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Engine failure practise

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All good advice .


Every time you get in have a plan in case it all goes bad.

From the second the motor starts to when you stop rolling on landing.


A failure to plan and practice where relevant is a plan for failure.


Always fly with a eye to engine failure at any time and a appropriate spot to land within a shortened gliding distance. Never stretch it to find a nicer spot for the airframe.  It is easy to misjudge the distance to your selected spot. A by the book glide is great but get the distance wrong and you are short. The airframe is now just your crash barrier/protection. You choose the spot it gets used and how much is used of that safety. If the aircraft survives- bonus. You must keep flying the aircraft actively. Fate is a very poor pilot.


No man or women is a superhero or has special powers. Gravity always wins, we are only smart meat bags.

Once the power stops, you are running a race with time, height/speed and a suitable landing spot. Make sure you can think and pilot ahead of the situation at all times and the gravity curve. You must be thinking about where you are going- not where you are.


Unless you are in full tiger country, you rarely have real killers around you that a well piloted aircraft in our class can not survive. Assuming a lack of behind cloud covered granite. Most machines can take a rough landing, short landing into a bush, or even a bloody Ferris wheel, as long as speeds are low ie REC landing speeds or near but not below stall. But even the famously hard to kill Jabiru objects to a tip stall and nose splat.


There is no possible situation where a tip stall is more survivable than flying into whats in front of you (cliff faces exempted). No matter what happens, Do not Stall the Aircraft unless your touching down.

This is the number one killer - stalling. IF you do one thing right to survive that is number one.


Know your aircraft, like a lover, not a one night stand. Know exactly what she/he feels like when hot and sweaty or turbulent, how she feels control wise without power and a million other get to know and love things.


A bit too much speed is a easy fix, too little is much harder to deal with. The lighter the machine the more important gust loads and penetration become. High climb rates at takeoff and EFATO are problematic esp in rag machines- better to have more speed and penetration to allow for shear/gusts etc from tree lines. Lots have been too eager too grab the sky and any hiccup can lead to a tip stall, some machines are more prone to it. Often seen in videos called "hold my beer and watch this".


You turn low and  too slow and you Burn/splat.


Turns are lift killers, how much lift do you want to risk?


If you snooze- you loose. No second chances for inattention.


Keep calm and carry on- sage advice, panic leads to very poor decisions, abrupt control movements and PIO is common.




Never fixate on a problem, fly fly fly. Radio calls are last, fly fly fly. Engine restarts are only when you have time to spare.


Do not fixate on a tree or post when landing or you will subconsciously aim for it. Aim your eyes where you need to go, if that is between trees - so be it. That alone has killed quite a few and does daily on the roads as well.


All standard good airmanship.


All in the preparation of the mind for flight and doing the plan. No plan- , you did anyway, you plan to see your maker.


For practice and any poss actual emergency- carry a helmet and put it on. A good helmet could have saved quite a few pilots from head injury.


It can happen to the best at anytime. It has and we sorely miss them.


Most of all........my instructor ( ex raaf F111 and Blackhawk instructor) rammed home..............


Keep Flying the F..king aircraft till it stops.



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On 13/12/2019 at 2:29 PM, APenNameAndThatA said:

You sure the stall if 54 kts and the best glide speed is 60 kts. Those numbers seem too close together to me. In the Foxbat, IIRC, they are 42 and 54 respectively. Disclaimer: I have about 50 hrs. 

Sorry that was 54 clean and 65 best glide    

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The advice is great everyone , thank you.


I think a lot of you fly in developed areas with lots of paddocks and roads  all around you and good grass or sealed airstrips. the only options i have are my strip, the main gravel road or some of the station tracks that i know have no fence along side.


My strip is 10m wide and about 450m long. I went for a fly this morning and by the time i was coming into land the heat of the different terrain, bush, fire scare and rock makes it very bumpy from about 600 feet down. I tried to come in high so that i could glide to the strip as you all recomended but with the lift of the sand i was high over the threshold and would of landed 100m down the strip and run out of room to stop so i went around.

When i land at Carnarvon or Jandakot i am usually of the runway by the first taxiway and never use the last 1500m or tarmac. It makes sense to have the abilty to glide in on final if the engine stops but that seems more difficult for a short field landing.

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