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Simulated engine failure after takeoff (SE aeroplanes)

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Simulated engine failure after takeoff (SE aeroplanes)

Old 21st Nov 2016, 21:33
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Simulated engine failure after takeoff (SE aeroplanes)

When you train or check Simulated engine failure after take off on SE, do you take the exercice up to the landing of the aircraft back on the runway (if sufficient runway remaining of course).

I usually want to see the student make a major pitch adjustment towards the runway, take proper speed. But the pitch change and rate of descent is usually quite high as to safely make a landing.

Your thought?

thx

Laurent
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Old 21st Nov 2016, 22:35
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SLR, the answer is see how it progresses (as we have to on absolutely everything a student does!) and whether the aircraft will be able to be set up in time (ie is it fixed u/c as, if not, that can mean a safe wheels-back-down landing may not be possible).

I quite agree that the first instance is seeing if basic actions are carried out such as correct glide established and safe landing area selection is complete (and, most importantly, that pointless actions are not carried out - or are at least relegated to when a successful forced landing is assured - by all means then look at engine restart checks and then radio calls, but never to the detriment of the primary safe engine-off landing task).

Regarding taking it to a landing – see how it is going both in terms of you (in the worst case scenario) having to take over at any point and completing the engine off yourself on the runway available - and also how the student is fairing. Any pitch adjustments by them should be appropriate/measured and not excessive – they should simply achieve the optimum glide speed for that aircraft in that configuration - ie set up a nice glide approach with flap to control things. You’ll soon tell if they are flying “in control” or there is an element of irrational over-reaction/panic – time for a good debrief after a nice early go-around if that is the case!!!!

I’ve flown x-country PFLs where I have really wished that the field selected by the student had a runway in it as the student has set it up so perfectly (and that is their skill coming to the fore I hasten to add) and the best reward would be to let them land it engine off, off the PFL! Sadly, never the case in the fields I set them up for. But, in your scenario, if you have the space, if you know the ATCO(!) and it will not mess up ATCO’s plans, and the student has it all under control, and you can still rescue it if it starts to go pear-shaped at absolutely any point – go 4 it! It should, by this point, just be a standard glide approach anyway.

Quite often, if I’m going to do anything like that, a quick call to the ATCO to pre-warn them is all it takes – and it is much appreciated by ATC too - so they can plan ahead themselves! But a landing off a PFL - that is the best message to student – in other words, follow the text book and you will be fine. After all, glider students do it after every cable break practice!!!! :-) Good idea in my book – but it is ultimately your judgement right down to the aircraft coming safely to rest on the runway as you are Captain at all times!

Just my thoughts! Others may differ!

Cheers, H 'n' H
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Old 21st Nov 2016, 23:23
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and whether the aircraft will be able to be set up in time (ie is it fixed u/c as, if not, that can mean a safe wheels-back-down landing may not be possible).
Number one point. It should be hammered home during complex type SE training NOT TO RAISE THE GEAR UNTIL NO USEABLE RUNWAY REMAINS! (If you'll pardon the double negative)

Number two point. In order to safely conduct this exercise, from a point when you are actually airborne in a climb, probably requires a runway of around 2,000 metres. There aren't that many that long in the UK, where SE training takes place.

Number three point. The standard call to ATC when conducting a simulated engine failure after takeoff is 'fanstop'. to which the response is 'roger, report climbing away'. As has been said elsewhere, it seriously diminishes the training value of a simulated EFATO if the student knows about it beforehand, by way of other communication with ATC.

Number four point. The best place to carry out your practice PFL down to a landing is from the aerodrome overhead. We even used to manage this at an aerodrome in the London area which was partly embedded in what was then Class 'A' airspace.

TOO
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Old 22nd Nov 2016, 11:43
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While it seems a good idea to inject realism into training for engine failures after lift off in single engine aircraft, the manoeuvre conducted necessarily at very low altitude requires almost instantaneous decision making by the student. There is precious little leeway for error before the instructor is forced to take over control to salvage a wrong decision made by the student.

It is important the instructor does not spring a surprise on an unsuspecting student which is why it is wise to have the instructor call "Simulated engine failure" just before he closes the throttle to idle. At any subsequent court of inquiry in event of an unfortunate ending to the practice engine failure on take off, you can be sure the insurer's legal team will try their best to nail the instructor for the cause of the accident. After all he is pilot in command.

A simulated engine failure on take off should be made at a safe and reasonable height where the student has enough time to make a considered decision where to force land. Usually it is straight ahead preferably into wind apart from a minor turn if needed. In other words if the instructor is required to assess if the students decision making is safe enough before first solo, then sufficient altitude needs to be allowed for the instructor to assess accurately. The instructor has responsibility for the safe conduct of the flight and this will be a vital point of law if any accident is the result of poor instructor technique. Example being a quick closure of the throttle without first warning the student. Especially at low altitude where there is not much room for error.

if the aim of the sequence is to have the student land straight ahead on the remaining length of runway, then the student must be previously warned that is the purpose of the exercise. In every case the instructor must say Simulated engine failure" before he closes the throttle.

Depending on terrain and obstacles, 500 feet above airport elevation is a reasonably safe minimum height to commence the engine failure after take off procedure. That allows the instructor time to reasonably assess the students actions and allows the student the time to make a considered response. Anything below that altitude increases the risk factor of mishandling and the increased likelihood of instructor intervention.

You cannot protect the student once he goes solo. On the other hand the instructor must be aware that his action of pulling an engine on his student at very low altitude needs to be balanced with its training value. Increasing the risk of mishandling does not equate to better training value.
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Old 22nd Nov 2016, 21:56
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A problem we had at one airfield I worked at was no EFATO's.
So we flew a low approach then entered a climb on final, then chopped the power. Could then fly to land.
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Old 23rd Nov 2016, 00:55
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The best place to carry out your practice PFL down to a landing is from the aerodrome overhead.
Yes.

Though I'm not an instructor, I do a lot of advanced training, and actual forced approaches are a big part of that training. EFATO is always briefed, but never actually attempted, other than in floatplanes, when there is lots of lake ahead. It's just not worth the risk on a runway. All of the elements of the EFATO are discussed, and the skills practiced during other PFA's. Every PFA I set up is briefed, and expected to be flown to a landing (which might be a touch and go, but will always be at least a touch). I opine that the last ten feet of the approach are the critical skill, and to have the candidate cross the fence at 50 feet, and go around is missing the most valuable part of the training. Most of my PFAs will therefore be set up from a high, close downwind, with the expectation of a slip, and use of flaps to make it in. A part of the skill is that the better landing zone is the closer one that you can make, rather than stretching a glide, and setting up a poor approach, 'cause at that point, there is little choice.

Throttles are never slammed closed, or jammed open, everything is gradual. I only try to surprise candidates whom I judge to be cocky, and need to be taken down a notch, and they are happily few. Everyone else is briefed, and I stick to the plan - flying works better that way....
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Old 24th Nov 2016, 10:40
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Simulated engine failure.

A number of good points have been raised here in relation to the teaching of actions in the event of an engine failure, all valid.

What has not been drawn attention to is that, statistically, there are more Forced Landings from practices than from an actual event.

There may be a number of causes for this but, of course, the main one is the old carrot, Carburettor Icing.
This usually makes itself known, unfortunately, during the “Climb away”.

The reason ? Not enough attention to maintaining a clean carburetteor, during the low power/idle descent phase.
The answer ? Know the carb.icing characteristics of your aeroplane for the various seasons of the year and MAKE SURE that the engine is warmed a minimum of every 500 feet. during the descent.

Another point is to assume that the exercise could go wrong and so pick a landing area/site which can realistically be used during an actual event.

This has happened to me a couple of times with an aircraft that can suffer from notoriously bad carb. icing, the YAK.
This often results in a PFL/EFATO not being carried out in this type as a necessary part of the exercise.

In one case, we only made it to a successful landing because the (experienced) candidate was VERY QUICK in RAISING the flaps to extend our glide at the last minute when the engine didn’t respond to the throttle during a “warm up”.
I might add that he had also been very vigilant with regard to the YAK’s weakness and yet STILL we were forced to land and warm the engine again before attempting a take off.

This Comp.Check exercise, btw, was with prior permission from the strip owner and local knowledge.
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Old 25th Nov 2016, 11:56
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and MAKE SURE that the engine is warmed a minimum of every 500 feet. during the descent.
A bit of an over-kill, maybe? The reason for application of high power recommended during a prolonged glide such as practice PFL from altitude, is not to keep the engine "warm" but to burn off any lead deposits from the spark plugs so that full power is available for the go-around.

Melting of carb ice may well be a spin-off from the plug clearing exercise. But to conduct this operation as a "minimum" every 500 feet means the PFL is a waste of time as glide practice is minimal since the nose has to be raised in order to maintain correct gliding speed every time the throttle is advanced to high power.
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Old 25th Nov 2016, 18:37
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Well, in colder climes the reason we've always been given for an 'engine warm' is to put a bit of energy back into the front 2 cylinders to reduce the chances of a head cracking - very expensive. Our practice is every 1,000', so not so ruinous of the PFL plan. 500' seems a bit OTT.

TOO
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Old 26th Nov 2016, 12:53
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Well, in colder climes the reason we've always been given for an 'engine warm' is to put a bit of energy back into the front 2 cylinders to reduce the chances of a head cracking - very expensive
Yet another general aviation myth handed down through the years. I think John Deakin in his engine handling articles of yesteryear (The Pelican's Perch) mentioned the head cracking fallacy. If that was a reason for head cracking then you should never fly in rain because it cools down the front cylinders to the extent it causes head cracking.
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Old 26th Nov 2016, 18:48
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If that was a reason for head cracking then you should never fly in rain because it cools down the front cylinders to the extent it causes head cracking.
Ah, yes, but...

Even if you're flying along in air at -40 then the front 2 cylinders are being provided with energy from the combustion within. The point about an extended period at idle is that the whole cylinder will cool, then be suddenly subjected to a lot of energy from one side (the inside).

Still, you might be right, urban (and rural) myths abound.

An interesting thread drift...

TOO
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Old 27th Nov 2016, 17:23
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my 02 cents

I teach my students to retract the gear as soon as a positive rate of climb is established in everything I fly single/twin/piston/turbine. Altitude = options so you want the airplane to start climbing ASAP and almost all airplanes climb much better with the gear up.

If the engine does fail in a single engine retractable you are almost always going to be better off with a wheels up landing.

One point I feel very strongly about is that students must understand that after the engine fails the insurance company just bought the airplane. A pilots only responsibility after the engine fails is to minimize the risk of injury to him/herself and the passengers. In the case of an EFATO that means immediately lowering the nose so that airspeed is maintained and then maintaining control of the aircraft so that when it hits the ground it is in a wings level, slightly nose high pitch attitude is the key to surviving.

Finally I am going to beat my drum again about the fact that approximately 80 % of all engine failures are caused by the actions or inactions of the pilot

Most engine failures can be prevented by doing all those boring unsexy preflight and in flight checks that will prevent the engine from failing or will recognize an impending failure in time to take action before the fan stops.
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Old 28th Nov 2016, 12:22
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Someone mentioned John Deakin's Pelican's Perch articles, this one mentiones the Shock Cooling myth in the part about descending: Pelican's Perch #19:<br>Putting It All Together - AVweb Features Article

His other articles all make for very interesting reading.
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Old 28th Nov 2016, 23:32
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TheOddOne - "Number two point. In order to safely conduct this exercise, from a point when you are actually airborne in a climb, probably requires a runway of around 2,000 metres. There aren't that many that long in the UK, where SE training takes place." Absolutely, but in some places in the world, where training takes place alongside widebodies such as 777's, 747’s etc, runway length is not an issue. All I’m saying is it can be done – with extreme caution – if you are happy with every second of the exercise yourself – and you are fortunate to be in the right place with the right facilities. I emphasised that everything must stack up before it is contemplated. And that includes who the student is! If in any doubt, no matter the runway length, don’t. Big End Bob’s solution is another method which can be used quite successfully at small fields.

Re #3 point and the call to ATC beforehand – sorry, didn’t make it clear, I meant by phone from the Club – while the student is safely out the way sorting their headsets out or whatever! That way, the ATCO will know what you have in mind for sometime during the circuit detail and not stack up a whole series of aircraft movements which rely on you getting airborne and then departing or flying standard Touch and Go’s (with or without a more traditional EFATO practice here and there). They may well have someone lined up behind you on finals each time expecting you to clear off each time – so suddenly landing back on will cause a "bit" of chaos and will guarantee a summons to the Greenhouse for a - or worse!!!! That’s all I meant – not an RT discussion once in the air - apart from the usual fanstop call when the exercise starts! If it’s really too busy, the ATCO may even say no – give them the option as they know what they can safely handle too and it may be just too busy a day to contemplate such a non-standard exercise!

BigPistonsForever I agree and I think there is a measure of instilling into the student, the fact you must control the aircraft every step of the way even when it goes quiet up front. Get the nose down too far in a panic and you build up excess speed which you have to get rid of again and throw away height which you can’t get back and that can just make matters even worse. Don’t get it down and, you really do have problems! I wholeheartedly agree with you – walking away is No 1 priority. Student ability comes in again – some cope far better than others so work within their natural capacity.

Perhaps it is a gliding background thing for me. Teaching cable breaks with a 45deg climb angle @300/400 ft are the norm and require a huge pitch change but actually, only enough to ensure you are going down hill at the optimum glide speed at the end of the pitch change or else we have that speed/height issue to add to our woes. Breaks are taught relentlessly so that, by the time the student goes 1st Solo, they can quite safely land off a cable break at any height – again and again. Initially, each one is pre-briefed – towards solo or on check flights, any time the Instructor wishes – and occasionally, a real break just to prove the realism of the training to the student (and the instructor)!! Effectively, glider “EFATOs” (ie cable breaks) become a set of standard landing procedures (usually split into 3 height bands each of which involves a different technique). I'm not saying SE EFATO training is aimed to achieve that level of proficiency - but having a degree of finess is no bad thing.

Anyway, enough from me! I’ll shut up!!! Has been an interesting discussion tho!

Cheers, H 'n' H
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Old 29th Nov 2016, 11:21
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If the engine does fail in a single engine retractable you are almost always going to be better off with a wheels up landing.
Another myth; this time disproved my medical evidence. Forced landing wheels down in a tricycle landing gear type, allows the landing gear assembly to absorb the energy of impact thus minimising spinal injuries especially on rough terrain including rocks. Moreover depending on terrain wheels down means braking action is usually available thus reducing the distance travelled.

All this came about when in the late 1940's,tail wheel types such as the Mustang, Typhoon, Spitfire and even the Lancaster type bombers were around. Experience showed wheels down forced landing generally resulted in the aircraft tipping on to its nose and worse still going inverted.

The introduction of nose wheel types such as the Sabre, and similar jet fighters found the relatively fast touch down speeds in a belly landing in those types resulted in severe spinal injuries among pilots as impact energy was transmitted directly from the fuselage to the pilot's spine. Trials proved that having the undercarriage lowered meant the energy of impact diverted instead through the wheels and undercarriage structure, leaving the pilot less susceptible to spinal injuries.

Wheels down also meant brakes may be available to shorten the ground roll in some circumstances
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Old 9th Dec 2016, 10:14
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While my doing PPL, we had a 1000m RWY, and instructurs would make a Simulated EFATO at pretty low height (provided enough RWY still remaining) and could allow the airplane be brought back to the runway, as long as the student could cope with it, or otherwise execute Go-Around. The other variation was EFATO at ~ 300-400 feet (just before turn to crosswind), and since we had a field straigh ahead, it was required to show how You'd cope with it but at around 150-200 G/A followed. The 3rd variation, which might not be considered EFATO, was anywhere else in the circuit, where You had to do full procedure and make the runway (or admit that You can't make it and explain what is the reason)


I had flown with several instructors during my training, and late in the studies (around 45 hours), one of the instructors whom I flew for the first time with, did the one with RWY still remaining (I think it was following an early G/A, because I remember we had plenty of RWY and around 40-50 feet high). I instinctively put the nose down (it was in my head, and I rehearsed the procedure in the briefing with another instructor just a couple of days prior to that), and seemed to cope with situation correctly. Don't really recall if I actually put the airplane on the runway, or we did a Go-Around, after that he said that one important thing I forgot - extend full flaps. No other instructur told me that before. I.e. logically if You have time and height for that, yes, but not when You are tenth of feed above the ground. My argument was that there was sufficient runway left and height above the ground was low - hense no time for this. He said that it would still steepen the decend and allowed to make a shorter runway. I didn't get into more arguments about it with him, but it seemed risky, as having the extension of flaps in such a critical moment impacting the flightpath increase possibility of mishandling.

Later on, In the briefing room we usually had several instructors around, so I asked this question to others, whether full flaps was a part of procedure for low-height EFATO, there was no unified conclusion... Some said, it could make the distance over the ground shorter, others, said that it would be difficult to cope with the baloon resulting from flaps extension in such situation, and that baloon could actually make the distance even longer. It was suggested that It's up to the PIC to decide whether flaps are required or not depending on situation. Could be interesting to hear Your opinions on that.
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Old 11th Dec 2016, 12:08
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It was suggested that It's up to the PIC to decide whether flaps are required or not depending on situation. Could be interesting to hear Your opinions on that.
One opinion as requested. Get the flaps full down as quickly as possible if landing ahead on remaining runway. It steepens the glide angle and flaps lower the stall speed. After the flare any float is minimised because of the drag caused by full flap.
.
Retract flaps immediately on touch down to get weight on the wheels for braking efficiency. On the other hand, if you merely dive at the runway following engine failure touching down clean or with take off flap setting, then chances are you will float because of excess speed and there is a tendency to try and "spike" the aircraft on the runway.

In turn this has the potential to lead to a series of out of phase bounces known as "kangarooing" and has been known to cause the nose wheel break off. . The kangarooing uses up more runway as you desperately try to pin the aircraft on the runway. And you still haven't got the weight on the wheels in order to attain maximum braking capability.

If all else fails and you are floating just above the surface, then one suggestion is to have your handkerchief knotted at each corner like a mini parachute and hold it outside the side window for extra drag
That advice came from Wing Commander Spry the editor of the wartime RAF flight safety magazine "AirClues.
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 11:26
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@Judd, thank You for a decent explanation. Full flaps now totally make sense.

Guess, it's time to start carrying a handkerchief ...
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 14:59
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Judd.

As far as I'm aware, both Air Clues and Wingco Spry are still around!
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Old 13th Dec 2016, 00:21
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As far as I'm aware, both Air Clues and Wingco Spry are still around!

Thanks for that Bristol Scout. I am on the Air Clues distribution list. Have been a fan of that priceless flight safety magazine since its inception during the war years. No doubt several Wingco Spry's since then of course.
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