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K E Y N O T E S P E A K E R | Column

I was chatting with the crew of a Delta flight when all of a sudden I saw a bright red/orange light at two o’clock - same altitude. It was a weird triangular shape and I immediately thought it was traffic, and mentioned this to my new pals up above. the mid-Atlantic at low altitudes, but just the same I wanted to keep altitude to trade for time in case I had an emergency. Icing, fatigue and engine failure were what concerned me the most. I had scared myself pretty badly once on a flight between Seattle and Bend, Oregon, with no less than three quarters of an inch of ice accumulating on the tiny Lancair before emerging into clear air. Compounding the danger was

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the fact that I was also right over the Cascade mountain range and had lost my opportunity to fly down to warmer air to melt off the ice. I requested a slow climb and began edging up above the flank of Mt. Hood, but after about 1,000 feet of altitude gain the airplane suddenly stalled. In spite of my increase in airspeed it mushed again and kept falling out of the sky. Upon pointing the nose further down and holding it down much longer than a normal stall recovery should

take, it started to fly again, although at a much lower altitude. After a short discussion with ATC, I requested VFR on top which relieved them of terrain clearance requirements and gave me some latitude to stay clear of clouds, mountains and the grim reaper who seemed hot on my tail. Whenever I think about this icing experience I kick myself for not executing an immediate 180 degree course reversal like I was taught in flight school! But I digress from my story‌ After

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PilotMag-May/June 2010  

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PilotMag-May/June 2010  

Aviation magazine

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