You're cruising at 6,500' over the San Marcus VOR (RZS), admiring the view of the southern California coastline at Santa Barbara and secretly trying to spot Oprah’s ranch. Just when you’re beginning to smell the bacon, you notice things have become unbelievably peaceful in the cockpit.
It looks like the engine has started its vacation early. This is a real emergency but you’ve still got a good airplane and plenty of options. What a shame you decided to forego flight following because the radio was yammering for the last 30 minutes non-stop about “use caution ” this and “traffic alert 12 o’clock, less than a mile” that.
Anyway, maybe you can find a way to quickly raise ATC in a pinch. Think fast but don’t panic. Use that checklist. And look outside, it’s a beautiful day. The winds aloft at 6,000' are 303 / 13 KTS and at 3,000' 313 / 12 KTS. At KSBA the winds are reported at 140 / 10 KTS.
Arrive well briefed for this flight and get extra sim time. Access and review the materials here.