The ANC of how to fly a plane in an emergency

2019-05-08 05:30
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Okay, so this is a worst case scenario situation tutorial. Think horror movie level.

First of all, this is in no way, shape or form a fool-proof plan for flying a plane successfully without experience.

Imagine being on a plane and suddenly finding yourself without a pilot. It's an abnormal situation and everyone reacts differently in emergency situations.

Pilots go through years of live and simulation training and experience all sorts of flying conditions – from normal to abnormal to bizarre.

But one day, there might be a situation in which you have to step up to the plate and fly a plane. Or, at least, attempt to fly one.

If you are able to think of anything in this instance, think of the ANC method.

PICS: How a pilot was rescued from a plane that crash-landed atop a tree

Wired.com asked a professional pilot to share a few tips. Mark Van Hoenacker, a Belgian-American, works for British Airways as a Boeing 787 pilot.

Van Hoenacker is also the author of Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot, which was published in 2015, followed by How to Land a Plane in 2017.

These are a few of his key points:

Remember this acronym: ANC. It stands for Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.

Aviate 

 - This means you need to keep the plane safe and stable.

 - Van Hoenacker says you need to use the control wheel and the horizon displayed on the altitude indicator to level the wings.

 - Be sure to remain at the altitude you're at once the pilot is no longer there. Then, try to keep the plane flying at a consistent speed. Basically, try to stay aligned at a familiar altitude and consistent speed.

Communicate 

  - Put on the headset, locate the "transmit" button and press to talk. It basically works like a walkie-talkie, so you need to press to be heard.

 - As an identifier, use a flight number or the aircraft registration to identify yourself when communicating with the controller so that the person knows who and where you are. This information is usually found in the cockpit.

Navigate

 - Ensure that the flight path is safe. 

 - Once you have established communication, get the controller to help you navigate to a safe place to fly or land. Stay away from mountains, of course, and ask about bad weather conditions. The controller should alert you to any turns you need to make or "vectors", as they call them, to stay on a horizontal path.

But, of course, it's much more technical than this.

These are just the bare basics you should know, like a module 1.0 of flying. To look into this deeper, check out Wired.com for his technical tutorial on how to fly a plane.

READ: Rent-a-captain: SAA plugs global pilot shortage by hiring out its crew

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