October 2000 Issue

Real vs. Ideal

The numbers in the POH are for a pristine new airplane, but wear and age take their toll

The telephone rang and I had the premonition it would be bad news. The very good friend grimly said, ďPat, Iíve had an accident.Ē He sounded devastated, but luckily no one was hurt.

He was two hours into a cross-country flight from California to New Mexico when the engine unexpectedly quit 15 minutes from the destination. He was able to glide to an abandoned runway, but unfortunately a trench had been dug across the runway and he was unable to stop the aircraft before it nosed over into the trench. When the investigators showed up, the fuel tanks had no fuel. It didnít look good for my friend.

While going through the formal inquiry, my friend showed his preflight planning to the inves...

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