You may have stumbled on this blog because you recently heard about the guy who landed a Cessna with no prior flight knowledge. This should tell you something about pilots who only fly Cessnas. Joking. It was a truly incredible feat that the co-pilot with no aviation knowledge put the bird safely on the ground when the pilot was unresponsive....
And, if you fly right seat general aviation, you are a co-pilot…whether you have any working knowledge of the aircraft. Your buddy (or your partner) says let’s go fly, you’re like okay, cool sounds fun.
The flight is going well, you are enjoying the scenery andsmooth air and excited to pay $140 for hamburger at the FBO deli (after factoring in $6 gallon in fuel)…
When all of a sudden your pilot becomes unresponsive…What do you do?
1. Familiarize yourself with the basic radiofunctions, and the airplane. Ask questions. Pilots are happy to share what knowledge we have when it comes to flying airplanes. Ask how stuff works, what it does and how to operate it. Don’t just sit there like a lump, be proactive.
2. Tune the radio to 121. Tell ATC what has happened (inside the cockpit) and where you are (hint, it’s good to generally know where you are). Also, only talk to a controller that flies airplanes. Any other kind will not be of help to you (that’s funny, I’m joking)
3. Change your squawk code to 7700, this gives you a better chance of being found on radar and is the standard for broadcasting anemergency situation.
4. If all else fails, Trevor Jacobs it – and jump out. In which case, don’t forget to wear your parachute, and make sure your GoPro is recording.