Features

February 2016 Issue

Are Two Pilots Better Than One?

To minimize risk, there can be only one pilot flying the aircraft. Everything else is a supporting role, and communication is key.

The day’s mission was to coach a friend of mine through his three bangs-and-goes using another friend’s Cessna 172. Although he had little time, if any, in Cessnas, he was in the left seat. I was serving as PIC from the right. Shortly after we secured the cabin and ran the before-start checklist, the mighty 160-hp Lycoming was happily purring away. We were getting ready to call for a taxi clearance when the engine stopped. No cough, no protest, no warning. “What did you do?” I asked. “Nothing,” the bang-and-go candidate responded. So we ran the checklist again. When we came to the floor-mounted fuel selector, I asked, “How did the fuel selector get turned off?” He said, “It’s not; I turned it to ‘both’ before starting the engine and haven’t touched it since.” Houston, we found the problem.

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.