Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Engine failure video

Old 6th Nov 2021, 14:21
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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I've had 3 engine failures in an SEP, 1 in an Auster and 2 in a Prentice. The Prentice failures resulted from magneto failure while flying in cloud in Italy, and from an engine fire just after take-off in Baghdad. In both I was extremely lucky to get away with it, mainly because the training and culture at Sleap in the early '60s was superb. We practised forced landings, stopping the propeller, spot landings without engine, and similar, usually competitively to add interest.

The Auster incident is relevant to the Impossible Turn. The club had a rule that before a first solo, the CFI would take the student on a check flight, usually a couple of circuits. On my check ride, at about 300ft the engine stopped suddenly. As I pushed the nose down to land ahead among some trees there was a shout of "I have control" and Les executed a diving turn to port, levelled off and landed downwind on the grass. He was an ex-RAF fighter pilot, Spitfire and Hurricane, I believe. The chances of surviving the procedure in the book, ie landing in the trees, were about 50/50.

For years afterwards I campaigned to have the basic training requirement changed to including teaching and practice about calculating for every take-off, with all the variables of weight, wind, temperature etc,, the height from which the turn can be made safely by a pilot who has been taught the manoeuvre, A letter to Flight magazine headed "The Impossible Turn" saying this started a heated and often acrimonious correspondence, in the early '70s.

When the dogma came into being, nearly every airfield was surrounded by fields offering fairly safe landings. But from WWII onwards this changed so that by the '60s a "straight-ahead crash" would be on housing or otherwise built up areas. However, the reliability of modern engines has reduced the risk of a properly maintained and managed piston engine failing to almost zero, so this is probably an academic discussion.

Unless, of course, you still fly behind an old-fashioned engine like a Cirrus or Gipsy Queen. And if you do, you probably know how and when to make the Impossible Turn, should you need to.

Last edited by old,not bold; 6th Nov 2021 at 14:36.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 14:25
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by punkalouver View Post
Overall……a very successful outcome due the the pilots actions. Let’s face it, plenty of us have misjudged our own practice engine out scenarios.

I find this non-analyzing belief of you must land straight ahead after an engine failure to be a dangerous mindset. Who knows what is straight ahead.

This incident took place at the Old Bridge Airport. Take a look on google earth on the landing options around there……not good. How about turning toward the airport. It seems to have worked out well.

The video is a great example of how a side slip should be used to one’s advantage instead of accepting a long landing(if safe to do so on aircraft type). In fact, it should be planned for as an option on every engine out scenario. In general, aim for one third down the landing location which gives you some margin in case you find yourself low on energy(reduces the odds of not reaching the runway) and the sideslip in if too high.

In this case, a good sideslip would have been useful to prevent a long but otherwise successful landing that was slightly downwind……and a tailwind can easily cause a long landing.

An aggressive sideslip should also be considered for an engine failure on takeoff when some runway is left ahead of you and the options beyond the runway are poor. There may be several variables to consider but on many small aircraft, one can lower the nose, initiate an aggressive sideslip and have a successful landing possibly with partial but relatively low speed runway overrun rather than a relatively high speed touchdown in a much riskier area.
This 100%.

I would also suggest to locate places to put it down in and around your home airfield, as statistically that has a higher rate of probability for location of engine failure.

To demonstrate this, a checkout with the CFI went as follows. Take off to the East, EFATO, leave to the North and go to the training area for PFL and general handling. All as expected, but.....

EFATO fine, climbing away. Through 500ft turning North. At around 900ft, CFI took control and closed the throttle. Engine Failure.

What? Really? Here? Yes really! Is this EFATO # 2 or PFL? Confused.com. Time is ticking and I'm not managing the situation. Response was it doesn't matter you are already low and going down, where are you going? Too far away from the field to return (airport size pattern).

It just so happened a very small field was off the starboard wingtip and that was the only option. And my position was right base for this short narrow field strip descending through 700ft. In their......you must be joking. No in their. And in we went and I would have got in. Years of experience has got me in their.

That was a huge learning and very real. EFATO followed by immediate PFL. Climbing away, through 1500ft, I joked that you're not going to quickly close the throttle again are you? Why not was the response.

Upto that point I hadn't considered engine failure in this area. We normally depart to the West where there is ample space to put it down.

All this bearing in mind that many many years ago, during PPL training we had a full on real engine fail at 600ft right above the M1 one sunny Sunday afternoon. We got it down, yet that experience still didn't stop the startle wtf effect of that checkride.

Continue to practice post PPL. Know your local area intimately. Don't make PFL drills easy for yourself. Learn slideslip and for me, don't practice rigidly to the scripted technique you were taught.

Another CFI with aerobatics showed me how to get it down very quickly if high going in using what I felt as abrupt aggressive slideslip compared to my technique. Fantastic skills and great learning.

Last edited by Local Variation; 6th Nov 2021 at 15:58.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 15:03
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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Might it not be possible that the instructor allowed the student to fly the aircraft with her just keeping a watching brief? Making judgement without the pertinent detail I think is some what foolish.
A windmillimg propeller creates a lot more drag than a stopped one
You're correct Bames. Also, a stopped propeller on a 172 is not going to affect the stall speed.



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Old 6th Nov 2021, 15:16
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Lets go a different direction with this, whoever posted the video stated “total engine failure”.
We don’t know that to be correct.
That could have been a partial engine failure with a non responsive engine.
Broken throttle cable, clogged injectors if this was a later model SP, many options.
It the prop was windmilling you’d expect a steeper glide.
It may not have necessarily been the instructor at the controls. If the field was easily made why not let the student gain the full experience and fly?
Why should this have been a spot landing on the opposite threshold?
How many hours did the instructor have on type, make or model?
Last but not least, you don’t get a year older on your birthday you get a day older.
The difference between being a student and an instructor is one flight with an examiner.
Lets not judge too harshly here as we don’t know the experience level.
All turned out well enough.
He who cast the first stone better be without sin.
Nobody bothered to give me a familiarization flight at my first CFI job so first flight, first student, I promptly got lost and spend the majority of the flight teaching basic maneuvers till I came across the airport again.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 15:18
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pilotmike View Post
Why are you disagreeing? What I actually stated was "In almost any position the prop stops, there is likely to be disrupted airflow to the wing, hence increased stall speed is a further issue" . This is factually correct. So there is nothing to disagree with. I never compared the drag of a genuine windmilling propeller (ie. driving a completely failed engine which is producing ZERO power whatsoever) to a stationary propeller. However in your example of an engine / propeller at idle, almost certainly the stationary propeller creates more drag, and definitely it increases stall speed if it disrupts airflow over the wing at all, which is almost inevitable.

Regarding your false claim that "And there is absolutely no need to "compensate for increased stall speed"", you are mistaken. Of course a stopped propeller disrupting airflow to the wing will increase the stall speed! Any disruption to airflow to a wing will reduce the lift it produces for any given angle of attack & airspeed combination. Therefore the increased angle of attack required for any given airspeed will be closer to stalling. THAT is the relevant definition of stalling and its relationship to stall speed, as in this example. What alternative "definition of stall speed" were you suggesting I should be checking? Please let us know, I'd love to hear it.

It seems you are confused by this.

To make it very clear and simple for you, take an extreme example which proves the general case: if you progressively disrupt the airflow to let's say 50% of the wing, more, 60%... more , say to 90% of a wing, do you honestly believe the stall characteristics of that wing remain identical to the undisturbed case? You are trying to claim that in all these cases, the wing flies as normal and still stalls at exactly the same airspeed, and that "there is absolutely no need to "compensate for increased stall speed" for any wing with disturbed airflow, which is completely wrong. That is dangerously flawed advice, potentially very dangerous.

As for your further comments " plus the slipstream from produced by a windmilling propeller of an engine running on idle power has zero effect anyway" this is so muddled and unclear as to make zero sense. Whichever way, and whatever you intended to say, trust me, the difference between the flight characteristics with an engine at idle and a stopped propeller are significantly different. For you to claim otherwise proves you have never experience a stopped propeller, unlike some of us who can tell for definite that it does - significantly.

So, disagree all you like, but I recommend you check a few facts and try to understand the physics and fundamentals of stalls and stalling before criticising pilots, flying instructors, who clearly understand aerodynamics rather better than you. Some of the misconceptions you hold are potentially quite dangerous in flight, especially in emergency situations such as total engine failure.

May we enquire your flying instructing experience, and where you claim to find these aeronautical myths from, which you then try to correct flying instructors about, please? But please stop the potentially dangerous claims of absolutely no need to "compensate for increased stall speed" for cases of total engine failure; you could cost people's lives if they make the mistake of believing your myths and misunderstandings.
pilotmike, I think it's you who's a bit confused, buddy. A stopped prop is almost as good as a feathered prop. A windmilling prop creates negative thrust (i.e. additional drag). No need to compensate for increased stall speed in a 172 with an engine out.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 15:36
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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You folk do make me laugh! Talk about over analysis.
Ive had three engine failures in SEPs where I've landed on the runway - one downwind like in the video.
She was more than two miles out for goodness sake. She got back to the runway. She could see she could get it in. So she did.
Bloody well done.
Anything else you want to say about it is needless BS.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 16:05
  #47 (permalink)  
 
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I think the error of the topic originator was to evaluate (i.e., “horrible”) an emergency, engine-out landing using routine-landing criteria. As to whether there are to be lessons learned? Of course there are. But don’t offer up the false choice of (1) brilliant, nothing to be learned, or (2) horrible, much to be learned. There’s a third choice: good enough but still plenty to be learned.

A very long time ago during a BFR in a 172, my CFI pulled the power, simulating the standard engine failure. Though within sight of an airport, our altitude was in that gray area where it appeared we were too high for a straight in and too low for a pattern to the opposite direction (crafty CFI, eh?). I chose the straight-in, dropping full flaps and aggressively (rudder at the stop) forward slipping, and the 172 proceeded to drop like a stone. The CFI allowed the simulated emergency to proceed all the way to landing and we touched down at proper landing speed half way down a 5000 ft runway. I thought we were going to overshoot but stuck to my plan given that (simulated) I had no other option.

I was fortunate to have a CFI during my primary flight training that insisted on forward slip proficiency from his students.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 16:20
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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I'm sure the participants had plenty to learn. But not us with just what we see on the video (well she should have used the M word on every radio call, as someone else has said).

When this happens for real the thought process goes like this
Damn! How do we get down ok? (pause)Umm ok that's the plan then
(more pause) is this going to work? Yep, still looking ok. Right carry on then and don't mess it up
(Repeat this a few times) wow! We're down and we're alive

Note there is no thought given to whether there's a theoretically better thing to do once you've made your plan. All attention is on making a success of the one you've chosen.
And no worrying about what the video will look like or what those guys on the internet will say.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 16:23
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by double_barrel View Post
I thought his may be of interest

Youtubers are lining-up to say what a hero the pilot was, but It seems to show a very badly handled engine fail within easy reach of a runway. Any comments? Any suggestions on options after she found herself over the threshold and WAY too high and fast? Other than don't come in too high and fast.
If this was a candidate on a PPL skill test I would award a pass because the pilot succesfully concluded the flight without damage or injury and achieved the aim which is to land safely after an engine malfunction. However in the debrief and with the candidates permission, I would have added. From a 2 mile final it would have been possible to consider, I emphasise consider, altering the glide path of the aircraft by
1. Slipping, Cessna warn of elevator oscillation above 20 degrees of flap
2. S turning
3. Diving the height off with flaps full just slower than the flap limiting speed.
Do not consider any of the above unless you have been taught the proper procedures

Its important to declare an emergency using the standard recognised international phraseology, EG Mayday or Pan Pan Pan. A fire truck can only attend the scene if the driver knows of the emergency and making the proper call leaves no doubt about your situation and the need for urgency. Fire is the major concern and being unable to vacate the aircraft without assistance. Seconds count if an aircraft goes on fire after impact

I got the impression that the pilot merely accepted the final glide path without trying to modify it, this is a common mistake. However we do not know the full circumstances and the ground track of the aircraft, my comments therefore are based on an element of supposition

On a FI AOC I would have expressed dissatisfaction that the instructor candidate didn’t employ any of the 3 above methods to bring the touchdown point closer to the landing runway threshold as being a flying instructor, not only should they be able to do this but teach it also. With a tailwind the initial aiming point and final touchdown point becomes more important.

The fact that the emergency wasn’t declared properly by a mayday or pan pan pan call is a very disappointing omission by a flight instructor.

Whether the propeller was windmilling or not is not relevant, the best glide speed gives adequate protection above the stall speed for a safe approach and landing, windmilling or static. Providing the engine hasn’t seized or is restricted the prop should windmill at Vmd anyway.

If there was a handling or speed problem with a seized propeller it would be mentioned in the C172 manual, it isn’t.



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Old 6th Nov 2021, 16:34
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Heston View Post
You folk do make me laugh! Talk about over analysis.
Ive had three engine failures in SEPs where I've landed on the runway - one downwind like in the video.
She was more than two miles out for goodness sake. She got back to the runway. She could see she could get it in. So she did.
Bloody well done.
Anything else you want to say about it is needless BS.
Heston, I think that many reading some of the comments on this thread will learn something, even if the points are not totally relevant to this incident. Let's consider this incident as a trigger for debate.

I have been a witness at an inquest after the front seat pilot died in an attempted forced landing following an engine failure; the instructor lived. There were some witnesses who said that the accident was caused by not formulating a single plan early and sticking to it rather than assessing the situation continuously and adjusting accordingly. I said that I felt strongly that a continuous re-appraisal was the best way to operate but that is a personal opinion, albeit one that has worked for me so far. .
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 17:50
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by LOMCEVAK View Post
Heston, I think that many reading some of the comments on this thread will learn something, even if the points are not totally relevant to this incident. Let's consider this incident as a trigger for debate.

I have been a witness at an inquest after the front seat pilot died in an attempted forced landing following an engine failure; the instructor lived. There were some witnesses who said that the accident was caused by not formulating a single plan early and sticking to it rather than assessing the situation continuously and adjusting accordingly. I said that I felt strongly that a continuous re-appraisal was the best way to operate but that is a personal opinion, albeit one that has worked for me so far. .
Yes. Good points.
What I meant about the plan and sticking to it was that if it's clearly going to work and as you continue to fly it and appraise it it is still going to work, then you stick with it. What you don't do half way through is think. " I can see now that I should have done something else that might have been better, so I'll change my plan."
Sticking to your original plan even when you can see it's not going to work is not what I meant. You need to change plan. But now you've lost time and have fewer options...
KISS works
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 18:41
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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When I was training I had a rough running engine on departure from our local airport. Having around ten hours dual at that point I didn't really know enough to be very 'concerned'.
The instructor took over for a minute or two, checking things over, then handed back control to me. We flew a wide circuit (the pattern being over a largish city), with enough height to
be able to land clear. On final we were 500 feet above circuit height: the advice being that we would have enough height to glide in if the engine gave up.

As we rolled out on final we were surprised to see how many fire trucks and ambulances were waiting for us. Apparently the local plan didn't consider the size of the aircraft in trouble,
and just scrambled the lot. A normal landing ensued with no major problems.

What impressed me then, and still does now, is how my instructor assessed the situation and then let me get on with it. I've no doubt that if I'd started to panic he'd have taken over.
Instead it ended up as a huge confidence booster to a newish student. So, if you're reading this Geoff, thanks mate!

For me, having read all your comments above, I think that unless you've been there and done it just congratulate the pilot for what they did. There but for fortune etc.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 19:20
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by bobward View Post
For me, having read all your comments above, I think that unless you've been there and done it just congratulate the pilot for what they did. There but for fortune etc.
Damn right, and I'd just add try not to school everyone else unless you know what you're talking about! It's embarrassing 🤕
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 19:57
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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Like others, I think this was a real emergency, handled without damage to aircraft or occupants. Was it perfect? I don’t know but that’s not the point - the outcome was way over on the side of satisfactory.

It looks like a quite heavily forested area, and if I was doing a glide approach for real I would be aiming well into the field, as going off the runway at low speed is a much better outcome than hitting whatever is in the undershoot at flying speed. Yes, there are ways to adjust your glide path one you are *sure* you’re going to make it but given the stress of the situation and the result it’s icing on the cake, really. For those saying they looked a bit fast (groundspeed), they were landing downwind as it seems it was the only option, so they would, wouldn’t they?

Job well done IMHO.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 20:20
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Let’s not forget one important ingredient: Human Factors.
Doesn’t matter how well you do in training the first time somebody shoots at you in anger changes your perspectives.
Same with the first time your only engine sounds like it’s hacking up a lung.
People deal in different ways when their life is literally dependent on what they do for the next couple minutes.
Some freeze, some stay cool till they get home then fall apart and some just try and stumble their way through it the best they can.
Training is always different from that very first time dealing with the real thing.
Lets face it, most GA proficiency checks are done cookie cutter style, designated practice areas and they do their best to distract you from seeing that really big field under the right wing when they pull the power.
Go around at 500’ because of low flying restrictions and noise and off to the clubhouse they go.
So it’s fairly arrogant to state how good you are in a training environment if you don’t know how difficult the real thing is.
Its like being a black belt in no contact Karate.

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Old 6th Nov 2021, 20:59
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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How much runway was left when the aircraft stopped? She might be regularly landing far up the runway. I do so, if told to vacate at the end. If you can land on a 400m runway you can land 400m from the end, using runway markings for your threshold.
Unlike a Pa28 or 38, she could not be sure of flaps after an engine failure as vibration at failure might affect battery connections.
From her voice, there was no hassle. Very impressed.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 21:00
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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I'm lucky enough to have benefited from the David Coulson GFT party trick. it's true, once the prop stops, (and he threw the key in the back!) it really wasn't a great deal like a PFL! I did manage to park it by the clubhouse though as instructed. They don't make them like him any more.
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Old 6th Nov 2021, 21:03
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by B2N2 View Post
Let’s not forget one important ingredient: Human Factors....

People deal in different ways when their life is literally dependent on what they do for the next couple minutes....

Training is always different from that very first time dealing with the real thing.
Ain't that the truth?
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Old 7th Nov 2021, 16:40
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by old,not bold View Post
I'

The Auster incident is relevant to the Impossible Turn. The club had a rule that before a first solo, the CFI would take the student on a check flight, usually a couple of circuits. On my check ride, at about 300ft the engine stopped suddenly. As I pushed the nose down to land ahead among some trees there was a shout of "I have control" and Les executed a diving turn to port, levelled off and landed downwind on the grass. He was an ex-RAF fighter pilot, Spitfire and Hurricane, I believe. The chances of surviving the procedure in the book, ie landing in the trees, were about 50/50.
.
The actual accident record for forced landings in trees is almost 100 % survivability if the airplane was under control. The fatal accidents where the airplane hit trees are when the aircraft was not in controlled flight. The low altitude turnback is almost binary. You either make it or you lose control in the turn and the resultant stall spin is almost always fatal. Transport Canada did a study on this issue. They determine that a turn back is 8 times more likely to result in a fatal accident over a glide straight ahead. The key to surviving a light airplane crash is aircraft control. If you hit at gliding speed with the wings level and in a level or slightly nose up attitude you will survive pretty much regardless of what you hit.

I would suggest that this was a well flown emergency and the disparaging comments in some of the posts are out of line. I have 2 comments

1) This is a good example of the value of prefacing all emergency radio calls with Mayday. If she had she would probably not have to have a distracting call to the other airplane

2) I would be vey interested in finding out why the engine failed. Since between 2/3 and 3/4 of all engine failures are directly caused by the actions or in inactions of the pilot, I predict that this was in fact the case in this incident.
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Old 7th Nov 2021, 17:40
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Of course it’s easy to say that this was ‘well done’ as everyone seems to agree but surely the most important thing to consider after every flight is, “what mistakes did I make and how can avoid them next time”. Or, “is there anything I could have done better”? Backslapping is positive and of course more sociably acceptable but it’s not the best way of improving performance, that’s of course if you want to improve your performance!
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