Stuff happens! Be ready for it.
Whilst we all hope that unlike the poor SR22 pictured here, the oil remains on the inside of the engine, sometimes stuff happens! Two recent reports from the ATSB highlight the good and the ugly of engine failures in single engine aeroplanes.
Lets cover the ugly first; The Cessna 172 had recently been repaired following damage. This required replacement of the wings and engine. However the pilot did not recognise that the new engine was a different model to previous and now had a higher fuel flow than previous. Nor did they realise that the new wings now contained the standard size 172 tanks not the previous long range variant! These two combined to result in the unsurprising and inevitable of the fan stopping and the pilot sweating. Luckily the pilot made a successful forced landing and despite the remote area they landed in they were rescued. A lesson to be learned from using old rule of thumb data when an aircraft has been in for major repairs! Superior judgement could have prevented the need to use superior skills as the saying goes.
The second is the good;
The second is the good; The GA8 Airvan was conducting a scenic flight when it started to lose power. The pilot noted lower than expected fuel flow, ran the appropriate troubleshooting and when the power decreased to a level that no longer supported diverting to an airport made a command decision to conduct a forced landing. Pilot briefed his passengers and conducted a successful forced landing that resulted in no more than bumps and bruises to the people and the aircraft. They will all be ‘repaired’ to fly again. The pilot commented that recent practice in forced landings on the aircraft helped on the day! When was the last time you practiced a forced landing??