South Georgia pilots focus on safety - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

South Georgia pilots focus on safety

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September 22, 2002

Dawson-  Pilot Ben Morris has been flying single engine planes for over thirteen years. "I took a ride when I was real young like we did yesterday with the Experimental Aircraft Association, with the Young Eagles, and it kind of gets in your mind," he admits.

Morris has his own single engine airplane, and says many people prefer the low cost single engine over the most expensive twin engine planes. "A multi-engine is harder to fly than a single engine. It's got more instruments to look at, more controls to work with, so it makes it a little harder to fly it," adds Morris.

But these planes don't have a back-up engine if there is a mechanical failure. Still pilots say an inexperienced flier with a twin engine can be even more dangerous than he would in a single engine plane.

"A lot of times they just got busy and ran out of gas, so a lot of times it's pilot error, and a lot of times it's a bunch of little things that happen in a row that end up as a catastrophe," explains Experimental Aircraft Association President Matt Masters.

Both say good maintenance and checking the body and controls before take off is the key to a safe aircraft.

Not only do pilots check their planes before every flight, but the Federal Aviation Administration disassembles portions of every plane and checks the wiring at least once a year.

In addition to the FAA checks, each pilot must go through instructor guided training every two years to keep their certification.

Posted at 5:40 PM by elaine.armstrong@walb.com