Problem solving

On Friday I started my cross country trip from Delaware to California and then Reno for the Air races. On Friday night I flew IFR to NC21 and stayed with some old friends of mine. A perfectly delightful flight with no problems. On Saturday morning, I left for the second leg from the Charlotte area to Dallas where I was going to have dinner with some friends. About 20 miles east of Texarkana I started to have some electrical problems with my radios. I called Memphis Center and told them of my problems and they gave me a vector to Texarkana – Memphis Center was great while I worked through my problems and figured out that my alternator had given up. I turned off all non vital instruments and told Memphis center that I did not need to declare an emergency and could continue on to ADS ( Addison TX) but I had to continue as a VFR flight.

I landed in Dallas and one of my friends picked me up and took me to my hotel to clean up and get ready for dinner. At dinner last night I went through the procedure I went through as I worked through my problems. It did not seem unusual to me. Del Frisco’s was great again!

This morning at breakfast with my buddies they wanted me to go over again the procedures I went through while flying my plane with the electrical problems. To the non pilots it was very surprising the way I followed procedures and worked with Memphis approach to solve my problem while flying. But that is the reason for training and procedures, perhaps 20 years ago before I had my pilot’s license it would have surprised me too.

Procedure and training can’t cover every eventuality, but it helped me a lot in my little adventure last night, and it is why we have so many written operational procedures at Zerowait.

This morning I called the mechanics back in Delaware and we did some more trouble shooting and I am going to have to repair my alternator. Oh well . Its always something. But Dallas is a great place to be stranded for an extra day!

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