March 2019 Issue

After The Prop Stops

Your options for dealing with an engine failure may not be good, but they arenít non-existent.

One of the oldest jokes in aviation holds that the big fan is there to cool the cockpit: Whenever it stops unexpectedly, the pilot starts to sweat. Every aviator whoís had that experience can probably confirm a significant uptick in pulse and respiration. In the best case, thatís accompanied by a corresponding intensification of focus, rapid execution of the memory steps of the emergency procedures checklist and efficient assessment of available alternatives. In the worst...well, those pilots arenít available for interviews, but tapes of their radio transmissions can make for uncomfortable listening.

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