Landing a seaplane ...on grass

Discussion in '' started by Bob Parks, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran

    Nov 29, 2003
    Full Name:
    Robert Parks
    I have just returned from visiting a great museum in Hood River, Oregon. The Western Antique Airplane and Auto Museum is situated east of Hood River up on a plateau. They have a HUGE display of antique airplanes and autos, one of the planes is an N3N on a single pontoon. When I asked if it had to be dismantled to get it to the museum the answer was a matter of fact, " No.We landed it here on the field." They have a video of it making a take off on the Columbia River and making a pass over the grass off the runway and then making a gentle and perfect landing on the thick grass. No damage other than polishing the aluminum keel on the float. It was then hoisted onto a dolly by a logging truck with a log picker and towed into the museum. Quite a display of flying by Terry Brandt, museum owner but brushed off as just another landing..." Done it a couple of times."
    If any of you have the chance to visit the west coast, this museum is a MUST.
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  3. MarkPDX

    MarkPDX F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa

    Apr 21, 2003
    Gulf Coast
    Very interesting..... wonder how the takeoff roll/slide is on grass vs. water.
  4. solofast

    solofast Formula 3

    Oct 8, 2007
    Maybe not too bad if the grass was wet to start with.....

    What was the old saying about knowing that you have landed with the gear up... It takes full power to taxi.....
  5. SubLV

    SubLV Karting

    Apr 23, 2009
    Float planes are often landed on grass when they are on straight floats
  6. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    Austin TX
    Full Name:
    Brian Crall
    I used to know the owner of the Waco float/biplane used in Indiana Jones. He kept it in the water all spring/summer and in fall he would land it on the grass field on his property, put the conventional gear on it and put in in the hanger for the season. He didn't live far from the boat yard and in Spring he would get permits to tow it there. They'd lift it with a boat crane, put the floats back on and set it back in the water.

    He lived up in your area Bob. It was a pretty thing with red and white angled stripped wings and a vert stab painted like a billowed red/white checked parachute.
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  8. Bob Parks

    Bob Parks F1 Veteran

    Nov 29, 2003
    Full Name:
    Robert Parks
    I know the airplane and I saw it many times at Kenmore Air Harbor. HATED the silly paint job. If I remember correctly it was a Waco QZDXEFTYHG....or something like that. You know how those Waco designations go. Grass landings with float planes are no problem as long as you get the water rudders up but you don't need WET grass as long as it is thick or deep and no rocks are hidden in it. The touchy thing with N3N is to keep the wings level so you don't knock a wing tip float off.
    This museum has and flies the serial Number ONE Curtiss JN4D Jenny. Also the surviving Stinson Jr. Model M once owned by Howard Hughes, the Pobjoy powered personal Cub owned and flown by Mr. Piper himself. They have all the L birds except an L-1, Travel airs, Taperwings, Bull Pup, Bird, Rearwin Speedster, Aeronca LC , and a slew of others.
  9. donv

    donv Two Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Jan 5, 2002
    Portland, Oregon
    Full Name:
    I'll have to go visit the Hood River museum some time-- I get over to that area quite a bit.

    I had a friend (now deceased) who used to land his seaplane on straight floats on grass at the airport at the end of the season, and the next spring he'd take off from the runway using a dolly. He said the main drawback to using the dolly was the cost-- he always ended up taking out a couple of runway lights on every takeoff.
  10. alum04org

    alum04org Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 23, 2009
    Plymouth, MI
    Was in Hood River last Sept. w/wifey...... sorry I missed this museum, as it sounds interesting and worthy of a few hours.

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