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Forced landing on to a road/highway

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Forced landing on to a road/highway

Old 5th Apr 2016, 11:30
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Forced landing on to a road/highway

Hi all

Was looking at the recent accident in the US where an SEP force landed on to a road and unfortunately killed a motorist in doing so.

Thinking back to my an initial training in the UK, I seem to remember that intentionally putting it down on a road was discouraged. I appreciate that our roads here tend to be a bit windier and congested than some of those empty, straight interstate highways in the US. What is the current thinking on this ? Do you still teach fields rather than roads ? I'd like to hear your opinions.

Thanks
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Old 5th Apr 2016, 12:16
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In EASAland roads are treated as almost indisputable NoGo landing spots. One reason is, mentality is quite different in Europe, where SEP are treated as "rich dads boy toys" and not accepted as usual means of transport.

In the US a SEP is a totally normal vehicle to serve your transportation needs and a road is one part of the infrastructure to do your personal transportation. So, if in doubt in the US, take one of the big roads, some of them are even built that way to also serve as a runway.

Last edited by Fly4Business; 5th Apr 2016 at 12:34.
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Old 5th Apr 2016, 13:04
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We have far too many bridges, streetlights and not to mention traffic to make it a crazy proposition to try and land on a motorway... And as TangoAlphad said - duty of care to those on the ground.
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Old 5th Apr 2016, 14:29
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Reminds of advice someone was given when hiring a SE in Florida. In the area they were flying, Miami way I think, an engine failure usually meant a water landing with 2 choices - Everglades or the Atlantic.

Land in the Everglades and the alligators will have you; land in the Atlantic and the sharks will. On balance go for the sea - a fighting chance of a rescue boat or chopper getting to you first.....
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Old 8th Apr 2016, 16:43
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Originally Posted by Parson
...an engine failure usually meant a water landing with 2 choices - Everglades or the Atlantic.
Might as well have hired a floatplane
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 06:16
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some of them are even built that way to also serve as a runway
Old urban legend with no basis in fact but so common the Federal Highway Administration gave it its own web page -

Public Roads - One Mile in Five: Debunking The Myth , May/June 2000 -
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Old 11th Apr 2016, 09:49
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No instructor I ever flew with taught landing on roads in the USA.
They all taught fields instead of roads - roads have power and telephone lines along the side and across them, as well as bridges and fast moving objects.
Far safer to land in the field, like the plane was basically designed to do anyway (most SEP were designed when we used grass strips).
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Old 12th Apr 2016, 16:39
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If you've got nowhere to land pick the best place to crash.
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Old 12th Apr 2016, 23:12
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not taught to, but in Southern California, there aren't always open fields to ditch into. If you get the chance, check out a VFR chart of the LA area. Better yet, "Google Earth" it. Basically every square inch that is not rugged mountain is concrete, homes, cars, and humans. I fly over and to airfields there almost every week in a SEP and believe me, if you're low and slow, you run out of options real fast if the engine fails. The best bet down there are dry concrete flood channels or the random golf course, but more likely than not you're in for a doozy. This shot is downtown LA and the concrete sprawl as far as the eye can see. If you're used to flying over the country side with a lot of open land, flying over LA/SD/Socal in a SEP can be a real @$$ puckering ride for the first few hours.....
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 08:38
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Originally Posted by Geosync
not taught to, but in Southern California, there aren't always open fields to ditch into. If you get the chance, check out a VFR chart of the LA area. Better yet, "Google Earth" it. Basically every square inch that is not rugged mountain is concrete, homes, cars, and humans. I fly over and to airfields there almost every week in a SEP and believe me, if you're low and slow, you run out of options real fast if the engine fails. The best bet down there are dry concrete flood channels or the random golf course, but more likely than not you're in for a doozy. This shot is downtown LA and the concrete sprawl as far as the eye can see. If you're used to flying over the country side with a lot of open land, flying over LA/SD/Socal in a SEP can be a real @$$ puckering ride for the first few hours.....
Do you not have a glide clear rule in the US? SEP flight over a built up area like that in the picture would be illegal in the UK.
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Old 15th Apr 2016, 13:08
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Geo

I know what you mean. I did a check out at Hawthorne and was flying over downtown LA not above 1500 ft due to the LAX zone. "Where do we go if the engine stops" I asked. The instructor just shrugged his shoulders....

In that situation the freeway may have been the best option.

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