Other People’s incidents: 2

Following the drama of the aerobatics described in the previous posts, everyone was preparing to get ready for the pub.

One of the pilots not joining us was doing a ‘Tomahawk Swap’, taking one back to Haverfordwest and fetching another from maintenance. After checking there were no more rogue Pitts’ about, he took off.

After about ten minutes, just as we were getting ready to leave the radio crackled, and a voice, so calm, that no one initially realised there was a major problem, announced that he had lost power and was returning to the field.

Everyone straight outside again.

In the absence of any air-ground as the airfield really was shut and unlicensed now, one of the instructors spoke to him, and he made a lovely landing.

Apparently he’d been in the cruise a few minutes when the engine just ‘died’. His passenger thought he was messing about. He thought he was landing on the beach.

He discovered carb heat brought it back up to 1900ish but no higher, and came back to the field on that.

Everyone was impressed by the safe outcome, but puzzled by the failure. An engineer’s visit discovered a fault in the connection between the mixture control in the cockpit and the actual whatever-it-is that controls what the engine is actually getting. Meant a new carburettor.

All I could think was that I hope I’ll be able to keep my nerves as well under control if I ever have a problem!

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