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Old 10-20-2018, 03:58 PM   #300
woofa.express
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Tocumwal, NSW, Australia
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Default Re: tell a Model A related story

A Pilot Induced Engine Out. (The first of Two.)

There is a very strange tree that grows in the Kimberly region of West Australia and also in Africa. It is the Boab or Boabab tree. One is very well known Boab because years ago the police used it as a jail. It is near Derby W.A. The other is just a regular Boab. The third picture is the Bottle tree which is unique to Queensland. Not quite as grotesque looking. They all hold thousands of gallons of water and I’m told if you poison one and let it dry out you can carry it away on your back.
The Darling Downs is a large flat fertile area on the western side of the Great Dividing Range in Southern Queensland. It extends to the town of Chinchilla to the north west then becomes pockets of fertile soil and in some places undulating. I worked from the town of Miles near Chinchilla. Although located in Queenslandit was named Darling Downs after a governor on New South Wales.
Now what’s this got to do with an engine out. Nothing really but a description of the land I worked in my Cessna Agwagon. An Agwagon is a specifically made agricultural aeroplane made of already existing Cessna components which are arranged in a different configuration. The wings, rear fuselage tail section and undercarriage are Cessna 180/185 stuff. Like all ag planes the fuselage is arranged thus engine up front of course, hopper and pilot in rear which give more concertina effect inevent of crash plus the pilot doesn’t get crushed by hopper payload situated behind him on impact.
I’m getting away from the story aren’t I? Yes. Well in a drought I flew cotton in North Africa flying an Ayres Thrush. Same configurationas I described above but much larger with a Pratt and Whitney radial 1340 cubic inch engine. I returned to Queensland and the Agwagon which I hadn’t flown for four months. My first job was at Wandoan, spraying sorghum which was emerging and getting eaten by cutworm.
Now the Cessna fuel was fed from one tank only, so there was no tank selection, just a Bowden cable to pull to shut off the fuel. Next to the shut off was another Bowden cable for cabin air. Now you know which way this story is heading. Yes?
I was approaching trees at the western end of the field and decided I needed some air. Trees coming up, I felt for the fresh air inlet Bowden cable and pulled it. No air. Pulled it some more. Then engine quit. I lifted, dumped the remainder of the load, did a 180. I was fortunate the westerly wind repositioned me back on the field where I landed down wind, down a gentle slope, in the sticky damp field and between the bottle trees. So very rapidly executed. It was not until I was stopped on the ground that I collected my thoughts and realised what I had done. Shut the fuel off. I was lucky the wind positioned me back to the field. It is an incident caused through lack of currency on type. Even in exactly the same circumstances I doubt if I could repeat the same safe outcome again.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg wa boab tree.jpg (19.8 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg boab tree at turkey creek.jpg (17.2 KB, 13 views)
File Type: jpg queensland bottle tree.jpg (15.5 KB, 13 views)
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