lol thats funny shitYep, everyone is a good pilot until something goes wrong. Good training goes a long way towards being cool when things go bad.
I was a trained as a pilot in the USAF and have flown a few aircraft here and there. Most of my flying in the last 20 year has been with Ultralites - you know the little planes that use snowmobile type engines on them. When you fly these, you better count on having an engine failure and I've landed many times with no engine.
Mine has a 2 seats and I would take other people flying with me. Once on floats I was taking some guy up and the engine quit about 200 ft in the air. No big deal, lots of water to land in. So we landed, and are bobbing in the waves, then he turned to me and the initial conversation went like this:
"What are we doing?"
"The engine quit".
"Oh, I didn't know that".
"That's okay, I'm the one who needs to know".....
Planning for an emergency landing is still part of the instructions for aviation training with small private aircraft. When you get to the military training level, you never get any "where are you going to land" engine out training. Depending on the situation, you are trained to spend time attempting to restart the engine. Below a set altitude if you're not successful, it becomes a simple procedure. Aim the aircraft away from populated areas, raise the nose until you reach a prescribed airspeed, then eject. It was affectionately referred to as ZOOM and BOOM.I took some lessons in high school (CAP program) and can still remember the first time my instructor chopped the power on me and made me choose a site and set up for an emergency landing. He'd do that at least once during each lesson. I don't know if they still do that, but his attitude was that you should always be prepared to land the airplane, no matter where you are in the flight plan. Sounds like this guy was ready for the unexpected - a good example of "hours of boredom interrupted by moments of sheer terror." My biggest regret is that I did not continue the lessons after making my solo flight and a then minor medical condition kept me out of Air Force flight training, but I have been involved with aviation in a non-flying role for many years and really appreciate stories like this one and Sully's miracle landing that show how well-trained, professional aviators cope with emergencies.