By lex, on March 8th, 2009
One of the things that first caught my eye when I first got back into the general aviation game last year was the procedure for an aircraft/engine fire (as opposed to an electrical one): Shut the mixture off, close the fuel transfer valves and increase airspeed to attempt to find a non-combustible fuel/air combination. Dive for the deck, in other words. Try to blow the thing out.
I remember roughly those same procedures in the mighty T-34C way back in the way back when, but suffice it to say you don’t try to blow a fire out in a jet by speeding up. At least, not in any jet that I ever flew. On account of the fact that, generally speaking? You were probably already going pretty fast anyway. You could shut a throttle off, and there was a fire light for engine bay fires (as opposed to the engine itself – there’s always a fire inside an operating jet engine, that’s what makes the thrusties), but if the thing was on fire the procedures generally read “try this, then that, then eject.”
Which isn’t an option in most piston singles, so it’s dive for the deck I guess.
What I never stopped to wonder was, what happens once you’ve got to slow back down again to put her on the pavement.
A COMPLETELY RESTORED WORLD WAR II Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber started burning while flying over Millville, New Jersey, Saturday afternoon. The pilot, Terry Rush of Cherry Hill, noticed some flames breaking out on the left wing and immediately made an emergency landing at the Millville airport. As the plane was still rolling to a stop, Rush climbed out of the cockpit and walked along the other wing then jumped off. The plane came to rest on the runway and continued to burn until it was virtually destroyed.
Well, at least he got to walk away from it. A bummer though, nevertheless.