Slightly LOST

Slightly LOST

As I mentioned in last month’s column, both FlightSafety and TRU Simulation + Training are offering enhanced training scenarios for Citation operators. These two-hour courses are in addition to regular 61.58 annual requirements, and are designed to provide more in-depth knowledge about a specific operational topic. In March, I added one of these scenarios during my six-month Mustang recurrent event. The scenario was titled LOST. 

First, some necessary discussion about Flight Safety’s choice of acronyms. LOST stands for “Line Oriented Simulation Training.” But who in their right mind would use the term LOST for pilot training?

I asked this question out loud to Randy Burke, Mustang Program Manager, as he began to brief me for our simulator session. He said something like, “I guess it is a little strange to use that term for you, David. But given your slower learning style, we have come up with some additional courses. Perhaps you would feel more comfortable with one of the following: TATA (Terrible Ability to Aviate) or TUTN (Totally Unable to Navigate), or perhaps UTFYWOTH (Unable to Find Your Way Out of the Hangar).” 

I became more comfortable with the LOST idea.

The flight was from LaGuardia (KLGA) to East Hampton (KHTO). The idea behind these flights is not to load you up with multiple systems failures or fires, but instead present a single issue that may not initially seem important. In my case, we were to land on the 4,255-foot Runway 10 at KHTO. Weather was 600 overcast, winds from 160 degrees at 10 kts, temperature of 5C and visibility of 3 miles. All certainly doable during a night landing at an uncontrolled airport in the Mustang. I calculated the required runway as 2,447 feet. 

I was fat, dumb, and happy as I flew the RNAV GPS Zulu approach for Runway 10. “Citation 416 Delta Mike, be advised that I am showing several rain showers along the final approach course tonight,” came the comment from controller Burke. I didn’t think much about it. As I touched down however, I realized that there was standing water on the runway. Braking action was significantly reduced. So much so, that I used almost every foot of the 4,255 available. It was an eye opener and totally unexpected.

In the debrief, we dove into the landing charts and discussed how landing distances can be effected by standing water, the depth of standing water, snow, slush etc. How snow is better than standing water. We came up with a general rule to double the dry landing distance for snow and triple it for standing water. If in doubt, visit the charts. These kinds of discussions are often not possible in a normal recurrent due to time limitations. And they are the kinds of discussions that can save a life or significant damage to your airframe. There have been several Citation accidents that could have been prevented with a pre-flight calculation of landing distance. 

All-in-all, very worthwhile two hours spent in the simulator.

Fly safe.

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