VMC Roll and Controlling The Night

So on most nights I like to keep it moving nice and quick. If one spot is no good, sure I might take a lap but then it is time to go if things don’t pan out. No point in wasting time fighting bad crowds. You can usually tell right away if a spot has potential. My intuition on this has really come a long way.

Sometimes (and this happens more often when I’ve gone out with a friend or two) — you get in these situations where the momentum just stops and all of the sudden your jin is all used up. Stagnant. This can get muddy real quick if you don’t have the experience to push through it or you panic. Gotta keep your blood cold — Garder son sang froid — French pilots love this and so do we.

Keep it chill like this guy

This is a lot like losing the critical engine low-level. Things can go bad real fast and if you lose your edge you’re in the trees. Not good.

Aight. So.

Context: So according to one of my pilot friends who shall remain nameless this guy lost his left engine real quick post-takeoff. Things happen fast afterwords.

14 secs: Something is definitely amiss here. Airspeed is low low low. Stall horn blaring? Very possible. You’ve hit a bump in the night. Momentum is bleeding off.

19 secs: Now according to this same friend ATC did not know of the predicament in the cockpit and asked for the routine left turn out of the pattern. From the armchair we can presume the pilot followed directions instinctively. Banks left into the dead engine. Beginning of the end. Situation has gone from manageable to precarious. Immediate action is now necessary. You’ve lost direction over the night. Let routine take over. Neglect your priorities. Gatekeepers. Autonomy.

23 secs: Not good. Past 45 degrees left the working engine is just too much. Tail starts to skid out. Here comes the VMC roll. Pull the right engine now or it’s over. Grim situations. Face control. Bad hombres. Saddle up and ride this one out.

25 secs: You’re toast. Night’s a bust. Tailspin.

Takeaway is clear: Never hand over control of the situation. Turn into the power, nose down, ride it out.

If shit really hits the fan then fuck it, kill the right engine, level out, and ride it in to the trees with your boots on nice and even. Maybe throw the flaps too and mush it down nice and flat.

Keep your blood cold.


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