Learning Experiences

July 2004 Issue

Learning Experiences: 07/04

Running Out of Gas
Unfortunately, running out of fuel is still not an uncommon cause of private aircraft mishaps. I was flying home from a relaxing two-hour flight with about 30 minutes of fuel left as my home field came into view. When I was five minutes from the grass strip, my engine suddenly quit very abruptly, as if it had run out of fuel—it had. The first thing I did (correctly) was to establish the best glide angle and head straight for the airstrip. When I was less than a mile from the runway (downwind, as it turns out) and 2000 feet high, I started my descent. This was the wrong thing to do. I made a near-perfect power-off glide right down to the ground, 10 feet short of...

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