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farri

Engine Failure Does Not Cause A Fatal Accident In An Ultralight Aircraft!

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Due to the continued discussion on the possible cause of the fatal accident in the Ultralight at Emerald I thought it best to start this thread on the subject of engine failure in Ultralight aircraft.

 

I`ll start by saying, engine failure in itself does not and should not cause a fatal accident in an Ultralight aircraft, it`s the chain of events that occur before and after the engine failure that determine the final outcome.

 

Frank.

 

 

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Just did my BFR on Saturday and it's a reminder of the need to keep up the training, not just every 2 years. My execution was still good but not quite rote.

 

 

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Well, already 9 people agree, but the next step, which no one has solved yet, is how to turn deaths into broken arms, legs, or scratches, or better still a slightly damaged aircraft, but no injury.

 

I don't think you can do it by a rule, but my experience (with RA) is that the forced landing procedure may be too complicated.

 

If someone sits there for a two or three second "It can't be what I think it is moment", which, I think, you have to assume is the delay rather than 20/100 of a second, something has to be instilled subconsciously.

 

 

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The top priority is to retain control of the aircraft. A draggy plane has a height/speed situation where below a certain height you will have a hard landing whatever you do.( Similar to min autorotation height in a chopper). Having a higher forward speed can to a certain extent compensate but speed washes off fast in a draggy plane unless you change the attitude quickly to a more nose down position. With the 45 knot stall limitation and taking off into wind forward (ground) speed will never be ridiculously high if handled competently. A close to stall speed approach means you won't get a fully effective flare but to increase speed will require a high sink rate while you go for it, so don't overdo it. It's an energy management exercise. Near the ground , you won't have time to do much but concentrate on the flying because you will be back on it quickly. Nev

 

 

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A big thing that needs to be instilled in pilots IMHO is this:When the engine fails, destroy the aircraft if you have to, to ensure you walk away!

 

It seems too many people focus on attempting to save the aircraft, resulting in a stall/spin/other undesirable outcome. If you condition yourself to accept the aircraft is disposable - even if you built it yourself - you are likely to be happy to fly it into trees under control, rather than trying to stretch the glide in an attempt to reach that unreachable clearing.

 

 

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, but my experience (with RA) is that the forced landing procedure may be too complicated.

Agree. Same with GA procedures. Most engine fails are not going to happen at 3500' agl - they'll be more likely at 500' agl. There won't be the luxury of time to run a long checklist. In my current RAAus training, I keep it very simple - following the 'aviate/navigate/communicate' sequence. happy days,

 

 

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I first started flying in Drifters back in the AUF days. EFATO first action was taught as a firm push forwards that made you very light in the seat (probably wasn't 0G but felt like it!) to maintain airspeed. With the low speed, light weight and high drag airspeed disappeared very quickly after engine failure if you were slow to get the nose down.

 

My understanding is that one of the early problems the AUF addressed was a high EFATO fatality rate in pilots who came from GA and were used to aircraft with much lower drag. They didn't get the nose down fast enough and stalled. This was the primary reason for the minimum 5 hours training to convert - to thoroughly cover these differences. Now RAA machines tend to be much faster and lower drag I suspect this is not covered very well anymore. I assume it was the origin of the low performance endorsement, which was one RAA specific endorsement that I was in favour of.

 

 

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A firm stick forward with EFATO is always going to be my first instinct. That became drilled into me as a 15 year old learning to fly draggy 2-seat training gliders on winch launch, where the winch cable could be expected to break at any time. Typically, that happened just as my stick came fully back, establishing a climb to apex! The loud Bang sure gets your attention too:yikes:

 

 

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I like the idea of a chute but if we are seeing people react slow enough to stall then how do we expect them to react quick enough to pull a chute in an EFATO scenario?

 

I wonder how often pilots across the board are practicing a no throttle approach and landing? I wonder if powered approaches are letting pilots land without that ground rush sensation that you need to hold the nose down through to land safely without throttle?

 

I am not saying that is so for all pilots but I would think it could possibly be a big factor. Should a no throttle landing be required at each BFR? Maybe that could be a small thing that might make a big difference?

 

 

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crash02.jpg.762ed4adf537f68003921f2f3e1dab35.jpg

 

My favorite plane has had a few crashes to it's name , mostly none fatal thankfully. (It seems too many)

 

I worry about a pilot trained in a large aircraft to solo grade, the getting into a untried single seater, as a test pilot.

 

The Notepad txt is about a new plane crash!. (only in America)

 

spacesailor

 

1546105149_crash01.10_8445.jpg.091567eb8f0df1497d2d1640d3b379cb.jpg

 

HBTestFail.txt

 

HBTestFail.txt

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Should a no throttle landing be required at each BFR?

Interesting comment - I have not done a BFR without one since BFRs were introduced. I was of the opinion it was mandatory (in SE ops).

 

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A big thing that needs to be instilled in pilots IMHO is this:When the engine fails, destroy the aircraft if you have to, to ensure you walk away!

It seems too many people focus on attempting to save the aircraft, resulting in a stall/spin/other undesirable outcome. If you condition yourself to accept the aircraft is disposable - even if you built it yourself - you are likely to be happy to fly it into trees under control, rather than trying to stretch the glide in an attempt to reach that unreachable clearing.

I hear this frequently, but I’m not sure that it really helps. Most of our aircraft are so lightly built that if you manage to destroy it , you probably won’t be walking away.

 

Is it possible that in our flash aircraft with our never failing Rotax, we are taking more risks? If we have to land in trees, maybe we are getting complacent, or maybe we are accepting greater risk and paying the price.

 

The instinctive pulling back close to the ground appears to be hard to overcome. Our own Maj Millard had a thread on the dangers of the turn back, but that is what took his life. My point is that it seems that we all know what we should do, but when the pressure is on, things go bad.

 

A power failure should mean nothing more than flying the aircraft and landing it in the place you had already chosen,in a manner already decided.

 

If somehow, it has become more complicated, then, WHY?

 

 

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I've said it before elsewhere, flying at 500' or below taking off and or landing most of my attention is imeadiately underneath me as in where to set the plane down if needed, I also used this logic in low powered twins at MTOW. My attention span for such an event reduces the higher I climb. Anytime I come into a drome and I can do it without effecting others I do a power off as in idle landing, I never fly further away from the drome that I can't reach it if the noise stops, I'm always slightly high on final especially over built up area's, side slipping is a beautiful thing. Don't have to reach the rwy just the airfield where it's clear. A lot of engine failures occur during a power change, usually a reduction change. The one thing that concerns me these days at dromes where sausage factory training is going on is the 'jet' type circuits they teach, bloody dangerous!!

 

 

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I like the idea of a chute but if we are seeing people react slow enough to stall then how do we expect them to react quick enough to pull a chute in an EFATO scenario?

I wonder how often pilots across the board are practicing a no throttle approach and landing? I wonder if powered approaches are letting pilots land without that ground rush sensation that you need to hold the nose down through to land safely without throttle?

 

I am not saying that is so for all pilots but I would think it could possibly be a big factor. Should a no throttle landing be required at each BFR? Maybe that could be a small thing that might make a big difference?

If by "no throttle landing" you mean a glide approach, I absolutely agree. I was taught that unless you have to do a long approach to fit in with traffic, all landings should be a glide approach. Pull the throttle to idle as you turn base and if you have judged it right you should not touch the throttle again until you need it to taxi clear of the runway.

 

This way you remain familiar & comfortable with your aircraft's glide performance, so when the fan does stop you are not in a completely different situation to most landings. Obviously there will be some difference between an idling prop and a stopped one, but better to practise at idle than not at all.

 

To open yet another debate I also agree with being able to turn a motor off completely, while overhead an airstrip and carry out a practise forced landing all the way to touchdown. This should only be done with a CFI on board and at a suitable strip that has safe options, at a time when it will not affect other traffic. I have done this and believe it is worthwhile to experience it. Having done it in a controlled & supervised fashion will help reduce the shock & possible panic when it eventually happens for real.

 

 

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Don't you always have a choice of the terrain you fly over? I recall "don't fly over what you can't land on" being a basic concept. If you do that your engine won't kill you whatever it does. (This stuck from yesterday. Just picked it up)..

 

Regarding the engine idle approach Idling motors are inclined to stop and I would suggest a lot more than when you have say 1/5 th throttle where the engine keeps some heat and momentum in it .It's also more ready to do a go around if you need to. Your idling has to be reliable., Having it a bit high makes it more so but that can result in the plane floating a bit further than you want it to. You are meant to do an idle check on the way out to the threshold. If it's not steady at the correct figure, return and have it rectified . Nev.

 

 

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Not always, no you don't.

 

Take a look at some of the restricted areas closed off around Williamtown, Amberley, or even the CTR around some of the major airports, and the only practical option to get around, under or through, these areas is not overly friendly. The lane through Dungog and Gloucester has an upper limit of 1000AGL. Do I fly over tiger country? Certainly. But I am comfortable wrapping the -9 up into a ball to walk away, and with a stall speed in the mid 40's, I am confident such an arrival would not be life-threatening. Painful, perhaps, but not fatal.

 

 

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Don't concentrate too much on the "plane or ME" thing. It's not exactly the issue. If you invert the plane you may not be able to get out of it (leaking fuel and all that) Of course that CAN happen on an aerodrome as well, but far less likely . How much you get damaged relates to the rate you dissipate the kinetic energy you have when you hit something. You are talking of about 90 Kms/Hr and if you are downwind it's more. Those tiger country lanes are NOT safe you have conflicting traffic as well. this why there must be better through CTA clearances available. Nev

 

 

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While tiger country is worth a mention a fair proportion of the engine out stall spin accidents seem to be in reasonably open country.

 

 

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The plane doesn't know where it is. The plane only gets involved with the particular topography when it reaches the bottom edge of the sky. Plane s don't stall them selves. Pilot's stall them. (unless something structural or loading goes wrong). Nev

 

 

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That's right Nev. It would be interesting to see just how many stall spins were in tiger country compared to away from tiger country though. Just going off my memory I would think that more go into open paddocks than not which would raise the question why? If people aren't pulling back to extend a glide over trees ect why are they holding back and stalling in reasonable surroundings?

 

 

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That's right Nev. It would be interesting to see just how many stall spins were in tiger country compared to away from tiger country though. Just going off my memory I would think that more go into open paddocks than not which would raise the question why? If people aren't pulling back to extend a glide over trees ect why are they holding back and stalling in reasonable surroundings?

- Disorientation in cloud

 

- Untrained low level circling in wind, caught-out by illusions of drift and uncoordinated flight controls & insufficient speed.

 

 

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Don't you always have a choice of the terrain you fly over? I recall "don't fly over what you can't land on" being a basic concept. If you do that your engine won't kill you whatever it does. (This stuck from yesterday. Just picked it up)..Regarding the engine idle approach Idling motors are inclined to stop and I would suggest a lot more than when you have say 1/5 th throttle where the engine keeps some heat and momentum in it .It's also more ready to do a go around if you need to. Your idling has to be reliable., Having it a bit high makes it more so but that can result in the plane floating a bit further than you want it to. You are meant to do an idle check on the way out to the threshold. If it's not steady at the correct figure, return and have it rectified . Nev.

Idling motors in flight are not idling as if they where on the ground, there's a difference. Lots of miss information pops up on these threads!!

 

 

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Plenty of engines have to have the motor opened up every few thousand feet or they might stop . Are you aware of that? Nev

 

 

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Idling motors in flight are not idling as if they where on the ground, there's a difference. Lots of miss information pops up on these threads!!

Are you talking about 500 cc air cooled two strokes, or GA aircraft?

 

 

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