Learning Experiences

February 1999 Issue

Earning Trust

“You can be sure that I will never, NEVER trust a fuel gauge”

About five years ago I was a student pilot with about 35 hours, when it came time for me and my CFI to try a dual cross-country flight.

We planned to depart Merrill Field in Anchorage, Alaska, that morning and fly direct to Ruth Glacier on the flank of 20,300-ft. Mt. McKinley. When I entered the hangar where my rented C-172 was parked, the owner greeted me and said that “Mike,” another student, had fueled the airplane the night before, flown one-half hour practicing touch-and-goes, then landed and returned the airplane to its hangar.

He also assured me that, to save time, the Skyhawk had already been “pre-flighted” and was ready to go. My instructor came in and also said the airplane...

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