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Emergency Management

Source: www.pilotworkshop.com/tips/emergency-management, Featuring Bob Martens

Subscriber question:

"What are the keys to managing emergencies in the cockpit?" - Tom M.

Bob:

"In my military training, we were taught to deal with all emergencies in the same sequence. It all starts with THE BIG THREE. Maintain aircraft control. Analyze the situation. Take Proper Action.

First and foremost, fly the aircraft!

Most emergencies are NOT life threatening and can be handled sequentially and SLOWLY. Think! Many times we can just undo what we did prior to the emergency (i.e. switching fuel tanks).

Refer to your emergency checklist. We are not intended to memorize our checklists, but we should know what's in them.

Request assistance. Declaring an emergency with ATC will get you started for the ground with priority handling. Many controllers are pilots and they may even be able to provide some additional help with your problem. Other aircraft on frequency can even help on occasion. You're never alone out there.

Stay cool. Panic will only cause the situation to deteriorate, especially with inadvertent IMC. Airplanes are very good at flying themselves if properly trimmed.

Finally, practice emergency situations with your instructor so that you are comfortable when things go wrong. Be especially good at emergency landings. You only get one shot at that one."