Flight Training - June 2021 - 8

ALWAYS LEARNING BY KOLLIN STAGNITO

Vice President of Publications/Editor
KOLLIN STAGNITO often lands on
unimproved grass runways in the
Midwest; he pretends he's in the
backcountry.
kollin.stagnito@aopa.org

GET FOCUSED

After earning your pilot certificate, federal aviation regulation
61.56 requires you to accomplish a flight review every 24 calendar
months to act as pilot in command. A flight review can be generic
and boring, or focused and memorable-the choice is yours.
Eager to try something different, I asked my flight instructor to use the Mountain & Backcountry Flying Focused Flight Review, one of eight scenario-based flight
reviews offered by the AOPA Air Safety Institute (focusedflightreview.org). He
enthusiastically embraced the change of pace.
The hour of ground training included topics specific to backcountry flying including density altitude, mountain weather, and pilot technique and decision making.
Unlike the practical test you take to earn your pilot certificate, a flight review
allows you to ask questions and your instructor to teach. It's a terrific opportunity
to brush up on knowledge you may have forgotten since you earned your certificate
(or since your last flight review) and add to your repertoire of flying techniques.
Ground complete, we took off in my Cessna 140 for the flight training portion
of the review.
We practiced turning stalls to simulate poorly executed approaches and
go-arounds at backcountry strips. Maintaining proper flight control coordination
throughout the stall is critical to avoid a wing unexpectedly dropping, potentially
delaying stall recovery while close to the ground.
With some imagination in the flatlands of Illinois, I performed an emergency
canyon turn-a maneuver intended to reverse course in the smallest radius possible
to escape the tight confines of a box canyon. This one surprised me. I was able to slow
8  FLIGHT TRAINING JUNE 2021

to 65 knots, bank 45 degrees, and pull the
control wheel almost all the way aft without stalling-even without flaps. The turn
was much tighter than I expected.
A chandelle followed. This maximum-performance climbing turn can be
used to demonstrate skills required to
avoid rising mountainous terrain while at
the same time reversing course. I learned
this maneuver in a Piper Arrow while
training for my commercial certificate,
and at that time its application seemed
academic. Flying the chandelle in this
scenario helped me understand why these
skills might be useful in an emergency.
Upon rolling wings level at the top of
the chandelle, my engine " quit. " A simulated engine failure always occurs during
the flight review-it's just a matter of when
and where. After trimming for best glide
speed, I spotted a private airport about 3
miles away and flew toward it. Each step of
this emergency procedure can be found in
" Technique: Off-Airport Landing, " p. 30.
We were 2,500 feet above the ground
and already lined up with the runway,
so I entered a forward slip. This allowed
me to bleed off excess altitude as I
approached the airport for a straight-in
landing.
It all worked out great, and at 500
feet my instructor told me to go around.
I turned off the carburetor heat and as I
applied power the engine quit-for real.
We were both startled; the training scenario became real. My instinctive reaction
had been drilled into me by many instructors: When equipment on the airplane
stops working as expected, undo the last
change you made. This works for engine
controls, fuel selectors, avionics, and
more-and it worked for us. Application of
carb heat immediately brought the engine
back to life, and I was able to ease in full
throttle and make a climbing turn around
the airport, just to be safe.
Although the glide had lasted less
than three minutes, my failure to periodically open the throttle for a few seconds
to keep the engine warm (known as
clearing the engine) had enabled carb ice
to build up, even with carb heat on.
My ASI Focused Flight Review was
a success. I was able to hone skills for
backcountry flying, learn a few tricks
from a flight instructor who has different
mountain flying experience than I, and
gain confidence in emergency techniques I
hope I never have to use. FT


http://www.focusedflightreview.org

Flight Training - June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - June 2021

Contents
Flight Training - June 2021 - Intro
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover1
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover2
Flight Training - June 2021 - Contents
Flight Training - June 2021 - 2
Flight Training - June 2021 - 3
Flight Training - June 2021 - 4
Flight Training - June 2021 - 5
Flight Training - June 2021 - 6
Flight Training - June 2021 - 7
Flight Training - June 2021 - 8
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Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover3
Flight Training - June 2021 - Cover4
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