September 2000 Issue

Beacon in the Dark

When that glitzy panel craps out, youíll have to depend on a hundred-dollar antique

Put yourself in this situation, for a moment. You are cranking along on a cross-country, an IFR cross-country. For the moment you are VFR on top with a thick solid layer below. You are flying single pilot IFR with no VFR alternates within range.

Things are going along fairly smoothly, then trouble starts. The first indication on your ammeter/loadmeter goes unnoticed. You make a radio call to ATC they report as fading badly. The VOR pegs to one side of the instrument. The alternator warning light comes on. Electrical failure. That unplanned close-by VFR airfield would look pretty good about now.

ATC does notice that your transponder reply has vanished, but they canít call you. You hav...

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Aviation Safety

The monthly journal of risk management and accident prevention, is packed with useful, timely information on basic and advanced technique, accident analysis and, most important, practical articles on how you can develop the judgment that will keep you in the air and out of the NTSB's files.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.