Due to my traveling for work and conflicting schedules with my instructor, I'm not going to be flying again until Sunday and the only way for me to stay somewhat proficient is to chair "fly". I'm sure every student does it... But I do it to the extreme! My budget is tight so I've logged more hours in a chair cockpit than in an actual airplane.
What I wanted to review on today's "flight" was my emergency engine out procedure. The first time I did this in the air... I chose a horrible place to land and couldn't handle the multi-tasking required. Not only do you have to find a place to land, but you have to maintain 65knots, troubleshoot your engine, change the radio, and change the transponder to 7700.
Luckily some genius thought of another tool to easily remember the larger amounts of information. Never have I had to remember so many mnemonic devices. As the title says.. Today's is ALERTS. I've covered this in one of my previous posts, but for my own sake, and hopefully the sake of another pre-solo student, I'm writing this. It helps when I can put my thoughts into a post like this. It helps me organize and remember my thoughts.
A - Airspeed - Maintain best glide speed. In my Cessna 172N it's 65 knots.
L - Landing site - Find one. Preferably a road without power lines or the vegetation of a farm
E - Engine troubleshoot - Pull the checklist and run through it. Once you memorize, use a flow
R - Radio - If your engine doesn't restart, tube to 121.5 and broadcast Mayday
T - Transponder - Set to 7700 to indicate an emergency
S - Seatbelts - Ensure they are secure
Like I said... The first time my instructor pulled my power, I lost 1500ft before I was able to troubleshoot my engine and I would have crashed due to a poor landing site selection. Now, after a couple tries, I'm choosing better landing spots and completing my checklist in far less an altitude loss. This is all due to chair "flying" and memorizing the important ALERTS mnemonic device. Thank you to whoever thinks up these tools to remember!