Features

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...

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