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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Adam Weiss, Feb 9, 2020.
His prop didn't stop.
You better read again, sir.
It's been interesting to hear everyone's point of view on this thread.
It wasn't my intention to start a debate about whether it's safe/smart to do this, but rather ask the folks that do if there are any techniques they use.
That aside, let's explore this a little:
I did indeed pull the mixture.
If I pushed in the mixture, the engine would immediately restart.
I was almost 3000ft AGL, directly above a 5000ft runway, with less than a 500ft landing distance.
I could glide over 5 miles in this scenario.
I could hit anywhere in the first 90% of the runway, and be just fine.
I had 5 minutes to descend, plan, and line up for my landing.
That's a really LONG time.
I'm not a great pilot, but all things considered, there was very little risk in not making the runway.
I would have had to deliberately flown AWAY from the runway.
To those thinking it's nuts, do the evaluation...think of what could actually go wrong, and what you'd do in that situation.
I think you'll find that short of a wing falling off, it would be almost impossible have a bad outcome.
Then, after you've done that evaluation...give it a try.
You might learn something. I did.
I guess I confused someone else
Lol, ok...… "don't save yourself boy, die like a man." Bbbbbbut the red handle is right there. "real pilots don't need that, you can always, ALWAYS, land safely in an emergency, no one ever dies in an airplane when they fly like a MAN!"
Sorry Charlie, but that's a little f'd up.
It seems you've gained 1,000ft over the last four pages. And you also wrote this:
How did you know how your plane would behave before you did it?
How does pushing in the mixture when the prop is stationary immediately restart the engine?
I've seen a lot of references to gliders in this thread. It's interesting that it took me a long time to get used to landing a glider. The difference is time. Gliders are designed, obviously, to be able to land with no engine and for an airplane that's just something it CAN do. In the pattern I was always in a hurry to check my altitude, airspeed, and position, but I didn't need to hurry. Gliders have such a good glide ratio compared to an average airplane, and they have such a low stall speed, that you have plenty of time and the trick is to learn to relax. The OP was careful to select a good day to try it, good wind conditions, good field conditions, no other traffic in the air or on the ground, and at a good starting altitude and position. That's a pretty good set of conditions for a test flight. It's outside my personal comfort zone, though. In a glider, if that coyote picks that time to run across the rwy, I might be able to retract spoilers just enough to hop over, or I can slide over to one side. That's not something a dead-engine airplane may be capable of doing. But that's my personal limit, and for someone else that may be OK.
This. I think a lot of people making the comparison don't fly gliders. Sure a glider pilot should be more comfortable than a non glider pilot in a plane with no engine, but they're not remotely the same thing.
A modern glass ship might be able to realistically glide five or six miles from pattern altitude, or loiter for 5-10 minutes. And I think non glider pilots (I know I did) underestimate what it takes to land one. In the pattern we're flying considerably faster than best L/D and using spoilers just to get to the runway. And in normal practice the pattern is flown with plenty of margin to land anywhere on the field. In a normal approach, I could land gently in the first third or suck in the spoilers on final and fly the full length of the 6500' runway, easily sidestep to a taxiway or the grass, fly over or land behind a aircraft stopped on the runway, do a 360 in the pattern, or land off field. Normal glider ops aren't really much like this engine-out landing at all.
I do fly gliders. And the comparison I'm making is that the majority of things that can happen on the ground that would effect a powered plane landing will have the same effects on a glider. Sure you have more tools in the glider to cope, but I've had a plane break down in the middle of the runway while I"m landing the glider. I landed in the grass beside the strip. No big deal.You can do exactly the same in a power plane. No big deal.
While I don't think that there's value in landing with the engine off, I also don't see it as that big of a risk.
This IS POA.... Debate is expected.
Not contextually correct... The "not just for men" was about the OP ED.
But, I will admit to not wanting elbow pads, training wheels, and Nanny State regulations to take LIVING out of life....
I also taught my daughters (all 3 of em) to change a tire; and tried to instill in them the reason it is imperative to drive the vehicle all the way to the scene of the accident... Doing so may just save their lives.
We are all involved in an avocation (or a vocation) that has some risk. We can't all fly like Sully, or Gary L Herod. But we can continue to learn; on our own, or with an instructor.
If you consider a willingness to applaud those willing to trust their ability instead of the autopilot f'd up... I wonder if the Max jets would be grounded if self reliant men, who might have turned Otto the he!! off (or learned how to do that in the first place) were flying those aircraft.
I could nose over and get it spinning...
Or I could take 2 seconds (after pushing in the mixture) and use the starter.
The prop accelerates between engine peak compressions based on the shape. With less momentum to make it through the compression, a low inertia prop will be stopped easier.
There's nothing wrong with exploring the limits of yourself and your airplane in a controlled manor. It's common in beginner scuba training to practice taking your regulator off while underwater, clearing your mask, etc. Can you train someone HOW to do this, without actually doing it.. yeah.. but it's worth doing it in real life.. not just for muscle memory, but for a different psychological experience
Some CFIs I have flown with where fine with "first indication of stall" - others wanted a proper full stall, and some more want you to then hold the plane falling leaf in that stall. The latter is my preference, you learn more about how the plane handles
Like the OP said.. the plane flew a lot differently with the engine off, and there's a different stress factor in there, worth experiencing that
Do fire fighters train in actual burn exercises, do residents do surgery on real people, do climbers practice "falling" on belay? Yes.
I don't think everyone should go and start shutting off their engine.. but, I don't think it's as egregious as some here make it
**Gliders are much different than powered planes.. I have some time in them and compared to a glider, planes seem to fall like rocks when you pull the power. Incidentally though, this would make for a pretty cool actual plane to own... 53:1 glide ratio and you actually have decent TAS.. so could theoretically be used as a local cross country GA plane too..
Says you. If I land my Mooney in the grass next to the runway I could very easily wind up with a prop strike if I hit a gopher hole, or even if its soft from rain. A Mooney struck the prop taxiing in the wet grass at Oshkosh. Doesn't bother a glider because they don't have propellors. And I doubt any engine is just going to kick on if you push in the mixture if your prop is stopped. It should if the prop is turning, though I'd not want to put that to the test at low altitude and low energy. That's why I think pulling the mixture in the pattern is a bad idea. But that's just my opinion. The OP obviously pulled this off. Then again, the OP pulled it off this time.
Says me, the main things to do in an engine out are stay calm and fly the airplane. No matter what, the outcome will be better if you crash under control than not under control.
^There's a middle ground in there somewhere! More tools, tech, vigilance, is never a bad thing.. but as PIC you should always also stay ahead of the plane and keep yourself in charge. Did the Max jets have to kill people? Hell no.. if you see the trim wheel whirring away next to you, and things are starting to not feel right, take over.. grab the wheel, pull the master CB, do SOMETHING to put yourself back in control before it's aerodynamically too late to recover that close to the ground. That very same issue happened on previous flights and the jumpseater was able to resolve it. Did Boeing make a crappy design with poor (or no) training.. yes, but it didn't have to kill people. I'm sure the "faulty" Max jets are still orders of magnitude "safer" than what the 707/DC8/727 gave us
Bonanza is always the answer.
You should definitely not do this. I agree wholeheartedly on that.
“Dead stick” means the prop is stopped.
I think you meant “idle power”.
I posted a video of a guy climbing with his engine off. He took off with it on and then shut it down. Continues the climb.
He has to keep tapping the standard style altimeter in his T-craft to show the camera that he’s climbing. Gliders use special altimeters with less internal resistance that don’t stick in place when there’s no engine vibration.
Scroll back up and check it out. Pretty neat.
Not sure where your stats on glider crashes are coming from but they’re way way lower than powered crashes per flight hour. The fastest growing accident type is powered aircraft losing control on landing rollout, which isn’t common amongst glider pilots who actually know what those pedals at their feet are for. LOL.
Gliders usually just land out if they misjudge something. Any small open space works at their low landing speeds. And with glide ratios pushing into the 40s on some of the fancy ones (unlike the “pig” I flew that was just over 20:1...) they can cover a lot of ground with very little altitude to get to a landing spot.
There’s another cool video of a glider guy showing just how low he could be and still make it easily to his home airport. It’s surrounded by desert and scrub and he’s down around 20 AGL for a couple of miles doing a straight in. Started with a tad of extra airspeed but not much. Bleeds that down to his best glide speed over the first mile and easily holds altitude enough to cross the airport fence for the last mile.
He’s a competition guy and knows his aircraft very well — not exactly a demo I would recommend most pilots attempting — and him sharing the video is impressive.
Anything with an engine is just a glider with a bad glide ratio and a faulty power plant on the nose that’ll eventually fail.
Once you’ve flown a sailplane you’re always thinking in glide terms for planning somewhere in the back of your head. Even in powered aircraft.
Where is this thing going when the engine quits? Not if ... when.
Ok Charlie, wouldn't be the first post I misread, and you edited it. This post I completely agree with.
For the record, I don't think someone who trusts their ability over an autopilot f'd up, but I do consider people who denigrate using built in safety devices over flying yourself to your fatal crash f'd up. I wasn't sure if you were going there with your OP, that's why I responded, but you edited it so that's neither here nor there.
Also, I fly an airplane with a great autopilot. I'm convinced that if you attempt to use the autopilot to make up for poor skills, it will eventually eat you and your airplane for lunch. You have to be vigilant with them, and this is a great autopilot, I've flown ok autopilots and they require more vigilance.
Edited only to add the link to the ad on YouTube...
Hey... Speaking of which.... Search YouTube for Bob Hoover...
He flew a twin and shut off BOTH ENGINES (or at least feathered both)!
Of course, FAAther did all they could to pull his ticket....
That was Bob ****ing Hoover! If you're thinking you're as good a pilot as him you need a serious reality check.
reminds me of what I consider one of my strangest requests to flight service. I was getting low on a cross country soaring flight and the next best airport I knew was marked closed. So I called flight service and asked "How closed is it", Is there a taxi way I can land on, A flat grassy area, or should I plan on landing in a field near by. I eventually climbed back up and was able to proceed on course to the next airport. Flight Services was response was they were just reading what I had read " it says closed due to construction"
but did you notice at one point the needle would jump up as he tapped?
Looked that way to me casually watching it earlier.... I didn't go back to confirm.... but makes me wonder if it wasn't some spoof
The 172 I know this has been tried in, it used about 1000 feet of altitude to accelerate to a speed that would get in spinning enough to restart it.
The glider in my photo originally had an altimeter shaker on it. A small motor with an offset weight attached. This is because the altimeter would stick until you moved up or down a few hundred feet. This isn't an issue in most power aircraft as there is enough engine vibration to shake the altimeter. I put a better altimeter in the glider and got rid of the shaker motor.
Rule 1 with simulated emergencies, don’t turn them into real emergencies.
Did the VS stick too?
One man’s emergency is another man’s Tuesday.
Some random thoughts:
I remember thermalling my T-Craft a few times with the engine stopped. I don't recall if the altimeter stuck, it was a long time ago. It had to be a booming day to make it work.
One thing to consider is that if the prop is windmilling, the odds of it not restarting are slim... it was just running, you're not depending on the starter or battery, and with air moving through it you're not likely to get the vapor lock issues that can keep a hot engine from starting on the ground. And unlike a starter that you only crank for some seconds at a time, the windmilling prop keeps it spinning until it's running smoothly.
If you're doing it to a landing, you need to know you can hit the spot. It's a lot easier in a plane with good glide control, like sailplanes with their spoilers, or older planes with sufficient rudder that a slip really does something, so you can be plenty high and/or fast on final and still get it down.
Related to the above, yeah, biplanes don't glide that great, but the flip side is that they don't float halfway down the field if you come in a little fast. And most of them have rudders that work.
And one more answer for the "why would you do it?" crowd: Because it's fun. If you don't think it's fun, then don't do it.
I resisted posting to this thread because I used to shut off the engine with every one of my students during their dual cross country flights.
There is a long(ish) runway out in the middle of crop fields in the Central Valley in California that you would not know is an airport if you did not know it. There are no buildings or a ramp. Just a runway.
At an exact location between airport two and three of the flight, I would shut off the fuel without the student noticing. When the engine lost power, I would observe the actions of the pilot and they usually did all the correct engine failure procedure steps. I would then ask the popular question: "Where you gonna land?"
Since they had been following along on the sectional chart, they would know there was an airport at their seven-to eight o'clock position and maybe a mile or two away. With plenty of altitude and time to set up a landing, I would let them set up the approach to that unseen runway and continue to a full stop landing.
At some point in the scenario, I would turn the fuel back on and keep the engine at a throttle closed idle during the approach and landing.
You can bet your butt that I made sure the fuel valve moved free and smooth before every flight in order to avoid a real engine off situation caused by the handle snapping off in my hand or the shaft seizing. Our SOP was to close the fuel valve after every flight.
I knew the area well and could make a safe landing if the engine did not restart, but it was never needed.
Before doing this with students, I practiced this several times uneventfully and made plenty of dead stick landings and engine restarts, just to be prepared for the possibility of the real thing happening.
One of my students had the engine blow up on his first flight after his checkride with his father on board. He made all the right decisions and landed safely in the middle of an airshow. That's another cool story....
Or last day.
One of the tricks my CFI did was to pull power to simulate an engine out. It was within sight of a local airport where we had done a lot of work, so I was very familiar. Routine exercise except that this particular time she knew I couldn’t reach it but I did not. I still remember the feeling when I realized I was subconsciously stretching the glide. I caught it a hundred yards or so short of the rwy (my cfi was paying attention to see how long before I noticed). Had I not caught it I might have stalled it about 20 agl and just before the threshold.
That’s exactly what they do when stuck due to no constant engine vibration. You tap it and it frees up momentarily and jumps to the current altitude.
Usually not. They’re just a calibrated leak with a lot less gear train inside causing friction.
Do people not have cutaway versions of these anymore to teach with? Granted I guess I don’t have a set either but most flight schools had them sitting in the front on a counter or similar back in the day.
Much easier to understand when you can see the mechanism.
Haven’t seen one for years, and judging by the frequent blank looks I get, it’s not taught much.
So we have a new definition for “immediately”.
Hmm. Makes me wonder if I should try to find some for the collection.
A cfi friend of mine used to pull the mixture and show students pulling up to Edge of stall to stop it, and show them gliding both ways.
the old continental pull start cable came sliding all the way out when he pulled it for the restart! He said he had to dive it like a dive bomber to get her spinning! He doesn't demonstrate this anymore!
While flying an SGS2-33A at Dillingham on a particularly great trade winds day, I was holding Vne in the ridge lift and still climbing at 200 fpm. Unfortunately. the cross county glider opportunities in Hawaii were quite limited, but it was a really nice place to fly.
Edit to add: ...and just this morning, this:
Of course I don't think that. Make no mistake, I do have an ego. It just ain't THAT big.... I wish I had 1/50th (he!! 1/100th) the ability he had.
But, I wonder.... Did he ever practice his maneuvers before he went on tour? Or was he just born that way?
Would practicing an engine out; by actually shutting it down, in a relatively safe environment, make me a better pilot? I think it would.
<Edit to add> Bob did settle ONE thing for me... High wing is best!