What really caused the problem was that I allowed my impulse to not allow the helicopter pilot’s politeness to be wasted, to override my initial decision to go around, and attempted to salvage a touch and go landing from an unusual position, in an intentionally tight pattern that offers minimal margin for correcting off-nominal altitude and speed.
I could smell a distinct smell of oil/rubber burning. I decided to get the fire extinguish ready and available if a fire broke out.
This is a relatively new aircraft with three different fuel gauges and it has a very low burn rate. I have come to not trust two of the gauges.
Fortunately my incident caused by the improper repair of my engine was not fatal. No one was injured when we landed with loss of forward thrust. However, the next pilot may not have the good fortune that we had.
The 421 was completely out of control and at full power about to hit and kill us head on.
I began to smell something burning, and at the same time, the flaps had come to a stop. I instructed the student to end the maneuver. By this time, smoke started to fill the cabin.
The bolt holding the throttle cable fell off due to being improperly secured after a carburetor replacement approximately five hours before the malfunction.
Although we did not see smoke or fire, we declared a “PAN PAN PAN” and diverted to the closest airport.
One target caught my eye as it was on a collision course with me. Shortly after I arrested my climb I watched their N number pass by approximately 200 feet above us, off my nose.
The engine went quiet for a moment, almost like it skipped a beat. Then within three to five seconds later it happened again.
In his first emergency situation as a pilot, several thoughts went through his head: 1. This is really happening. 2. I can make the airport, I am going to be ok, the engine is still running, do not panic. 3. Is there something wrong with the fuel I just put in the airplane? There was nothing wrong with the sample I took. 4. How am I getting home now? My dog is unattended and I have to be at work in the morning.
My CFI froze in a priority situation while I was flying under goggles at night. I cannot think of a scenario where this is acceptable.