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Old 02-13-2017, 01:34 PM
pvalovich pvalovich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Posts: 439
Default Trust in Our Airplanes

This is a take-off on a previous thread that raised concerns about the trust we have in our airplanes. I have a different take:

I have trust in the theory that stuff will happen, things will fail, and non-standard procedures may have to followed. And I better be mentally prepared to deal with it - always.

I have carefully - and often - thought through the what if's. For example:

Engine Problems: The usual suspects - retard throttle, switch tanks, elec boost pump on, check mixture, check ignitions - one Lightspeed, one mag.

Forced Landing: Be constantly aware - pick the best landing option (I regularly fly over the Southern Sierra, so this has become second nature); try to determine wind; I stall at 50 KIAS dirty - regardless of descent speed, plan to touch down at 52. Assume 1 1/2 miles glide per 1000 ft. altitude loss at 90 kts; DO NOT STALL.

Electrical Failure: Electric Bob's Z13/8 architecture gives me an 8 amp backup by throwing two switches; also have batteries in my AFS 4500 and 496 - assume 30 minutes max.

AFS-4500 failure: Know approximate prop and mixture lever positions for various flight regimes; assume conservative 10 gph fuel flow and know fuel remaining in each tank (I stay on one tank until 20 gallons used); Backup Nav: Foreflight on an iPad, SL-30 Nav radio; TruTrak ADI II autopilot and Garmin 496 for probably good enough attitude info; assume oil pressure and CHTs will be good enough until on the ground.

Radio Failure: Backup ICOM in the panel, Sporty's handheld in the navbag.

Airspeed Indicator Failure: Turn on heated pitot tube; A/S displayed on both AFS 4500 and backup steam gage; AOA installed in the 4500; groundspeed readout on the 496; knew the general feel and sound of the plane at various airspeeds - especially near stall.

Have never in 820+hours and 542 flights had to revert to any of this, but just as I trust stuff to fail, I also trust my ability to respond.
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Old 02-13-2017, 02:15 PM
rv8ch's Avatar
rv8ch rv8ch is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: LSGY
Posts: 4,331
Default great attitude

Based on my experience you have the right attitude about this. Evaluate the risks, do what you can to mitigate them. The number one danger to flight is the person looking at you in the mirror - accept this reality, and do what you can to avoid being the cause of any incidents/accidents.
Mickey Coggins
"Hello, world!"
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Old 02-13-2017, 02:27 PM
Piper J3's Avatar
Piper J3 Piper J3 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Hinckley, Ohio
Posts: 2,567

Well spoken - both of you.
Jim Stricker - EAA #499867
PPL/ASEL 1970 - Sport Pilot since 2007
80 hrs Flying Aeronca Chief 11AC N86203
1130 hrs Flying 46 Piper J-3 Cub N6841H
Bought Flying RV-12 #120058 Oct 2015 with 48TT - Hobbs now 750

LSRM-A Certificate 2016 for RV-12 N633CM
Special Thanks... EJ Trucks - USN Crew Chief A-4 Skyhawk
MJ Stricker (Father - CFI) - USAAF 1st Lt. Captain B-17H
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Old 02-13-2017, 06:57 PM
mturnerb mturnerb is offline
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Ponte Vedra, FL
Posts: 1,608

Great thread and posts. John and Martha King have done a great series on risk management which is really what we're talking about. Highly recommended.
Turner Billingsley

RV-14A built/sold N14VB
RV-12iS in progress as of October 2020
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Old 02-13-2017, 10:03 PM
DaveWelch DaveWelch is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 465
Default More proof...

...that if you carry an umbrella, no rain!

Many thanks to the OP. Great planning, knowledge of your aircraft, back up systems, and eyes out the window!

I'm now challenged to go thru the same thought process with my -12 and backup devices. It's just too easy to become complacent on those 3 hours legs.

Thanks again!
RV12 N951DZ
First Flight 9/23/16!
No paint yet. Working on a scheme with John Deere colors or accents.
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Old 02-14-2017, 09:18 AM
Paul 5r4 Paul 5r4 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Foley, Al
Posts: 632
Default I'm with you!

Coming back from Petit Jean last year I had my ifly 720 quit working just before take off. Messed with everything I could and it wouldn't come on. I found that I kind of developed tunnel vision when it happened. I had trouble thinking thru some things like will the autopilot work in other modes. It did work in heading and altitude modes because it gets that inform form the D-100. The point here is now I have a list of any failures I can think of and what will be affected AND what are the best workarounds while in flight.

Oh, and the ifly problem ended up being corrosion on one of the fuse contact points!
Paul Gray
Foley, Alabama
N729PG..... 500+ hrs
RV 7A, Lycoming 0 320 D1A, Sensenich FP propeller
VAF supporter $$$
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Old 02-14-2017, 12:58 PM
Dreamin9 Dreamin9 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Near Buffalo, NY
Posts: 71

"try to determine wind"

In a forced landing situation, I would posit that the most important thing is to KNOW the surface wind. As I fly along I keep track of smoke, wind on water, nearby ATIS reports.

E=1/2 MV(squared). Assuming slowest possible touch down airspeed is 50 and the surface wind is a mere 5kts.
If I got the math right (always questionable) , you will be carrying 50% more energy "touching down" with the wind than against the wind.
With a 10kt surface wind the difference is 125% more energy.
Possibly the difference between limping away and being carried away.
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Old 02-16-2017, 07:09 PM
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n82rb n82rb is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: fort myers fl
Posts: 1,091

my backup plan is look out canopy and fly airplane............

bob burns
RV-4 N82RB
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