Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog
Thursday 12 June 2014

The SR-20 was the first GA airplane with a parachute. It means emergencies are a lot less likely to kill you, as an instructor and student pilot discovered yesterday:

Yesterday there was another dramatic save, near the very busy suburban airport Hanscom Field in the western suburbs of Boston. As you can see in a TV news report here (not embeddable) the plane for some reason had an engine failure; the woman who was serving as flight instructor calmly reported the situation to the tower, directed the plane during its powerless glide away from the very crowded Burlington shopping mall area and toward a marsh, then pulled the parachute handle, and landed safely with the male flight student. The news station video shows flight instructor and passenger both walking out from the plane.

The LiveATC capture of the air traffic control frequency conveys the drama of the event—and also the impressive calm of all involved. These include the flight instructor, starting with her first report that she is unable to make it back to the airport; the controller, who is juggling that plane's needs with the other normal flow of traffic into Hanscom field; and another pilot who is (it appears) from the same flight club and who immediately flies over to check the disabled plane's condition from above. 

Of course, this works a lot better for a 1,300 kg four-seater than, for example, a 250,000 kg 777...

(Note: yesterdays accident involved a Cirrus SR-22, which is a slightly more powerful version of the SR-20.)

Thursday 12 June 2014 14:30:40 CDT (UTC-05:00)  |  | Aviation#
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David Braverman is a software developer in Chicago, and the creator of Weather Now. Parker is the most adorable dog on the planet, 80% of the time.
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