‘Exemplary’ handling of an aircraft malfunction

Ascent pilot James Rock has been recognised by the Royal Navy for a ‘Good Show’ award, after his “exemplary” handling of an aircraft malfunction during a training drill.

Culdrose QFI James, was taking part in a simulated engine failure after take-off (EFATO) drill in an Avenger, when he realised that there was an actual problem – with the landing gear. 

EFATO drills are part of Basic Training Requirements sorties and can become uncontrollable if mismanaged. On this sortie, a high-pitched noise was the first sign that the landing gear could not be lowered normally, followed by an amber caution for low hydraulic fluid.

After discontinuing the EFATO drill, the ‘failed engine’ was readvanced to restore twin engine performance. The landing gear was manually pumped down by the second pilot and a successful landing was made, after a flypast of the tower to enable Air Traffic Control to confirm the landing gear was in a normal position.

The Royal Navy Flight Safety Magazine ‘Cockpit’ featured James in its ‘Good Show’ column. The article stated: “During the entirety of this malfunction, Mr Rock’s aircraft handling, CRM and leadership were exemplary. His high level of technical knowledge, praised during a recent NFSF inspection, is a shining example to all pilots of all disciplines.

“To note, diagnose and assess a potential malfunction whilst safely handling a challenging simulated emergency, is piloting skills of the highest order. Mr Rock is a shining example to all pilots, rotary or FW, and is a deserved recipient of the Good Show award.”