GAARMS Report: April 2017
OUR GOOD LUCK IS HOLDING! WE HAVE NOW MADE IT THROUGH MARCH WITH NO MORE FATAL ACCIDENTS. LET’S HOPE JANUARY WAS JUST AN ANOMOLY, A “BLIP” IN OUR SAFETY EFFORTS.
GAARMS 2017 went off quite well back on March the 18th. The program was hosted by TRANSPAC, and my thanks go out to them for supporting the program. We filled 2 classrooms with about 60 participants, and the discussions were very interactive. Thanks to all who participated!
I am sorry to report that this month’s article will be short. I am very involved in several other business opportunities and on the road a lot the past month, leaving not very much time to sit down and write an extensive article. Those opportunities are all related to aviation safety interests, both domestic and international. HA – the international travel is exhausting to say the least, and burns up a lot of travel hours!!
Speaking of safety, the past month I spent some time doing a “Pinch Hitter” training program for the wife of a pilot who just wanted some training on how to land the plane if something happened to her husband en route – in a “throw-over” yoke equipped Bonanza!! Well, I did NOT do the training in that aircraft, but in out trusty C172 with dual controls… Her husband had shown her how to “throw over” the yoke, and she was somewhat familiar with the controls and instrumentation, “somewhat” being the operative word. OH, and did I mention the bonanza does NOT have brakes on the co-pilot side??
Most of us would admit learning how to land is the hardest, most frustrating, part of learning how to fly. We spend lots of hours in the pattern working on that, but suppose you just wanted to teach your wife how to get the airplane down on the ground – ONE TIME! And walk away from it in one piece! Hmmmm, teach someone – your wife – how to land an airplane one time, fighting fear, probably really scared, and with very limited knowledge of flying…
If your wife flies with you, here are some helpful hints you might want to consider showing or sharing with her –
Does she know how to operate a radio?
Change a frequency?
Understand the PTT function?
Even let her talk a little on the radio?
How to declare an emergency?
How to even ask for help?
Teach her/let her taxi to learn how to keep the airplane straight using the rudder, NOT THE STEERING WHEEL!!!!!
How power affects the pitch attitude of the nose…
How to make gentle descents using power
NEVER TO TOUCH THE RED KNOB!!
How to use the trim tab to control airspeed
How to put the gear down – or NOT!
How to read the altimeter, heading, and airspeed indicator
To always open the door before landing
WHEN IT’S OK TO PULL THE RED KNOB ALL THE WAY OUT!!
And the list could go on and on, but you have to remember that your wife may have NO interest in learning how to fly. She puts her life into your hands with complete trust (– or maybe not, which is why she never flies with you, but that is a subject for another day). However, if something happens to you and she is in the right seat, you have an obligation to give her some knowledge of how to get back on the ground in some semblance of safety.
And most husbands agree, do not try to teach your wife yourself!
Yes, you can pass on the above knowledge tips, but the actual flying part is best left to a flight instructor willing and able to teach the “Pinch Hitter” course. It is much different than teaching someone how to fly – it is almost like teaching someone how to “crash land”!
I will be gruesome just for the moment – if you “croak” at the controls of your airplane with your wife and kids on board, would you not want the person in the right seat to be able to save the rest of the lives in the airplane??? A little instruction goes a long way to giving them a chance, and they certainly deserve it! And yes, you may have to prod that person into doing it even if it is scary – their life may depend on it.
OMG – during a break in writing this, I happened to look at the weather forecast, and it says chance of 1-3 inches of snow on March 23rd. GOOD GRIEF, will winter never end! I want to put the snow blower away…
And for all of us ol’ timers, I will leave you with a cute story – The proud owner of a magnificent 1956 Chevrolet convertible, wrote to say he had restored the car to perfection over the last few years, and sent this:
On a very warm summer afternoon he decided to take his car to town. It needed gas, as the gauge was practically on empty, but he wanted ice cream, so he headed first to his favorite ice cream shop.
He had trouble finding a parking space and had to park the car down a side street. He noticed a group of young guys standing around smoking cigarettes and eyeing the car rather covetously. He was a bit uneasy leaving it there, but people often take interest in such an old and well-preserved car, so he went off to enjoy his ice cream. The line at the ice cream shop was long and it took him quite a while to return to his car. When he did, his worst fears were realized... his car was gone.
He called the police and reported the theft and then went back and bought a quart of pistachio ice cream. About ten minutes later the police called him to say they had found the car abandoned near a gas station a few miles out of town. It was unharmed and he was relieved. It seems just before he called, the police had received a call from a young woman who was an employee at a self-service gas station. She told them that three young men had driven in with this beautiful old convertible. One of them came to the window and prepaid for 20 dollars’ worth of gas. Then all three of them walked around the car. Then they all got in the car and drove off, without filling the tank.
The question is why would anybody steal a car, pay for gas that they never pumped and then abandon the car later and walk away?
They couldn't find where to put the gas!
There are a lot of FAASTeam safety programs on the schedule over the next couple of months all around the state, so go to WWW.FAASAFETY.GOV and click on seminars and check them out. You might find one that interests you…