Book Review – Blue Water Ditching: Training Professional Crewmembers for the Unthinkable Disaster
- Dan Boedigheimer
The crew was able to get one engine restarted at 10,000 feet and landed safety in Sarasota, FL. The incident was a wakeup call to prepare for what I previously thought was an impossibility. In Captain Dave Montgomery’s book Blue Water Ditching: Training Professional Crewmembers for the Unthinkable Disaster, he calculates there are over 1 million blue water flights worldwide per year. Even with the superb reliability of our aircraft today, fate and Mother Nature can conspire to make the unthinkable a possibility.
The book goes beyond traditional training programs in getting you to chair fly how to prepare for a ditching. The contents are not aircraft‑specific, so be prepared to critically think how you can apply the principles to the aircraft you fly. For example, what configuration should you ditch in (gear up or down, flaps up or down) and how do you manually turn on your 406 MHz ELT?
Although not a blue water ditching, chair flying to prepare for the impossible is exactly what saved the lives of the crew of N691TA when faced with a dual-engine flameout 18 months after the crew of N741TA and successfully dead sticked their aircraft into Jacksonville, FL.
I recommend the book as a tool to help you mentally prepare for what probably will never happen; but if it does, preparation will significantly increase your odds of a successful ditching.