Its a Bad Day to be a Fly!
I leveled off and turned off the crossfeed at the same time. Mark was setting the proper frequencies in the radios for the ILS 19R approach as my scan picked up a red flag on my attitude indicator. I wondered how long it had been there. The red flag indicated that my flight director had failed. I turned it off and then back on in the hope that it might come back to life but it remained dead.
I had never used one until the company bought the Citation. Even so, not having the computed guidance cues of the flight director, I had to work harder to remain on course and altitude. I realized then, as I struggled to keep the needles centered, that I had begun to depend too much on that flight director. I could feel the tension but needed to concentrate on just flying the airplane.
A bad day in the cockpit
Mark now had the before landing checklist in hand, and we completed the last item as the glideslope pointer began to move downward, indicating the airplane was on the proper flight path. At this point, we were on our second instrument approach, flying with one engine out, having already executed one single-engine missed approach with the landing gear down and locked. Then, we suffered a hydraulic pump failure, necessitating us to crossfeed fuel to balance the load and had a flight director failure, all at night in bad weather that was getting worse.
Surely nothing else could go wrong. My eyes were glued to the instruments as Mark called out our altitude, airspeed and sink rate when, suddenly, the number one navigation radio failed. Fortunately, our procedures called for the number two radio to be set as a backup for all approaches and, before I got too far off course, I was able to transition to a standby instrument slaved to the number two navigation radio displaying course and glide slope information. I could see the lead-in lights, then the runway itself.
We were over the end of the runway and, as the aircraft settled onto the pavement, we heard the reassuring squeak of the tires.
The Worst Days of the Year to Fly | Slideshow | The Active Times
I pushed the control wheel forward gently and reminded myself aloud that we had no thrust reversers to help us slow down. That was okay, though, because we had plenty of runway available. I quickly grabbed the emergency brake handle, removed my feet from the brake pedals, pulled the handle smoothly and there—we were slowing down and could pull off the runway and call for a tug to tow us in to the parking area. I could feel the tension melting away as we completed the after landing and the shutdown checklists.
We looked forward to the minute break before we had to take off again. Actually, we had not been off the ground tonight at all. Outside, the sky over Wichita was not cloudy but clear with a full moon. Even wearing short sleeve shirts as we were, the air was warm and sticky. Ed retired in with more than 18, hours of flight time. Nicely done!! You have a second career as a suspense novel writer ahead of you. I read this with my co-pilot, we both thought that you did an awesome job of building the suspense without building the disbelief.
Glad it was a sim ride, but it sounds like you two and your passengers would have walked off the plane with your heads high just the same. This event is from my book detailing my flying career. I was fortunate during that career to fly with some very fine pilots and learned from each of them. Thank you for the very nice comments. You kept the suspense level high and I could feel both the extra control pressure and the sweat. Hi Jim. I would love to read your story or book about flying in the Amazon jungle.
Thank you for the kind words. And then I laughed out loud! What an artist you are!! I first must commend you and Mark for your great CRM skills and how to handle multiple emergencies in a professional manner. Calmness remained after the right engine fire light and then the left hydraulic failure and I was thinking that these guys have it wired; and then I was thinking these things are happening at a rapid rate.
Hmm, could this be a sim flight? Great story! Try a Marine Phantom F Blown nose tires just as hitting the two burners, full fuel and loaded with bombs. The front started shaking violently as only rims are left.
A bad day in the cockpit
I pulled back on the stick lifting the rims and momentarily, very momentarily thought, aloft? Somewhere in a remote spot of my brain, something echoed FOD! Portions of both nose tires did go up into the intakes. Aloft the engine would have blown, G E Js- 17, lbs thrust each. At knots, Marine style Close Air Bombing, not Air Force, tree top level you hit burners immediately after drop, usually singles and haul that stick back.
Ground troops below, the enemy ones, have only a few seconds to fire at you. Back down you come for another drop. Does stretch the eardrums which earns you hearing aids as you age. I jerked my throttles back , out of burner and on, all the way to idle. I tippy toed at plus knots to the centerline and banged my tail hook down.
I hit the Morest wire and what seemed like too long a wait I started to reach for my ejection handle above my head. My hands froze half way up. Centrifugal force ruled.
The Best (and Cheapest) Days to Fly
The wire caught that big cleat at the end of the railroad track attached to the Phantoms tail. Latest Issue. Past Issues.
Helicopters can fly just fine in the rain, and in conditions way worse than prevailed in Paris on November Eliot Cohen: Trump fails his rendezvous in France. First, about helicopters and weather.
What follows is based on my having held an instrument rating as an airplane pilot for the past 20 years, and having worked in the Carter-era White House and occasionally having been aboard the Marine One of that era. There is nothing special about the rain-worthiness of the helicopter any president normally uses. In principle, any helicopter can fly in clouds or rain.
The complications would be:. Icing: This is one of the big weather-related perils of flying. The other is thunderstorms. This changes the shape of the airfoils, and it essentially makes a plane unable to fly. This was part of the story of the commuter plane that crashed going into Buffalo a few years ago.
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I did a long illustrated post about what icing looks like, and how it kills, back in Profile JOIN. Log in to get trip updates and message other travelers. Watch this Topic. Browse forums All Browse by destination. Air Travel forums. All forums. Level Contributor. Report inappropriate content. Re: is easter sunday a bad day to fly. Destination Expert for Air Travel. Ask a question.
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