Engine-Failure Risks

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It fascinates me that many GA pilots of single-engine airplanes cruise at such low altitudes. Theyre apparently oblivious to the fact that they are flying behind a single engine and if it fails you are on short final to somewhere! Extra altitude not only increases your radius of action, it also adds extra time for trouble shooting (which might eliminate the initial problem altogether) and increases the probability that a Mayday call might be heard. The side benefits include greater aircraft efficiency, cooler temperatures in the summer and possibly a smoother ride, in addition to less-congested airspace. Those long, low, flat, power-on final approaches can put you in the trees if your engine even coughs on short final. Keep a little energy in the bank and make it SOP to shoot for a reasonable aiming point on the runway.
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