Weekly Photo Challenge – Dance

Dance-1Dead Lake, Minnesota.

This week, Ben Huberman asks us to share photos that “capture the rhythm and motion all around us.” You can view the entire challenge post here. One of the most challenging things about flying a float plane can be handling the aircraft for docking or beaching, as in this example during a fly-in a few years ago. While things can go quite well in low and no-wind conditions, a breeze turns the aircraft into a very large weathervane. As long as the engine isn’t running, and generating air flow over the tail surfaces, the wind, acting upon the large vertical tail, easily maneuvers the plane to turn nose into the wind with little or no help help from the people attempting to control the aircraft.  In even a gentle breeze, it can be quite a dance to outdo the forces of nature to put the aircraft safely along the dock, or up onto the sandy beach. In the image above, the man and boy with hands on the ropes are attempting to swing the nose perpendicular to the beach so they can pull the pontoons onto shore and tie down the craft.

From personal experience, I know that putting a plane next to the dock, getting it ready to trailer back to the hangar can be a real challenge. Attempting to keep the plane from turning into the wind can take quite a bit of strength when the wind is brisk. Holding the floats tight against the dock can be quite a dance of strength and agility.

John Steiner

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