Real Pilot Stories
The Ice Man:
Hear the spine-tingling true tale of a near-fatal December 26, 2005 encounter with ice in a Cessna 172. The story is told first-hand by pilot Heath Wells and air traffic controller Terry Pitts, punctuated with actual ATC audio.
This riveting 12-minute account has several important lessons, including how pilots can take advantage of ATC resources and teamwork to help save the day in an emergency.
Pilot Heath Wells begins by describing his attempts to reach the Bedford, Pennsylvania airport in the iced-up 172. After getting into an inadvertent spin in the clouds and descending below ATC radar, he regains control and deviates to the nearby Somerset airport. Unable to land there due to high crosswinds, he struggles to the Altoona airport with help from ATC and a last-minute pilot report (pirep).
|Click to enlarge |
The pilot's approximate route derived from intermittent radar returns. The altitudes shown (3,200' and 3,400') are based on actual radar returns.
Pilot Heath Wells
Photo courtesy of FAA Aviation News
From left to right: Mike Wilson (ATC Supervisor), Terry Pitts (Radar Controller), and Stacey Parham (Radar Associate).
Updated Monday, August 28, 2006 8:20:15 AM