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impact. "Sea Level" will be designated by the instructor (usually the bottom of the block). NATOPS
discusses how to select an appropriate ditch heading. HWD's for operational flights usually contain
recommended ditch headings for use when the crew can not see the water surface. You should use all
information available to select a ditch heading but, due to the limitations imposed by Seagull blocks, the IP
may have to give you a ditch heading that will allow sufficient airspace to complete the maneuver.
Ditching is most likely to be caused by an uncontrollable fire, fuel starvation, or dual engine failure. If
ditching due to a low fuel state, complete the maneuver while power is still available on both engines. The
following must be carefully managed for a successful ditch:
NOTE: NATOPS provides an excellent discussion of ditching technique. The Ditching Checklist does not need to
be memorized. General quizzing by instructors about checklist items is encouraged, but students are not expected to
memorize these items.
Wings Level/Heading. It does not do any good to fly a perfect ditch if the airplane hits a wave
head-on. Ensure wings level prior to impact. A couple of degrees off heading will not make much
difference, but cartwheeling on impact could prove fatal.
Rate of descent. The airframe will absorb much of the impact, but not all of it. Excessive rates of
descent greatly reduce the survivability of the ditch. The vertical deceleration will be almost instant
on water impact. The greater the rate of descent, the higher the instantaneous G-load experienced by
the crew.
Airspeed. Do not get slow. The recommended airspeed provides a safety margin to ensure
controllability of the aircraft. Since the aircraft decelerates in the horizontal over a longer period of
time, slightly higher airspeeds are still survivable.
If power is available, there is no reason to hit the water out of the parameters. If your ditch is not looking
good, add power, climb up a couple hundred feet, and start over.
Power Available (Both Engines). This situation would most likely be caused by a fuel problem (leak,
poor planning, getting lost). Descend at a comfortable rate as you turn to the ditch heading. Complete the
ditching checklist and follow NATOPS ditching techniques. Remember, nose attitude controls airspeed
and power controls rate of descent. The Vertical Speed Indicator (VSI) lags, so concentrate on airspeed,
allow the VSI to settle out and make required power adjustments. Utilize trim so the aircraft does the work.
Power Available (Single-engine). May be caused by an uncontrollable fire or other catastrophic engine
failure. Time may be more critical since the fire may damage flight controls and/or structural integrity.
Make an emergency descent as appropriate (if you are already close to the water a full blown emergency
descent might increase your workload unnecessarily, but do make an effort to get down quickly). Select a
ditch heading and complete the Ditching Checklist. Follow the NATOPS ditching technique. The single-
engine ditch is essentially the same as the two-engine ditch. Power still controls rate of descent and nose
attitude still controls airspeed. Keep the ball centered.
Power off. The first priority after a dual engine failure is to attempt to regain the use of one or both
engines. The altitude/airspeed at the time of the power loss will determine if this is an option. There are
two airspeeds of concern to power off glide. Maximum range glide is 130 KIAS. Maximum endurance
glide is 102 KIAS. Use nose attitude to slow to the appropriate airspeed. At low altitude you may have to
slow to 102 KIAS (an overtemp may occur on the restart if N2 [propeller speed] falls below 2200 RPM).
Attempt a restart with the appropriate checklist. If the restart is unsuccessful, use your nose attitude to
transition to maximum range glide (130 KIAS) as you complete the Emergency Shutdown (minimum first
three items as altitude permits) and Ditching Checklists. Follow the NATOPS ditching technique. The
idea is to trade airspeed for rate of descent.
Area Departure. Prior to departing Seagull for Cabaniss (NGW) call "Cabaniss landing" on channel 15.
Note the runway, altimeter, and number of aircraft in the pattern (5 maximum). Report your side number
and Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) to Cabaniss. Select channel 1 for ATIS (if planning a Shamrock or
Lima recovery) and note the runway in use at NGP. If a VFR transition is not possible, terminate with
Seagull and contact Corpus Approach on Channel 6 for an IFR clearance. The Cabaniss-8 coded flight
plan is an IFR clearance designed to allow you descend to VMC conditions and enter Cabaniss. If
proceeding VFR, call Seagull when approaching the descent radial. The report shall include "approaching

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