This article is a companion to "Pelican's Perch #4: Engine Failure!" by John Deakin. It contains additional notes, references, and comments.
It ain't easy being contrary, but AVweb's John Deakin makes the effort worthwhile. Engine failure in a piston twin is no time to be messing with complicated procedures that some seem to favor. John lays out his straightforward ideas on how to react to this critical emergency - and explains why in detail. There's more to it than just "identify, verify, feather" or "dead foot, dead engine." Once again, the real world requirements that could save your life may not be well served by some of "the old ways."
Remember when all it took to navigate was a sectional and a watch? You don't? Maybe you should rediscover the joys of pilotage and ded reckoning. AVweb columnist Howard Fried sounds off about one of his pet peeves: we're losing one of the most enjoyable aspects of flying, one that also happens to be a potential lifesaver when all our electronic gadgets decide they've had enough.
John Deakin tears apart his own impressive flying bio (32,000 hours, 747 captain, designated pilot examiner, yadda yadda yadda) to make the point that tens of thousands of hours, gray hair, advanced ratings and the rest don't necessarily mean a pilot is worth listening to. He encourages pilots to think about the advice they are given - is it sage advice that could save you from a lot of trouble some day, or just a bunch of nonsense from the local ABM (airport big mouth)? Along the way, Deakin skewers a few OWTs (old wives' tales) - flying myths that just never seem to die.
John Deakin's first "Pelican's Perch" column, "Throw Away That Stupid Checklist," generated considerable controversy. (There's nothing wrong with that, it's why we asked John to write: to make us all think about what we are doing.) Unfortunately, a good deal of that controversy appears to stem from misunderstandings about what he wrote, generating more heat than light on the subject. Others apparently agree with John's points, but for some reason think he shouldn't say what he said. In this column, John clarifies some of the points that appear to have been misunderstood by some readers and he then goes on to expand upon the subject of checklist use.
Say again? You heard correct, just toss it. "Heresy!" some will cry, but AVweb columnist John Deakin - who's not only a 32,000-hour 747 captain, but also a Bonanza owner and FAA-designated pilot examiner - explains why written checklists are neither necessary or appropriate to single-pilot operations. Deakin offers a viable alternative that could save your life.
Next time you're sweating an approach to minimums, consider this: someone had to fly it first. Elrey B. Jeppesen did just that. He was father of today's instrument approach procedures and modern instrument charts. His passing marks the end of an era. In this December 1991 pilot-to-pilot interview, Capt. Jepp recalls his career as a barnstormer, airmail pilot, airline captain and aviation chartmaker.