Cessna Centurion crashes on approach to Lubbock, TX | Icing Conditions

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by WannFly, Oct 27, 2020.

  1. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    The freezing rain/drizzle was a surprise to me, and surprise to hear a Centurion out there and the Cirrus on the ground waiting to go. As noted above, the Cirrus FIKI system has freezing rain as a limitation. Boots might as well be useless as they'll do nothing for the water that runs down the wing and freezes behind the boot

    Severe pilot error all around on this one. Again. At best this is frustrating, at worst infuriating.
     
  2. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We're missing some info. Looks like he had filed IFR (the departure airport, Belen, has no tower so it's likely that the FlightAware listing of a "filed" plan is IFR. Note that out in that part of Texas and NM it's easy to get direct). FlightAware shows a diversion to LBB. I'd bet that he hadn't planned on it and didn't pull a weather forecast for LBB before he left. He had been at 8800 (FlightAware altitude, maybe 9000) and descended somewhat before diverting to LBB. Doesn't have the markings of a VFR flight, IF FlightAware is right.

    We're missing the conversations he might have had with Center before/during the diversion.

    I'd speculate that either 1) the weather got worse during his flight (perhaps icing at 9000?) or 2) there was an aircraft issue.

    I wouldn't be surprised if he were totally unprepared for the diversion, picked up ice, and didn't declare. If he had an autopilot issue, I don't know why he didn't hand-fly the approach unless the airframe were really iced up and he didn't have full control use.

    Doesn't make it any less tragic, but there's a lesson to learn here.

    BTW, I've picked up rime ice at 16,000 near the CQY (Cedar Creek) VOR east of Dallas. ATC allowed an immediate descent. Icing certainly is possible over Texas.
     
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  3. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

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    Not sure why anyone would think Texas wouldn't have icing. Texas is huge and the further North you go, the worse the winter weather. I grew up in the Texas Panhandle and we lost my Uncle for three days one time in a blizzard.

    I live in Austin and yesterday it was 39 degrees here on the ground.
     
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  4. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    'Cause it's HOT down there, doncha know?
     
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  5. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    Was hacked off this week. El Paso gets SNOW yesterday, I had to fire up the heaters WAY earlier than normal and it's still colder than a witches brass kettle today:mad::mad::mad:

    I only want to see snow if I'm skiing ... joked with Tim from Tuscon a few weeks ago about "what's that white stuff" from someone's photo here, and this is the result:confused::confused::confused:
     
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  6. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    LBB had freezing drizzle in the forecast starting at 10am local. Freezing rain was in some of the forecast for the day. Looks to me like it did not even have a hot prop. He never should have been out in that weather.

    https://www.aircraft.com/aircraft/1240707/n9622t-1960-cessna-210

    FT 26/10/2020 23:25->
    TAF KLBB 262325Z 2700/2724 02016KT 3SM -FZDZ BR OVC007 FM270600
    02016KT 2SM -FZRAPL OVC004 FM271500 02017KT 4SM -FZDZ
    OVC007=

    FT 26/10/2020 17:48->
    TAF KLBB 261748Z 2618/2718 03017KT 3SM -FZDZ BR OVC008 FM270600
    02016KT 3SM -FZRAPL OVC008 FM271500 02017KT 5SM -FZDZ
    OVC008=

    FT 26/10/2020 16:26->
    KLBB 261626Z 2616/2712 02017KT P6SM OVC008
    TEMPO 2616/2618 2SM -FZRA BR FM270700 01015KT 5SM -FZRA
    OVC006=

    FT 26/10/2020 11:34->
    TAF KLBB 261134Z 2612/2712 03019KT 4SM TS -FZDZ BR OVC006CB FM261300
    03019KT 4SM -FZDZ BR OVC006 FM261600 02017KT P6SM OVC008
    FM270700 01015KT 5SM -FZRA OVC006=

    FT 26/10/2020 08:25->
    KLBB 260825Z 2608/2706 03019KT 4SM -FZDZ BR OVC008 FM261600 02016KT
    5SM BR OVC008=

    FT 26/10/2020 05:20->
    TAF KLBB 260520Z 2606/2706 05017KT 4SM -DZ BR OVC006 FM261000 03017KT
    4SM -FZDZ BR OVC005 FM261600 02016KT 5SM BR OVC008=

    FT 26/10/2020 00:58->
    KLBB 260058Z 2601/2624 05016KT 4SM -DZ BR OVC006 FM261000 03017KT
    4SM -FZDZ BR OVC005=

    FT 25/10/2020 23:40->
    TAF KLBB 252340Z 2600/2624 05016KT P6SM SCT007 OVC010 FM260200
    05016KT 4SM -DZ BR OVC007 FM261000 03017KT 4SM -FZDZ
    BR OVC005=
     
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  7. FORANE

    FORANE En-Route

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    Dang, that TAF is ugly.
     
  8. Tommar98

    Tommar98 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well after listening I have a problem with ATC request for him to turn and climb on his 2nd approach. It was clear there was freezing rain and this pilot was already on second attempt and didn’t sound like someone who was in charge of what he was doing. I say that only because his radio work was not the standard IFR communication. Also, his request to fly further east to start approach leads me to believe that came up first on his GPS (just a guess on my part). I believe it was already too late for him at the point since he let his speed get so slow but making that request to that pilot in those conditions doesn’t make sense and clearly shows a lack of “situational awareness” I ATC part. I know -I know - pilot should say “unable” and proceed to land or declare an emergency. If I was I’m freezing rain I can’t imagine doing anything but flying faster and finishing that approach. But then again I’m aim a couch right now. Sad for him and his family.


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  9. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I suppose someone who has more time than I can see if the conversation with Center is archived on LiveATC. Should be the Midland sector of ZFW.
     
  10. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    No. I am also not sad for someone who knowingly puts themselves in a situation well outside of where they should be. If I drink myself silly and get in a car and have an accident there should be no sadness.. outside of the extrinsic macro level sadness of "where did we fail in our training and pilot culture"

    YES! Hopefully we can learn from accidents like this as a community to save the heartbreak from others' families. Granted.. has flying gotten any safer for GA in the last 20 or so years? We have the best weather planning tools, extremely capable GPS and avionics, and with an iPad and Foreflight (for example) you have just about everything you could want at your fingertips. But accidents still happen. Pilots fly into situations that they, nor their aircraft, are rated for

    People put ATC on way too high of a pedestal. I'm not saying you do, but this guy was on his second approach. It's not ATC's job to be our mommy and guesstimate potential stress and trauma. ATC job is to prevent planes from hitting each other, it's the pilot's job to stay ahead of the aircraft, ahead of ATC, and so forth. The suggestions here of ATC asking him to speed up, vectoring him lower, etc., go above and beyond what we can expect and would set a precedent for ATC stepping in and intervening on lots of sloppy pilots. For what it's worth I've heard on the radio plenty of very poor transmissions where the pilot is obviously behind the plane.. ATC is sometimes friendly "is everything okay up there" other times less so "you've missed 3 calls and have the wrong vector" to "please confirm you are instrument qualified and capable"

    Plus.. I really don't think there was any action ATC could have taken that would have saved his life. If he really wasn't on instrument pilot I doubt he'd be capable of flying that approach down to near minimums with an iced up plane
     
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  11. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    Agree completely ... also, the controller telling SWA to slow down and then change heading as aircraft ahead is doing 50 knots is a HUGE giveaway something bad is about to happen ... let's turn him and finish off that impending spin:oops::(
     
  12. 47PILOT

    47PILOT Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My thoughts exactly !
     
  13. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The youtuber in the OP did a second video on this accident where he breaks things down a little more with his opinions. One thing he says is that the pilot had lost it on the approach and had turned 180 degrees from the final approach course and was losing altitude before the controller issued the turn to 270 and climb command. Sounds like the pilot was in the process of crashing before the turn was issued and the controller was trying to help him out.

    This guy made many mistakes, no one deserves to die, but we should all take a lesson from this and work hard to do things correctly.

     
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  14. Skywalker

    Skywalker Cleared for Takeoff

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    The one time we witness an emergency on the radio (iced up Cessna 172, couldn‘t hold altitude and was already below IFR minimum en route altitude in IMC) ATC (!!!) declared the emergency for the pilot.

    The controller had asked the pilot multiple if he wants to declared and the pilot never answered that question. When it was clear that the pilot had to deviate from the initial flight plan the controller declared the emergency on the pilot‘s behalf.
     
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  15. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't think it would have mattered, other than maybe had he got on the ground 5 minutes sooner. He was in a world of hurt. Apparently it was not the owner of the airplane flying it, but another 69 year old pilot who was instrument rated.
     
  16. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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    I think that’s the big thing. Pilots are to afraid to declare an emergency. Afraid of what’s going to happen. In that moment. Probably thinking I need to just get on the ground and move on no harm no foul-and in their panicked mind They see that declaring an emergency only compounds their problems instead of a means to gettin out of trouble.
     
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  17. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    I will go one futher and put to you that if you drink yourself silly and attempt to drive a car, the resulting crash will not have been an "accident" and any consequences of your decision should be treated as an intentional act, up to and including murder charges if you kill someone.
     
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  18. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    I have been vectored the "wrong way" before. I just assumed it was to allow for traffic separation.
     
  19. sarangan

    sarangan Cleared for Takeoff

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    Declaring an emergency can help if the pilot has a specific request in mind and ATC has a different plan by vectoring him for the scenic tour. That is not what happened here. He was at the FAF for Rwy 35, but got confused and had to abandon the approach. Declaring an emergency would not have made him any more prepared for that approach.
     
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  20. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Which is kind of my point.. as far as we know a non IR pilot plowed into serious weather in a non ice capable plane, FUBARd the first approach, got slow on the second one.. and lost it

    50 knot gs is absurd.. even a 30 knot straight headwind results in just 80 kts for an airspeed.. that is too slow for any approach, especially when you're iced up. We are trained for 90, and to err on the side of more speed if icey

    ATC (atleast around here) doesn't send big jets around when someone jams up the flow, at least not typically, they'll break off the more maneuverable plane and resequence. This was asked on 3 different occasions when socal controllers gave talks. It's not about money or jet preference, it's simply easier to maneuver some guy doing 90 knots vs a jet at 200 knots

    There's nothing ATC could have done here. An emergency declaration would have given him priority, yes, but he already messed up the first approach and his slow airspeed doomed him either way
     
  21. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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    Many pilots don't want to contemplate what could go wrong and prepare contingencies. Maybe that's just human nature.

    This pilot was clearly unprepared for a divert and IFR approach into Lubbock. When the airplane is loading up with ice, you really don't want to be trying it for a second time.
     
  22. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A couple of points I think are important. This guy was not the owner of the airplane, he was instrument rated. Don't know about his currency or his familiarity with the avionics in this airplane. Vectors to final seemed to catch him off guard and befuddle him which may have cost him his life, by causing him to spend much more time in freezing drizzle.

    Second, he should have declared an emergency. Both for his own state of mind and for ATC.

    The airline guy who piped up about freezing rain was very specific in his description of the rain and where it subsided. I think he was trying to help this guy by saying everything but " hey dummy, climb out of that crap", of course it may have been too late.

    I know watching these mishaps, I've decided I am not going to hesitate to declare if I find myself in a situation like this, first to get priority handling, and second for my own state of mind. I think once you declare, it's a done deal, no more thinking about it, you can focus the problem at hand rather than wonder or worry about declaring.
     
  23. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    Declaring may not have saved his bacon, but in general I find it odd that so many pilots don’t declare. There are no paperwork involved that I know of, even if there is, you will at least be here to do those. Yeah you may get a call from your friend FAA/FSDO enquiring what on gods green earth were you doing in the freezing rain, but isn’t it better to answer the question yourself than be gone and leave the world wondering?
     
  24. Eldorado

    Eldorado Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Flying past Amarillo once, IFR, I heard a Southwest airline declare an an emergency while enroute, with engine problems. From that moment on, all the pilot had to do was fly the airplane. The controllers were providing vectors, frequencies, altitudes, I do believe the pilots hardly had to look for or at the approach plate. I don’t know what impressed me more, the pilots willingness to ask for information on the approach without looking it up or the controllers willingness to provide what was asked for or what they thought might be helpful. This was when paper plates were all that was available, and Amarillo was not the destination. Again, I doubt the pilots were more concerned with flying and troubleshooting, let the controllers provide frequency, courses, altitudes, etc.
     
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  25. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Yeah.. I agree

    My friend declared once due to forgetting the oil cap. Had oil on the windshield but no loss of pressure. He was IMC so that's why, discovered this moments after departure. They vectored him around, had an uneventful landing, and outside of a few questions on the ground never had any onerous "paperwork" to handle

    However, I think psychologically it's the acknowledgement that you're hosed that inhibits people. The fear to actually admit you have an "emergency"
     
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  26. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson En-Route

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    I think people hesitate because they feel invulnerable. That they’ve been in tight spots before and survived.

    Behind that, people don’t want to feel humiliated nor do they want to be caught with an uncrossed T on unfitted I, e.g. only 4 approaches in 6 months, biennial overdue, flight into known icing conditions, etc

    All of this is completely stupid but people do it nonetheless.

    That’s a real tough one to listen to a 2nd time.


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  27. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, me too. I mean for crying out loud, that guy on the other end of the radio is there to help. Just gotta let him/her know what is going on.

    Whenever I had to ask for priority handling I would declare and also agree to rolling the trucks. I also made sure to meet the guys in the trucks and thank them for coming out.
     
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  28. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think people don't declare for a number of reasons, led by fear of the FAA - I mean, if you look at what the agency has done to some folks - and what they seem to continue to do within the medical side (read some of the stories in our medical forum and it's easy to see how a rational person might conclude that the FAA will hang 'em high). The pilots that choose to risk it rather than declare aren't really thinking critically.... declaring gives you a better chance to save your bacon, better to be alive and having the FAA chase you rather than pushing up daisies.
     
  29. geezer

    geezer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Declaring, or not declaring your emergency, the following from Eldorado's post

    Flying past Amarillo once, IFR, I heard a Southwest airline declare an an emergency while enroute, with engine problems. From that moment on, all the pilot had to do was fly the airplane. The controllers were providing vectors, frequencies, altitudes, I do believe the pilots hardly had to look for or at the approach plate. I don’t know what impressed me more, the pilots willingness to ask for information on the approach without looking it up or the controllers willingness to provide what was asked for or what they thought might be helpful. This was when paper plates were all that was available, and Amarillo was not the destination. Again, I doubt the pilots were more concerned with flying and troubleshooting, let the controllers provide frequency, courses, altitudes, etc.


    My first event was a fire in the radio stack of a C172, near RDU. I described my problem, they gave me every assistance that they could have, and my sons in the back seat, unaware of the problem, were excited to see 2 fire trucks, an ambulance, and a red station wagon pacing us on the grass beside the runway. 5 airliners were lined up on the taxiway for departure, and at least one landing had been waved off to give me an immediate landing.

    The second, again in a C172, The engine went violently rough, so bad it broke all the copper ground bond straps across the engine mounts. I called Maguire AFB advised the problem, they waved off a 4 engine transport they had just cleared to land, and gave me cleared to land. I requested vectors to the nearest civilian airport, which was Miller, we calculated that at my current loss rate, I would arrive at 3 to 4 thousand feet, and they gave me vectors all the way. Altitude is a very valuable asset, I was at 8,000 feet when this started out.


    Third, Pensacola, Florida, the seal on the crank let go, and covered the plane with dirty oil. I notified the tower, they radar vectored me to the outer marker, and gave distance out as I made an ILS approach using the frequency they provided. No other planes inconvenienced.


    I have had only one experience where I had an in flight problem, that ATC did not treat me just the same as an air carrier plane. There has never been any papers to fill out.
    The moral here is fully advise ATC what your problem is, and they will do all they can to get you safely to the ground. Note that I did not declare and emergency, nor did they make it one. We just worked together to find what I needed to get safely on the ground. If they did not give me what I needed, I would declare an emergency, but that was never necessary.
     
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  30. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Also, when you say "Mayday" or "Emergency", there are more things ATC can do for you regarding traffic, priority handling and what ever else. If you don't declare they may or may not figure out that you need to declare, to your peril.
     
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  31. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Is "pan pan" still a thing? Or is that marine only?
     
  32. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Nope, "Pan Pan" is still an aviation thing, means you have a problem that while doesn't require an emergency declaration, is still an urgent situation...... from what I remember.
     
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  33. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    That's what I thought, I'd be curious what would justify a pan pan declaration in general aviation..
     
  34. Peter Anderson

    Peter Anderson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had an alternator failure in VMC about 15 miles from the nearest airport. I know I had the main battery to use and then a backup battery. I decided if I had to switch on the backup I would declare. The tower even asked me if I was going to declare. I said not at this time but I would like to get down asap. They gave me priority landing and all was well. I always wondered if I should have technically declared even though I never felt I was in an emergency situation. This could have been a good pan pan example.


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  35. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    "Pan pan" is an emergency declaration. Part of the problem is that some pilots think of "emergency" only in the sense of ambulances and fire trucks rolling with lights and sirens. But an emergency is any situation where you may need assistance to assure a safe outcome. Once you're in a situation where you need help, little or big, you have an emergency, and telling ATC about it can only make the situation easier.

    https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aim_html/chap6_section_1.html
     
  36. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    But notice that the air carrier types (121, 125, 135) don't have this problem. Why? Training and recurrent training.

    The Part 91 GA crowd typically get a certificate and that is the end of any formal training they ever see, with the exception of the $100 hamburger run with a CFI friend that gets logged as a flight review. So now it becomes a fear of getting the FAA involved with anything that may involve a look at the qualifications of the pilot in question.

    Again, in the air carrier world it is trained and reinforced to declare an emergency when needed and to use the resources available. The accident record air carrier vs GA speaks for itself.
     
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  37. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Ditto, lost the ALT on a night flight, VMC but on an IFR plan. Didn't didn't declare, but ATC still gave me direct vectors to nearest and altitude at my discretion as I approached the diversion airport. The battery held most of the way, I had just turned onto final when everything in the plane went black. I called the national clearance number on my cell after landing to let them know I was in safe. I could have declared, but in this case I don't know if it would have helped. As it was I was vectored directly to the nearest suitable airport, and once the power goes out ATC can't help you anyway. (although they would know to keep all traffic out of my intended route I suppose)
     
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  38. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    While there is no downside to declaring an emergency (apart from talking on the radio when you need to be flying the airplane), I think there can be times that it has no benefit. For example, a non-radar environment, when I’m already number one for the approach to a non-towered airport with no emergency equipment.

    I’ll admit that my go-to hazardous attitude is resignation, and I figure if the emergency declaration isn’t going to give me any operational advantage, why bother if everybody knows what’s going on anyway?

    I don’t condemn declaring in those situations, but I personally probably won’t. Other than “you should declare an emergency” or having the imaginary tower roll the imaginary trucks, nobody’s given any good reasons to do so.
     
  39. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    Nobody is discussing being first on the approach to a non towered airport without emergency services. It's obvious that declaring in that situation may not be of benefit. :rolleyes:

    But, in a radar environment, under control, to an airport with a tower and services, make the declaration and take advantage of the services. Talking to the FAA afterwards should be the least of anyone's concerns.
     
  40. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Understood.
    Apparently not, given the flak I’ve gotten over it.
    Absolutely.
     
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