AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 104

NEWS & NOTES 

AOPA AIR SAFETY INSTITUTE

Never give up

Prepare for emergencies and learn from
one pilot's journey across the Atlantic
BY ALICIA HERRON

NEW FROM ASI
THERE I WAS...:
GEAR-UP LANDING

In this episode we talk to Todd
Clark, a 700-hour pilot based in
beautiful Kalispell, Montana. Clark
experienced a gear-up landing
in his Mooney M20J, and he joins
ASI to talk about the day's events
that led up to the incident.
airsafetyinstitute.org/thereiwas

THERE'S NO WAY TO BE TOTALLY READY for
every emergency, but there are ways to significantly improve your odds of surviving
one. Preparation predicts performance. A
NASA study of airline crew performance
found that 85 percent of " textbook " emergencies-those that the crews had trained
for-were handled well, while only 7 percent of " new " emergency situations were
handled with the same degree of success.
While we can't avoid the slim possibility of a " new " emergency, many
emergencies are avoidable because they're
set in motion by the pilot (pilot error). Too
often, pilots fly into avoidable scenarios,
like icing conditions, thunderstorms, fuel
exhaustion, and VFR into IMC-sometimes leading to an accident. That these
accidents are largely preventable makes
their associated fatalities and destruction
even more painful.
But if you manage risks wisely and
maintain real-time awareness of what you
can and can't control, you'll reduce the
probability of an emergency. You can't control the weather, but you can choose your
route. You can't significantly modify your
fuel burn in unexpected headwinds, but

104 | AOPA PILOT February 2021

you can control when and where you land
to refuel. Practice good aeronautical decision making: You'll be less likely to have an
emergency and more able to cope with one.
Here are some key points to consider
before each flight to help you prepare for
an emergency:
* Brief every flight to cover emergency
contingencies and critical checklist items.
Commit immediate procedures to memory-and practice them.
* Route selection: Are you flying over water,
high terrain, or a forest? What's the weather
like on the ground along your route? Have a
plan for an unscheduled off-airport landing.
* Practice engine-out and partial-panel scenarios with a qualified flight instructor.
* Equip for redundancy-carry backup
radios/GPS equipment, and batteries.
* Pack a survival kit appropriate to the flight
and number of people on board.
* File and activate a flight plan to help with
potential search and rescue operations.
* If planning to fly IFR and in actual IMC,
know where the nearest VFR conditions
are and the height of the ceilings along
your route of flight. Do you feel prepared
for an engine-out scenario with 1,000-foot

ceilings? How about 200-foot ceilings?
* Don't guess with fuel-always know how
much you have available and plan to land
with a reserve.
Other critical factors in surviving an
emergency are attitude and a commitment
to never give up. In the summer of 1994,
Kerry McCauley, an international ferry
pilot now with more than 30 years of experience, was flying over the North Atlantic
to Paris in a new Bonanza F33 when he
discovered an issue with his auxiliary fuel
tank. The problem? No ram air-the fuel
wasn't moving. The solution? Pressurize
the tank via lung power. For eight straight
hours McCauley was alone, over the ocean,
in a single-engine airplane, with only his
will keeping him aloft and alive.
McCauley's commitment to his own
survival is what kept him alive when he
could have given up. His grit and determination are good lessons to all pilots that
even in a seemingly hopeless situation-
like flying solo over the Atlantic-there can
be a positive resolution.
airsafetyinstitute.org/RPS/atlantic
EMAIL alicia.herron@aopa.org


http://www.airsafetyinstitute.org/thereiwas http://www.airsafetyinstitute.org/RPS/atlantic

AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 7
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover4
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