Abnormal Oil Pressure

I enjoy simulating emergencies for students. One of my favorites has to do with the oil pressure.

As the student lines up the plane for takeoff I watch their eyes. When I’m sure they are looking out the window I say, “Woah … the oil pressure just spiked!” Most people look down at the gauge and see the pressure sitting in the green. 

Surprisingly, most still continue the takeoff. When they are looking outside again, I continue with “There it goes again, it just jumped way above the redline!”

Many students will say “I didn’t see it” while continuing the takeoff.

At this point, I’m not going to stop them from taking off because we might as well continue on to the next part of the lesson after discussing what happened.

What is the point of this?

I am not doing this just to annoy my students. The lesson is simple: take everything seriously.

I don’t care if a 4-year-old in the back seat points out a problem, I am going to stay on the safe side and handle it as if I saw it myself.

In this case, the correct thing to do would have been to abort the takeoff at the first spike.

Why do so many students continue the takeoff? I believe it is because they are very mission-oriented, and they have a goal in mind. In addition, they are not thinking about aborting the takeoff.

This can be a dangerous way to think. As instructors, we have a duty to make sure our students learn that, like the go-around, aborting the takeoff should always be an option on the table.