May 21, 2015 - By all accounts, the Arsenal of Democracy (AOD) flyover on May 8 in Washington, D.C., was spectacular and safe event. One incident occurred, however, after a pinhole leak in a TBM Avenger’s hydraulic line required the pilot to break off and divert from the planned flight path and make an emergency landing at Reagan National Airport (DCA). This week a video shot from inside the cockpit was posted to YouTube, taking viewers through the incident with pilot Josh Wilson.
Wilson, who had two passengers in the TBM, noted that “hydraulic fluid forced from a pinhole at 1,500 psi vaporizes and is identical in appearance and motion to smoke.” From detection to landing took about 44 seconds, but Wilson wrote it felt like 10 minutes.
Wilson also critiques his own performance during the emergency and also shares some valuable tips for all pilots, such as the need for a detailed comm plan with passengers preflight, “specifically when and how to coordinate communications breaks so I can maintain SA (situational awareness) in the cockpit.”
EAA’s Sean Elliott, fellow AOD fly over pilot of EAA’s B-17 Aluminum Overcast, was impressed with Wilson’s professional airmanship in the emergency. “Josh did a great job in making clear and concise decisions that were very much in line with the fly-over briefing given earlier that day,” Elliot said. “He handled the whole situation in a very professional manner and certainly is a credit to the Warbird pilot community.”
Watch the video!