September 2010 Issue

From Denial To Final, II

Things to do once you shake of the initial shock of an engine failure include nailing the best-glide airspeed, configuring the airplane and finding a place to land.

There you are, droning along in cruise. Suddenly, thereís a vibration, then a power surge, then combustion ends...and youíre flying a glider. For a moment you hesitateóno one is immune from at least a split-second of indecision, most of us much longeróand then you realize you have an engine failure. You maintain control, point the aircraft in the direction of a place to land, then confirm the failure. If you have time and altitude you can try to restart the engine, but if the failure is catastrophic youíll quickly find thereís nothing you can do to fix the engine from the pilotís seat. You are committed to a glide and a power-off landing.

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