I had a blog ready to go but this amazing emergency response should be examined; too good to ignore. Put yourself in this pilot’s position, could you respond this professionally? What elements, planning and skill, made this work so smoothly?
This is a great example of professional flying after a catastrophic engine failure, handled perfectly. The pilot was calm, and accepted the emergency (no denial, no panic). He was also skillful, heading directly to a nearby field (none of the usual delay or indecision). Additionally, this pilot was resourceful, soliciting the controller’s help (who was also a pro) and the result was a perfect landing at a nearby alternate. Obviously, luck played a part in this successful outcome, great weather (though filed IFR), altitude to play with, and a nearby airport. But probably good planning “making your own luck,” was involved – staying current on emergencies, planning the cross country route over airports rather than over mountains, and staying current on emergencies? Can you imagine the outcome here if this was solid clouds into the mountains (no ceilings)? Notice his technique of heading directly to the field and losing altitude overhead to enter a “normal/familiar pattern” (we never see this on flight tests)! In most flight tests, the applicant makes an amazingly long final which ruins sink analysis. If you have ever tried a glider, these skills transfer to make an event like this “almost normal.” Glider experience builds deadstick skills and sharpens awareness of sink rate and wind effects. Every glider landing is deadstick requiring and all the drift/sink calculations (See Kai Gersten “Off Airport Landings“)
When an engine blows up – this happens despite most careful maintenance – you want to be this guy, not a twisted pile of aluminum in the trees; great job! Fly safe out there and often.
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