# Engine failure turn back.

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#### Aesquire

##### Well-Known Member
I admit I didn't get into varios until about 1976, and that was after I discovered that a skydiving altimeter was not sensitive enough to be of any use. So they may well have had the bellows VSI on the gliders when I first got any time in them.

Amazingly, the little pellet variometers may have been primitive looking, I never noticed any lag to speak of.

#### atypicalguy

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
I kind of like the fact that the vario is always talking to you. None of the other instruments do that and it allows you to monitor what is going on without visual distration.

#### BJC

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
How would one use a variometer for making a turn back?

BJC

#### Dan Thomas

##### Well-Known Member
How would one use a variometer for making a turn back?

BJC
Yeah. Head in the cockpit monitoring the instruments is a good way to die doing a turnback. This isn't an IFR maneuver. Airspeed is everything here, and a steeper turn back to the runway is going to need lots of it and the altitude loss will be what it is. Pulling back to maintain a lower rate of descent will just end in a stall and crash, or such a bad sink rate that the same outcome in inevitable.

Turnbacks after engine failures have killed many people, which is why flight training reaches us to pick something ahead of us somewhere. Crashing under control is preferable to crashing out of control. It takes a lot more training or experience to figure out how to do it safely, and that takes time and money and effort.

#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
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Log Member
I always practice lazy-eights and Chandelle's with a hood on. My IFR instructor ( Retired AF pilot ) taught me.

#### atypicalguy

##### Well-Known Member
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How would one use a variometer for making a turn back?

BJC
More of a general observation about the nature of instruments and how they always seem to require you to be looking at them when you might optimally be looking somewhere else. I can see it being useful for monitoring rate of climb or glide in a powered plane. It would also give you more advance warning than a stall horn if you are stretching the glide.

#### Aesquire

##### Well-Known Member
There's a Beta tape somewhere in a closet of me yelling at my variometer "I know, I know!" as the sink alarm is wailing, and the trees rising behind me as I get rotored into a gully.

I suppose an audio signal that you're sinking quickly would be useful in IFR conditions?

#### TFF

##### Well-Known Member
In a regular plane with a somewhat modern panel, a vario might be a distraction unless there is a good way to handle the oral warnings. If you have a GPS with terrain yelling at you, and if you got fancy with oil or alternator warnings or anything else beeping, how are you going to pick it out? You will need to come up with a management of warnings.

#### atypicalguy

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
In a regular plane with a somewhat modern panel, a vario might be a distraction unless there is a good way to handle the oral warnings. If you have a GPS with terrain yelling at you, and if you got fancy with oil or alternator warnings or anything else beeping, how are you going to pick it out? You will need to come up with a management of warnings.
Yes that is true. I think on the subject of takeoff, most of this is going to be visual, and you are just trying to not stall it while you land somewhere. My plane doesnt have any of that terrain warning stuff. I do not think it is really any different than figuring out which instrument to look at, though. There are lots of examples of tools that emit multiple types of aural signals simultaneously to allow the operator to manage vacuum, cutting rate and water flow, for instance. It is usually done with pitch, rhythm and tone quality. Just brainstorming a bit, but not everything has to be limited to "beep".

#### BJC

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
There are lots of examples of tools that emit multiple types of aural signals simultaneously
There are (were? - I haven’t seen one lately) g meters that communicated both g and rate-of-change of g via beep volume and frequency of beeps.

BJC

#### Aesquire

##### Well-Known Member
The entire discussion of VSI lag is a red herring. Most here agree to the need to get your eyes and attention out of the cockpit in the event of engine failure on take off. The response time of your altimeter should be irrelevant.

I never had a sink alert tell me anything I didn't know. I seldom hear anything useful from the wonderful thing when I'm getting rolled/yawed/pitched beyond my control in a lee rotor or wake turbulence, since the wailing speaker just punctuated the visual of approaching tree tops. Theoretically it may help in telling you you are in a high sink state in a craft with "stall resistant behaviour" like some canard and STOL planes, etc. But other than that? Just a distraction .

And while a "bitching Betty" voice alert system, like in a Century series jet fighter can be very useful, it takes training to be so, crash reports where the pilot complains the stall warning horn was distracting, while ignoring the message, are unfortunately not that rare.

It may be technologically possible to have an automated Alexa/Flight Instructor advising you in flight, BUT there are the multiple issues of programming it with the correct responses, sudden lack of "hand holding" when the power fails, and the probability the pilot will ignore or misinterpret the alert system. Nevermind the expense and reliability issues.

I wouldn't ding my credit card for an Expert A.I. System that costs more than my entire flying machine. If I could afford that, I would be shopping for ( for example ) a RV-14, not a Teenie Two. Or in my case Pipistrel Virus instead of a powered hang glider..

And with the difference of opinions as to proper reactions on this thread as an example, what are programming zoom meetings for the Hypothetical superior to you autopilot going to be like?

The best advice in my not so humble opinion, so far, is to practice, and at least pre-think your reaction to a cooling fan malfunction.

Starting with defining for your aircraft, skills, and density altitude the actual footprint of where you can reach if the motor stops. That should be part of your thought processes. "From here, I can reach that field, and now that one..." ...

Ironically, the latest GPS variometer systems actually almost does that for you. By telling you if you are in final glide distance of your selected airport. The next level that tells you which dirt road without power lines is in safe range I leave to you as a challenge. Both in programming complexity and the philosophical questions as to why fly manually at all if George does it better?

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#### Aesquire

##### Well-Known Member
I can imagine, if not afford, a moving map/synthetic vision display that shows the constantly changing footprint of "where you can land if power goes out and you respond, Now" on your multifunction display or VR Overlay. As you climb the footprint expands until it includes the runway you just left, then the next nearest runway, etc.

And as far better pilots than me have already said, that takes practice and forethought.

Because, IMHO, the Impossible Turn is possible at some point in your flight path, and not before some critical position in space and speed. Determining that constantly changing condition is the primary question.

#### MarineAviator

##### New Member
It was early fall 1969. There was a fly in breakfast some where early morning at Aero Airport Lincoln Nebraska.
I hate to find a fly in my breakfast!

#### Dan Thomas

##### Well-Known Member

And as far better pilots than me have already said, that takes practice and forethought.
And, with today's technology doing so much of the thinking for people, it takes a pretty big shift in thinking for younger folks. So many of them don't like it. They really fail to see that they would make themselves very useful and therefore much in demand by employers if they trained their minds to process and/or remember more information instead of letting computers do it all. Such a person is really handy.

I'm a bit rusty now, but I used to outpace the boss with his nice new electronic calculator in the mid-'70s, doing mental math on invoice pricing, extensions and taxes. It's not all that difficult, something most people find hard to believe. Your brain is far more capable than you give it credit for.

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#### atypicalguy

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
And, with today's technology doing so much of the thinking for people, it takes a pretty big shift in thinking for younger folks. So many of them don't like it. They really fail to see that they would make themselves very useful and therefore much in demand by employers if they trained their minds to process and/or remember more information instead of letting computers do it all. Such a person is really handy.

I'm a bit rusty now, but I used to outpace the boss with his nice new electronic calculator in the mid-'70s, doing mental math on invoice pricing, extensions and taxes. It's not all that difficult, something most people find hard to believe. Your brain is far more capable than you give it credit for.
There seem to be two tasks when the motor fails. 1. Figure out which landing spot gives you the best shot at survival. This depends on about ten factors, some of which change each second of the climb out and also depend upon wind strength and DA which vary from day to day. So there is no way the human brain is going to optimally calculate all that for every airfield on every day accurately. You would be lucky to get it right for your home field on most days.

The second bit is to fly the plane to that landing site and not stall it while trying to figure out #1.

To me there is no question that the AI they've using in MFS2020 along with Bing maps data could be used to offer and help select possible landing sites based upon plane location, course, altitude, wind direction, speed and known glide. I think it is a worthwhile project and would assist greatly with #1, allowing pilot to focus on #2. People would certainly buy it.

#### Dan Thomas

##### Well-Known Member
To me there is no question that the AI they've using in MFS2020 along with Bing maps data could be used to offer and help select possible landing sites based upon plane location, course, altitude, wind direction, speed and known glide. I think it is a worthwhile project and would assist greatly with #1, allowing pilot to focus on #2. People would certainly buy it.
Such machinery assumes that the wind at your level is the same as on the ground, which it very often is not. If you have a tailwind that will convince the computer that you will reach that field, as you descend the wind will weaken (as it usually does) and you'll come up short. Sometimes the wind direction at 500 feet can be completely different that the wind at the surface. The computer also assumes you will maintain best glide, something not often done when under severe stress. And the weight and CG of the airplane figures into it as well.

There is NO substitute for training, knowledge and experience. We have seen this borne out in the stupid airliner accidents like the Air France crash into the Atlantic as they descended in a stall all the way to the water. Or the Asiana airliner that crashed short of the runway in San Francisco, with several pilots in the cockpit and none of them flying the thing, all assuming that the autothrottles were looking after stuff.

Computers are only as good as the people programming and using them. A pilot needs to know instantly when something isn't looking right. Instantly. And that takes training and experience.

#### Aesquire

##### Well-Known Member
First, I'm a Luddite, too.

The desirability of a tool to aid you very much depends upon your attitude and ( should also ) skills. I was assuming a "panic button" programmed to display available KNOWN landing spots. That function seems to be within reasonable technical capacity. It would show only pre-programmed legal landing fields, as the judgment call as to suitability of mall parking lots or school yards is difficult to program for. I think we can agree that complex decision making is beyond unclassified civilian A.I. ( and military Terminator stuff is irrelevant to this thread)

Such an A.I. display would be relatively easy for powered flight, making assumptions like "standard rate" turns and reasonable airspeed limits, but be more challenging for power loss scenarios. Not, I think, impossible, but very difficult to do, as the computer would need to constantly update it's internal model. Perhaps color coded zones, that would change in near real time. It might just display "good luck" if there's no runway in reach. ( which I'm assuming is the case when arguing about "impossible turns" )

Question. Is autopilot "panic button, land us safely while I give the copilot CPR", function available? ( today? No matter if you want or can afford )

#### Daleandee

##### Well-Known Member
I'm a bit rusty now, but I used to outpace the boss with his nice new electronic calculator in the mid-'70s, doing mental math on invoice pricing, extensions and taxes. It's not all that difficult, something most people find hard to believe.
It's easier now but back in the day I used to enjoy giving people cash and watching them struggle to know how much change to give especially when the bill would be something like $5.17 and you hand them$10.25.

#### mcrae0104

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
It's easier now but back in the day I used to enjoy giving people cash and watching them struggle to know how much change to give especially when the bill would be something like $5.17 and you hand them$10.25.
Yeah, I still do that, not so much to watch people squirm, but to get rid of change and not get pennies and nickels back. The interesting thing is to watch the reaction—some mindlessly punch in the numbers on the register without question, others insist I’ve made a mistake.