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Occurrences

Occurrence reports are available on a controlled basis and provided that your interest relates to flight safety it is likely that the CAA will authorise access for you. To obtain this contact CAASubscriptions@caa.co.uk

 Occurrence of this month relates to a Cessna 172 in the circuit at Skegness. Ref 201722976. The pilot failed to correctly select Fuel to BOTH tanks during the pre-landing checks and instead selected Fuel to OFF. What happened next makes this pilot, in your editor’s view, something of a hero.  

They kept cool, they remembered what was the priority and they walked away from an undamaged aircraft. Others could have forgotten the vital priority, lost control while concentrating on some less important task and died. Even if the aircraft had been damaged your editor would still be full of praise even if the insurance company would be less happy.

The pilot reports: The engine failure occurred in the circuit, downwind for runway 11 at EGNI. Upon realisation that the aeroplane was losing thrust and that the airspeed was rapidly decreasing, altitude had to be sacrificed instantly to maintain a safe descent speed lowering the nose to achieve this. It was my decision that being unable to conduct a safe landing on the runway due to my position and the time available, I had to choose a sufficient area to conduct a safe forced landing. Upon initial inspection for a suitable landing area I realised that the ground around me was unforgiving due to the nature of its obstacles. To determine the cause as to why my engine suffered this failure became of less important than finding a safe area to land. Bringing my concentration in to the cockpit to define the cause was a quick realisation that being so low with very limited landing areas and time available was a less prioritised task. My main priority was landing safely and to do so I had to use the little time I had in choosing somewhere suitable to land. I noticed a suitable field that was clear of any obstacles and planned the approach in order to conduct a safe landing. Here, I was able to transmit a "MAYDAY" call to Skegness radio, informing them of my situation and intentions. A smooth landing was made on to a dry level field which was safe and which caused no injury or harm to life, property or the aircraft. I informed Skegness radio that all was well and proceed to shut the aircraft down. The aeroplane was recovered [by flying out] shortly after the incident.

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