For much more on flying safely see
<> .

C2008 Mastery Flight Training, Inc. All rights reserved

FLYING LESSONS for June 12, 2008

suggested by this week's mishap reports

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. Although most
Flying Lessons are suggested by piston Beechcraft mishaps, commentary
arises from significant mishaps in other aircraft types as noted. In
almost all cases design characteristics of a specific make and model
airplane have little direct bearing on the possible causes of aircraft
accidents, so apply these FLYING LESSONS to any airplane you fly.

Feel free to forward this message for the purpose of pilot education.

This week's lessons:

. Even a "minor" damage Landing Gear-Related Mishap (LGRM) in
single-engine RG airplanes costs as much as $60,000 to repair, according
to the insurance industry. This is often sufficient to "total" the
airplane, especially if it is an older model and/or the owner has chosen
to underinsure the aircraft to save money on premiums. Further, many
insurance companies will not insure a pilot who has had a gear-up
landing in the last three to five years. Review the current value of
your airplane and adjust your insurance coverage accordingly.

. Better yet, review information on LGRMs and employ techniques
to avoid gear <> up and
gear collapse mishaps.

. Modern lightplane brakes are powerful enough to generate great
amounts of heat when applied excessively. Overheated brakes have been
known to cause fires that threaten the entire aircraft (and its
occupants) if used aggressively, such as during short-field landings or
in a takeoff abort from fairly high speed.

. The resurgence of free-castoring nose wheels on new airplanes
(designed to reduce weight and complexity) means ground handling can
lead to overheated brakes as well. One line of relatively new
no-nosewheel-steering airplanes has an Airworthiness Directive against
it as a result of brake fires linked to "riding the brakes" for steering
on the ground.

. Use brakes sparingly. If circumstances (takeoff abort; very
short landing) require excessive brake use, let the brakes cool before
applying them again.

. In all cases, plan ahead to minimize the amount of braking you
need to use. Don't let the airplane roll too fast during taxi. Keep
power to minimum during ground handling.

. Flight instruction includes tasks and situations not usually
encountered in day-to-day flying; the instructor in the right seat may
intimidate the pilot receiving instruction, or the instructor may be
bored or complacent, drifting away from his/her primary responsibility
for safety of the instructional flight. No wonder, then, that dual
flight instruction in retractable-gear airplanes correlates to a
disproportionate number of landing gear-related mishaps, especially in
multiengine airplanes conducting engine-failure simulations. For more
about CFI distraction and "instructor-induced stupidity" see my article
s_195386-1.html> Hazards."

* Engine-out practice in multiengine airplanes can defeat landing
gear warnings. Establishing a "zero thrust" condition requires the
"dead" engine's throttle be reduced to a very low setting.
* In most RG airplanes the landing gear warning horn will sound
when the throttle is near idle. Consequently the gear warning sounds
continually during engine-out simulations; pilots very quickly get
accustomed to the beep-beep-beep and ignore it when close to the ground.
The closest I ever came to a gear-up landing was in a twin while
presenting a simulated zero-thrust landing.
* It's common practice (even recommended in some Pilots Operating
Handbooks) to pull the landing gear warning circuit breaker to get rid
of the beeping while simulating single-engine maneuvering. This
disables the warning system if the MEI takes the simulation all the way
to touchdown (preferably on a long runway). If pilot and instructor
forget to reset the breaker after practice there is no gear warning for
the remainder of the flight.
* Here's a technique: if you have a real engine failure (or
actually shut down an engine in training or on a Practical Test flight),
after feathering the propeller and securing the engine simply match the
"dead" throttle control to the "good" one, and move them together for
through landing. This restores the gear warning horn function, as well
as eliminating any subsequent confusion about which throttle control to
move.a confusion I saw many times when instructing in the Beech Baron

. Strong or gusty surface winds also correlate to a large number
of LGRMs. Not only are nasty winds close to the ground yet another
distraction that may rob the pilot of his/her attention to gear
extension and verification, but a strong headwind on final approach
provides the same visual cues as extended landing gear on a calmer
day-reduced rate at which the runway appears to "approach the airplane"
on final, and increased angle of descent toward the ground.

. In most airplanes gear warning systems activate when a
throttle is reduced to near idle and/or if full flaps are extended and
in either case the landing gear is not down. Standard practice when
landing in adverse winds is to carry some extra power through the flare
to cushion against wind-driven changes in indicated airspeed (throttle
not at idle = no gear warning), and often we're taught to use
less-than-full flaps when landing in a strong wind (no full flaps = no
gear warning). If some other distraction caused the pilot to forget
gear extension, strong or gusty surface winds will mask the omission and
defeat landing gear warning systems.

. Landing after landing after landing leads to complacency-you
remember extending the landing gear, when in reality that was on the
last time around the pattern. And circuit and circuit can lull an
instructor into complacency as well. Suggestion: avoid more than four
consecutive traffic patterns on a single flight. Practice three or four
landings, go away from the airport to practice something else, then come
back for no more than four more landings on that same flight.

. Pilots should use every means at their disposal to ensure the
runway and airspace is clear before takeoff. This should include
monitoring the airspace-controlling radio frequency to detect other
airplanes in the area before taking off from nontowered airports on an
instrument clearance. This is not to absolve controllers for
responsibility to separate IFR and participating VFR traffic-what are
controllers if not responsible for traffic separation in IMC?-but
traffic awareness ultimately comes down to the pilots.

. Taking off into IMC from a nontowered airport using an RCO for
clearance, is a juggling act that must include:

. Communicating position, intentions and actual takeoff on the

. Obtaining clearance through the RCO;

. Monitoring the local airspace frequency (approach, a nearby
tower, Center, whomever owns the airspace) for traffic awareness before
taking off on a clearance.

. We must be able to trust controllers when departing into
instrument conditions. But we must also protect ourselves to the extent
we can.

For more see:
<> ongoing.htm

Questions? Comments? Send me a note at


The National Transportation Safety Board recommends
<> the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) address human fatigue within aircraft operations.
The Board recommends FAA develop guidance, based on empirical and
scientific evidence, for operators to establish fatigue management
systems. The Board also made a recommendation to continually assess the
effectiveness of fatigue management systems, including their ability to
improve sleep and alertness, mitigate performance errors, and prevent
incidents and accidents.

"The Safety Board is extremely concerned about the risk and the
unnecessary danger that is caused by fatigue in aviation," said NTSB
Chairman (and FLYING LESSONS reader) Mark V. Rosenker. "We have seen
too many accidents and incidents where human fatigue is a cause or
contributing factor."

The Board's recommendations highlight the danger of human fatigue in
airline operations. But the problem may be even more acute in personal
aviation, where pilots often fly cross-country trips in challenging
weather and/or at night in addition to (not as part of) their
professional and personal responsibilities. Only you can adequately
gauge the effect fatigue has on your ability to make sound decisions and
safely manage and control an aircraft. The true challenge is not only
to self-assess your fatigue and balance that assessment against
pressures to make the flight, but also to accurately predict the effects
of fatigue at the end of your planned flight. Pilots flying for
personal business or recreation should strongly consider adhering to
airline-style duty day limitations, counting non-flying duties toward
that limit, and develop personal limitations on time between last sleep
and the end of a planned flight.

For more see


Flying to the world's greatest air show is not without its
challenges.and as every year we unfortunately learn, unforgiving to the
unprepared. FLYING LESSONS continues its annual seven-part review on
preparing to master your Oshkosh arrival and departure.

50-A28A-E6A665891317&Dynamic=1> Control. Flying into AirVenture you'll
be expected to fly precise airspeeds. Work out the power settings and
airplane configurations ahead of time to be able to fly the published
speeds and fit into the flow of vastly dissimilar airplanes.

Previous topics:

. Have
0-1161-457B-BE89-3AA633B059B8&Dynamic=1> a Backup; Fill 'er Up.

. Know
1-00fa-4bc9-9b2a-a114edaa14d6&Dynamic=1> the NOTAM. Please note the
NOTAM link in the 2006 article has been replaced with EAA's 2008 NOTAM
<> .

Fly safe, and have Airventure 2008 <> !

For more see:
1-00fa-4bc9-9b2a-a114edaa14d6&Dynamic=1> &Dynamic=1
0-1161-457B-BE89-3AA633B059B8&Dynamic=1> &Dynamic=1
50-A28A-E6A665891317&Dynamic=1> &Dynamic=1 <>


The June 12, 2008 Weekly Accident Update is now posted at <> , including these

* A C35 landed gear up..
* A Baron 58 caught fire during taxi..
* A Duchess landed gear up..
* Departing IFR into IMC, an A36 collided with a landing
* A Baron 58 landed gear up..
* A V35 landed off-airport after engine failure..
* The pilot of an A36 reported engine failure and landed in a
* A Baron 58 collided with a deer on takeoff..

There's also NTSB information and commentary on an instructional E55
engine failure on takeoff.

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

<> 2008.htm

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.

If someone has forwarded this message to you and you want to have FLYING
LESSONS sent directly to you each week, tell
<> me.

If you received this message directly (as opposed to through a digest or
chat room) and wish to be removed from the FLYING LESSONS list, tell me
<> .

C2008 Mastery Flight Training, Inc. All rights reserved.


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