Adventure on the Murray River

Paddling the backwaters of Lake Mulwalla - photo by Rob McFarland

Paddling the backwaters of Lake Mulwalla - photo by Rob McFarland

It was supposed to be a hypothetical question. When I ask Jack: “What would happen if the engine failed now?” I didn’t expect him to reply: “Let’s find out.”

I wouldn’t be so worried if we were in a car or a boat. But we’re in a two-seater plane – and we’re at 760m (2500ft). Jack powers back the engine of the Piper Tomahawk and then, with a grin, tells me we’re about to attempt a dead-stick landing.

I try to hide the look of sheer terror on my face. I don’t like the sound of the word “attempt” and I’m even less enthusiastic about a landing with the word “dead” in it. But I’m in safe hands. As an instructor, Jack has flown for 34 years and has racked up more than 12,000 hours in the air. After a couple of sharp, banking turns to lose height, he glides in and touches down smoothly.

Read the rest of this story here.

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