Impossible turn at 500ft

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by motoadve, Feb 17, 2020.

  1. motoadve

    motoadve Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    240
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    motoadve
  2. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    591
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    What do you think made the difference between the seven successful and the five unsuccessful attempts?
     
  3. WillFly4Food

    WillFly4Food Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    102
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WillFly4Food
    Another excellent video. The outside view, watching you climb out and then respond to loss of power, is dramatic for the loss of altitude that accompanies the maneuver. Thanks for sharing.
     
  4. motoadve

    motoadve Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    240
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    motoadve
    The times I made it I was turning more aggressively, steeper and quicker.
     
  5. Jim Carpenter

    Jim Carpenter Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2019
    Messages:
    97
    Location:
    Lander, WY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim Carpenter
    Nicely done. Thank you.
    (Also thanks for reminding me how beautiful Costa Rica is, I'll have to try harder to make a 2nd visit there!)
     
    TipTanks likes this.
  6. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    17,553
    Location:
    west Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave Taylor
    What's that beach like?
    I was thinking that might be a better choice in the hypothetical situation of a real engine out - I realize you were training.
    nice vid, thanks.
     
  7. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    26,738
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    Can't easily count the number of ancient reports I've read where the guys turned back, didn't make it, tried to stretch the glide, stalled, spun and died. Really nice video, I'm glad the OP has such skills. I'll land straight ahead. If I can crash my Mooney under control it will protect me. Couple years ago a guy crashed into a house and walked away.

    This is a huge issue to me, because I take off over crowded neighborhoods.
     
  8. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    17,863
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    The issue isn't some magic altitude or the turn. Stalling and spinning is not a result of this. It is caused by pilots stopping flying the airplane properly. Better to put it down under control SHORT of the field than to stop flying and crash. My engine failure after takeoff was just after I raised the gear. Nothing straight ahead (roof of a Costco and its associated obstructed parking lot). I initially chose to put it down on the airport access road, but as I was in my turn to make that, I realized I could make the taxiway at least if not the runway. I made it to the runway and remembered to run my prelanding checks (good thing the gear comes down quick in the Navion). But this all worked because I identified the problem and made the coordinated turn back promptly. This gave me time to continue to evaluate what I was doing. I am indebted for the Mooney that took off behind me for bugging out of the pattern immediately while I was doing all this.
     
    YooperMooney and Jim K like this.
  9. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    20,311
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    I think with the turn it depends.

    I know at FSI a PC12 can make it dirty low if you’re quick on the feather and putting flaps 15 in.
     
  10. GMascelli

    GMascelli En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2005
    Messages:
    3,030
    Location:
    Ocean City, MD
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    GaryM
    Always practice, and have a planned out, you just might need it when you least expect it.
    889F2AC6-BA50-468F-BB54-48D3787B5C56.jpeg
    F5FA104F-5A31-4EFC-99D4-2132366E90D8.jpeg
     
  11. TerryD1023

    TerryD1023 Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2016
    Messages:
    10
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    TerryD
    I thought this was an interesting video on ”tight turns.”

     
  12. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    Messages:
    824
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan Ferguson 1974
    Interesting video, I appreciate the effort. I enjoyed watching that.

    This reminds me of discussions I've had in the past at various operations I've flown with where procedures and limitations were considered for the whole pilot group. Without saying so in as many words, the "least common denominator" factor has to always be considered. I.e., "Can our newest, greenest pilot do this?" This is not a procedure which will end in success for everyone, even if it's practiced and flown as above. The margins are very tight, and the consequences for failure are very high.

    The technique as described is pretty much textbook for what I've always used when discussing or "teaching" the "Impossible Turn" from years and years ago. Shove the nose down immediately, crank in 45 degrees of bank, pull to the stall warning horn. If there's a crosswind component, turn into the wind. In most piston singles, turning back and landing on the same runway used for departure (opposite direction of course) is theoretically possible from 500' AGL.

    However, I generally demonstrated this to show that the chance of pulling it off was slim and that there were usually better options available in most situations. Practicing over and over again with a cool head is completely different from the same scenario while dealing with the "startle effect."

    In my experience, the average GA pilot does not possess the airmanship to perform this maneuver safely. Still a lot to learn here -- very valuable footage. Thanks.
     
    Martin Pauly likes this.
  13. Martin Pauly

    Martin Pauly Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2011
    Messages:
    237
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Martin Pauly
    In addition to @Ryan F. 's points in his above post, if you do a 180 shortly after take-off and then end up landing short of the departure runway, you are likely having a tailwind and thus a higher ground speed as you hit the ground - assuming the take-off was into the wind. Minimizing ground speed at touchdown is a very, very important element in stacking up the odds in your favor.

    I understand the so-called "impossible turn" sometimes is possible, but I don't have confidence that in the moment of surprise and terror I will be able to judge accurately what my odds of a successful return to the runway are. Therefore, in my departure briefing I call for landing at a place ahead of the wings and into the wind, unless that means certain death due to terrain or buildings.

    - Martin
     
  14. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    508
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Matt R
    How about thinking about making pattern turns at lower altitude? If you start turning at 300 AGL and are already 90 or 180 degrees turned, you have much less work to do.

    Although, full disclosure, I am also writing this from the bathroom floor in between bouts of vomiting and diarrhea from a stomach bug.
     
  15. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,736
    Location:
    KY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Meet the Fokkers
    Can you also post this on Twitter and Facebook just in case anyone missed it?
     
  16. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    17,863
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    I'm writing from 2 meter swells in the Tasman sea right now, but no vomitting (at least not by me, there does seem to be a run on barf bags here).
     
  17. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2017
    Messages:
    508
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Matt R
    Still alive, in case anyone cared. Bucket is getting full, though.
    Not sure if I would rather try the impossible turn or this virus again. Feels like an equal chance of survival at this point.
     
    Skyrys62 likes this.
  18. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,813
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom
    Interesting video, all the comments were negative, rightfully so.
     
  19. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,695
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    I have practiced them a lot and agree with your textbook description with the exception of "pull to the stall warning horn". That might give the best chance of making it back to the runway, but if I have to pull that hard to make it then I feel I made a poor decision turning back and will likely lower the nose at that point land short of the runway. I generally don't fly it any less than 1.2 Vs.

    Brian
     
  20. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,813
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom
    The stall speed at 60° bank is about 1.4Vs in my plane.
     
  21. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,695
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
    My experience is you need 500ft off of about a 400% required Take-off distance (over 50ft obstacle) runway to make it work reliably. Most typical GA training style planes require about 500ft just to get turned around and lined up with the runway. I should probably do some testing of the 400% numbet. Just thinking about it most of my practice has been in 172, 182, Cherokee's style aircraft. Of course power and glide performance of the specific airplane do come into play. But typically a 172 at my field altitude requires about 1400ft to clear a 50ft obstacle, with a 5000 foot runway I can pretty reliably make it back to the runway from 500 feet, so that is not quite 400%. My general recommendations is don't try turning back after a power failure unless you have tried it before, in the kind of airplane you are flying. Generally don't go back unless you are already turning to crosswind and have thought a turn back through as a possibility. Don't Stall, even if it means you don't make it back to the runway.

    Brian
     
    write-stuff likes this.
  22. nrpetersen

    nrpetersen Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2013
    Messages:
    464
    Location:
    Minnetonka MN
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    nrpetersen
    I did a super-quick departure 180 in a 172H at KFCM about 40 years ago from fuel system (gascolator) icing. I don't think I ever got to 300 ft but I did a near-vertical bank and full flaps to get back to the parallel runway via a downwind landing. It all worked - but I had some power.

    With deep snow and ski area straight ahead, Minnesota river bottom to my left, I don't ever want to have to try it again.
     
  23. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    Messages:
    824
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan Ferguson 1974
    No disagreement. I'm not suggesting a best practice here, just the textbook technique that works for the most efficient turn back toward the airport environment. Assuming the stall warning horn in the subject aircraft is calibrated properly, this airspeed will result in the least amount of altitude loss. The cost of that performance is probably not worth it unless you're going to land in lava otherwise.
     
  24. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    write-stuff
    This video has been making the social media circuit. Personally, I find it disturbing and don't recommend that anyone use it as a teaching example. The pilot is clearly flying this seat-of-the-pants and making it up as he goes. There are so many factors involved in a successful turnback, and practically none of them are shown or discussed. Videos like this give the wrong impression. The turnback is a high-precision maneuver with numerous factors many people aren't aware of. Boiling it down to altitude and a quick, steep turn is woefully inadequate.
     
  25. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    3,112
    Location:
    KLAF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    455 Bravo Uniform
    The reason this is a good discussion is to hammer home the fact that most pilots (like me) have a low probably of pulling this off, compared to the stick skills of the OP, the readiness for his attempts, and the percentage of time he did not make it.

    There are some things in training that you hear and learn, and think you won’t do, like don’t try to do a 180 back, but until the crap hits, you might actually make a game time decision that violates that rule.
     
  26. WillFly4Food

    WillFly4Food Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2016
    Messages:
    102
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    WillFly4Food
    Agreed. When one realizes that a pilot as practiced and proficient as Motoadve failed to complete the maneuver in just under half the attempts, that should drive home the message that this is not something that most of us should be attempting at 500 AGL.
     
    PeterNSteinmetz and redtail like this.
  27. Dana

    Dana Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Messages:
    1,289
    Location:
    CT & NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dana
    It's exactly 1.414Vs in any plane.

    But that's assuming a coordinated turn. In a steep slipping turn the g-loading, and thus the stall speed, will be less.
     
  28. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    write-stuff
    We should also factor the amount of time in turn, and of that time, how long was the aircraft accelerating. It's possible to do a 1G steep bank (spiral).
     
  29. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Messages:
    2,813
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tom
    Theoretically yes, but in the real world I use IAS, so....
    [​IMG]
     
  30. CharlieD3

    CharlieD3 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2019
    Messages:
    623
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    CharlieD3
    Let's not forget that the OP has STOL tips, vortex generators, and a well calibrated AOA indicator mounted line of sight.

    And, he knows his aircraft. Well.

    Proper preflight planning includes (or should) "decision markers" for go/no go points on the runway, altitudes for predetermined takeoff emergency actions, and all the other factors involved in the two most critical arenas of flight: Take off and landing.

    Many folks barely do a preflight walk-around let alone all the items on the checklist for their aircraft.

    I'm not calling anybody out. Just sayin'.
     
  31. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    26,738
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    I brief every takeoff. Lately, the brief from my home airport is "if the engine quits it's going to hurt, a lot". We takes our chances. No one ever said this was safe, except perhaps horribly misinformed idiots.
     
    Brad Smith, belbert and YooperMooney like this.
  32. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    write-stuff
    Ah, the old "Resignation" thingee. I agree there are no guarantees, but we can reduce our risk and increase the odds of good outcomes. It take four words:
    Practice - Proficiency
    Recognition - Response
     
  33. YooperMooney

    YooperMooney Pre-Flight

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2019
    Messages:
    86
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    YooperMooney
    I know not every pilot can do this but maybe consider utilizing airports with longer runways? What saved my life in my C150 wreck (carb ice) was the fact that it was a 5200’ runway. I still slid off the end but I didn’t end up in the trees or tangled up with power wires.
     
  34. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    3,112
    Location:
    KLAF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    455 Bravo Uniform
    Congrats on surviving that.

    In the case of the 500 ft turnback, it’s not the tailwind runway usage that’s the immediate killer, it’s the initial inability to arrive at the threshold. Longer runway would help once you got there.
     
  35. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Messages:
    26,738
    Location:
    Land of Savages
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    steingar
    You cannot practice for absolutely every possibility. Yes, you can be truly amazing on the stick. That said, few of us will be if we only fly on the occasional weekend. I expect someone who flies all the time will be far better at it than I. Therefore, my plan is to land in the congested neighborhoods off the departure ends of either runway at my home airport. There is a field to the northwest if I can get there. If I have lots of altitude I might try and turn back if I take off to the west. There is a farm that serves as overrun, and I only have to make a 180. But my main plan is land straight ahead. My thinking is simple. I'm not Bob Hoover, and I'm never going to be. I'm not going to extract every ounce of energy out of that airframe unless I practice this maneuver and nothing else. Sorry, I have better things to do than practice for a relatively infrequent emergency.

    As far as your total ******** assumptions about me, I fly a Mooney. This is simple. My Mooney will protect me if i bring it in under control. A Mooney crashed into a house and everyone walked away. What are you flying again?
     
  36. brcase

    brcase Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,695
    Location:
    Boise, Idaho
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian
     
  37. Brad Smith

    Brad Smith Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2017
    Messages:
    726
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad Smith
    Crazy question for aerobatic pilots, but how much altitude is lost doing a “Split-S”? It would be a lot quicker than a 180 turn and some of the speed gained on the downside could be converted back to altitude. I know it’s a stupid question but what do you think?
     
  38. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    Messages:
    824
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan Ferguson 1974
    At 500 ft. you'd split-S into terra-firma. If you have the altitude for a split-S, you have the altitude to simply turn back to the airport and land normally.
     
    Brad Smith likes this.
  39. write-stuff

    write-stuff En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2006
    Messages:
    4,145
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    write-stuff
    Bingo. And if you did a split-S in anything but the most robust acro plane, you'd probably fold the wings up.
     
    Brad Smith likes this.
  40. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,109
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Huckster79
    Its not a 180 degrees... maybe 180ish for a parallel runway but at 180 you are not aligned with the runway you really have to do a 270 then an opposite 90 technically.