For much more on flying safely see
<> .

C2008 Mastery Flight Training, Inc. All rights reserved

FLYING LESSONS for March 6, 2008

FLYING LESSONS uses the past week's mishap reports as the jumping-off
point to consider what might have contributed to accidents, so you can
make better decisions if you face similar circumstances. Feel free to
forward this message for the purpose of pilot education.

This week's lessons:

* We often hear where the pilot of a multiengine airplane
successfully deals with an engine failure, only to crash during an
attempted single-engine landing. For more on control and
decision-making after shutting down an engine in a twin, see my article
"Identify, Verify, Feather-Now What?" in the March 2007 issue of Twin
and Turbine <> magazine.

* Both Lycoming and Teledyne Continental now recommend an engine
tear-down and inspection following any sudden stoppage of a propeller or
a propeller strike, defined as any impact that changes the rotational
sped of the propeller or one that requires the propeller be removed from
the airplane to be repaired. The latter means even prop damage that
occurs when the propeller is not spinning requires an engine tear-down,
if the propeller is damaged enough it needs to be removed for repairs.

* There is growing evidence that a large number of in-flight
crankshaft and other internal engine structural failures are predated by
a propeller strike, hence the manufacturers' recommendation.

* Insurance companies are becoming enlightened about the wisdom of
an engine tear-down and inspection following a prop strike or sudden
stoppage to prevent more serious claims in the future, although word is
that some claims adjusters still need to be educated on the need for
this inspection. Some owners report having to be insistent to obtain
insurance coverage of the tear-down, repair of items showing damage as a
direct result of the stoppage, and engine reassembly.

* A flight instructor's primary purpose is to teach safe flying
practices. At times safety and mishap avoidance must pre-empt even the
instructional mission of the CFI/MEI.

* When the airplane is in motion on the ground all attention
should be outside the aircraft to avoid runway incursions and collisions
with obstacles. Delay tasks not immediately necessary until the
aircraft is brought to a stop in the run-up area or at the end of the
runway. Program navigation systems before taxi or when at a complete
stop afterward. Do not attempt to conduct systems checks, brief the
departure or any other phase of the upcoming flight, or run checklists
while taxiing.

* After landing and clear of the runway, bring the aircraft to a
complete stop to run After Landing checks and the reconfigure the
aircraft [this will help prevent an inadvertent gear retraction in
retractable gear airplanes, also], then taxi to parking with all eyes
focused outside.

* Instructors-reinforce these taxi habits by making them your own,
and insisting your students focus on position awareness and obstacle
avoidance in motion on the ground.

* Animals often remain near runways on cool nights after sunny
days, to stay warm as the pavement radiates heat it absorbed in the
daytime. Some pilots like to make one or two careful, low passes over a
runway before touching down at night to drive animals away.

* "Minor" damage from a landing gear-related mishap (LGRM) is
relative. It almost certainly means the airplane's engine(s) will need
to be torn down and likely overhauled; given the cost of doing so
compared to the airplane's hull value, insurance will often "total" the
aircraft, and it may not be financially feasible for the owner to repair
the aircraft.

* Sometimes landing gear systems fail in flight and the pilot is
unable to extend the gear by alternate ("emergency extension") means.
Failure of this method to extend the gear results from one of four

1) The pilot did not know the alternate procedure, as a result of
an incomplete pilot checkout in type;

2) Tools or equipment (hand cranks, pumps, specialized wrenches or
tools) were not available or accessible to the pilot when needed, as a
result of poor preflight inspection possibly combined with improper
maintenance practices.

3) The pilot made a poor decision to continue with the planned
flight if tools or equipment were not found in the proper place or to be
accessible during preflight; or

4) There was mechanical binding of the landing gear system such
that it would not extend using the alternate gear extension procedure.

Note that the outcome of three of the four possibilities is in your
hands as pilot-in-command.

Questions? Comments? Send me a note at


Commenting on last week's discussion of propeller overspeed as the first
indication of catastrophic oil loss, a reader (who is an aircraft
factory test pilot and Designated Pilot Examiner) relates his

I have been on your mailing list for a while and I appreciate your
insight. One thing that this article brought back to my mind is what
happened to me on a dark night in a Cardinal RG.

On this night, I spun a crankshaft bearing and the oil pressure went to
zero. Because I was descending at around 140 KIAS when this happened,
the first indication of a problem was a severe propeller overspeed due
to the oil pressure loss and the inability for the governor to control
it. I first pulled the prop back and got the rpm to respond but then
the No.1 connecting rod failed and the rest was history. I was
fortunate to be able to land on [a four-lane highway] without incident.
It was 11:30 pm so I know I have a very nice guardian angel.

I didn't realize until that incident how extreme the rpm can get on a
constant speed propeller when the airplane is at high speed and the oil
pressure goes away (over 3200 rpm). With the prop lever pulled full
out, I could barely keep the rpm at 2700.

Feel free to pass on any insight you may on this kind of scenario and
thanks for sharing all your insights in your email letters.

Thanks again for your insights.

And thank you, reader, for yours.


NTSB chairman (and FLYING LESSONS reader) Mark V. Rosenker said today
that the occasion of National Sleep Awareness Week (March 3-9) should
remind operators of vehicles in all modes of transportation about the
inherent dangers of fatigue. "The Safety Board is very concerned about
reducing accidents and incidents caused by human fatigue," Rosenker
said. "We have seen numerous accidents where human fatigue was the
probable cause or a contributing factor." Fatigue has been on the
Board's Most Wanted List of safety improvements since the list's
inception in 1990.

(Ironically, it's nearing midnight local time as I write this. However,
my flying tomorrow will be in the back of a commercial airliner, where
my fatigue should not affect the outcome of the flight. Hopefully my
aircrews are not up reading this as soon as it's posted.)

Although the NTSB's
recommendations for aviation address commercial operations in
particular, the information is at least as important to those who fly
for pleasure or business-people for whom aviation is often something
done after a long day at the office, or before the pilot has received an
adequate night's rest.


Thank you to the very many of you who have congratulated me on being
named the 2008 FAA Central Region CFI of the Year. I'm honored and
humbled to have been selected for this award in a region filled with so
many fine and dedicated instructors, and to have been a finalist for the
National-level honor. I hope I can use this new credential to increase
the visibility of the FAA Safety Team in the Central Region, and to do
my part to improve safety for pilots everywhere.

I especially want to thank these people who made this possible:

* Adrian Eichhorn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, former
FAA executive pilot and current JetBlue first officer. Adrian frankly
blindsided me at the B2Osh celebration at AirVenture 2007 when he pulled
me aside and announced his intention to sponsor me for this award-one
that he deserves at least as much as I.

* Nancy Johnson, executive director of American Bonanza Society,
who with her usual eloquence and unwavering support of my after-hours
instructional activities as well as the duties of my job, provided the
needed employer's endorsement.

* Mike Busch, AVweb founder, Savvy Aviator and 2008 national AMT
of the Year, who wrote a tremendous endorsement from an industry
peer-it's an award in its own right that someone with Mike's credentials
considers me to be in his illustrious peer group.

* Steve Oxman, semi-retired entrepreneur and the consummate
aircraft enthusiast, who wrote glowing support from his viewpoint as my
frequent student in his award-winning classic Bonanza.

* Bruce Allred, former FAASTeam program manager in the Wichita
FSDO, and Bobby Reed, FAASTeam airworthiness program manager in Kansas
City, for their encouragement and patience during the submissions
process, and for helping select me to represent the FAA Central Region.

Thank you, all. Now, back to work..


The March 6, 2008 Weekly Accident Update is now posted at <> , including this

** A B55 crashed fatally while the pilot was attempting a single-engine

** A Duchess taxied into a runway light..

** A Duchess hit a deer during a night landing..

** A Twin Bonanza landed gear up..

** A B36TC lost power on takeoff and crashed in a field..

** A Sierra landed gear up after reporting a mechanical problem..

** A V35B landed gear up..

For more information, commentary and analysis see the Beech
<> Weekly Accident Update
link at <> .

Fly safe, and have fun!

Thomas P. Turner, M.S. Aviation Safety, Master CFI

2008 FAA Central Region CFI of the Year

Mastery Flight Training, Inc. <>

I welcome your comments and suggestions. Contact Mastery Flight
Training, <> Inc.

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LESSONS sent directly to you each week, tell me
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C2008 Mastery Flight Training, Inc. All rights reserved.


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