Engine failure turn back.

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Active Member
May 28, 2021
One thing to watch on the engine out 180degree turn back is the performance of the aircraft, and the altitude you are at when the failure occurred . A customer of mine had an aircraft with a VW type engine, which had Stromberg type Carbs. There is a recurring AD on those to change the diaphragms every 100 hours. The pilot had the work done, then took the aircraft to test fly it. He took off in an extremely strong headwind. At 150 feet AGL the engine quit. the pilot then did a quick 180 turn to discover he was now over the threshold in an extremely strong tailwind. He got the plane on the ground, but ran out of runway before he could stop, damaging the aircraft. There were fields ahead of him he could have safely landed in.


Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Jun 8, 2020
Yeah. The tailwind vs headwind thing is covered in that last vid I linked to. Basically your speed at impact has a lot to do with survivability. So there is a lot to be said for just landing straight ahead.