World's Leading Independent Aviation News Service
Volume 25, Number 39a
September 24, 2018
Forward This Email
  • Text size:

    • A
    • A
    • A
GA Helps Hurricane Florence Response
Russ Niles

If it seems like storms are getting worse, there may be some comfort in the fact that storm response, including GA’s contribution, is getting better. Volunteer pilots stepped up in numbers to help bring relief to millions affected by Hurricane Florence and thanks to some well-organized efforts of groups that have learned from past disasters, the GA effort was effective, safe and appreciated. The nerve center for the dozens of private aircraft, which ranged from Cessna 172s to big business jets to a DC-3, was Raleigh Durham International Airport, where Operation Airdrop took over the terminal and turned it into a coordinated distribution center sending the right supplies to where they were needed. It wound down Sunday night as normal distribution systems got back to work.

Meanwhile, the Air Care Alliance got out ahead of the storm and got volunteer pilots thinking in the right ways about how they could help. The longtime expert in public benefit flying sent out a news release letting pilots know how they could be effective in their natural impulse to help. “Individual pilots and owners should work with established groups,” the organization reminded pilots. “They have the procedures and staffs to make contact with agencies involved in relief work and to provide appropriate assignments to new volunteers.” The advice seems to have largely been taken and social media is full of posts of gratitude for the fly-in volunteers. A video by just one of the appreciative beneficiaries is below.


I Flew The Cornfield Bomber
James Van Laak

A recent video about the famed Cornfield Bomber brought back some fond memories of that airplane for me.  As a freshly minted Air Force pilot, I was lucky enough to get assigned to the 49th Fighter Interceptor Squadron at Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, New York, then its home.

Tail number 58-0787 is sometimes called the Cornfield Bomber, but to us it was the Gray Ghost. Both nicknames came because in 1970, its pilot had ejected near Great Falls, Montana, after entering a spin.  It was a story we heard often since our squadron commander at the time, Jim Lowe, had been an instructor on the flight and had coached its pilot through the emergency procedures. 

As the plane fell through 15,000 feet with no sign of recovery, Lowe told him to eject. Curiously, after the ejection the plane recovered, and since one of the steps in the spin recovery was to set takeoff trim, the plane settled into a glide at about 200 knots before touching down in a snow-covered field. After being recovered, it was shipped to the depot in Sacramento for repairs and return to service, eventually coming to the 49th.

Everyone loved the story, and I set my sights on getting my name on its side. After all, what could be better than an airplane with survival instincts? Although I was scheduled to get a different airplane, I was able to trade for my lucky jet. I was thrilled.

I was even more thrilled to find out that the repairs were done perfectly; 787 was a very sweet flying machine. It handled beautifully and easily met factory specs on performance. As head of Quality Assurance, I flew hundreds of maintenance test flights in all of our airplanes and learned all of their individual quirks. I was delighted to see that 787 was a good, straight, flying machine; I was proud to have my name on it.

It was always fun to fly “my” jet, and once, just for fun, I decided to see how high it would go. We got to 68,000 feet before I decided that was high enough without a pressure suit. But I noted that I was the one to give up; the airplane was still climbing over 500 feet per minute at 200 knots indicated, which at that altitude was Mach 1.3.

But whenever 787 had an odd squawk, some were quick to blame its boondocking past. At one point, it developed a serious problem; when a pilot would begin to rotate, the stick would hang up. It happened at a very critical time, doing 150 knots on the ground, and it needed to be fixed. After hundreds of hours of troubleshooting and three high-speed aborts, we finally found a hydraulic cap lodged in the control linkage. Although this had nothing to do with its off-field landing, it added to 787’s mystique.

The Grey Ghost was a genuine celebrity, too. The local paper had a big article on its history, and it was often the star of squadron tours. 

In the late 1980s, the 106s were retired and turned into drones. I was saddened to think that my old friend was destined to be shot down, but to my great delight, it was moved to the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base wearing the colors of the 49th, where it remains today. It is great fun to know I can visit it any time I want, either in person or through the magnificent website for the Museum of the Air Force.

James Van Laak is a former Deputy Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation at the FAA. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a F-106 and A-10 pilot and worked at DARPA and at NASA as a manager on the International Space Station.

Flying the Mooney Acclaim: The Fastest Piston Single
Paul Bertorelli

Mooney has re-tooled the Acclaim in the Acclaim Ultra, making it the fastest certified piston single in the world. In this video, AVweb's Paul Bertorelli took the airplane for a test flight with Mooney's Lee Drumheller. And yes, it goes as fast as the book claims it does.


Lycoming 'When can an engine give you 200 extra flying hours?'
FAA Reauthorization Imminent?
Russ Niles

The House and Senate could vote next week on a compromise FAA Reauthorization bill that was released on Saturday. The proposed bill eliminates the most contentious clause (allowing states to regulate rest and meal breaks for truck drivers) and has a few other changes that the House and Senate members reviewing it believe will pass both chambers. The goal is to pass the bill and send it to President Donald Trump for signature before the Sept. 30 expiration of the current short-term funding extension. Elimination of another clause concerning oversight of airline ticket change fees has prompted some opposition, however.

According to analysis by The Wall Street Journal, the bills passed by both chambers included a measure allowing Congress to keep an eye on the fees that airlines charge for flight changes. They vary among airlines who charge what they believe the market will bear. They generated more than $3 billion in revenue last year and the airline lobby group Airlines For America (A4A) lobbied hard to keep that money flowing, arguing it was fundamental to the business. Some legislators have been vocal in their support of oversight and Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., said in a statement he’s not happy with the clause being dropped. “Congress had the opportunity to return fairness to change and cancellation fees,” he said in a statement. “Instead, through an opaque negotiating process, the airlines have managed to kill this important consumer protection provision. No one should have to pay a $200 change fee on a ticket that costs nearly that much.”
The new bill retains measures to expand drone use and study the return of supersonic flight over the continental U.S. by civilian aircraft. It will also instruct the FAA to start planning an air traffic control network for drones. Flight attendants will get longer mandatory rest periods between work days, too.

The bill is being lauded by the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), which is most happy that five years of reliable funding will be in place to deal with controller shortages throughout the system. “Our nation must have an FAA that is authorized for the long term as part of providing a stable, predictable funding stream for the National Airspace System (NAS),” said NATCA President Paul Rinaldi in a statement. “Today’s news from Capitol Hill is a major step in that direction.”

How Not To Handprop An SR22
Russ Niles

Scattered among accident reports is the occasional hand prop attempt that goes wrong but not many concern high-performance aircraft. The accompanying video illustrates that it is indeed possible to spark up a Cirrus SR22’s IO-550 from the front but it needs to be done with an abundance of forethought and caution. It’s not clear who shot the video but it was posted by What You Haven’t Seen. 

The NTSB, which is not investigating the incident itself, confirms the unfortunate chain of events occurred on Sept. 8 at Mason City Municipal Airport in Iowa. The plane, a 2005 model, is registered to a crop insurance company in Iowa. It would appear the power was set too high and the aircraft wasn’t chocked or otherwise restrained. Also, the prop blast closed the pilot side door, delaying the pilot’s possibly ill-advised attempt to kill the engine and regain control of the aircraft. After running about 100 yards across a taxiway, with the pilot hanging off the left wing for much of the way, the aircraft crashed into the corner of an open hangar and was heavily damaged. There were no reports of injuries.

Astro Launches Elroy eVTOL
Russ Niles

Yet another eVTOL company has announced it is in flight trials with the intention of upending the urban transportation market and Astro Aerospace, of Dallas, isn’t shy about the Jetson analogies. Not only is the company named after the 1960s cartoon family of the future’s dog, its prototype autonomous passenger carrying drone is called Elroy after the young boy in the demographically perfect family unit. Elroy flew at Toronto Markham Airport in Ontario last week and company officials said the tests showed them they are on the right track. “Our flights this week were a success,” said company spokesman Michael White. “Wednesday we did a 4.5-minute dynamic flight, multiple maneuvers, [attained] 60 feet in altitude and 50 kmh (30 knots),” he said. “Very good data was collected to continue to help move us forward.”

Astro envisions an aircraft in which passengers will use touchscreen displays to choose a destination. Aircraft systems can take over after that and take the single occupant where he or she wants to go using input received over 4G LTE cellular network. There is also a fly-by-wire control system for those who want to play George Jetson. Except for the motor power cables, all system communications are by fiber optic. The aircraft has a 250-pound payload, top speed of about 45 knots and endurance of about 20 minutes according to the company website.

Aerial Mapping Of Hurricane Damage Underway
Kate O'Connor

The National Geodetic Survey (NGS) Remote Sensing Division is working to collect aerial imagery of the damage caused by Hurricane Florence in the last week. Depending on weather conditions, NGS has been attempting two survey mission a day to locations identified by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other state and federal organizations since Saturday. The images collected from the flights will be used for damage assessment and are available on NOAA’s website.

“Aerial imagery is a crucial tool to determine the extent of the damage inflicted by flooding, and to compare baseline coastal areas to assess the damage to major ports and waterways, coastlines, critical infrastructure and coastal communities,” said NOAA. “This imagery provides a cost-effective way to better understand the damage sustained to both property and the environment.”

For the mission, NGS is flying the NOAA Office of Marine and Aviation Operations' King Air 350CER. According to NOAA, the special-mission aircraft has been modified with two downward-facing sensor ports that can support a wide variety of remote sensing systems, including the cameras used to map the hurricane damage. It also has extended-range capabilities and can remain aloft for up to eight hours. The administration says the aircraft is primarily used for coastal mapping and emergency response missions.

Top Letters And Comments, September 21, 2018

How Not To Botch The FAA Medical

John Yodice wrote a column once on the legal perils of making a falsification on the medical application, even unintentional ones (such as accidentally forgetting a hospital stay). It results in a felony and can become years of jail time as well as a heavy fine (like $25k). Scary stuff that can change your life forever. Bottom line is they can pretty much do what they want to you if you make a misstep.

A. Richie

People shouldn't be expected to be experts in medical lingo, which could be very misleading. For example, 'conscious sedation' now being offered by dentists for work like oral surgery is based on the arcane medical definition of 'conscious' meaning that your body can breathe on its own - but to most people 'conscious' means awake and aware. There are many questions of ask in the direction of admission to hospital - such as day surgery clinics, oral surgery in a dentist’s office, etc.

Keith Sketchley

A humorous article on a serious subject that has troubled most of us. The medical questionnaire has several potential gotchas, but the hospital admission question is probably the worst. Key word here is "EVER". Ever is a long time, and I question the need to divulge to the FAA that I spent a night in the hospital following an appendectomy 40 years ago. The simple approach would be to always answer "yes" and explain on the back. However, sometimes your explanations can open additional cans of worms as far as the FAA is concerned. Perhaps the solution is to place a statute of limitations on the question; mention any admission in the past 10 years. Surely anything older than that could be considered a non-issue. But, we are talking about the FAA here, the masters of obsessive compulsive disorder.

John McNamee

The best way to eliminate the awkward situation facing Pilots is to check "yes", and add, "You have better access to my medical records than I have." If the FAA comes up with something, it proves you spoke the truth. No, I'm not an attorney.

Steve Hatfield

Probably I will someday be hauled before the court of no defense, but I make liberal use of the "previously reported" notation rather than trying to recall exactly how I described the event time after time.

John Wilson

Gee, thanks a lot, Jeff! I wasn't too worried about renewing my medical before, but now I'm terrified ;)

John Nevils

Who Needs A Certificate Anyway?

I could see a world where there's an AMOC with certificate and medical requirements run by insurance companies. Either you keep doing things the old fashioned way with the FAA, or you pass an alternate training/testing regime that's run by a consortium of the insurance companies. Plain English reg: "If an insurance company is willing to write you a smooth million policy based on their alternate training and medical testing requirements, if any, then you are exempt from compliance with any FAA rules on training, medical, and currency." In all honesty, I imagine the insurance companies requirements for training and currency in this world wouldn't be much less than the FAA's rules. Maybe they'd be more rational with medical.

Joshua Levinson

Those that think insurance companies would be more "liberal" in setting standards for pilots have not had much contact with underwriters. The insurance company's primary goal is to minimize the amount they have to pay out for losses. So, their vested interest is to see that both pilots and their airplanes are as safe and bulletproof as possible. The reality is that the world needs someone to establish standards for pilot performance and aircraft construction or chaos ensues. Look at the history of the development of the steam locomotive to see a good example. Numerous explosions from boiler failures were causing wide-spread casualties, so the government and the society of engineers stepped in and established design standards. The FAA evolved for similar reasons from the early days of aviation and frequent accidents. At least the FAA has no monetary axe to grind. As Paul said, contempt for certification is a slippery slope - either for pilot proficiency or aircraft design. There are some who worry that the new Basic Med may allow pilots with health issues (including older pilots in failing health) to sidestep the rules and continue flying. If you think it is hard to take Dad's car keys away from him, how about his airplane keys? Love 'em or hate 'em, rules are the goalposts that define the game. Who establishes them is not really the issue. We either play within the rules, or trouble eventually ensues. Then people scream for more rules....

John McNamee

Why do we need stop signs, traffic lights, and speed limits? Why do we need people to enforce them? Why do we need driver's licenses? Why do we need minimum design, engineering, and construction criteria for our bridges, buildings, roads, houses, baby's car seats, stethoscopes, x-ray machines, microwave ovens, food dyes, etc? Why do we need standards of morality, politeness, and courtesy? Without them, our selfish natures have proven to lead us to anarchy. And a lawless anarchist affects far more people than them selves. As Paul so correctly, well described, this crash demonstrates an attitude and consciousness of competence. For this guy whose attitude was he is above the law, who spent 21 years of thumbing his nose at compliance to the most minimum requirements of safety and common sense, his perception of his competency outgrew the reality of circumstances and physics. He became a legend in his own mind. Most people's perceptions are their reality. In this case, those perceptions affected the reality for his wife, the people on the ground, the first responders, and millions of people unfamiliar with aviation who now are aware of people flying airplanes without credentials...and getting away with it for years. Because of his cavalier attitude, I am sure there will be an increase in ramp checks, scrutiny of medical compliance, lawsuits setting new insurances precedence, and who knows what more in a litigious society like ours. And all of this potentially affecting every pilot, and every aircraft owner, of which most have and continue to "play by the rules." Did he know how to fly an airplane? Yes. Did he know how to fly an airplane safely? We armchair quarterbacks cannot determine that. But there is no doubt, in my mind, his attitude demonstrated by 21 years of non-compliance to the most basic laws of U.S. aviation and those whose job is to enforce them, suggests this is a good start to the understanding of the accident chain of events.

Jim Holdeman

JetBlue Makes First Flights With Sustainable Jet Fuel

The sales guys do have a lot of fun with all the hyperbole about "renewable" fuels. There are actually two ways to make diesel and/or jet fuel from biomass materials. The first is using a chemical process similar to making soap, called saponification. It uses strong acids and caustics to break the long-chain molecules of plant derived heavy oils into shorter chain products. These are then distilled into a material that has properties similar to hydrocarbon derived middle distillates (i.e. diesel and jet A). However, since they are basically esther based oils, they tend to jel in cold weather. That is one reason why they can only be blended with the "real stuff" up to about 15%. The good news is that, unlike alcohol blended gasoline, it has an energy content similar to regular jet A, so does not reduce the equivalent range of the blend. Its overall energy requirement is relatively low, so it does offer about the same "parasitic" production costs as regular hydrocarbons. The second process uses a hydrocracker unit similar to what is found in regualr refining processes. Its feedstock is mostly beef tallow and cooking oils like those from fast food restaurants. The process delivers a fuel that is almost identical to either diesel or jet A. It could theoretically be used at nearly 100% with little or no blending needed. It generally goes directly into the diesel pool in a refinery with no limitation on concentration. At this point, I am not aware that it is being used for jet fuel, but could easily be so. It has no pour point limitations. The best thing about both processes is there is virtually no sulfur or heavy metals present in the fuel, so a good thing on the pollution front. Strictly speaking, both methods are renewable, since they use waste products that are otherwise not of any use. The first method can arguably be more environmentally friendly since the plants have converted CO2 into biomass, thus it is "nearly" carbon neutral. The second method's advantage is that it uses a feedstock that would otherwise be dumped in landfills. It comes from slaughterhouses and fast food joints and has no economic value. It is more carbon positive, but still has an environmental benefit by reducing waste. And, most cooking oils are plant derived, so still "renewable." There is no energy penalty for using biofuel blends in jet A, since the energy density is similar to the hydrocarbon materials they displace. I have long been an opponent of blending alcohol in gasoline. It makes little environmental sense and actually produces a fuel that reduces range for the engine. However, biodiesel and bio-jet make good sense. How much carbon foodprint is actually reduced is open for debate, but the science is better.

A couple other issues I would like to mention in the general hoopla surrounding biofuels. "Renewable" fuels are only renewable if someone takes the trouble to replace the harvested plants. If we take arable land used for growing food crops and replace it with fuels feedstocks, we are robbing another industry of its livelihood to the detriment of society. That should be a lesson applied to ethanol production for gasohol. And, if we cut down forests to raise biofuels, we are making things worse, as trees are the most efficient carbon storing plants (e.g. Amazon rain forest deforestation). Second, renewable fuels do not reduce an airline's carbon footprint. Biofuels still put the same amount of carbon dioxide into the air (up very high). It takes a long time for that to be recycled into new planting, so atmospheric warming will continue. Finally, air transportation accounts for only about 2% of total atmospheric carbon emissions. Ground based industries such as cement production (6% of emissions) are far bigger problems. While it is important that we all do what we can, we need to keep our perspective and focus our efforts where they produce the greatest results. Try to convey that to your elected officials and insist they do the same.

John McNamee

I'd make a couple of observations: - A material is cheap and plentiful only as long as no one wants it. A typical refinery hydrocracking unit goes through maybe 20,000 barrels of feed stock a day. That is a lot of animal renderings. - Distillate-like fuels derived from saponification of triglycerides have a small viable market. One persistent problem holding them back is the glycerine byproduct that must be marketed or disposed of. - Plant-based oils can be genetically engineered to have good aviation properties but to provide a meaningful portion of our transportation fuel will require (hundreds of?) millions of acres under cultivation. The trade off may be growing less grain and livestock - and paying more for it. - Historically, when petroleum was not available, aviation distillate was produced by coal gasification units feeding a Fischer-Tropsch synthesis reaction. Technology that was well advanced in Germany during the latter stages of WWII, and spurred their development of jet-powered aircraft. The process was dusted off and used again in South Africa during the embargo/sanctions era. During the Obama administration, DOE invested heavily in efforts to substitute carbon-neutral carbon sources for coal (municipal waste, wood chips etc.) but conversion efficiency was so poor that carbon neutrality remained completely out of reach. I think 15% renewable content is fine for demonstration purposes but I'd be surprised if Jet Blue's line operations can sustain it and make money. It may not matter. They've already gotten their recognition.

Kim Hunter

Unless the feedstock is "free," it's difficult to imagine that the cost of fake kerosene ever will be competitive with the cost of kerosene refined fron crude oil. The higher cost has to be rationalized (excused, really) with a rinse in the holy water of being "green." Liquid hydrogen would be about as green as things can get - depending on how green the hydrolosys-and-liquifaction-process electricity is (always a contentious topic). But I advocate using pie as an aviation fuel. Much like a PAFI inspired lead-free gasoline substitute, it's ALL pie-in-the-sky. Make mine a la mode, please.

Tom Yarsley

Picture of the Week, September 20, 2018
Taken at Lake Hood seaplane base in Anchorage, Alaska, with a Canon 5D Mark II. Photo by Robbie Culver.

See all submissions

Discover the Exciting World of Today's Homebuilt Aircraft! Take to the Air with a Subscription to 'Kitplanes' Magazine and Receive the Annual Homebuilt Buyers Guide as a Gift
Short Final: Traffic In Sight

I was flying from Jacksonville, North Carolina, to College Park, Maryland, on an IFR flight plan to go to a Redskins game. It was a CAVU day. The following exchange took place somewhere southeast of Richmond:

Washington Center: “Skyhawk 68E, traffic two o’clock, 10 miles, westbound, 500 feet above.”

Skyhawk 68E: “Negative contact, but I’m looking.”

Washington Center: “Piper 123, traffic 10 o’clock, 10 miles, northbound, 500 feet below.”

Piper 123: “Negative contact, but we’re looking too.”

A few minutes pass.

Washington Center: “Skyhawk 68E previously called traffic is now one o’clock, 3 miles, and my monitor has your course merging in two minutes.”

Just as the two of us are passing each other:

Skyhawk 68E: “Washington Center I have traffic on TCAS and in sight.”

Washington Center: “Piper 123 also has you in sight and wants you to know there’s some dirt on top of your right wing.”

Skyhawk 68E: “Thank you Center, and please tell the Piper that his nose tire looks a bit low.”

We all had a good laugh about it.

John Podraza
Jacksonville, NC
General Aviation Accident Bulletin

AVweb’s General Aviation Accident Bulletin is taken from the pages of our sister publication, Aviation Safety magazine, and is published twice a month. All the reports listed here are preliminary and include only initial factual findings about crashes. You can learn more about the final probable cause in the NTSB’s website at Final reports appear about a year after the accident, although some take longer. Find out more about Aviation Safety at

December 6, 2017, Chesterfield, Mo.

Beech B36TC Turbocharged Bonanza

The airplane impacted a gas station pump canopy and parking lot at 1454 Central time, following a reported loss of engine power while on a visual approach. The solo private pilot sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed by post-impact fire. Visual conditions prevailed; the flight was conducted on an IFR flight plan. According to preliminary information, the airplane was on a left-traffic visual approach when the pilot reported losing power. The local controller immediately cleared the pilot to land but he responded that he may not be able to make it to the airport. No further communications were received from the pilot. Witnesses observed the airplane at a low altitude with no engine noise. Shortly thereafter, the airplane impacted the gas station and a post-impact fire ensued. Witnesses attempted to suppress the fire with available fire extinguishers but were unsuccessful due to the intense heat and smoke.

December 7, 2017, St. Croix, V.I.

Beech 58 Baron

At about 2100 Atlantic time, the airplane was destroyed after it impacted terrain while attempting to return to the airport shortly after takeoff. The private pilot and four passengers were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed. Shortly after takeoff, the pilot reported to ATC, “the engines are not running right,” and requested to return to the airport. The controller instructed the pilot to fly north and cleared the airplane to land on Runway 10. There were no further communications with the pilot. The airplane came to rest on flat terrain, about 380 feet from the Runway 10 threshold and about 60 feet right of the extended runway centerline. The airplane was destroyed by impact forces and consumed by fire. Examination revealed a hole in the top forward portion of the left engine crankcase and connecting rods 4, 5, and 6 were broken. The left engine’s propeller blades appeared to be in the feathered position.

December 7, 2017, Auburn, Wash.

Cessna 172D Skyhawk

The airplane experienced a loss of aileron control during landing at about 1600 Pacific time. The solo private pilot was not injured but the airplane sustained substantial damage to its right wing and fuselage. Visual conditions prevailed. The pilot later reported the airplane’s nose veered sharply left without any control input after turning final for Runway 16. The pilot counteracted the movement by applying right rudder and the airplane veered to the right as he noticed that he had no response from aileron control input. The pilot tried to stabilize the airplane with rudder and aborted the landing by applying power. As power was applied, however, the lack of aileron response became more pronounced. He decided to reduce throttle and land. Subsequently the airplane landed on the runway surface about 45 degrees off the runway heading, exited the right side of the runway and impacted a water retention pond.

December 8, 2017, Geneva, Fla.

Beech C90 King Air

At about 1115 Eastern time, the airplane was destroyed when it impacted a lake. The flight instructor and two commercial pilots receiving instruction were fatally injured. Instrument and visual conditions prevailed in the area. An IFR flight plan was in effect. Preliminary information revealed the flight conducted a practice instrument approach to Runway 9 and executed a go-around. Controllers changed the active runway to 27R and vectored the flight for a practice ILS to it. About two minutes after the flight was cleared for the approach, the controller issued a low altitude alert and advised the flight to climb to 1,600 feet. Following a second low altitude alert with instructions to immediately climb to 1,600 feet, the flight responded, “I am sir, I am.” Shortly afterward, radar and radio contact with the accident airplane were lost. A witness observed the airplane below the cloud ceiling at 250 to 300 feet agl, then it climbed rapidly. The witness then observed the airplane dive vertically into the lake.

December 9, 2017, Algona, Iowa

Cessna 172C Skyhawk

The airplane collided with a ditch at about 0945 Central time during a forced landing after a complete loss of engine power during initial climb. The flight instructor, student pilot and passenger were not injured; the airplane sustained

substantial damage. Visual conditions existed. The student pilot was flying during takeoff. When the airplane reached 1,800 feet MSL, the student pilot began a left turn on course. Shortly after the turn, the engine went silent and stopped producing power. The flight instructor took control, slowed the airplane and landed into the wind on a gravel road. During the landing roll, the left wheel caught the edge of the road and the airplane veered into the ditch, which resulted in substantial damage to the wing and fuselage. Examination revealed the No. 1 cylinder head had separated at the cylinder-head-to-barrel interface.

This article originally appeared in the September 2018 issue of Aviation Safety magazine.

For more great content like this, subscribe to Aviation Safety!

Home Contact Advertise Help
Unsubscribe Manage Subscriptions Privacy Policy