The Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR)

Write Your Own Ending, with Joe & Dan

Pop-Quiz, Hotshot:
You’re Life’s on the Line!!!

Dr. Dan Sullivan & Dr. Joe Castanza
— 28 September, 2019

You’ve just been to Sky Acres airport (44N) for that — well, corrected for inflation — $215.99 hamburger. You’re in your 1996 Cessna 172R; the other three seats contain family, and your fuel-injected, 160-horsepower Lycoming engine is purring along like a kitten at 4,500 MSL, on your way back home to Binghamption, NY (KBGM). You’re clipping along at 128KIAS (Knots Indicated Air Speed, as in “on your airspeed indicator”).

The $215.99 hamburger at Sky Acres is AWESOME!!! But, is it “to die for”???

Your Cousin is yappin’ ’bout them Boston Red Sox again… you’re a Yankee’s fan through-and-through, so you’ve been trying to tune him out; the hum of that purring engine has been helping you do that.

In the midst of thinking about how you’d like to strangle yourself a Red Sox fan with an old sock at altitude — and whether the other two family members aboard would let you get away with it — you’ve just noticed, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to drown out his voice; the engine has gone quiet and, suddenly, that terrain is creeping up on you

No, you’re not over Margaritaville, but the spelling is close. Either way, you’re about to wish you were: That big fan in front of the plane that keeps you from sweating just stopped. Now, everyone is quiet; hear that relative wind going around the fuselage??? Yeah. THAT silence is unsettling.

What now??? You’ve got an altitude of 4,500 feet MSL.

You’ve got a landing site picked out to the Northwest, toward the town of Dehli (DNY VOR-DME R-028). It’s all you’ve got; you’re a little bit far but, you’re going to make it by the skin of your teeth, and some of the dental skin of your family — even if you don’t consider the Red Sox fan a part of it.

Let’s not overthink it… the map, the scenario — that was all for flash, not cash; all of the important stuff is in bold-italics. Go back and read it.

Ok. So, as soon as your engine dies, your speed is 128KIAS; VBG (best glide speed) is 65KIAS for the 1996 Cessna 172R. Here’s the ‭$63,784.01‬ Question (that’s $64,000, less the cost of the $215.99 hamburger at Sky Acres):

What are you going to do with those 63 knots’ worth of airspeed to help get to that emergency landing spot safely???

1) Glide, while holding your altitude until your airspeed indicator shows Best Glide Speed.

2) Gently pull the nose up, climb and get as much altitude as possible until your airspeed indicator shows Best Glide Speed.

What’s it going to be, hotshot? It’s a matter of record; the CVR is running!!!

What would you do? Let us know below!!!