Alternator failure: Get Down Now!

Real World VFR, IFR and Coast to Coast discussion area

Alternator failure: Get Down Now!

Postby Tol3458 » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:08 pm

I enjoyed the video. I wonder if in a real-world situation Keith might have handled it a little bit differently. That is: You know your avionics depend on battery power, which is failing. How long do you have? You don't know. You need to get on the ground.

What is the weather? That is,do you need to fly an ILS to minimums, or a non-precision approach, or better yet, can you fly through a hole through the clouds and go VFR? The objective, of course, is to get on the ground quickly.

On conserving power: You turn off lights, autopilot, DME. Anything else? You have an iPad, which runs on its own battery, which give you another source of situational awareness. This allows you to turn off the 2nd GPS & radio.

Do you declare an "Emergency"? If things are in doubt, definitely. On the other hand, declaring so unleashes a protocol of things by ATC, the last of which is a bunch of paperwork to be filled out by you and possibly some increased scrutiny by you insurer. As an alternative you can request "priority" handling, which allows ATC to slot you in ahead of regular traffic without the hassle of an FAA investigation. Also, I would, if seeing myself vectored on an extended downwind, request a shortcut nearer the final approach fix. Remember: ATC wants you on the ground as quickly as you do--safe and sound.

You're in a position to ask, so you shall receive.
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