BETTER PILOT / TRENDS ALOFT
The position of a Spidertracks-equipped aircraft can be monitored at www.spidertracks.com. This map shows a
recent flight of EAA’s B- 17 Aluminum Overcast on tour in Lexington, Kentucky. Inset: The Spidertracks unit is small
enough to fit on top of an instrument panel.
Spidertracks and Dreams
Strategies for getting found
I DID IT—I BOUGHT an airplane again, and it feels really good. Best of
all, it is opening up a new aviation avenue, putting me back on a
steep new learning curve. And I’m loving it.
I was intrigued by the Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer long before I
added the words “single engine seaplane” to my airline transport
pilot certificate a year ago. That checkride involved flying multiple
instrument approaches and then circling to land in a lake. It was
hard to imagine having more fun.
Apparently I’m not the only one to dream of owning an amphibious aircraft. As I flew my “Buc” across the country to AirVenture
2010, I found the plane drew attention most everywhere I landed.
People invariably told me they had always dreamed of owning one. I
hope they do someday.
Besides pushing me to become more
knowledgeable about hydraulic systems,
aircraft lubrication, and water flying techniques, the plane was the catalyst for
rethinking survival strategies. After all, a
seaplane can fly to remote locations without cell phone service or a mechanic on
call. Worse yet, I often fly below an altitude
where I can get flight following, so if I were
to crash, no one would know.
My plane has a 121. 5 MHz emergency
locator transmitter (ELT), but satellite
monitoring of that frequency ceased in