Emergency: aircraft out of fuel.

Flying up from Palm Beach to Chicago today I heard some chatter on guard frequency. Guard is frequency 121.5 on VHF, all aircraft monitor it while in flight. Over the years I have heard various emergencies; engine failures etc. Today after turning off the squelch and cranking up the volume, we heard a pilot running out of gas and desperate to find an airfield. It was too late, his fuel gauges indicated zero. A deep voice came over the radio: “Land it now, on a road, while you are still under power.” His first attempt failed…

In my books I write about how fuel represents time to pilots, minutes left until silence. Not good. In Vengeance fuel is always critical due to air combat and flying off of aircraft carriers. In Project Seven Alpha it was the vast distances and the unknown on the other end.

The old aviation saying is, you never have too much fuel unless you are on fire.

The pilot made a safe landing somewhere near St. Louis, my home town and destination when the day is done.

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