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    « The State of General Aviation | Main | Be True to Your School—Keep General Aviation Growing »

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    Vincent, from PlasticPilot.net

    Thanks for sharing that Max. Having been based in Switzerland for a while, I could no be indiferent to the title of this post. As the pilot, I don't fly IFR at night over mountainous areas, particularly not in IMC and turbulence.

    But I don't fully agree with what you say about having the same standards with and without instructor, or with and without a safety pilot.

    Taking that to an extreme, no one would ever be in a position to learn flying - this requires at the begining to accept that the instructor is sole able to bring the plane back safely.

    I also flew a lot with qualified pilots in the right hand seat, including IFR flights close to the minimums. I would not have done this alone, even if the aircraft is formally single pilot. Should the pilot in the right hand seat become incapacitated, I would probably divert to a place with better weather, or make more use of the autopilot.

    The JAA regulations regarding approach minimas for single pilots aircraft are clear: visibility must be 800 meters or more. To legally fly an approach with a visiblity between the formal CAT I minimum of 550 meters and 800, there must be a second pilot on board (a certified autopilot qualifies).

    I also think that when the conditions are slightly beyond the pilot´s comfort zone (I insist on slightly) flying with an instructor helps to gain a bit more confidence. Typically, I had an instructor on board the first time I flew VFR within 5'000 meters visibility as a newly certified pilot. This was fine, but I would not feel comfortable without a trusted instructor.

    This is also a point: I don't trust any instructor for such flights...

    My two cents

    Vincent

    Dan Bowles

    Dear Max, thank you for this posting. I am a CFII who recently received CFIT transition training in G1000 for C182. Great training, fascinating and all that.
    In the Emergency Procedures section of the POH under Engine Failures there is no mention of trying one mag at a time, or to do a mag check. I hope this story will lodge in the brain of the next pilot who has a similar occurrence, and that many of us will keep the idea tucked away in our mental bag of tricks to try in a scary situation.

    Fiid Williams

    Seems like if the engine is running really roughly, and cutting out, trying both magnetos independently would be a good troubleshooting step; and one which isn't taught as part of the Private.

    Craig Maiman

    Hi Max,

    I've been seeing a lot of articles recently about engine failures (rare, but they happen) and I am curious what you think about a website I started a couple of months ago. It called Emergency Runways http://www.emergencyrunways.com/index.php and the idea is for pilots to help create a database of places to land in an emergency situation. With the hope that at some point Garmin (et. al.) will take the database so it's usable in flight. Please read the About Us for a better explanation:
    http://www.emergencyrunways.com/about.php

    Thanks,

    Craig
    P.S. I don't charge for this site at all, so I hope you don't think I'm trying to advertise.

    Greg Brown

    Thought-provoking story, Max. Thanks for posting it!
    Greg

    Max Trescott

    Wow, lot's of comments. I think this story is certainly every pilot's nightmare. If it happened to me, I'd hope to wake up and find that it was just a bad dream!

    Vincent, you raise good points. You said "Taking that to an extreme, no one would ever be in a position to learn flying." While that's true, I wasn't advocating that one take it to the extreme. Just that, like my friend who had the engine failure, they shouldn't lower their standards just because they perceive they're with a more experienced pilot.

    Dan, I haven't checked the AFM of the planes I fly most frequently, but it may be that many AFM's don't suggest switching the mags after a power loss. I'll certainly be more inclined to do that in the future.

    Fiid, you're right, we probably don't emphasize that enough in the Private training curriculum.

    Craig, I had already heard about your website and you address the question I had in my mind, which was how do you access the data from the air when you need it the most. BTW, when I taught at KRHV which is surrounded by houses, I walked the fields at two neighboring schools so that I would know exactly how to make the most of their fields if I lost an engine after takeoff. That's something every pilot should consider doing at their home airport.

    Fernando Montalvo

    Max,

    Great post! I think you bring up an interesting point on that last comment about researching fields near a pilot's primary airport(s). I think its something every pilot should do when they fly a lot out of a particular airport and not many of us do it.


    Fernando

    Dave G

    I always taught students to try switching the mags, but I did it out of rote and never really had a good explanation for it. Now I do. Thanks!

    By the way, if the mags have a chance of being defective, wouldn't you think the inspection should be covered under the warrantee if the aircraft is still in warrantee?

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