Engine failure turn back.

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atypicalguy

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I understand but it’ll make you feel better and safer and more secure to measure it.
People want to know exactly what will happen down to the Nats eyelash.
But my point is measuring it is pointless.
You’re never gonna have it right down to the foot
What you can do is educate your butt.
Spend time in your plane looking for maximum performance.
Learn to feel the last 1/16 of a mph before the spin.
Measuring it can help a lot of people learn what success feels like faster. The process of measuring and recording involves a lot of practice. I don't think there is really any daylight between the two approaches.
 

Doran Jaffas

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Coming from someone who has test flown several airplanes amateur built and certified for various reasons. Don't get me wrong I'm not trying to toot my own horn here but maybe I have some advice that most of you know about but I'm going to voice it anyway.
. Any airplane I have owned and there have been more than I like to think about truthfully, certified and amateur built.. I take the operators manual and toss it in the back seat or the luggage area depending on what type of airplane I am flying at the time. I take a glance at the performance numbers before I do that but really those are gone after the first or second flight or the first ding in the leading edge or tail etc.
I will take it up to altitude which means 4,500 MSL or above or 3,500 AGL or above.
I start out by doing slow flight with no flaps and get a good handle on where the airplane gets to the edge of the stall. I then do it with whatever flaps are available partial or full. Then I do the stall sequence so I really know what AirSpeed indicated it is going to stall and how it feels before it does. After that to get an idea of how much altitude I will lose in a 270 back to the runway I take it up usually to 5 or 6,000 AGL and I start doing power off turns. Progressively steeper banks but nothing over 50° for this scenario. I will do 90° turns one way and then 90° turns the other. I will increase those to 180° turns both directions and then finally go to 270 and 360° turns. I will do this at various air speeds compensating for the stall speeds increasing is the bank increases. Most of us in the real world I hope will not exceed 40 to 45 degrees and then attempt to turn back to a runway or even to a field fit for landing. I have done 60° turns in this scenario but one must be very careful especially when you figure you are going to be maneuvering very close to the ground if this actually happens. Do these multiple times until you have a good set of knowledge on the altitude losses and then do them more until they become comfortable with you. I would advise having at least another pilot along and possibly an instructor to give you a hand in case you get dizzy or some other situation happens. This sounds like busy work and it is but there is nothing more comfortable than knowing your aircraft and knowing it's safety margins especially when you have loved ones that are trusting you.
Time-consuming yes. Does it cost some money burning fuel in oil just to do these maneuvers another yes. Can you put a price on knowing your aircraft? Absolutely not.
 

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BJC

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Good recommendations, DJ.
Then I do the stall sequence so I really know what AirSpeed indicated it is going to stall and how it feels before it does.
When flying a proven airplane for the first time, I like to get the feel of the controls and the stall behavior by rolling into a turn at cruise power, and continuing to bank steeper while maintaining altitude with coordinated controls until the airplane stalls. Then repeat in the opposite direction.
Time-consuming yes. Does it cost some money burning fuel in oil just to do these maneuvers another yes. Can you put a price on knowing your aircraft? Absolutely not.
Absolutely not a waste of time or money; it will be some of the most rewarding flying done.


BJC
 

Doran Jaffas

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You can also flight test like Skip Stewart
Right about the time 37 years as an aviator starts making me feel like I'm pretty good I watch something like this. Thanks for putting this up then making me feel really humble. This all kidding aside though is something incredible footage. Some of the best I've seen from in cockpit. on another note the last time I got that dizzy was in my early twenties and I had drank way way too much. To put that into context I am 60 now.
 

BJC

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Skip is a top airshow pilot.

Ron Holland has been the best competition and airshow pilot in the USA as well as the best World Aerobatic free style champion for the last 10 years.

A world free style gold medal flight here

A practice session from inside the cockpit here


BJC
 

mcrae0104

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Guess where I turned crosswind when departing on 7 at near gross weight from Green County several years ago?
I might've been tempted to check the race schedule that day before taking off.
 

BBerson

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If a steep turn ends up in a vertical dive there is a minimum required altitude to perform the dive recovery before hitting the ground. Full back stick won't help.
 

tallank

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I don't either, because that's not what I said. I wasn't saying you shouldn't know the performance of your plane. Quite the contrary. What I was saying was if you instantly turn on analysis mode when the engine quits, calculating formulas for altitude, turn angles, current weight, winds, density altitude, current mortgage rates, or whatever, to determine if you can make those last few feet to clear the trees next to the airport, you have your priorities screwed up. You can or you can't. And you'll know if you can or you can't if you practiced and are familiar with the very power off performance of your plane you cite. Trying to analyze it in detail and split hairs during an emergency is an unnecessary risk of your life and possibly the lives of others on the ground. Your knowledge of your plane and it's capabilities should give you a comfortable margin to work with. Trying to cut it razor thin is stupid. Your priority should be saving your life, not the plane.


Great. Me too. But I'm not going to waste time and effort pondering if a 2 degree change in my bank angle will get me the last few feet I need to get where I need to go. Insurance will cover my plane. I'm going to cover my butt.
In all my years of flying and many instructors, one instructor gave me the most important advice: "If in doubt, don't, do something else". Sully's river landing is a great example. If you start analyzing you can talk yourself into anything.
 

tallank

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If a steep turn ends up in a vertical dive there is a minimum required altitude to perform the dive recovery before hitting the ground. Full back stick won't help.
How does a steep turn end up in a vertical dive? One thing I saw a lot on another thread on the turn back subject is flying at VX. If you fly the approach at VX with a failed engine you will die. When you pull back to stop the high decent rate you will stall. Must fly a best glide plus a little.
 

Doran Jaffas

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Sometimes overthinking it can be a problem. bottom line is you need to know the altitude of which you can make the turn back. If you don't know that altitude don't try it under any circumstances. better to land in a farmer's field or fly through trees under control then the other alternative. Take your airplane up and see what altitude you lose in a 270 and do this multiple times to get comfortable with it. Otherwise if your airport has a cross runway then find out what it takes in altitude loss for the distance to travel to get to the cross runway. This should be a part of any pilots curriculum in a new airplane whether it is certified or not. To the newbies on here if there are any in fact. That flight manual was done under a very strict set of flight conditions almost none of which exist for the new owner of the airplane. Get to know the airplane get to know the airplane get to know the airplane and you will know whether or not you can make it back to the runway if you have an engine failure.
 

atypicalguy

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I think the idea that there is an altitude where it becomes possible is flawed. You have to consider your lateral displacement from the field also. If your plane climbs at a shallow slope and glides at a steep slope, there is no altitude where you are making it back. But I agree people should do the test and figure out if this is the case for their plane, load, wind condition, runway length, and turn skill level.
 

tallank

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Sometimes overthinking it can be a problem. bottom line is you need to know the altitude of which you can make the turn back. If you don't know that altitude don't try it under any circumstances. better to land in a farmer's field or fly through trees under control then the other alternative. Take your airplane up and see what altitude you lose in a 270 and do this multiple times to get comfortable with it. Otherwise if your airport has a cross runway then find out what it takes in altitude loss for the distance to travel to get to the cross runway. This should be a part of any pilots curriculum in a new airplane whether it is certified or not. To the newbies on here if there are any in fact. That flight manual was done under a very strict set of flight conditions almost none of which exist for the new owner of the airplane. Get to know the airplane get to know the airplane get to know the airplane and you will know whether or not you can make it back to the runway if you have an engine failure.
A 270 degree turn gets you flying across the runway. Takes another 90 degree turn to be inline with the runway.
 

Doran Jaffas

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A 270 degree turn gets you flying across the runway. Takes another 90 degree turn to be inline with the runway.
You're right. I left out that little detail. Even more important to know your airplane. when I was writing that I was thinking I was missing something. Thank you for pointing that out. I guess brain dead happens to all of us on occasion but you don't want it to happen up there in that situation.
 

PagoBay

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This video explains in detail how those who either own or rent the same aircraft can determine the conditions where a turnback to an specific airfield is possible. Includes the obvious variables like gross weight and altitude but also includes wind conditions, density altitude and alternate runway considerations. A very well done EAA Webinar. Test Cards are also available for download.
 

tallank

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A steep turn unpowered with no reserve airspeed requires a dive.
Sorry, but you do not understand the issue. All engine failures require you to get the nose down immediately. Must maintain best glide speed plus a little. Glider are always flying slightly nose down. Even the Space Shuttle is not doing a vertical dive.
 
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