Pilots Notes

The following set of articles has been contributed by our members. Please browse and if you have some advice and knowledge you would like to share contact us via the Secretary

How to survive an engine failure in a single engine aircraft

By William Lonergan

There you are 110 kts, 3,000 ft., enjoying being in the air and out of contact with all the folks on the ground; without warning the engine quits. Three things are going to happen immediately, the aircraft is going to slow down, begin to descend and you are going to be one very surprised aviator. It will take you what seems an infinity to figure out what is happening and to do something about it. There are two things you must do immediately, get the nose down to avoid stalling and start looking for somewhere to land. You have about 5 minutes left to touchdown.

You have lowered the nose, what do you do next?

Pick somewhere to land. Your choices are very limited and will be dependent on both your height and the terrain you are flying over. The key rules are “land into wind” and “don’t stall”. A good “rule of thumb” is that if you look down a line from your eye to a point a little bit more than half way along the wing and then to the ground the aircraft can reach any point between you and where the line meets the ground. This is true for all heights.