Emergencies are as simple as a 4 legged chair

In aviation, many pilots dread the experience of an emergency in flight. In my early years I also disliked working on emergencies. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Done correctly, emergencies are as simple as a 4 legged chair.

Pick  field, any field
air under your chair
Pick A Field

First Leg.
Maintain Aircraft Control.

A situation occurs, the engine runs weird, some change in rpm that seems unusual. An RPM change from 2450 down to 2100 and then back up again in an instant. You and your flying partner look at each other. The RPM then drops again to 2000 RPM…

You have likely heard others say, “Fly The Plane” or “Maintain Aircraft Control”. Well in this case, just fly straight and level. No turns, trim the plane to get level flight at the power setting that you are experiencing. If that means reducing speed to best endurance then do so and get it trimmed. This may stabilize the rough engine or power loss.

Then Wait… well 15 seconds wait, to do the next Leg in the chair.

Second Leg
Analyze The Situation

Like really look at the aircraft, it’s indications, it’s running habits and analyze what is happening, don’t jump on a fix. wait another 15 seconds. Keep flying the plane! Try to discover what is going on, or going wrong.

Third Leg
Take Appropriate Action

It’s at this point you make a plan to rectify the situation, Red Page? Yellow Page? (what are those?) See if a change in what the checklist says for the situation makes a difference to the flight condition. Get the airplane operating safely, even if it’s a reduced speed and power setting. Don’t forget Leg One.

Fourth Leg
Logical Conclusion
Bring the situation to a logical conclusion. “think like Spock” be realistic, logical, the correct answer to these situations is a four letter word.
“LAND” Land now or Land later, you will land. Make a plan to fly the plane to a normal landing. Don’t panic, be reasonable, make a simple plan. Use in the plan the basic flying skills that you were shown in your training, don’t get complicated. Use airspeeds just above approach. Trim your plane. Find a way home or to the nearest suitable aerodrome or private airstrip. Normal rejoin to the traffic pattern, normal circuit, normal landing. Do what you know. Be prompt but don’t rush. Remember, you want to be logical with the choices that you make are safe and effective.


Taxi free of the landing strip. Shut down, get out of the plane and walk away from it. You Are walking away…

Walk Away

walking away
Walking Away

Bruce Feaver
“Air Under Your Chair”

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