September 2017 Issue

Distraction’s Rabbit Hole

All too often, distraction is the root cause of common accidents—and even mechanical failures.

Shortly after buying my Cessna 180, I decided an upgrade to slightly larger tires would help the plane better handle Idaho’s backcountry strips. That turned out to be a great decision, but not for the obvious benefit of landing with larger tires on rough runways. When the mechanic popped the hubcaps to expose the retaining nut holding the wheel to the axle, he discovered it was about ready to fall off. The nut did not…

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