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Scariest moment in flight??

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Well-known member
Apr 3, 2002
I was just curious about some close calls that any of you may have had?? I haven't been in the flying bizzness too long, but I did loose my engine on my first solo-cross country. Luckily I was in the pattern and I had enough glide ratio to make it back to the field.....It turned out to be a bad fuel pump. Anyhow, I figured we good get some good stories on the board.
Closest I've ever been to getting waxed was on my first solo cross country, I was landing at Pahokee, Florida. There was quite a crosswind and I also turned base way to early. I ended up being really long and just didn't have the good decision making yet to go around. I forced the landing and just barely made the last taxiway with some heavy braking. Was kind of nasty. Oh and on my first solo I took off with full flaps on my second time around...hehe instructor told me to lose em and I did all at once at like 300 feet....think I sank to 200. That was a little spooky as well. Luckily the rest of my training has been uneventful.
Did you lose the engine when flying a PA28? Did both the electric fuel pump and the engine driven pump fail at the same time? That would be pretty unlucky.
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late night

One of a bunch but good lesson.

Headed back to Columbus one night in my Cessna 402. Beautiful night, no clouds, slight moon, stars....

Saw some lightening way off and turned on radar just to confirm and there was but one cell. The thing was it appeared about the same distance as Bolton, my airport.

Closer and closer to the airport, it appered to be just North of airport and I was headed up from the South. Approach flaps, gear, about 2 out now and turning for final.

About a mile out, 2nd notch and looking good. Aircraft starts to sink. Add some power, continual sink, Add some more,,,,, still sinking,

OK what is going on,,,, more power flaps up, gear up, take off power,

All of a sudden it is like we fly out of it, level off, just time to throw things back out and land, a bit fast but plenty of runway.

Lesson, not the most scared I ever was but one of those that you did not recognize what was happening to you very quickly. On the taxi in all hell broke loose from what can only be described as a small isolated thunder cell.

On my first instrument flight for real, I went into a huge cloud at 4k and came out a bit later at 7500. I was holding on, wings level and in no particular control. Big or little, these things are dangerous and can leave you feeling helpless.
Flying with "the Iceman"...autopilot on... lots of ice...below ref and slowing fast...at 4000ft. It's a pretty good interview story. Thanks Iceman.
Flying IFR into Craig field in Jacksonville shooting the VOR approach in a 172. Ceilings at 600 OVC with mist and heavy wind. My passenger was an instrument student/friend that was fairly new to training. I decided to let him handle the radios and get some practice. I had the DME freq and NAVs already set up. I was concentrating on the needles while looking out the window at my tire to see if I could see the ground. As we reach about 4 DME, I noticed that we weren't keeping the needle and then the nav flags came on......both NAVs! I started shifting around and checking my approach plate for the freqs to see if I made a mistake. The current freqs were not even close to the approach plate. I started flipping in a hurry and then looked at the dme which was showing zilch. I looked at my friend and said, "what's going on here?" He looked bewildered and said, "well, you had the wrong freq in there and I set the correct one." I looked over at his approach plate which convieniently read "JAX International". I quickly got the DME freq back in and was about 1 1/2 miles out.

Flying in IMC with a student on one of my first instrument lessons. The student is flying, we are doing a VOR approach, 1700 feet, all is well, the student starts the procedure turn inbound, I reach down at my feet to grab a chart and as I'm looking back up the student says 'I think I've lost control' and lets go of the yoke.

Both the attitude indicator and DG are tumbled, I pull the power out as we are in a steep dive, level the wings with the turn coordinator, and regain control at about 600 feet as we came out the bottom of the overcast. Whew! I don't think I could roll a 172 over as fast as he did if I tried. I almost quit teaching after that.

Now I don't take my eyes off the instruments for even a half second with a student in IMC. Duhhh Gues I had to learn the hard way.
I had just gotten my instrument rating and took a business trip. Coming back I was in IMC and noticed that the rpm had dropped. I put in a little power. Then had some vectoring, then noticed it was down some more. Thought well maybe it was just wind changes upon turns, so put a little more in. In a couple of minutes, it had dropped again. This time I pulled the carb heat (never had done this before in my plane(Beech), it doesn't use it for landing). All of a sudden I hear a very LOUD pop and the engine goes rough and almost backfires! After I recover from mild heart failure, the rpms started climbing -- now I have to fly the ILS. It wasn't my best but did the job and I was glad to be done for the day.

--- Snoopy
I accepted a trip once in the fall. Short notice, but didn't seem to be a big deal. Got off the ground okay, cleaned up, climbing. Leveled at 410, fat dumb and happy. Then I experienced what quite possibly has been the single most terrifying experience of my flying career to date.

I realized it was my wedding anniversary, and I was going overnight. No card, no gift, and not only forgot and blew it off, but took a trip out of town to boot.

Nausea, panic. Bowels turn to jelly. Felt lightheaded. Deep, deep fear. Unable to tune radios or talk to ATC. Queasy. A terror I hope never to experience again.

Engine fires, failures, structural failures, pneumatic failures, hyudraulic failures, flap failures, jammed controls, landing gear failures, on board explosions, whatever...nothing even comes close. Don't ever forget your aniversary, because for darn sure your wife won't...and won't let you forget it for many moons to come.

Hell hath no fury like a wife sitting home alone on her anniversary night with a house full of screaming kids. I shudder at the thought.
Avbug you have to have a database of these stories, or at least them all written down somewhere. Everytime a thread like this comes up you seem to pull a new one out of a hat.

How old are you anyway, I'm under the impression your in your late 40s early 50s with all the expierences that you have had.

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