Irony is a word that many people wrestle with when it comes to proper usage. However, I do believe that the following could properly be classified as being ironic: Recently, in Arizona, a Cessna caught on fire and crashed into the neighborhood it was flying over, destroying a home but not injuring anyone. The irony? It was carrying a pyrotechnic skydive jump team! If you are a pilot, or considering becoming one, you probably should be well aware of FIRE IN THE SKY AND CESSNA 208 TRAINING.
“There are a number of things that can go wrong when you’re flying,” Dale Wolcott, President of TURBINE TRAINING in Manhattan, Kansas pointed out, “and perhaps one of the very worst ones is discovering your plane is on fire. At that point you need to know what to do,” he pointed out, “and you need to do it sooner rather than later.”
There are several things that logic would dictate you do, including but not limited to:
- Notifying the nearest tower of your location and your situation.
- If your craft is so equipped, put on smoke goggles and oxygen masks.
- Make arrangements to make an emergency landing as soon as possible.
- If the fire is situated so you can, do your best to fight the fire while maintaining your descent to the emergency landing.
“Obviously,” Jason Wolcott, TURBINE TRAINING Vice Present, “a pilot never thinks the plane he is flying is going to catch on fire, but they certainly need to be prepared if such a disaster does occur.”
Part of that preparation can include reading any documentation regarding the issue, such as FAA Advisory Circular 120-80A! Nothing, of course, replaces proper training for any and all mid-air calamities.
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(To learn more about this topic, research “Airplanes and Fire”)