Turn Around On Take Off After Engine Out.

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Geico266, May 17, 2012.

  1. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Mooney engine out. Poor technique, nose should have immediately been lowered. When these types of emergencies happen you need to have it in your head, preprogrammed what you are going to do. If you have to think about it.. your dead. ;)

    Young pilots / low time pilots / old aviation vets.... make a note; lower nose, land straight ahead. Hopefully, you will be calling the insurance company, instead of having someone else call the coroner. ;)

    http://vimeo.com/26640491

    When all else fails, fly the airplane. :idea:


    RIP.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  2. PBristolJr

    PBristolJr Line Up and Wait

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  3. Steve Foley

    Steve Foley Pattern Altitude

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  4. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Brief every take off. What do I do if the fan quits. Every last one.
     
  5. mirage00

    mirage00 Pattern Altitude

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    My biggest fear when flying.. :(
     
  6. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    I have no idea what caused this Mooney's engine to quit.

    But, I had an engine failure in my Mooney 201 right after lift off. It turned out to be water in the gas. Those gas cap gaskets can and do leak even if they are new. Not all the water will drain from the sumps in a level 201. One must park on a slope to get it all in one tank, then do a 180 and drain the other side.

    My 201 was parked outside at the time and I placed heavy rubber pads over the gas caps when parked. Seemed to help.

    Fortunately, I was able to land straight ahead on Boeing Fields 10,000 runway.
     
  7. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The vultures circling may be a bit much.... :rolleyes:

    But, yeah, it's "yikes".
     
  8. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Be scared when you are in the bar having a beer, perfect time for panic. Think about what to do before it happens and you won't be scared when it does, you will be prepared. I'll buy the first round, and the second. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  9. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Brook Beringer was the back up quarter back to Tommy Fraiser at Nebraska in the 80's. He certainly would have been the starter, but behind Fraiser..... well you get the idea. He was a "scrambling passer" type QB being eyed by the pros to go in the first / second round in the draft. The night before the draft he took his "to be" brother in law for a fly in an $8,000 Cub. Engine quit ( fuel cut off handle not open all the way) and he tried to return to the airport. His signing bonus alone would have been $5 million easy. There was nothing but open fields and county roads infront of the plane. He would have easily walked away and the plane probably would not have even been damaged.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  10. FlySince9

    FlySince9 En-Route

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    Also, for the new pilots; A good practice, when arriving at unfamiliar airports, is to check out the departure end of your landing runway for possible emergency landing areas. That way when you depart, you will already have some idea of the choices you will have if the engine quits. :blueplane:
     
  11. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    That's a good positive thought, but the fact is, at some fields, there are NO good options if it does happen. I know what I would do, but other than a night event where I might have a chance of putting down in an empty parking lot, I wouldn't expect to walk away. I'd also stand a very good chance of clipping a power line regardless of the time of day.

    Engine out on takeoff from VLL is my worst nightmare as a pilot. Much more so than engine out over open water because it's a LOT likelier.
     
  12. Jack Spectre

    Jack Spectre Line Up and Wait

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    Wow, that's a sobering video. It's amazing that we see the whole thing from beginning to end.

    Looks like when the engine quit, he cranked the yoke as hard as he could. It must be an intense temptation to do so.

    During training we had to recite the rules for turning back.

    0-50', back on the runway.

    50'-500', Straight ahead

    500'-1000', 90º either side MAX

    Over 1000', turn back to the airport if it's the best option. Some of the runways were pointing west towards sprawling hay fields.

    There's a video that shows a turn back at much lower than 1000' but that guy was lucky...it's a maneuver that should be practiced but nobody practices it.

    (I looked for and couldn't find the video...does anyone have a link? I think it's an RV and he just manages to get it back on the runway.)
     
  13. Larryo

    Larryo Pre-takeoff checklist

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    First, the idea of briefing every take off is spot on... have a plan.

    Second, if you're going to attempt a turn back of any kind, know the plane and practice the maneuver... and add a comfortable margin.
     
  14. TedR3

    TedR3 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    http://flash.aopa.org/asf/pilotstories/impossibleturn/
     
  15. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I attended an FAA seminar at OSH one year. It was awhile ago, but I think I remember an 80% fatality rate for take off engine out and attempting to turn back.

    Practice is one thing, you are ready for it. But still you have an engine idling. The real thing.... not so much. :nono:

    Several experienced RV drivers (one is a professional spray pilot) have practiced this maneuver for data on the RV. The minimum loss of altitude was 250' and he was ready for it. IMHO the average pilot would use 300' - 500' minimum if you don't stall. That was in an RV-6, single pilot, half fuel.

    The advice of the FAA safety presentation, and the RV pilots who practiced this was land straight ahead. The video is graphic support of that position. Your mileage and opinion may vary, but do you want to bet your life on it? Have a plan, stick with it. I'll buy the beer. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  16. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Lots of places, no good options. You head for the trees and try not to hit one with the cockpit. Other than that, Murphey rules. But you're far likelier to have a favorable outcome if you're guiding the airplane than if Murphey does, which is what happens if you try and make the turn without sufficient air speed. Must be the hardest thing imaginable if the event comes to pass, but we didn't start flying because it's easy.
     
  17. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The seminar the FAA put on was called "The Impossible Turn".


    There is a link to a PDF about 1/2 way down this article, and at the bottom of the page.

    http://www.maxtrescott.com/max_tres...ack-to-the-runway-or-land-straight-ahead.html


    The Impossible Turn
    "A long time ago, I read the FAA’s Impossible Turn safety brochure, which convinced me that the odds of making a successful return to the runway after a takeoff engine failure are stacked against pilots. A steep turn can increase the stall speed X 2".
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2012
  18. GCA319

    GCA319 Cleared for Takeoff

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    If any of you don't have the Proficient Flying DVD series by Barry Schiff, get it. I strongly reccomend it to my students (it won't get them through an FAA written, but it will give them some excellent pointers on how to safely fly an airplane) he goes into great detail on this particular subject among others.
     
  19. Tracey

    Tracey Line Up and Wait

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    This might be a stupid question-- did the plane stall? Technically, what happened?
     
  20. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Plane faw down, go boom!

    More technically, accelerated stall I believe. Wing tucked under and it was all over.
     
  21. rottydaddy

    rottydaddy En-Route

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    Just awful. :( Looks like a classic stall/spin. Almost did a full turn in the spin! Must have had a lot of left rudder still in there as the wing stalled; it rolled right over. It might have been more or less recoverable were it not for that... they'd have probably still hit the ground pretty hard, but belly or wingtip first, not nose first.

    Straight ahead, or turning back, or turning aside, you just have to dump the nose first. Not a lot, necessarily- just enough to keep flying as the airspeed drops from what is usually already a number closer to stall than cruise. If you're lucky enough to have more airspeed than you need when the engine quits on takeoff (and that would make you very lucky indeed), it might be OK to trade some of that for altitude, but I sure wouldn't try that while banking steeply. :no: This guy seemed to sort of tease it into the turn, still pulling for a climb with power, then started feeling desperate and just yanked and banked. He never really lowered the nose at all. Maybe it was just getting rough initially, but regardless, if you're gonna turn around, that means you've written off thrust, so you have to pitch for airspeed immediately, then turn as steeply as you can right away.

    It's never happened to me (yet, knock wood), but I'm pretty sure my glider "programming" will keep me from delaying that important first step if and when it does happen. We all hear a lot of talk about how gliders make "real stick'n'rudder flyers", etc... well, maybe not across the board, but definitely in this scenario. You can, flying power planes, hone all the same skills, but you usually don't have to in order to pass muster. The "impossible turn" is part of the glider PTS- you have to do it, not practice it with extra altitude. It's educational.

    Without the experience of doing the "impossible turn" from almost the bare minimum altitude,I can't honestly say I wouldn't do what this poor Mooney pilot did. Another carryover from the glider training is to visualize all this before the takeoff begins: wind direction dictates which way I will turn, and I say aloud and visualize the below-200 and above-200 scenarios. It's not a bad idea for power pilots to do the same, with altitude numbers appropriate for the aircraft. When taking off from an unfamiliar field, a wise pilot will have taken a look when approaching this field earlier, and thought about the possibility of having engine trouble on takeoff.

    The odds of button-hooking back safely from about 200 AGL are much better with a glider, but only, and I mean only if you get the nose down first... mostly because Step 2 is a 45-degree bank turn towards the runway, and a wing is a wing. Rudder coordination is essential throughout- you might misjudge your airspeed in that steep turn, and if a stall begins, you'd better not have a lot of inside rudder, even if you instantly change pitch to check the stall. The Mooney looks like it was quite a bit higher- maybe closer to the normal base-to-final turn altitude. It could have gone much better if he'd resisted the urge to try to force the airplane to gain more altitude when it was unable to do so. And without proper use of ailerons and rudder, even if he'd pushed to break the stall, he wouldn't have had much of a chance.
    I don't worry about landing downwind after a rope break... if I overshoot, so be it. Better to roll or slide into something at 10 mph than to hit the trees at 40 or 50... and even worse to spin in. All I care about is being pointed at open ground or a runway, at a speed between best glide and normal approach speed, after making a nice coordinated button hook with minimum altitude loss.But if the plan is to turn around, again, gaining altitude is just not something to think about. That'll just exacerbate the downwind problem, assuming you succeed (which is very unlikely).

    On tow, even during the initial climbout behind our "wimpy" 150hp Citabria, the gliders will be going at least 10mph faster than best glide speed... but if the rope breaks or you have to release, that airspeed bleeds off quickly. It's a lot like losing thrust in a power plane. A of A is usually lower than that of the tow plane, but still high enough that an immediate pitch change is vital.

    Below 200 AGL, it's straight ahead or slightly to one side, but again, Step 1 is to get some more airspeed by lowering the nose. The danger is not just stalling; getting below Vbg before you are aimed for the intended spot could seriously spoil your chances of making a reasonably safe arrival. Most times, if you are landing off-airport straight ahead right after takeoff, you're going upwind... so you have to at least get to Vbg right away, to get the most out of the situation. Since a wing is a wing, all of the above applies to any fixed-wing. I guess for rotary wings, the equivalent is to keep up the rotor speed if power is lost.
     
  22. GCA319

    GCA319 Cleared for Takeoff

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    It all just depends on altitude and bank angle. Obviously 500' is not going to be enough and you should look for something more or less straight ahead, but atleast 1000' + is where you can start thinking about a return depending on the airplane (then again, if there's a nice smooth landing surface straight ahead, I just might go for that regardless of my altitude). You also have to consider bank angle. We all know that a moderate 30 degree bank is going to give us a very wide radius and a steep 60 degree+ bank is going to greatly increase our stall speed, so we should probably use something like a 45 degree bank so we can reep the benefits of a tighter radius, but not be at such a high risk of a stall/spin type accident. Also remember that in order to return to the runway, you will likely need to turn more than 180 degrees to make the runway.

    All this said, always remember that a low energy impact into trees or onto a rough surface is likely surviveable, but an inadvertant spin close to the ground is never surviveable. And screw saving the airplane-that's what insurance is for. Do what you have to do to keep yourself alive.
     
  23. Geico266

    Geico266 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Never a stupid question, actually, I am very glad you saw this thread. Please never for get it. ;)

    The plane flips over because one wing is still flying (has lift) and the other is stalled (no lift). The inside (the turn) wing is moving slower than the outside wing and stalled, causing the outside wing to rise. It flips over and crashes with no altitude to recover.

    This is the danger of base to final turn also. Airspeed is everything. :D
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  24. Ken Ibold

    Ken Ibold Final Approach

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    That's a total BS made up statistic. Engine quits and you DO make it back, how is that recorded? It's not, unless you've got a tower controller taking notes.

    The Impossible Turn is indeed possible. The minimum altitude depends on the wind, the airplane, the technique. It is a high-performance maneuver, and the penalty for not getting it right is quite severe. But it can, and has, been done successfully many times.
     
  25. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    The video looked like his first response was to drop the nose, but just as soon as it came down, he cranked in a lot of aileron and started pulling, lifting the nose and tightening the turn. Great way to bleed off a lot of airspeed.

    I'd guess he was 250' high. Does that seem about right? In most GA aircraft, that's a pretty awkward altitude for an engine failure on takeoff, unless the runway is super long. Not enough time for a restart. Not enough room to land on the runway. Not enough altitude or speed to perform the impossible turn.

    Pick the softest thing possible to hit and hope for the best.
     
  26. redtail

    redtail En-Route

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    Excellent series!
     
  27. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The trouble with a rule like that is that altitude alone doesn't tell you whether it is possible to glide back to the airport.
     
  28. cleared4theoption

    cleared4theoption Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I didn't see much nose down at all in that clip...maybe a slight decrease in back pressure, but the nose never even made the horizon before he cranked the yoke to the left. Tragic.
     
  29. Mattl

    Mattl Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This has been a very informative thread, thank you to everyone that has contributed.

    This quote reminded me of something that I learned when starting to ride motorcycles. (Disclaimer: I cant cite a source other than from the instructor of the class I took)There are a large number of riders who crash their bikes, are not hurt yet end up getting severely injured or killed, while disoriented, running out in to traffic to check on their bike and in the process getting struck by a car.

    I've thought a lot about how, and what I would do in the situation. If the x fails and I have an certain forced landing, all the plane is to me at that point is scrap metal with two purposes- 1) to keep those on the ground safe, and 2) to keep my px and myself safe. Once that is 100% confirmed, then and only then I'll try to not bend the plane in the process.

    And thanks for the comment to brief every takeoff. It's in the back of my mind, and at my home field I have developed my plan, but at remote fields, not so much. (However the unforgiving if you don't execute perfect turn, is not in the thought process. You guys have added another level of safety to my flying.
     
  30. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Actually, it is not. The idea that takeoff is the most common time to lose an engine is an OWT. The most common time to lose an engine is at cruise. So if you cruise a lot over open water then that is the most common time for you.
     
  31. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    You need to try it in your airplane and find out for yourself. I know in a 172 at 600', I turn back. Tried the return in the Luscombe last weekend. The Luscombe is 65 hp so climb is 500 fpm max and the glide ratio ain't so hot.

    Try # 1. After some practice down the runway, I clear the departure end low, climbed to 500', pulled the power and hiked it around at best glide and 45 degrees. No way I was going to make the field because the late departure and crappy climb had put me pretty far out.

    Try # 2. Normal takeoff, same climb, pulled power, same return, made it back no problem.

    Lesson learned: If you use all available runway and make every take-off a short field takeoff, you maximize your chance of making it back from your target altitude.
     
  32. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    RIP. Hurts to watch it. Looks like an accelerated stall. Bank maybe 75 degrees and nowhere near enough speed for that. Stall speed 2x or better.

    [​IMG]
     
  33. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Probably so, because most engine hours are spent in cruise. But very little of my cruising is done over open water. I cross open water maybe 4-5 times per year for a total of maybe an hour spent out of glide distance from shore. I do a lot of TOL practice out of my home field, spending perhaps 10 times that amount of time in the pattern. On the basis of exposure alone, if my engine quits it's quite a bit likelier to happen in the pattern at home base than over water.

    If you mean that the engine is likelier to quit a cruise power on a per-cycle or per hour basis, do you have a reference? That would surprise me, since stresses on the engine are a lot greater when it's putting out full power.
     
  34. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    No, the former. The reference is a Lycoming newsletter (Flyers?) column. I posted it in another thread but I will see if I can find it for you. So yes, if you, like me, spend the majority of time in the pattern then that is where you will likely experience an engine failure if you ever do (knock on wood).

    edit: See page 31:
    http://www.lycoming.com/support/tips-advice/key-reprints/pdfs/Key Operations.pdf
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  35. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    If the probability per hour of engine out is the same in cruise as at high power then I'm still more likelier to lose the engine in cruise vs. in the pattern -- I don't spend THAT much time in the pattern and most of my flights are still cross country. I was only comparing takeoff vs over water.

    But to be honest I was really thinking pattern vs over water. Maybe if I compare only the time during which I'd have no chance of making the runway on climbout instead of in the pattern, it comes out more even. I've never actually timed my climbouts, though they SEEM to take forever in the Cardinal.

    edit: Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2012
  36. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    From the way the airplane entered the spin it's pretty obvious that the pilot was skidding the turn. Jesse and others have harped multiple times on the difference between skidding and slipping into a stall and this video is a pretty graphic (and realistic) demonstration of what happens if you skid a turn and stall. As others have indicated the stall itself was likely due to a combination of the pilot reacting to his view of terra firma filling the windshield and failing to appreciate that his bank angle dictated a higher stall speed than he was used to. That same view likely precipitated the application of bottom rudder which led to the spin. Had the pilot maintained coordination he would have had a very good chance for recovering from a stall although that assumes he was able to overcome a serious case of ground shyness in a big hurry but once the airplane made the first quarter turn in the spin his fate was sealed.

    I remain convinced that a competent pilot who has practiced this maneuver enough to become comfortable making steep banks near the ground (and there's a pretty valid argument against practicing this for safety reasons) should be able to survive the attempt providing that he's willing and ready to abandon the turn and put the airplane on the ground wings level once it becomes apparent that insufficient altitude remains to complete the turn. But it's equally clear to me that if the initial altitude is low enough that all maneuvering cannot be completed above 300-500 AGL, very few if any pilots who haven't flown low level aerobatics can pull it off successfully (where success is defined as being able to crawl out of the wreck or better).
     
  37. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    I can't tell if he is skidding. Maybe a bit but I think he is mostly trying to make it around with aileron, which is what he should be doing if he should be trying that at all (big IF). He looks like he drops the nose a bit around 0:13 and started his turn but he certainly did not drop it enough to support that steep bank, wouldn't you say? Factor in the overbanking tendency at those angles and his hesitancy to drop the nose enough and it a recipe for an accelerated stall. Certainly, in that stall, we would expect the slow wing to stall first and the entry to look similar to a cross-controlled stall-spin, no? But I do not think that is what we are looking at. I think it is a "simple" accelerated stall.
     
  38. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think that what you're seeing as "overbanking" is actually the beginning of the spin. Right around 0:18 you can tell that a constant bank (looks like about 45°) was held while the turn rate continues to increase and immediately after that the nose drops along with the left wing. This is exactly what a skidding turn to spin looks like. If the plane were coordinated when the stall occurred the nose would drop away from the camera.
     
  39. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Yeah, I looked it over again and tend to agree that that high bank is the spin entry. Also at around that point, the airplane seems to be showing a lot of in-spin yaw.

    For better or worse, I routinely practice the 'impossible turn" starting at 500 - 600 feet. I know some don't like to see that but I do not see it as much different than any other turn. I turn base - final at up to 45 degrees sometimes also, especially if I have a tailwind on base. What I never do is skid in a low turn (or any turn for that matter).
     
  40. Morne

    Morne Line Up and Wait

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    Morne
    I only half agree. A proper short field takeoff includes both holding the brakes until full power develops and flaps. This gets you off the ground sooner but actually results in a slower climb. By 50' AGL any edge gained by the flap's lift is lost due to the added drag.

    Thus, when taking off from a typical runway (not a short field) I hold brakes until full power develops without flaps. That way I get to Vy and climb as quickly as possible.

    I am a big believer in using the whole runway. My home field has a taxiway going into the middle of the runway with enough room for me to take off to the east. Yet I still back taxi my 182 all the way down to the numbers before I go. It is a little thing, but why tempt fate?

    YMMV