Train train train


Train train train ~Guest Blogger Randall Williams, CFII/MEI

Mentally we train emergencies so that we’re ready when they happen.

As an active multiengine instructor, I had signed off more than three dozen multiengine applicants by the time I had my first engine failure in a twin engine airplane.

That means that at least four times in preparation for each checkride we had simulated the failure of an engine, and at least twice, we had shut one down and restarted it. Multiply that by every applicant, and include my own CMEL and MEI training and I might’ve performed over 200 simulated engine failures in preparation for the day when it finally happened to me.

That morning flying with a client, the rattling was completely unmistakable. One engine was definitely coming apart. I reached up, grabbed the mixture and immediately pulled it to idle, without MIXTURE PROP THROTTLE, identifying or verifying or fixing or feathering or ANY of the drill that I had taught dozens of students hundreds of times over the previous few years.

There was a moment of quiet in the cockpit as the rattling stopped. We were still flying. I had in fact cut off the fuel to the correct engine. I also knew in that moment - exactly one moment too late - that I had made what could have easily been a fatal mistake. NTSB reports are full of flight training accidents. It’s hard to underestimate the vigilance that it takes to not become one of those statistics.

Fly safely out there.


Randall Williams NOTAMSRandall Williams, CFII/MEI
NAFI# 222907






Blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace independent, professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinions or position of the National Association of Flight Instructors. NAFI does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented. Readers should note content may appear in various media, including print, email, enews without further notice.
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