Rod Machado, Bob Chambers And Memorable Moments


You probably don’t know who Bob Chambers is, but if you’re one of the thousands of pilots who have watched Rod Machado’s Defensive Flying video then you’ve heard Chamber’s voice. Defensive Flying includes a recording of two MU-2 pilots and ATC as they suffer a double engine failure in IMC over the mountains of British Columbia. Bob Chambers was the copilot on that flight. He had no idea Machado had made his story famous. He met an AVweb reporter at this year’s AirVenture, got to talking about MU-2s and found out he was a celebrity of sorts. Chambers began to retell the events of 20 years ago and had to sit down as the memories came back.

Chambers and his pilot iced up at 22,000 feet and began to lose altitude Then the left engine quit and soon after, the right. At one point they were dropping over 5000 feet per minute (the VSI was pegged). The pilots recovered at 3600 feet over a lake surrounded by mountains. “We had both engines in start sequence and I remember wondering if the battery was going to overheat and fall out the back of the airplane.” said Chambers “We looked at each other and realized there was nothing more we could do.” Both engines did relight and the pilots climbed out of the valley and landed at Kelonna, British Columbia. “It was way below minimums, but we didn’t care.” Machado makes a big deal about how Chambers and his captain never stopped flying the airplane. “I’m just glad others are gaining from my experience,” said Chambers. Machado and Chambers exchanged signatures and handshakes. You never know who you’ll run into at Oshkosh.