He Was a Good Pilot
By Jim Alsip, NAFI Master Instructor-Aerobatics
The sudden and tragic ending was a stunning surprise to Zeke, and it really bothered him. He realized that this type of accident could happen to any pilot. Zeke had never done a maximum performance level 180-degree turn; he had never recovered from a nose-high attitude using the ballistic zero-g recovery technique. He had never attempted the turn-and-go-back maneuver.
Zeke and I flew together a few days later, and we practiced emergency maneuvers. After our flight, he felt much more confident. He is committed to improving his stick and rudder skills, understands the full capabilities of his airplane better, and has an improved sense of situational awareness.
If you’ve never learned to do emergency maneuvers:
- You need to learn how.
- You need to think about them.
- You need to practice them.
Turn and go back, or land straight ahead? Are you prepared to make that decision?
In an emergency, you’ll fly the way you trained.
Below is a link to a video of such a stall-spin scenario just after takeoff. The pilot attempted to turn around and instantly entered a spin. Both he and his wing walker were killed. This was a potentially survivable situation. Only good training can prepare you for the quick decision-making required should something of this nature occur.
WARNING! May Be Graphic For Some Viewers:
Jim Alsip is a NAFI Master Instructor-Aerobatics. He specializes in aerobatic training, emergency maneuvers, spin and upset recovery, and tailwheel training. You may visit his website here: http://www.dylanaviation.com/.