We have had our first real-world SAVE! Check it out!
24 July 2017
Well, I finally got her back and have been able to do just a handful of panel familiarization flights, and yesterday I was going to put another one under my belt. I had my pilot/neighbor friend with me and we planned a trip (KFWS KBKD KMWL KFWS) to get some time in the air to play with the new electronics and practice some instrument approaches. We had departed KFWS with flight-following and I was flying at 4500’ when I got clearance to climb to climb to 6500’. When I started making the climb adjustments, some bad things happened all at once - I noticed a burning smell about the time an engine warning light came on alerting me to the EDM-900 (I had installed it as part of the upgrade), where I saw my oil pressure dropping to zero and rpm’s starting to run away.
I immediately cut back power, declared an emergency and requested vectors to the nearest airport. I think I remember ATC telling me turn to 090 and that I was about ~8 miles from Bourland. A few minutes later I checked in with ATC and asked how I looked as I did not have the airport in site and they gave me a 120 heading (I think). By the time I actually saw it off to the right I think I was maybe 2 miles from it and I appeared to be on a base for a long final, but still had too much altitude. I made the decision to go ahead and drop gear and get flaps out, and even then it required a couple S-turns to keep from overshooting, but I put it on the numbers (although slightly harder than normal). Engine quit completely on roll-out but I managed to coast off the runway. Unfortunately, I don’t think the engine survived, but hey, I walked away and the airframe is undamaged. Turns out the oil pressure regulator unscrewed from the oil pump, regardless of being safety-wired.
I want to thank you for beginning my thought process on handling emergencies. I really didn’t get to practice them so there are definitely some things I could have done better – set up the proper glide slope, checklist, etc. That said, it was trial by fire. I didn’t panic and I reacted quickly with ATC which helped get me in a situation to have all of the altitude I needed in this case. ATC was absolutely fantastic help and I would say to anyone that flying without talking to ATC is ludicrous. But, I really want to thank YOU for planting the seeds on how to react in an emergency - I attribute this to reading your book! Just wanted you to know…
Mr Jeff Drewett