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Old 12th Jan 2012, 21:21   #1 (permalink)
 
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EFATO

Interesting article....
Safe Turnarounds - Plane & Pilot Magazine | PlaneAndPilotMag.com

How often do people here practice EFATO and what views do you have on the advice given in this link?

Also, what should you do, having commenced you TO roll, if you see the previous plane making a U-Turn and heading back to the runway....and you are doing 50kts and at the point of no return...

Update to post:
Thanks for the comments guys...I guess it is best to know your plane, maybe practicing steep turns at altitude without power, so as to determine how to do it (I trained to do steep turns with power) and also to determine height loss.
By the way, for some reason, the post automatically puts the full description of efat o, even though I assume everyone on here knows what it means...
anyway, thanks again for the comments
deepak

Last edited by dkatwa; 13th Jan 2012 at 23:15.
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Old 12th Jan 2012, 22:12   #2 (permalink)
 
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An interesting read. A turn around is all well and good for an experienced pilot who knows his aircraft well, however the majority of private pilots are either students in training, where the safest option by far is to land straight ahead and take whats coming, or low hours pilots who do little more than the 12 hours a year to keep their licence.

The issue that isn't discussed in the article is that you would then be landing with a tail wind. So you take off into a nice 10-15kt headwind, the engine goes pop so you turn back and have to somehow get the thing down with 15kts behind you? how many people have trained for this? I've landed in a 7kt tailwind and that was bad enough, I've seen someone attempt to land in a 12kt tailwind, ended up 600 meters into an 800m strip, and just managed a go around at the last second.

If you're very current on type and pretty experienced there's no reason not to attempt this manouver if you think it is the best option at the time, but for the vast majority of people who fly light singles it would either lead to a stall/spin senario, or a duffed up tail wind landing - albeit that saving the aircraft at this point would be your last concern. Really, it depends where you are and what is available off the end of the runway. Most of the strips I have trained from have very suitable landing sites, so turning back would never be a consideration.
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 07:09   #3 (permalink)
 
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Statistically it can be shown that most of those who attempt turn-backs, almost make it. The ones who walk away are those who land ahead. Accident statistics reveal a high proportion of home-builds are involved in turn-back accidents; no doubt the pilot is more concerned about the preservation of his engineering skills than surviving to repair it.
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 09:04   #4 (permalink)
 
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Personally I practice a PFL at-least once per month, although EFATOs a bit less often, mostly because my flying over the last few years has mostly been from quite busy airfields where it tends to get in everybody's way. That probably is a poor excuse and perhaps I should practice them more often.

However, I had reason to test my competence recently when I had a loss of power at about 300ft (not a complete failure) taking off into a 10-15 knot headwind. I am not generally a great fan of turnbacks, but with a strong headwind, combined with a reasonable amount of height to play with, and an aeroplane that I know well (100+ hours on the airframe) I called a pan and elected to turn back.

Despite sideslipping using full rudder and enough aileron to keep me on the centreline, it was clear that I was going to go through the far hedge. This was not a happy thought, but a happier thought was that the engine seemed to be behaving again, so I risked going around (keeping fields in gliding distance at all times I hasten to add) then at the suggestion of a very on the ball controller, turned back into the airfield to land on a disused crosswind runway.

(The wind was westerly, so I took off from a westerly runway, tried unsuccessfully to turn back onto a downwind easterly runway, then ended up turning left to land safely on a southerly runway - safely, albeit about on the aeroplane's crosswind limits).

That actually did make a really useful point to me about runway selection - there is at many airports a third option apart from a field or a turnback: that is a (perhaps disused, but who cares!) crosswind runway, requiring a roughly 270 degree heading change, but in a way that keeps you in gliding distance of the airfield throughout. In my "incident" I think although it all ended well, turning left to land crosswind on the northerly runway would have been a better option. But, prior to that I'd never considered it, and thus never briefed it. I do now!



Incidentally Whopity, I think that you may be partly incorrect in your last post. I've come across a lot of turnbacks where the aircraft was destroyed, but I can't think of any where anybody was killed (badly injured yes, killed no). I'm sure that there have been some fatals, but I think that the vast majority of turnbacks have been survivable, if not pretty.

Had my engine stopped completely, I'd have probably hit the far hedge doing about 20mph. The aeroplane would have been destroyed, but I think I'd have lived.

That said, I do agree with your assertion about homebuilts - it's one of the reasons why I think that few homebuilders are the right people to do the early test flying of their own aeroplanes. (I've had I think five engine failures testing homebuilts, although four of them I was able to re-start in the air, and the fifth I was on short finals so didn't bother. My experience of homebuilts is that if the engine is going to fail, it's generally at low speed/low power, not high power - stall testing, attempted spin entry, or a late approach have accounted for all of mine.)

G
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 09:26   #5 (permalink)
 
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Whilst we never say never, I would always land ahead. Genghis, there have been a number of fatalities in the States, where individuals have attempted a turn back. In my type, Beech Bonanza, a number of studies have been undertaken, (weather dependent), and it seems at least 1200 feet is necessary to even attempt the procedure.

In a twin, land ahead. Always.

The issue is that the aircraft turns into a glider, without the characteristics of one, and you are only going down

My view is that the insurance company can replace the aeroplane, a bit harder to replace the crew and passengers. I also think that the only reason one would turnback was to save the hull. Not worth it in my view.
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 09:38   #6 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Whilst we never say never, I would always land ahead. Genghis, there have been a number of fatalities in the States, where individuals have attempted a turn back. In my type, Beech Bonanza, a number of studies have been undertaken, (weather dependent), and it seems at least 1200 feet is necessary to even attempt the procedure.
As you say, 95% of the time I would land ahead also - I took the view at the time that I was in the 5% ! Given I'm intact, and the aeroplane re-useable (or will be once we've got the engine sorted), I stand by that.

I'm interested in your 1200ft figure for the Bonanza - I spent quite a lot of time "playing" with a Piper Warrior a few years ago, and came up with a figure of about 600ft. The Bonanza is a bit bigger and heavier than the PA28, but I'd not have thought sufficiently so to need to double the height.

G
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 09:41   #7 (permalink)
 
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Let me add to that. What Mr Church is advocating, the training and awareness, is all good. The ability to be confident in the machine you fly, at high angles of bank, and AOA, is superb. However, the basic PPL/NPPL course, UK, that omits even spin training awareness, leaves the majority of pilots (I would assume), without the basic skills set to look at the turn around procedure that is suggested.

Where he is coming from I would guess, is that this may/should be part of PPL training. The issue with this is that potentially a lot of trainees/instructors may not be comfortable with these manouveres at low altitude. It is different in practise higher up, but at 500-1000 feet it is a different story.

Everyone should try it though. Qualified instructor at their side of course. G - Jon Eckelbars - Flying the Beech Bonanza (ref).
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 09:56   #8 (permalink)
 
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There are one or two airfields where landing straight ahead is not a viable option once past the point you cannot land on the runway left (Southampton and bembridge spring to mind and I am sure other people can come up with a few). In this case a turn back should be preplanned and briefed including a look at all options such as a partial turn to land back on the airfield but maybe not all the way round to make the runway. This is a manoeuvre that, if you ARE going to use, needs to have been practised beforehand at height so you know just how fast and how low you need to get the nose and how much bank to use, also how far round you will get in the height available. I normally cover this on the UH Advanced PPL course, but as much to point out how difficult it is as to enable its use
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 10:06   #9 (permalink)
 
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G the E,

one fairly recent fatal after turn back is G-BZVC, google will take you to the AAIB report. There are others but I can't keep all of them in my head.

Rans6.....
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 10:07   #10 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Personally I practice a PFL at-least once per month, although EFATOs a bit less often, mostly because my flying over the last few years has mostly been from quite busy airfields where it tends to get in everybody's way.
I often practice the EFATO from the climb out of the PFL. keeps the student thinking, looking for a suitable landing site quickly and everything flowing on the ball. You should obviously still do some EFATO training at a field you regularly use just so you know your options if it happens for real.
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 10:34   #11 (permalink)
 
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The turnback is very type and pilot specific. At my local airfield I see flexwing pilots regularly practicing this manouevre successfully.

Last week for the first time I saw a fixed wing AC (with instructor on board) practice this. The issue with the larger fixed wing AC is the offset from the runway due to the turn radius.

D.O.
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 10:39   #12 (permalink)
 
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Fair point RTN - as do I, it's EFATOs at home base I'm sloppy about.

I feel a new thread coming on...

G
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 10:40   #13 (permalink)
 
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1. EFATO whether straight ahead or turnback - speed is life. If a turn back with (possibly) 45AoB, add some knots to the normal gliding speed (on the Bulldog with 75 kt glide I'd use 85 for a T/B). In the climb attitude the IAS will wash off really quickly if you don't get the nose down pronto, so: Select the gliding attitude, select yr landing field, select flaps/sideslip/manoeuvre to achive it.

2. Whatever you do should be preplanned and briefed. eg "up to 500' land ahead/L/R. after that t/b L/R etc etc" so it's already in yr head. I used to brief my students that once they'd started the upwind turn they could continue the turn to land on the airfield; before that land into wind on a suitable field.

3. There is no one size fits all to this. It will depend on experience level, currency, training, wind, terrain etc and (as above) the crucial thing is to make these decisions before you apply T/O power.
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 11:28   #14 (permalink)
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I suspect that it was this article which was the subject of a very similar thread last fall. I'm happy to see a more reserved not jumping on the bandwagon this time. As said, if well planned, and carefully executed, above a certain not published altitude, it can be done. I practiced it for hours, at a quiet runway with lots of options. The result of all of this practice was my forming the opinion that if for real, I would never consider it below 700 feet in a C 150, and even that, if I had planned my takeoff to accommodate it.

A friend of mine with more that 23000 hours had his homebuilt quit over the water 300 feet up after takeoff. He splashed it, and we got he and the plane back. Last year, different homebuilt, quit in the same place, he turned back, we got neither back.

You can develop a lot of drag really quickly in a turn. While test flying a Caravan with a draggy modification, I was practicing glides from the ideal spot in the downwind, and had trouble making it without adding some power.

My feeling about turn backs is similar to aerobatics, and a few other advanced maneuvers: If you have to ask if you can or should attempt it - you should not.
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 12:33   #15 (permalink)
 
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I have mixed feelings.. I largely agree with PilotDAR, and I also lament how little clue people really have about what their aeroplanes will do to get them out of a fix/how many 'wisdoms' aren't really true, or partially understood: e.g. That stalling in a turn will cause you to spin and die, or the need to increase speed in a turn, which really only is necessary if you're increasing load factor. A turn started at Vy attitude, and ended at best glide attitude isn't quite the same as a flat turn

I really like:
Quote:
My feeling about turn backs is similar to aerobatics, and a few other advanced maneuvers: If you have to ask if you can or should attempt it - you should not
.. but would probably add, do ask, do find someone to teach, and do go learn.
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 13:24   #16 (permalink)
 
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Bonanza could be as bad as 1200ft, I guess, for a safe turnback. The RAF include turnback in the pre-takeoff brief, with a specified altitude. I seem to recall (it's been a few years) that the Tutor for example is briefed as 'If the engine fails below 600ft I will land straight ahead. If the engine fails above 600ft I will consider turning back to the airfield to land.'

Note 'consider' i.e. it's a judgment call.

Tim
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 13:50   #17 (permalink)
 
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There is a famous and very detailed analysis of this topic on the web.

A turnback requires certain conditions to be met, and they are best met if

- you identify the engine failure quickly
- you have a long runway
- you have a strong headwind (well, you won't be taking off with a tailwind )
- you do a very sharp turn back (as much G as possible without stalling)
- you turn into wind

To a large degree, the decision whether to turn back, should the engine fail, can be made during the pre takeoff briefing, which a pilot should do even if flying on his own.

"In the event of a total loss of power, below 1000 feet, we will turn back, to the right, 60 degree bank angle".

On most commercial-sized runways (say 1500m+) it should be easy. But of course it depends when the engine fails. If it fails "too late" then you won't make it back to the runway no matter what
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 14:25   #18 (permalink)
 
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Bonanza could be as bad as 1200ft, I guess, for a safe turnback.

This was demonstrated as 'doable'.

It is all condition dependent, and no two incidents will be the same. But as stated, a whole host of 'ifs' come into the equation.

It has never happened to me, an EFATO, other than practice, and I equate it to an S turn display I used to do in a Chipmunk where I would fly runway length, at 50', full rpm, bank up 45 degrees at runway end, into a wing over, using the aeroplanes energy. I went over at about 450', and realigned, back down, to complete the manouver at the other end. Practised it a lot, however, it was all speed and energy mgt, and I always considered that completing this was akin to a turnback.

Reactions would have to be mighty quick to achieve a result, particulary at levels under 600'
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 14:41   #19 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterh337 View Post
There is a famous and very detailed analysis of this topic on the web.
Famous maybe, detailed fairly, correct debateable. I've spent quite a lot of time picking that paper apart - it's a good starting point, but no more than that. To be honest, as somebody who analyses a lot of aeronautical research papers I'd say it's pretty shallow and there's a lot more work that can be done.

G
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Old 13th Jan 2012, 16:12   #20 (permalink)
 
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I tend to skip over the maths in these papers, partly because it is beyond me (I am an engineer )partly because it's obvious that the subject does not lend itself to precise analysis, partly because nobody but a programmed autopilot could carry out those maneuvers optimally, but the paper does illustrate the general idea which is that a turnback is possible and indeed under the right circumstances is very easy.

Whereas "everybody" says it will kill you, etc, etc.

The problem is that an EFATO at certain airports will give you no option but to go straight into the side of a building, which given the robustness of the average GA aircraft is a prob99 death. Not to mention the bad press if it is a convent/school/etc; more so if you do it in an N-reg
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