your sense of awareness to engine performance.
You did check the oil right? Actually, twice. Is that the right fuel pressure reading? Yep, it’s normal. Is it just me or did the engine suddenly change pitch? Nope, it’s just you. AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman and I made the pilgrimage to Oshkosh in AOPA’s company Piper Archer (not to be confused with the sweepstakes one) on Tuesday.
The questions I was asking myself and my own answers to them were bouncing around in my head as we made the crossing. We were heading for Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, and over the radio we heard a P-51 Mustang requesting an overhead pass into the airport.
Although I’ve made water crossings before, my mind shifted back to World War II. Both of my grandfathers worked as engineers, building fighter planes. Another relative of mine was lost in a storm in a P-51 during a raid over Iwo Jima. Anyway, one of my grandfathers told me once how they gold plated engine parts in the P-47 in case pilots ran out of oil. It would give them a little extra burn time.
What’s astounding to me is how pilots flew tremendous distances over open ocean water to find enemy ships. Then they attacked. It’s also hard to imagine dog fighting without land in sight. As it turned out, though, the Archer did just fine and the only enemies we saw were phantoms.
Tags: Nate Ferguson