Silent Wings
"Silent Wings" sounds like a glider club, but it's not. It is the Florida Flying Gator "status symbol" for pilots who know how to handle engine out procedures. That's right. In this day and age Rotax motors still quit. And I want you to be prepared.

The Silent Wings club is made up of pilots who have demonstrated their proficiency at handling their aircraft in this situation. Their names are put on a plaque inside the clubhouse.

It's real simple. The first thing you do is practice by turning off your motor at 1000 feet above the field. Do a simple pattern with a downwind, a base and a final and make the runway of course. Remember to keep your best glide speed, don't panic, and fly your airplane. To be a member of the Silent Wings Club, you must land your airplane, engine off, in between two orange cones spread apart between 50 and 100 feet. You must land between these cones three times from 1000 feet., then again three times from 1500 feet and the last three you must start at 2000 feet. You would think by the time you get to 2000 feet it would be easier. Well believe or not it isn't. There is more time for error, so the last three can be tricky.

I invite you to become a member of the Silent Wings Club. You'll get a chance to practice a good emergency procedure and in turn become a safer pilot. Contact myself or Krystal Ericsson, the first inductee of the Silent Wings Club to schedule your flights. I'll be more than happy to discuss engine out procedures with any club members any time.

Until then, keep the blue side up. And look for the next article, which will be "V Speeds" or "Do you know your plane??"


David "AC" Lepow - CFI