AVwebFlash - Volume 13, Number 37a

September 10, 2007

By The AVweb Editorial Staff
 
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Fossett Search Update back to top 
 

Another Day, Another False Alarm for Fossett Searchers

Searchers rushed to the scene of another promising lead in the hunt for Steve Fossett today only to find the latest in a series of previous wrecks. Over the past week, at least six old wrecks have been spotted by searchers, proof that the crews are doing a thorough job of combing the area, according search coordinator, Civil Air Patrol Maj. Cynthia Ryan. She told reporters Sunday that the search is now being redirected to the immediate area surrounding the Hilton Ranch where Fossett took off a week ago in a Super Decathlon belonging to the ranch. Reports today said he carried only one canteen of water. Meanwhile, thousands of people all over the world have joined the satellite search for Fossett, many of them AVweb readers.

On Saturday, DigitalGlobe supplied Google Earth with fresh images of the search area and that allowed Amazon.com to activate the Mechanical Turk, which allows individuals to scan small areas depicted in satellite imagery. There have been numerous discoveries, which are being analyzed by imagery specialists. Ryan told reporters Sunday that while the help is appreciated, it's hard to imagine that Google Earth will find something that military and intelligence satellites also tasked to the area won't spot.

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

FAA Clarifies Cessna's Life Limit For The 441 Conquest II

AVweb has received a response through FAA spokesman Les Dorr regarding Cessna's announcement last month that recommended operators of Cessna 441 Conquest II twin tuboprops comply with a life limit of 22,500 hours flown. Cessna based its action on "data from test articles and from field reports," according to Cessna spokeswoman Pia Bergqvist. The FAA's Dorr said that the FAA does not usually review or approve Supplemental Inspection Documents (SID), like the one Cessna used to recommend the life limit. He added that the FAA is currently evaluating the 441 and unless the FAA issues an Airworthiness Directive that mandates compliance, operators can do as they wish with regard to a life limit on the Conquest II. Dorr noted that some situations, such as a part 135 specification that requires the operator to comply with SID's would require that operator to adhere to the new limit to maintain its operating certificate "regardless of whether an AD were issued."

Eastern Airspace Redesign Faces Opposition

The FAA decided to go with a controversial redesign of the airspace serving New York, Newark and Philadelphia airports on Wednesday but it has a fight on its hands to implement the changes. At least one town, Elizabeth, N.J., has filed a court challenge and several well-organized and well-heeled groups are opposing the so-called Integrated Airspace Alternative. In a nutshell, the plan provides for more direct inbound routing and more and steeper takeoff trajectories. The agency says the redesign will save fuel and result in 20 percent fewer delays by 2011 than if no changes were made. “This new concept in airspace design will help us handle the rapidly growing number of flights in the Northeast in a much more efficient way,” said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey in a news release. “This airspace was first designed in the 1960s and has become much more complex. We now need to look at creative new ways to avoid delays.” But the changes will also put air traffic over areas that have so far been spared the noise.

Elizabeth Mayor J. Christian Bollwage told the New York Times that people who live in areas of the city that are under the existing flight paths are used to the noise. The redesign will spread that burden "throughout the city" he said. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NY) said the redesign will upset the tranquility of the suburbs. “When New Jerseyans come home from work each night, we want peace and quiet, not the booming sound of 747s overhead,” he said in a statement.

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

FAA Issues Five-Year 'Flight Plan'

The FAA's quintennial navel-gazing document, its "2008-2012 Flight Plan" was released Thursday and, while a first glance it doesn't reveal anything we haven't reported before, it does flesh out some initiatives that have been in the trial stage for years. The 60-page document concentrates on safety, modernization and management and sets goals to increase both safety and capacity in coming years. Among the initiatives we haven't heard much about before, however, is a new plan to make more use of so-called reliever airports. The agency intends to direct more Airport Improvement Fund resources to secondary commercial and general aviation airports in congested areas. Those airports can expect more concrete, more lighting and more navaids to handle increased traffic as metro airport traffic counts continue to grow.

There is more detail on ADS-B, air traffic control efficiencies like continuous descent, and ground control safety enhancements. The agency also takes the time to pat itself on the back for dramatic flight safety improvements in recent years. In 1997, Congress challenged the agency to reduce commercial aviation fatalities by 80 percent. It managed a 57 percent reduction, still good enough to claim this as safest time period in aviation history. "Our skies are safe. They are so safe that we now monitor incidents and accidents that didn’t happen," the report exults.

Gobosh Aviation Delivers "Luxury" LSA

Gobosh Aviation, which introduced its LSA to the American market at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this past July, Thursday announced deliveries of its first two G700S light sport aircraft in North America. The low-wing all metal aircraft is promoted as a "luxury" aircraft for the light sport market and, of course, falls within the 1320 pound gross weight limit with a maximum speed of not more than 120 knots. Gobosh offers three trims that range from $107,000 to $124,000 with standard equipment. Aside from that, Gobosh provides a two-year/400 hour warranty, and financing for the G-700S Elite for "under $760 per month." The company's web site didn't make entirely clear what made the aircraft "luxury" oriented, but Gobosh does claim "the highest level of quality fit and finish available, backed by the longest warranty" in its class. More to the point, Gobosh says, "If you can find a better Light Sport Aircraft -- buy it."

 
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News Briefs back to top 
 

FAA Reminds Us 121.5 ELTs Will Fade From Satellites

The day after the NTSB issued a recommendation that the FAA require that all aircraft be equipped with 406 Mhz ELTs, the FAA issued a safety bulletin reminding pilots that as of Feb. 1, 2009, search and rescue satellites will no longer scan 121.5. However, the agency doesn't seem to be in a hurry to require that the much more accurate and less nuisance-prone 406 models be made mandatory. While this debate has been going on for some time, the pending loss of satellite detection has raised some interesting questions among those who use the signals to find people. The Civil Air Patrol's public forum has no shortage of opinions, including the fear that search and rescue officials will grow complacent about 121.5 signals because so many are false. The 121.5 ELTs that most of us have are notoriously inaccurate and prone to false alarms, according to the FAA. The safety bulletin says 98 percent of alarms are bogus. The 406 ELTs include information about the aircraft in which they are installed in their broadcast, making it much easier for rescuers to determine whether an alarm is genuine. The consensus on the CAP forum is that 121.5 calls will still be answered but there will be fewer of them because of the lack of satellite coverage on that frequency. The military 243 frequency will also drop off the satellites.

Balloons Ordered To Land At APEC Summit

Anyone who thought airspace security for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Sydney, Australia this week was a lot of hot air found out differently if they breached it. And that included a couple of hot air balloon pilots who were ordered to make emergency landings as they approached the 45 nm exclusion zone. "We were waiting for them to send in the F/A-18s," John Allen, one of the balloonists, told the Sydney Morning Herald. However, the pilot of a Cessna 337 didn't have to wait long for some turbine-powered company as he was intercepted by a couple of Royal Australian Air Force F/A-18s when he busted the zone. The fighters fired flares to catch the attention of pilot David Brown, who'd apparently filed a flight plan for the route he took but left at a different time than specified on the flight plan. When authorities weren't able to reach him by radio, they scrambled the Hornets. He was inside the exclusion zone but well away from the APEC venues. Brown wouldn't talk about the incident but people on the ground watching it unfold were impressed. "These two fighter jets come out in the middle of nowhere and were flying flares at it," a witness told Macquarie Radio. "Right over the top of Penrith, it was amazing. I've never seen anything like it."

 
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Aviation Safety back to top 
 

Turbulence Injures Nine WestJet Passengers

Nine passengers were injured and three of them were hospitalized when a WestJet Boeing 737 hit severe turbulence over Northern Ontario late Thursday. The flight was on its way from Calgary to Halifax when passengers said it suddenly dropped. Some reports have said the plane may have plunged as much as 1,000 feet but there's been no confirmation. Passengers told the Halifax Chronicle-Herald that the flight crew had announced the possibility of turbulence and turned on the seatbelt sign just seconds before the plane dropped. Most of those injured were on their way back to their seats and were thrown into the ceiling and overhead luggage compartments. A WestJet spokesman said the airline is looking into the incident.

The mishap occurred when the aircraft was about 90 minutes from its destination and the flight crew kept going to Halifax rather than diverting. Two nurses on board the flight treated the injured passengers, many of whom suffered lacerations and bruises. "There was one gentleman who had a really bad laceration to his head and his leg," nurse Kathi Nelson said. Several complained of sore necks and backs. Ambulances met the aircraft at Halifax Airport. Transport Canada and the Transportation Safety Board are looking into the incident but TSB spokesman Mike Cunningham said it's unlikely his organization will launch a formal probe.“It looks like a fairly typical turbulence encounter,” Mr. Cunningham said. “I doubt very much that we will be doing a formal investigation.”

FAA Plans 'Long Talk' With Pilot After Three Emergency Landings

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the agency will have a "long talk" with pilot William Supan after the 52-year-old Pleasanton, Calif. resident made three emergency landings in the same aircraft on the same day last Saturday. On the third landing his passenger Jinhua Lin had apparently had enough and jumped from the aircraft, breaking a leg and suffering abrasions. The plane was destroyed by fire on that landing and Supan suffered smoke inhalation, according to the Modesto Bee. Gregor said there are some questions about the pilot's judgment that will top the agenda when investigators sit down with him.

Supan was taking Lin on her first plane ride when the cabin filled with smoke and he landed. He diagnosed the problem as a loose exhaust hose and told workers from a local FBO he was going to Wal-Mart to buy replacement parts. After taking off a second time the smoke problem reoccurred and he made another emergency landing. Instead of calling it a day, the Bee said he reportedly told witnesses that an exhaust hose had been cut. He replaced the hose (origin of the replacement hose is unknown) and took off again. The cabin filled with smoke again and this time, on landing, the aircraft went off the runway and burned. Investigators told the Bee the hose and clamp were in place but the hose was cut. Gregor told the Bee he questioned the wisdom of Supan flying the aircraft without it being checked by an aircraft mechanic.

 
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Project America back to top 
 

Curtiss Flying Boat Reproduction Set To Fly

After two years of painstaking work, the reproduction shop of the Glenn Curtis Museum is ready to let another of its creations take flight. On Sept. 14, during the annual Seaplane Homecoming at the museum, retired American Airlines pilot Jim Pohl will fly a recreation of the 1914 Rodman Wannamaker America, a twin-engine flying boat that Wannamaker envisioned as transatlantic aircraft. The aircraft will launch off Keuka Lake, at Hammondsport, N.Y., which was where Curtis developed his early aircraft. Those building the replica are using, as much as possible, the same materials, such as Sitka spruce, that were used to build the original. They've even rebuilt two original Curtiss 100 hp V-8 engines to power the aircraft.

America is 35-feet long and its upper wing span is 72 feet but it weighs only about 3,000 lbs. Curtiss is acknowledged as the father of naval aviation and there's a design feature on the America that has been included on virtually every flying boat and float since. Curtiss incorporated the "step" in the hull that allows it to break free from the surface tension of the water. Every floatplane pilot must master "getting on the step" to make the plane fly.

Click here for a video of the Project America team.

Video of the Week: Recreating the Glenn Curtiss America

Recommend a Video | VOTW Archive

The folks at the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum are hard at work putting the finishing touches on a replica of the America, a Glenn Curtiss twin-engine OX-6 "flying boat" that was originally conceived (in 1914, mind you) as a trans-Atlantic transport. 30,000-hour retired American Airlines Captain Jim Poel is scheduled to fly America at the Lake Keuka (NY) Seaplane Fly-In this weekend, which means the project staff and volunteers will be pretty busy as you read this.

YouTube user angelica4709 has posted several videos about the project (which we're still working our way through), but here's a quick look at the fuselage and a preview of the weekend fun with pilots Poel and Lee Sackett and head builder Art Wilder:


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If that doesn't work, click here to download the video directly.

 
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Short News Items back to top 
 

On the Fly ...

An 89-year-old Florida pilot walked away from the crash of Piper PA-28 Saturday in Myrtle Beach. Martin Geraghty took up flying at 77. A wind gust got the better of him as he was trying to go around after misjudging his approach ... .

No one was injured when a hot air balloon crashed into electric wires in Calgary, Alberta, on Saturday. The balloon, carrying a pilot and eight passengers, was just about to land when a wind gust carried it about 1,000 feet into the wires ... .

The widow of Jan Wildberghs, the Geico Skytyper pilot who died in a crash at Virginia Beach, Va., on Friday, told Newsday that a "heartissue" had been ruled out as the cause of his death. A sudden medical condition had been suspected since, without warning, the SNJ he was flying broke formation and flew into the ground ... .

The National Aeronautic Association, in association with the Air Care Alliance, will preent its annual Public Benefit Flying Awards Sept. 17. Winners are: Peter VandenBosch, Founder and President of Wings of Mercy;Terrence Trapnell, a volunteer pilot with the Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps; Chuck Schroll, a volunteer pilot with LightHawk and the Flying Samaritans; Second Lt. Guy Loughridge of the Civil Air Patrol and Wings of Hope with Fundacion AeroAmazonica.

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Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. You're a part of our team ... often, the best part.

 
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Your Favorite FBOs back to top 
 

FBO of the Week: Atlantic Aviation (PWA, Oklahoma City, OK)

Nominate an FBO | Rules | Tips | Questions | Winning FBOs

AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Atlantic Aviation at Wiley Post (PWA) in Oklahoma City, Ok.

AVweb reader Bill Johnson gives the FBO a stellar recommendation:

If your travels take you to Oklahoma City, the best airport is Wiley Post and Atlantic Aviation. Their facities are excellent, open 24/7 -- and more friendly, considerate people you will not find. On a recent trip to visit my ailing mother, Allison and her team not only got me where I needed to go, they made arrangements to pick me up and even checked to make certain everything was O.K. If Im in Oak City, Im at Atlantic Aviation at PWA.

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!

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New Today on AVweb back to top 
 

The Pilot's Lounge #117: Playing "Let's Pretend" For Keeps

Emergencies don't have to only be practiced in the airplane.

Click here to read Rick Durden's column.

We just had a little excitement in the Pilot's Lounge, here at the virtual airport. No, Old Hack didn't get into another fight with someone over nosewheel versus tailwheel pilots; one of the charter pilots actually had one of the engines on a twin Cessna quit on him in flight. I'll refer to him as Dave. Dave had three passengers aboard and was minding his own business, motoring along in cruise, when the left engine self-destructed. He went through the memory items on the emergency checklist, got the prop feathered and the fuel supply shut off and took care of flying the airplane as he should.

Once the gotta-take-care-of-it-now stuff was completed, Dave pulled out the checklist and made sure he had the cowl flaps closed, the alternator off and the other securing-the-engine items actually secured, told his passengers that there was going to be a bit of delay on the trip and that he'd tell them more in a minute, and called ATC to let the nice folks at Center know what had happened and what he was going to do next. ATC was most accommodating and he diverted to a nearby airport. Dave flew a normal pattern, he didn't try anything new or different from what he'd practiced, landed and made arrangements for his passengers to get to their destination via another airplane.

A couple of days later Dave happened to be in the Lounge, and as he is a gregarious sort, I was treated to a full description of the event. What stuck me was his comment about knowing what to do with his hands as he carried out the memory items on the emergency checklist. He was in cruise, so when the engine started making all sorts of ugly noises and generally announcing that it was going to slip its mortal coil, he had plenty of airspeed and time to deal with the problem. Nevertheless, Dave said that as he reached the conclusion that the offending engine had become more of a liability than an asset and would therefore have to be shut down, what struck him was just how rarely his hands were tasked, in flight, to pull just one throttle back and then pull just one propeller lever all the way back and around the detent into the feather position. It took a bit of concentration to do it right, to select the correct levers and move them where they needed to go.

Multi-Engine Becomes Single Engine

The moment he made those comments, I recalled a fatal accident involving a Cessna 421 in which the pilot-in-command made the decision to cage the left engine while flying at pattern altitude. The investigation showed he had pulled the left throttle to idle, the right prop to feather and the left mixture to idle cutoff. The resulting descent rate was so fast that he apparently didn't have time to realize that he'd disabled both engines instead of one and then take the steps necessary to undo what he'd done.

I also recalled the time a good friend of mine had been demonstrating single-engine handling on a twin and -- when intentionally shutting down one of the engines -- pulled its prop control back to the detent, not through it. By the time he realized the problem, he had a propeller in high pitch, not feather, and it was rotating so slowly the feathering locks had engaged and he could not feather it; the airplane was sinking and he was too low for a restart. A rather ignominious belly landing resulted; fortunately, the only damage was to the airframe and his pride.

As a charter pilot, Dave takes some fairly serious recurrent training every six months. He also gives recurrent training with the organization where he works, so he gets a lot more time simulating emergency procedures than the average bear. In spite of that, his comment to me was that he found himself moving very deliberately because he was engaged in doing something that he only does once out of many dozen flights, moving controls for the airplane in a fashion that is only done in an emergency. His next comment really got my attention, "You know, I'm glad that every once in a while when I'm sitting around waiting for the passengers on a charter trip I pull out the POH and walk through the emergency procedures section and visualize what I would do for each one a couple of times."

Good grief ... what a simple, inexpensive method of keeping one's skills honed. If a charter pilot who takes regular recurrent training does it, going through Section 3 of the POH and putting one's hands where they go for each step of each emergency should pay huge dividends for a general aviation pilot who probably doesn't do an emergency procedure outside of the biennially mandated flight review.

After Dave had wondered off, I searched around and found a PIM (Pilot Information Manual -- that's the POH except it's not tailored for a one individual airplane, with all the weight and balance stuff in it) for a Cessna Cutlass RG, the Model 172RG. I sat back down in one of the big recliners in the Lounge and opened the PIM to Section 3, Emergency Procedures, and started working my way through it.

When I started going through the emergency checklist line by line, and taking some time to think about what it would be like to carry out each emergency procedure in real life, the whole exercise became very real. It was also an almost decadent pleasure to be able to take some time and think each step through ... something one doesn't get to do when going through training because it's usually such a slam, bang, get it done process.

Aborted Takeoff

So, let's see: "Engine Failure During Takeoff Roll." All right, we've lined up on the runway and moved the throttle all the way forward. We hear the noise level increase radically and feel the acceleration. We're concentrating on tracking straight ahead, ailerons into the wind, feet off the brakes as we play the rudder pedals. A quick glance assures that manifold pressure and rpm are where they should be and the airspeed indicator is coming alive.

The noise stops.

We're moving down the runway at 50 knots, but we're not accelerating any more and for the first time ever on a takeoff we can hear the wheels rolling. Despite our thoughts careening along, it's as if we're swimming in glue. We are aware of so many irrelevancies: We've got too much right rudder in ... hmmm, that P-factor stuff really does try to turn us left on takeoff; the prop is slowing down; and oh, yeah, wow, it's really happened, the engine has quit, guess we better do something, there's not much runway left.

OK, let's get on the brakes and get stopped.

As I sat there imagining the situation, I suddenly recalled a friend of mine making a takeoff in a J-3 Cub many years ago. The engine quit in the middle of the takeoff run. He left the throttle all the way open, just because he was so amazed by the whole thing, and was concentrating on letting the tail back down and keeping the airplane straight and then getting turned off of the runway because there were other aircraft about. About the time he was heading between two runway lights, the carburetor bowl refilled (there was a partial fuel-line blockage) and the engine roared back to full-throttle life. He had his hands completely full. His mind was in "stopping the airplane off of the runway" mode. Suddenly he had full power and was pointed toward the mature corn adjacent to the grass that grew along the side of the runway. He managed to close the throttle, kick in some left rudder to get parallel to the runway and stop the airplane before he hit anything.

The engine was running just fine right then, idling, hushing the propeller around on that sunny summer day while my friend sat alone in the back seat, bathed in sweat. I recall that he told me he was tempted to try to takeoff again because the engine seemed just fine. Instead, he had the presence of mind to shut the airplane down right there because he knew he hadn't imagined the engine stoppage and he didn't know what was wrong with the airplane, and he hadn't ever been trained as a test pilot.

Coming out of the reverie induced by reading the first line of that emergency procedure, I finally looked at the steps set out under it. Items one and two were written in bold ink and said, clearly and concisely: "Throttle - - IDLE." Yep, it said it in big letters. Sure makes sense to me. Then it said, "Brakes - - APPLY." Yes, that makes sense to me as well. I'm still a little embarrassed about the first time I had an engine quit on takeoff in a twin. It happened for real early on when I was taking dual for my multi-engine rating. I managed to get both throttles closed after a fashion, and stay on the runway even though the airplane had firmly turned right under the influence of the one working engine, but then I just sat there being amazed as we rolled rapidly toward the end of the runway. That is until my instructor said something about brakes (they were only on my side). He said it real loud, too. And I pushed real hard and we slowed down enough to make the turnoff at the end of the runway.

Sitting in the recliner and taking the time to think and move my right hand back, closing that imaginary throttle and rocking forward hard on the imaginary brake pedals, the throttle and brakes as memory items for an engine failure on the runway really sank in.

I looked through the next several items: flaps up, mixture idle cutoff, ignition switch off, master switch off, and I thought of my friend who had considered another takeoff and of the accident reports written after folks had actually tried another takeoff and found that the engine really would quit a second time, at an even worse location, and so they died. And I thought that following the checklist to completely shut the airplane down made sense. It's a lot less stressful to shut down an airplane and go complain about a problem than it is to try to takeoff again and have the engine fail once more.

So I spent a little more time picturing takeoffs I'd made and interposing an engine failure on the runway. What would I do at Lowell, Mich., where the runways are pretty short and there are trees right at the very end of a couple of them? Could I stop? If not, what would I aim for that would minimize the impact? What would I do at Oshkosh, where I know there is at least one airplane starting a takeoff roll behind me? Which way would I turn to clear the runway and when would I make that turn? I thought about closing the throttle and getting hard on the brakes, especially on a hot day where I might have used up so much of the available runway at many of the airports I frequent.

The Fatal Climb

The next item on the parade of horribles was "Engine Failure Immediately After Takeoff." Of course my mind kicked into gear and I found myself thinking of an instructor I had had so long ago. He had taught in Stearmans during World War II and when he would give an engine failure after takeoff he would say "Pop me outta my seat" as his way of making it utterly clear that there is very little time to stuff the nose down to avoid a stall following an engine failure on takeoff and that it must be done aggressively. I also thought about how very hard it is to do just that -- jam the nose down -- when low and the view out the window will become comprised of such a high proportion of ground and so little of sky, a drastic reversal of what was framed before the pilot a moment earlier.

Again, before I looked at the procedural steps, I thought about takeoffs in the past and what I would have done had the engine failed in the first few hundred feet, where the options are so limited and the need is to overcome one's natural aversion to pushing the nose down just when the desire is to gain altitude, to get performance from an airplane when there was no performance left to get. And I thought of the fact that a number of manufacturers had increased Vx in their airplanes over the years simply because the original best angle of climb speed, calculated and tested to allow clearing an obstacle in the minimum distance, was so slow that -- in some cases -- it was physically impossible for a pilot to lose the engine and get the nose down fast enough to maintain enough airspeed to allow a successful flare for landing. Thus, published Vx was increased 4 or 5 knots so that there was hope for a successful landing should things go badly wrong while low and slow on climbout.

Sure enough, the first and only thing on the bold, memory item portion of the checklist was the speed to maintain, 70 KIAS with the flaps up, and 65 KIAS with flaps down. All else in the case of an engine failure immediately after takeoff was secondary, to be handled when and if there were time.

I sat in that comfortable lounge chair and I held the imaginary Cutlass RG yoke in my left hand and throttle in my right. And I thought of that horrible silence that comes about when the engine quits in the climb and I moved my left hand forward firmly and thought of how things would look out front when I did it for real and did my best to promise myself that I would not try to turn back to the airport. I had read far too many accident reports where turning back was tried, without success, and I thought of an acquaintance I had lost when he tried to turn back and stalled the airplane and hit so hard that even on the flat ground where he impacted, out of control, it killed him.

Sage Advice

I thought of my aeronautical betters who have told me time and time again that we pilots do well when we have thought about situations and before those situations arise. They have convincingly showed me that we tend to do poorly when we have not practiced or even thought about them ahead of time. We also tend to do poorly if quite a bit of time has elapsed since we considered something we do not do often. We do not do emergencies often.

It took me close to an hour to go through the emergency procedures in that PIM. A couple of people commented to me about the odd movements I was making with my hands and feet, especially when Old Hack walked in as I was going through the motions of finding the gear pump handle with my right hand, extending it and pumping the landing gear down. But, once I told him what I was doing, that old complainer nearly cracked his face smiling at me and said, "Good. Nice to know someone else plays pretend with airplanes. It may be pretend, but we're playing for keeps."

I'm going to keep doing it, but I think I'll pick a more private spot next time.

See you next month.


Want to read more from Rick Durden? Check out the rest of his columns.

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AVmail: Sep. 10, 2007

Reader mail this week about where you flew this summer, privatized FAA, ADS-B and much more.

Click here to read this week's letters to the editor.

AVweb's Monday Podcast: Mid-Air Survivor Joe Sharkey Wrestles with the Aftermath of the Embraer Legacy Collision

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About a year ago, New York Times columnist Joe Sharkey had the life-changing experience of surviving a mid-air collision with an airliner over the Amazon jungle. Most of us are familiar with the story about the Embraer Legacy's brush with death and the tragedy that befell the 154 people on the Boeing 737 that crashed after the collision. But Sharkey, as a private journalist and not representing the Times, has naturally continued to chronicle the fallout from the crash. He brought AVweb's Russ Niles up to date on the legal quagmire that could result in the Legacy pilots, Joe Lepore, and Jan Paladino (both of Long Island) ending up international fugitives.

 
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The Lighter Side of Flight back to top 
 

Short Final

Overheard in IFR Magazine's 'On the Air' Section
Overheard in IFR Magazine's "On the Air"

Overheard near Greensboro, N.C.:

Greensboro Approach:
"Cessna One Two Three, fly heading one four zero, left base runway five, keep your speed up, turn it tight and I'll get you in front of the RJ."

Cessna 123 (hesitating):
"Um, turn ... base ... five ... keep the speed up."

Approach:
"Pretend you're an F-15."

Cessna 123:
"Uh, OK."

Approach:
"You're not buying it."

 
Aviation Consumer — The Only Magazine with the Guts to Tell You the Truth about the gear you buy and the planes you fly. Aviation Consumer is packed with in-depth and uncompromising ratings of equipment, avionics, accessories, mods, services, aircraft, and much more. Order online and receive unlimited access to Aviation Consumer's ratings-packed web information database!
 
Names Behind the News back to top 
 

Meet the AVwebFlash Team

AVwebFlash is a weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

The AVwebFlash team is:

Publisher
Timothy Cole

Editorial Director, Aviation Publications
Paul Bertorelli

Editor-in-Chief
Russ Niles

Contributing Editors
Mary Grady
Glenn Pew

Features Editor
Kevin Lane-Cummings

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