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The Shadows Led to Fuel Exhaustion

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The Shadows Led to Fuel Exhaustion

Old 27th Jul 2021, 12:59
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The Shadows Led to Fuel Exhaustion

This old accident is a bit of an unusual situation for sure but perhaps something to be aware of for trans-oceanic ferry pilots who are tight on fuel. One could easily be mislead from an altitude point of view of navigation point of view.

“The Meteor pilot, during the two or three days he spent in Sal recovering — almost always with a glass in his hand — described his odyssey. He took off, with fuel filled to the brim, from Faro bound for Sal, his first stage. The second would be from Sal to Bissau, and his destination was Biafra. His only navigational instrument was a radio compass, which broke down before arriving at Sal. He reported being abeam the Canaries and, when he calculated he was close to Sal, seeing a dark spot in the sea that seemed to him to be an island led him to descend. But it was just the shadow of a cloud, and he climbed again. This happened to him two or three times, the result being that he ended up running out of fuel and the engines stopped, because a jet consumes much more fuel at low altitude."

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Old 28th Jul 2021, 12:37
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But it was just the shadow of a cloud
Some thing pointed out by noted GA ferry pilot Louise Sacchi when flying the Pacific, don't confuse the cloud shadows as being one of the innumerable islands.
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