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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by motoadve, Feb 17, 2020.
What do you think made the difference between the seven successful and the five unsuccessful attempts?
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.
The times I made it I was turning more aggressively, steeper and quicker.
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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
Always practice, and have a planned out, you just might need it when you least expect it.
I thought this was an interesting video on ”tight turns.”
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.
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.
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.
Can you also post this on Twitter and Facebook just in case anyone missed it?
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).
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.
Interesting video, all the comments were negative, rightfully so.
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.
The stall speed at 60° bank is about 1.4Vs in my plane.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Theoretically yes, but in the real world I use IAS, so....
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'.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
Bingo. And if you did a split-S in anything but the most robust acro plane, you'd probably fold the wings up.
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.