1. Recognize the problem
2. Don’t go into denial / resignation mode. Use your memorized / rote learned emergency ck. list and get on with trying to FIX the problem.
3. If the problem is not fixable, get in touch with ATC / look for a place to land. Airports are nice, but not always available. Get others involved.
4. FLY THE AIRPLANE. KEEP YOUR BUTTERFLIES IN FORMATION.
5. Land at the slowest possible speed. Turn off fuel, electrical systems at touch down. FLY THE AIRPLANE.
6. Now get nervous / upset. Let the butterflies go where they want.
I landed without a scratch to the aircraft, had luck on my side and all involved were just great. Highway Patrol, FAA, EMTs and the local media were very helpful. The plane was off the interstate in less than 2 hours and flying again in less than 10 days. Make sure you have in your possession your license, medical and ID. It helps when the authorities want that documentation and you can provide it without hesitation. The police will take your drivers license and run it through the system for a background check. The FAA was in this situation “MY FREIND”. As I was told, it just part of the job they HAVE TO PERFORM. Using a highway is not a violation in this case. When the engine stops, highways are a viable option. Engines do not run well without oil and by the way they will run for only about 5-6 minutes. Flatbed trucks can move a C-152 with the wings attached. When the drivers on the interstate go by and give you a thumbs up, say thanks and do not accept an offer to have a beer by a passing motorist. The media would love to put that on TV. Pilot lands with beer in hand. Wow!