July 2019 Issue

Out Of Gliding Distance

No, the airplane doesnít know itís over water. It also doesnít care, so itís a good idea to try minimizing the consequences if weíre forced to ditch.

The earthís surface is about 71 percent water. Most of us will never pilot a personal aircraft long distances over oceans, but eventually flying over some body of water while beyond gliding distance to land is almost a certainty. When we do that in a single-engine aircraft, the adverse consequences of an engine failure increase dramatically, even if the likelihood of that same failure remains the same. And even multi-engine aircraft have been forced to ditch, so an extra powerplant wonít always get you home.

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