Friday, February 27, 2009

Wrong way Corrigan or haste makes waste.

Early in my flying days I pulled a real dumbo. Cause, not doing a proper pre take-off check of the instruments. The plane was a Cessna 172 based in Tewksbury,MA. The four of us were heading down to the Cape for a day on the beach. Weather was CAVU. The plane was headed north for take-off and away we went. After a short while though, things seemed a bit strange as there were some big hills ahead with mountains in the background. Oh no, how embarassing, we were over New Hampshire rather than Massachusetts. We were headed 180 degrees the wrong way! Ahem, as I casually explained that we were sightseeing a bit before our trip south.

What happened of course is that I had somehow set the non-slaved gyro to the reciprocal compass heading . I hadn't checked that the gyro, compass and runway headings all matched.

What was missing was an orderly, compulsively executed pre take-off check list. This should include at the least: CIGARR ( Controls, Instruments, Gas, Attitude,Radios,Run-up).

At any rate we had an uneventful journey otherwise; arriving safely in time for a swim and a safe return home.


  1. Walter, This stuff is great reading! I can't beleive you ever got Mom up there with you! That is truly amazing!!

  2. I wonder how many people are going the wrong way....way up there in the sky...oh-me-oh-my

  3. What's the saying? All's well that ends well! In addition, a good lesson learned!