One of the most disconcerting scenarios for pilots of single engined aircraft is "lack of noise". That moment when the grunt of horse power in front of you ceases to be, and all that remains is the hissssss of air as you decend rapidly through it at 200 kph terminating with an inevitable "kerthunk".
In my very modest flying career it occurred twice. Fortunately both times in outback Australia where there was adequate flat land available to ensure minimal kerthunkage.
In Papua New Guinea engine failure is an entirely different and more serious matter. Terrain and weather is inhospitable, so aircraft maintenance is necessarily conducted to a high standard.
Despite this attention to detail, certain aircraft gained bad reputations and pilots sometimes refused to fly them.
Cessna once produced an elongated 206 at least one of which, according to some pilots, flew with all the elegance of a supermodel working the parallel bars and pommel horse, and it earned such an appalling reputation that it was removed from service.
Another Piper aircraft was mothballed for a very long time after a series of mishaps and repairs, and gaining a nasty reputation for being rather loathe to leave mother earth during test flights.
The Cessna 206 has a worldwide reputation as a rugged and reliable cargo carrying workhorse, but P2-BCB, had a series of mishaps in some sort of mid-life crisis which must have made at least a couple of pilots wonder whether or not flying should be left to the birds.
Firstly at Pindiu, a short sloping one-way grassed bush airstrip in PNG at 3000 feet altitude, the nosewheel strut fractured after landing, allowing the propeller to do a fair imitation of a horticultural rotovator before coming to an undignified nose-in-the-ground halt.
Two weeks later it was repaired, but shortly after takeoff it apparently decided it didn't want to be an aeroplane anymore and with total engine failure crashed back to earth with fortunately no serious injury to the pilot.
(The memory of watching this incident occur will never leave me.)
P2-BCB was however not finished with providing excitement for pilots. It was dismantled at Pindiu for transport to, and reconstruction in the regional town of Lae.
The fuselage, minus wings, being helicoptered out in a sling under the chopper began to rotate uncontrollably and had to be jettisoned on a remote beach to prevent the helicopter from crashing.
Eventually the aircraft was rebuilt and put back into service.
I once very briefly considered upgrading my qualifications and beginning a career as a commercial pilot, but rapidly came to my senses understanding that I had neither the aptitude nor the unrelenting commitment to excellence required.
It is a profession best left to those with a singular passion for flying, and a natural gift of airmanship.
The 155 passengers aboard Captain Sullenbergers Airbus earlier this year would agree with me, after he successfully and safely alighted them all on the Hudson River after a serious case (very rare in twin and multi-engined aircraft) of total "lack of noise".