Start practice at altitude, but, if you really want to become proficient, you will need to work your way down to your actual decision height / speed. In my A152, the turn was about a 60 degree bank, and, half way throught, the nose was down enough that the ground filled the windshield. THINGS, ESPECIALLY AEROBATIC MANEUVERS OR THE EXTREME BANK AND PITCH NEEDED TO TURN BACK, LOOK VERY DIFFERENT CLOSE TO THE GROUND. Please read that again. The only way to develop the skills needed is to practice safely. And when you do practice at decision height / speed, and need to add power not to hit the ground, it will frighten you.Two things:
* Test YOUR airplane against the impossible turn. Get into takeoff configuration climbing straight over a straight road. At an even thousand (and with a couple thousand below you) pull power and see how much altitude you loose getting ....
(Related comment: Not all airplanes are created equal. I recently flew a fine European, type-certificated, aerobatic category airplane. It was the first airplane that I have flown that I could not feel airspeed changes in the stick. It would take a ton of practice above minimum altitude / speed for me to ever think about attempting a turn-back in that airplane.)
When I practice, I pull power, then count “one thousand one, one thousand two” before reacting.Faking an engine failure at altitude isn't the same as an actual, unexpected failure at 400 feet or whatever.
Remenber, too, that the decision height at Vy is very different from the decision height at Vx. Assuming that I have cleared any obsticles at the end of the runway, I much prefer to have speed than altitude. So there is not a single decision height; it is a combination of heights and speed that varies with other parameters. I just left a fly-in this morning. Yesterday, I cringed when several pilots flew on takeoff at what appeared to be less than Vx, apparently to ???
Remember that one of those other parameters is airplane weight. I never practice with a passenger, so my decision heights / speeds are for a light airplane only.
Remember, too, to turn into the wind if your intention is to land on the runway that you just left. That means that you need to practice turns in both directions.
Remember, too, to practice the actual landing, because you need to get stopped on the runway. My first minimum decision height / speed turn back in my then-new Sportsman was not comfortable, because it glides and retains energy in steep turns much better than my A152 did. That made it very difficult to get it stopped before the end of the runway. “No sir, I didn’t put those ruts in your nice turf runway.”
Like so many things in life, surviving in an airplane is about risk management. Some things that are perfectly safe for Rob Holland would kill the rest of us. Learn. Practice. Survive. Share.