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Phil Perry

Extract on Forced Landings

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Extracted from GASCO safety news Nov 2019.

 

11 SUCCESSFUL FORCED LANDINGS - WOW!
No less than 11 forced landings are reported in the AAIB monthly bulletin for October 2019 and none of them involved serious injury, let alone a fatality.  Can it be, your compiler wonders, that UK GA pilots are at last getting the message, which is that when an emergency such as loss of power suddenly occurs you must give maximum priority to keeping the thing flying.  Never mind upset passengers, controllers asking for a change of squawk or a growing realisation that you are not going to make the selected field, keep the angle of bank moderate, fly the plane all the way down and you will probably walk away.
 
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In my Thruster career I have also done hundreds of forced landings with the engine switches off, it is a sure way to become truly comfortable with handling it for real. 

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17 hours ago, Thruster88 said:

In my Thruster career I have also done hundreds of forced landings with the engine switches off, it is a sure way to become truly comfortable with handling it for real. 

 

18 hours ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

In my gliding career, I have done hundreds of forced landings.

*GIGGLES.

 

I think we ought to rename this 'Forced' landing descriptor to what the incident reports are actually describing . .

 

ie, UNPLANNED ( Neccessary, but often most inconvenient ) landings ! ! !

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18 hours ago, Thruster88 said:

In my Thruster career I have also done hundreds of forced landings with the engine switches off, it is a sure way to become truly comfortable with handling it for real. 

 

18 hours ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

In my gliding career, I have done hundreds of forced landings.

*GIGGLES.

 

I think we ought to rename this 'Forced' landing descriptor to what the incident reports are actually describing . .

 

ie, UNPLANNED ( Neccessary, but often most inconvenient ) landings ! ! !

 

Regularly practicing Glide landings is a highly sensible excercise to ensure a better response in the event of an unplanned one. .  

Edited by Phil Perry
typo
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Fair point Phil. Yes a glider landing on an airfield only lacks the ability to go around. Against this, gliders have their big airbrakes. 

I reckon a glider is easier to land than a Jabiru.

 To this day, I have the fault of forgetting the "go around"  option with a power plane. A legacy of years of gliding.

A glider outlanding in a paddock is a forced landing though,  but easier and safer than a power plane.  

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  IF you must "outland" at an "off field" site and not the intended destination,, you are far better to land while you have power than run the tanks dry, and thereby reduce your choice and manoeuvering options.  Every landing is forced to an extent, in so much as you are going to have to land at some stage, even in a glider. There is a possibility your planned one will become unavailable for a few reasons. so nothing is certain till the plane is in the hangar and the big doors locked. Nev

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On 08/11/2019 at 6:40 AM, Bruce Tuncks said:

In my gliding career, I have done hundreds of forced landings.

Me too 🤭

 

Around 1000 and never broke anything other than the winch cable thanks to great training by Peter Johnson and Mike Valentine.

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A glider outlanding in a paddock is a forced landing though,  but easier and safer than a power plane.  

 

 

A Gliding Instructor at Bacchus Marsh once stated that every glider launch was always the harbinger of an 'interesting' outlanding 'with malice aforethought'. . 🙂

Edited by Phil Perry

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Glider landings are outlandings; a glider has different control surfaces, brakes and pilot training; landing without power is a 100% occurrence.

 

A powered aircraft has forced landings; practicing forced landings in a powered aircraft, believe it or not, is an integral part of training, or should be, and so should practicing landings solo.

 

HOWEVER, what's missing from the above posts is what makes it a forced landing. It's one thing to decide to do engine-off landings at an airfield.

It's pretty much the same thing where your instructors says "We're going to do forced landings today"

In both those cases you're operating on conscious brain impulse, so prior to the event you're getting ready, to decide to cut the power, or for the instructor to cut the power, even though he does it without telling you.

 

It's a whole lot different when, at the most inconvenient time the engine stops, and your brain is in that 2 to 3 second "This can't be happening" mode.

In those 2 seconds your hands should already have pushed the stick/yoke forward and trimmed for POH glide speed.

 

Congratulations to the UK pilots; but here the aircraft have been going out of control at flying height, with, as far as I can tell, none of the fatals being collisions after a 45 kt touch down. We're still exposed here.

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Most of my biennial jabiru flight reviews have included a forced landing check. Not followed right through to the touchdown on account of how the plane can well end up upside-down. Those wheels well below the fuse are the problem.

At least with a high-wing plane you will be able to crawl out later.

The main problem is that your head will contact some edges during this process. I have thought that a bike-type helmet would be good to have handy for a forced landing, but you would need time to put it on.

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2 hours ago, Bruce Tuncks said:

... I have thought that a bike-type helmet would be good to have handy for a forced landing, but you would need time to put it on.

Best put it on for every flight; mount your headset on it.

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 With our low speed stall type planes and a good seat belt you should be ok as your forward speed (into wind) is not such that one should expect to suffer significant injury. ALL extra gear is a nuisance and can mask helpful awareness of audible inputs etc.  I have hit my head on the roof in severe turbulence with the seat belt quite tight. Obviously it should have been tighter as one always does when preparing for the landing  don't we/? Nev

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Crikey Nev. Are we gonna square off about the advisability of head protection?

I haven't seen many little aeroplane cockpits that I'd like to bang my head against.

After a bingle, the last thing we need is to be sitting like a stunned mullet while the fuel leaks out...

 

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The trouble is that you look like a dork with a helmet on in a Jabiru...

This is true for bicycles too, and the helmet legislation is a wonderful example of ill-advised "safety" legislation.

The main effect has been to stop people riding bikes, so that they die from inactivity diseases at a greater rate than they are saved from road deaths.

 

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 While wearing a helmet might help in some situations I would not like to see it made compulsory.The cockpit does offer you  some protection from outside objects harming you and  some parts of it should be padded as they used to be in most planes but the speed/ energy as I've pointed out should not be high with a forced landing incident with our low stall speed and the existence of  a headwind component, which is your normal situation.. Helmets deny you some sensory inputs and can be uncomfortable and neither of those contribute to extra safety. The seat belt also should be well within it's design envelope and capacity to do it's job. At high speed nothing one wears will do much.. Primary safety is good flying and control capability. IF you do a turn back you could as well as crashing, double your contact velocity because of the tailwind and extra speed carried in the turn, and have a high RoD I would NEVER wish to PREVENT You, OK or anybody wearing a helmet if that is your wish.,but don't force me to wear one. Nev

Edited by facthunter
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A full helmet fitted with sound will also add to fatigue. We’ve got a little slack with aircraft specifications in recent decades. The full harness used to restrict the extent of upper body movement. 

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 A lot of single engined planes have high levels of cockpit noise, so people fly with nose attenuating headsets to preserve their hearing but  even that deprives you of some sensory awareness. Changes of engine and airframe noises. In the 60's it was normal to use the speaker and only wore Phones (with throat mics) in  the Chipmunk. The sissy Cessna was much more civilised and comfortable and didn't smell of oil and sweat. Nev

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"So fear of looking like a dork ranks above your desire to avoid injury."

Some of us, Just can't stand their Head squashed in a anything,

I had to give away Motor cycling, when that arbitrary law came in, & took fifty years, to get another bike-ride, (off road).

spacesailor

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It sure does rate above risk. The looking like a dork is there for sure while the accident is an unlikely event.

I like Nev's idea to put some padding on sharp places.

 

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13 hours ago, facthunter said:

 While wearing a helmet might help in some situations I would not like to see it made compulsory...

Certainly never my intention.

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The stunned mullet effect is real, I found myself paralysed (with shock?) after a car crash. onlookers pulled me out, all I had was whiplash. i was fully aware but couldn’t move. I think some aviation fatals might be due to the inability to get yourself out quickly.

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