Lessons learned from a mixture control incident

As a pilot, one should always be prepared and ready for the unexpected to occur. With this in mind, Matt Hammer, a New Jersey based private pilot who is working on his commercial certificate and instrument rating, has written a guest post on Plastic Pilot about an in-flight incident involving the mixture control. Specifically (and during a recent cross country flight), Matt turned the mixture knob only to have the entire mixture knob along with a good 8 or so inches of cable came out of the panel and land on the airplane’s floor.

Without recounting the specific details of how he handled the incident (more of an annoyance than a serious emergency), Matt mentions three important lessons that every pilot should take note of and remember during any unexpected event or emergency while flying:

    1. When something unexpected happens, the first step is *always* to fly the airplane.
    2. Assess the situation. Is it an actual emergency? Are you in immediate danger? What’s the most logical thing to do to arrive on the ground in one piece?
    3. After you’ve decided on the best way to handle the situation, COMMIT to your plan. Don’t second guess yourself unless it’s glaringly obvious that you’ve made a mistake.

Remembering these three simple pieces of advice will go along way toward keeping you safe the next time something unexpected happens while flying.

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