Tuesday, May 12, 2009
First 500 Feet, Part I: Engine Failure!
What to do when the worst thing happens at the worst moment
Every single time the throttle goes forward, author Budd Davisson asks himself, “What if it quits now?” until he’s on the downwind leg and safe.
Next, to convince yourself that the POH glide speed is the right number, try the same thing 5 mph faster—then 5 mph slower. You’ll see that it takes more altitude to make the turn if you’re on either side of the POH speed.
Once you decide how much altitude it takes to get turned around, promise yourself two things: First, you’re not going to try it unless you have at least twice that altitude to make up for adrenaline-induced flying errors; second, you’re not going to try it regardless.
Also, don’t forget the distance to the runway—you may get turned around and still not be able to reach it. The more wind there is on takeoff, the better your chances, but it’s a gamble you probably shouldn’t take.
In urban areas, notice the way housing developments are designed. As a normal rule, developments are built in big squares with lines of houses within the square facing one another. Those houses are on interior roads and have a lot of cars parked in front of them. The individual developments are bordered by low-traffic connecting roads that seldom have cars parked on them, making them preferable for emergency landings.
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Labels: Decision Making, Flight Hazards, Flying Skills, Learn To Fly, Learning Center, Navigation, Pilot Skills, Safety, Takeoffs and Landings