boat of the type we generally consider on this forum you SHOULD be able to understand how it all works and at least have the ability to perform basic user level maintenance and simple repairs.

With regards to your first point, you are correct.* And an assumption that today's pilots (or operators of any complex piece of equipment) are little more than switch-flippers is totally wrong.* While the airplane I fly has precious few switches to flip, I am around the flight crews of 777s, 747s, and (in the simulators) 787s a fair amount of time.*

These men and women are astonishing in their knowledge of the airplane's systems.* Yes, they don't know how to change an APU, but they know every operational aspect of that APU, how it fits into the overall aircraft system picture, and how to deal with it if it goes haywire or how to use it to solve some other power problem.* Same thing for every other system on the plane.* Anyone who thinks the job is mere "switch flipping" has not been*on today's flight decks or watched a flight crew at work.* The 787 is scary (to me) because there's so little that is intuitively*recognizable to a "stick and rudder" pilot like myself.* Particularly the flight management system with its touch pad controls and multiple layers of menus and functions.

Today's pilots not only have to understand the airplane's physical*systems, they have to understand some very complex computer control systems as well.* And the remarkable thing is.... they do.* It's the difference between today's kids who can play incredibly compex computer games on an interactive, on-line*basis with a kid in Europe and yesterday's kids who thought Pong was the ultimate in electronic gaming.

As to your second point, I think you're right on there, too.* I have seen on a number of occasions the owners of*boats--- usually large and expensive-- be totally flummuxed when they turned on a sink tap and nothing came out.* They didn't have a clue how the*fresh water*gets to the sink.* Thise folks are mechanics' dreams.* It's okay if the problem is minor or if they're near a yard or port where they can hire someone to fix the problem.

But they are totally at sea (literally) if a serious problem should crop up away from the hired help.* Run a tank dry and starve an engine (or worse, THE engine)*and these folks don't have a clue how to bleed the fuel system.* So instead of knowing how to get the engine going in ten or fifteen minutes, they come home on the end of a rope to the tune of a huge bill.

We do as much of our own work on our boat as we can.* Stuff like setting valve clearances, installing new exhaust systems and engine mounts we leave to the pros.* Not because I don't understand the theory of these tasks---- I do most of my own work on our vehicles including setting valve clearances and*removing an engine to have it rebuilt--- but because these jobs on a boat require time that I don't have, and experience that I don't have, and often tools that I don't have.* And the consequences for doing it wrong on a diesel boat can be REALLY expensive.

But everything else my wife and I do ourselves, from rebuilding toilets, to rebuilding the supports for and installing a new water heater, to installing a new radar system.* We do this partly to make boating more affordable, partly because we like the challenge, and partly because we enjoy the work.* But in the process, we learn how everything works on the boat. So when something stops working--- a common enough occurance on a machine that sits in salt water---- we know how it's supposed to work and so can do whatever is necessary to fix or replace it.* Or figure out a work-around until we can fix or replace it.
-- Edited by Marin on Thursday 2nd of April 2009 07:28:14 PM
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Old 04-03-2009, 04:20 AM   #23
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RE: Anchoring Kills

"There appears to be a fair amount of systems level knowledge....that's the kind of thing that allows a pilot to make a survivable ditch in the Hudson,"

For most any aircraft , engine(s) out

Lower the nose to maintain flight

Ditch into the wind and across wave patterns if you can (ocean sized waves)

Ditch with proper air speed and pitch attitude .

Don't think that has changed since by planes flew off the Langley,and I sure don't see any systems knowledge required.

Basic airmanship is about all.
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Old 04-03-2009, 11:12 AM   #24
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RE: Anchoring Kills

FF - For most of the points in this thread I think we are in violent agreement!* On the issue of commercial pilots and their skills, I think we may have to politely "agree to disagree."* If I'm in my Cessna and the weedwhacker stops then it's all about basic airmanship.* If someone is piloting a commercial airliner over an urban area with 150 very interested "spectators" behind him and thousands more on the ground and the engines stop, well I tend to think it's a bit more complicated than just lowering the nose.*
It's like comparing professional football to a pick up game in your backyard.
Getting back to the original thread, my primary point was not a discussion of commercial pilot skills but rather a simple statement that it's not worth your life to save an anchor (or any other bit of boating equipment).* We all know that in the heat of the moment, you tend to revert to training.* In that case, spend some quality time "training" yourself on how to handle as many of the reasonably foreseeable events as you can.* Learn from your mistakes - and from other's mistakes.* Plan, plan, plan.* And above all, THINK!
Common sense seems to not be all that common.* Since it can save your life, it's a good idea for all of us to at least make the effort to develop some common sense skills and habits.
Oh...it's also important to remember that we do this for FUN!
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Old 04-03-2009, 01:41 PM   #25
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RE: Anchoring Kills

Quote:
FF wrote:

Ditch into the wind and across wave patterns if you can (ocean sized waves)

*I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you meant ditching along the length of the waves, not at right angles to them (into or down them).* As a longtime seaplane pilot, I can tell you that landing into even very small waves can beat the crap out of a plane.* Landing into or down ocean swells can easily destroy it and the people inside.
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Old 04-03-2009, 02:18 PM   #26
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RE: Anchoring Kills

"across wave patterns if you can (ocean sized waves)"

ditching along the length of the waves,


Better verbiage , all VP pilots were taught about ditching , over and over.

Most interesting one of out guys was on a GCA into Navy Jax , that flew him right into the water .

Cost DMA a pile of aluminum , but not a crew member has a scratch , those were tough birds.

Will be interesting to see how the 737 does in the same splash landing.

If you fly over enough water long enough , eventually the raft will be required.


"If someone is piloting a commercial airliner over an urban area with 150 very interested "spectators" behind him and thousands more on the ground and the engines stop, well I tend to think it's a bit more complicated than just lowering the nose."

It is , you need to watch the airspeed , rate of descent and pick a smooth spot.

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