October 2011 Issue

Making The Field

Planning a dead-stick approach works a lot better when you employ the “key position” concept for turns and other decisions.

I had just been hired to instruct in the manufacturer’s authorized pilot training program for the Beechcraft Bonanza. Part of my orientation was a check flight with Norm, the lead instructor of Bonanza training (whom I was replacing as he moved up the product line). We were in an older A36 about 4000 feet over Anthony, Kan., when he reached over and pulled the throttle, choking off the Bonanza’s tired, TBO-busting IO-520 engine. I immediately found the local airport, pointed the Bonanza toward it, and transitioned to a glide as I stepped through the emergency checklist from memory. Norm declared my restart efforts moot, so I pulled the vernier prop control to the low rpm position and committed to a glide.

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