Flight Training - January 2015 - 24

FLIGHT LESSON

By Arnold D. Seligman
FLIGHT LESSON offers the
opportunity for pilots to learn
from the experiences of others.

JUST ONE OF
THOSE THINGS

'NEW' AIRPLANE AND AN OFF-AIRPORT LANDING

T

his true story began September 24, 2013. I had won the Ebay
auction of a 125-horsepower Piper Tri-Pacer and made
arrangements with the owner to come to Manistee, Michigan, to get it. The trip involved a 16-hour bus ride.

24 /

FLIGHTTRAINING.AOPA.ORG

Manistee to Jeffersonville is 365 air
miles. We made a fuel stop halfway in
Plymouth, Indiana. Then we were cruising along at 2,200 rpm at about 3,000 feet,
and my friend pulled out some crackers
and other stuff, and we were having a
grand old time until we were 72 miles
from Jeffersonville.
I had once flown traffic in the Louisville, Kentucky, area and had an occasion
when the engine started to bang. I
landed at Standiford Field. A day and
$2,000 later I was back in the air. A stuck
exhaust valve on the number one cylinder was the culprit.
Getting back to the flight from Plymouth, I heard that same bang-only it
continued to bang away. I said a short
prayer, Lord, I need your help! I grabbed
the GPS from the passenger side and hit
GO TO. It responded with turn to 290
degrees and there was an airport 5.4 miles
away. Now the engine was barely running.
I pushed in the mixture control that was
really only about a quarter of an inch out,

ALEX WILLIAMSON

I left a car at Clark Regional Airport
in Jeffersonville, Indiana. My lady friend
and I boarded a bus at 3 a.m. and settled
in for the ride.
Sixteen hours later we were picked up
in Cadillac, Michigan. Since it was late in
the day, the owner gave us the logbooks to
look over that evening. The next morning we went to the airport to see what I
had won. I had pictures, but you all know
that airplanes are photogenic. The farther
away one gets the better they look. It
turned out that this bird was a 10 on the
outside and a nine inside.
The owner flew left seat for a couple
of landings, and then I took over. The
first four-place airplane I flew was a
Tri-Pacer, so I had a pretty good idea
of where the brakes, flaps, and trim
crank were, and how to start the engine.
After I did a couple of landings and the
owner thought I could handle the airplane, we went back into the hangar to
sign the papers. After refueling we were
on our way.

not enough to make a difference. I pushed
the throttle in, the engine burped, and
that was it. We were going down and that
was the scene.
Fortunately, there was a huge soybean
field right under us. I set up an 80-mph
glide approach and skimmed the tops
of the soybeans for about 500 yards. Oil
began pouring out on the windshield.
There was no forward visibility, but I
wasn't planning to make any turns anyway. We came to a stop with a thud and
turned the switches off and took stock of
where we were and what had happened.
Another pilot informed Indianapolis Approach that we did an off-airport
landing. Then out we went. I could shoot
Mr. Piper for not putting a pilot-side
door in some of his airplanes, because
I couldn't help my friend out. She was
shaken up a little but not injured. After a
hug and "thank you, Lord," there we stood
in the middle of this soybean field.
One cannot imagine what that engine
looked like when the cowling was raised.
Sitting on both sides of the top of the
engine were chunks of aluminum castings
the size of one's fist with the camshaft
sticking out the top. Oil was draining off
the windshield. Sections of the nose cowl
had holes and dents in it from the engine
throwing metal out through the cowling
holes and the propeller throwing some of
them back. Other than that, the airplane
was in good shape.
Meeting with the FAA representative
the next day, he did not leave any stones
unturned. I knew that he didn't have
anything on me because my flight review,
medical, time in type, and frequency of
flying all were up to date. The outcome
that everyone agreed upon was like the
song says, "it was just one of those things."
By the way, my passenger and I were
both 83 years old at the time. Since then I
have bought another 150-horsepower TriPacer and we are back in the air.


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Flight Training - January 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - January 2015

Contents
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover1
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover2
Flight Training - January 2015 - Contents
Flight Training - January 2015 - 2
Flight Training - January 2015 - 3
Flight Training - January 2015 - 4
Flight Training - January 2015 - 5
Flight Training - January 2015 - 6
Flight Training - January 2015 - 7
Flight Training - January 2015 - 8
Flight Training - January 2015 - 9
Flight Training - January 2015 - 10
Flight Training - January 2015 - 11
Flight Training - January 2015 - 12
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 14
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 16
Flight Training - January 2015 - 17
Flight Training - January 2015 - 18
Flight Training - January 2015 - 19
Flight Training - January 2015 - 20
Flight Training - January 2015 - 21
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 24
Flight Training - January 2015 - 25
Flight Training - January 2015 - 26
Flight Training - January 2015 - 27
Flight Training - January 2015 - 28
Flight Training - January 2015 - 29
Flight Training - January 2015 - 30
Flight Training - January 2015 - 31
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 33
Flight Training - January 2015 - 34
Flight Training - January 2015 - 35
Flight Training - January 2015 - 36
Flight Training - January 2015 - 37
Flight Training - January 2015 - 38
Flight Training - January 2015 - 39
Flight Training - January 2015 - 40
Flight Training - January 2015 - 41
Flight Training - January 2015 - 42
Flight Training - January 2015 - 43
Flight Training - January 2015 - 44
Flight Training - January 2015 - 45
Flight Training - January 2015 - 46
Flight Training - January 2015 - 47
Flight Training - January 2015 - 48
Flight Training - January 2015 - 49
Flight Training - January 2015 - 50
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Flight Training - January 2015 - 53
Flight Training - January 2015 - 54
Flight Training - January 2015 - 55
Flight Training - January 2015 - 56
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover3
Flight Training - January 2015 - Cover4
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