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Coping with emergencies

Coping with emergencies

Rev. 5 — page content was last changed 13 December 2010

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In the earlier years of ultralight aviation, journeys were rather short, the engines used were not particularly reliable and forced landings were regarded as a normal event. Due to the low kinetic energy of most ultralight aircraft, such 'dead-stick' landings were generally easy and safe, and aircraft recovery and repair was not a problem. That situation still exists today with many of the minimum aircraft registered with RA-Aus in the CAO 95.10 category.

The proliferation of heavier and faster recreational and sport aircraft travelling long distances, and equipped with engines of much greater reliability, has given rise to the situation where the perception of pilots and possibly instructors (in regard to the likelihood of a forced landing) has changed greatly, and indeed many pilots now have no practical experience of handling real forced landings — and the aircraft they fly are inherently more difficult to put down in a small clearing. The nosewheel with which many are now equipped adds to the problems once the aircraft has touched down in rough or soft conditions.

This guide outlines the knowledge needed to prepare for an engine-out emergency landing on a difficult site and to deal with the aftermath.


1. Knowing the aircraft

2. Deceleration forces

3. Forced landing procedures

4. Overcoming aircraft control system failures

5. Lost procedure

This is a section of the 'Flight Planning and Navigation Guide' that deals with procedure when lost

6. Safety and emergency communication procedures

7. Aviation distress beacons

8. Understanding SAR services

9. ERSA emergency and survival procedures [June 2012 pdf file]

Copyright © 2004–2010 John Brandon     [contact author]