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Lost Over the Mediterranean: A Pilot’s Tale of Lessons Learned

A seemingly trivial error in tuning into the right frequency left us cut off from the Greek control tower and without any responses from the Cypriots. Modern electronics surrounded us, but their benefits remained elusive, mainly due to our unfamiliarity with Garmin’s intricacies. The vast blue of the Mediterranean below and the open skies above became our only constants.

“Geneva Tower, I have to go back”

Everything looked good: positive rate of climb, gear up, and I pulled back power to 92% as I have done many times before, getting ready to relax and prepare for the Alpine crossing. And then something seemed weird. It took me a second to see it: one engine would not go down in RPM, still well in the “yellow,” although the throttle was now well below the usual power setting.

A gear problem?

And now, I had them both—a plane and all the ratings that go with it. And, of course 400 hours or so, which made me that “great” pilot. And so it was time to take it all to the test. I took two friends and off we flew to Geneva, Switzerland, a breeze of 1.5 hrs with the DA42. The mission: to attend the yearly car show, of course!