Stuck widgeon

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Stuck widgeon

Postby mdwflyer » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:09 am

What is the story behind this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjqIl3sjkwc
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Re: Stuck widgeon

Postby MrWidgeon » Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:52 am

That was N79906 (1327) back in the mid 80s IIRC.
It was then owned by Mike Mills and I've heard a couple reasons why he was stuck up there, fuel and/or bad weather.
It wasn't mechanical, the props had been feathered prior to shut down to cycle the oil out of them and back into the system.
At any rate he landed it on the glacier and came back for it a few days later after the storm had passed, this was the recovery.
It was flown off without any damage and he used it for some time before he had it completely rebuilt in WA State.
Mike flew it for several more years before selling it to another operator in Alaska, it's now registered in Canada as C-FBCP.

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Re: Stuck widgeon

Postby MrWidgeon » Sun Dec 08, 2013 8:32 am

I said I had an old news photo of it somewhere and I finally found it.
Not of the highest quality and the fold runs right through the middle of the image, but such as it is ......

Image

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Re: Stuck widgeon

Postby Rajay » Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:18 am

mdwflyer wrote:What is the story behind this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjqIl3sjkwc

Video no longer available! I guess the rest of us missed out.... :cry:
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Re: Stuck widgeon

Postby MrWidgeon » Tue Dec 10, 2013 8:35 am

Well THAT sucks, sorry.

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Re: Stuck widgeon

Postby mdwflyer » Tue Dec 10, 2013 6:04 pm

It was very similar to the goose on the frozen lake video.
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Re: Stuck widgeon

Postby mdwflyer » Sat Apr 05, 2014 4:07 pm

Longer version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzRyfVVU8Mk

How many guys can say the snowboarded off a widgeon float on a glacier??
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Re: Stuck widgeon

Postby Rajay » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:41 pm

There's got to be more to the story...

The newspaper caption for the photo that Bill posted says two things that are generally incompatible:
1) the engines "failed"
2) the plane was "undamaged"

Generally speaking, when airplanes make forced "belly" landings, they are usually damaged from that too, but a flying boat landing on snow on its belly - I'm sure that it was OK. Maybe the engines did not so much "fail" as just "quit" due to lack of fuel? Sure doesn't sound like they did anything major like swap out the engines prior to flying it out of there...
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Re: Stuck widgeon

Postby MrWidgeon » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:07 pm

Headwinds caused them to run out of gas, the props were feathered to stretch the glide.
When the snow depth is unknown it's usually better to land with the gear up and not take a chance on a flip.
Even if there isn't much snow, your chances are better gear up.

Note that the left float was not damaged in the landing, but while getting the airplane out of the hole.
All in all they did a good job in everything but fuel management (and knocking that float off).

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Re: Stuck widgeon

Postby Rajay » Wed Apr 09, 2014 1:39 pm

I was wondering - surely that dark spot in the newspaper photo underneath the left engine (on the right side of the photo) and adjacent to the gear well is NOT actually the LMG wheel halfway retracted (or extended as the case may be....) The resolution of any newpaper photo typically isn't great, so it looks to me like it's a 50/50 shot that that is the LMG wheel and the equallydark gear well is "empty" or that it is something else and the LMG is still in the wheel well.

Do you know if they jacked the aircraft and extended the gear in order to fly it out of there? I'm assuming that just like a Goose, the Widgeon's landing gear system is not strong enough to actually pick the airplane up off of its belly. In the case of the Goose, there are three shear bolts that are designed to break before any other component of the gear system is stressed or damaged. I've never looked it up in regard to a Widgeon to see if Grumman used something similar in its gear system, but then of course, the Goose was originally built with just a hand-cranked landing gear system and the Widgeon always had a hydraulic gear system, right?
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