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Kent Ashton

Engine out landings

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Can you do this?:  On downwind, or just anywhere around the airport, pull the throttle to idle and land around the 500' mark at a normal 65 KIAS or so without touching the power.   I can usually do that 8 out of 10 times.  It's not easy to do in a canard.  I did it once for real when my idle mixture was not adjusted correctly.  If you want to practice that, here are some things to think about.

- You must know the pitch picture to hold best glide speed of about 80 KIAS.  In these airplanes, a second's inattention to pitch will get you 95-100 KIAS which is difficult to get rid of.  You must be able to hold 80 KIAS while maneuvering the airplane.

-You need to be comfortable with a full rudder slip and know how much you can widen a base to lose unwanted altitude or speed or feel comfortable with a tight base low to the ground.

-You must fly aggressively,  Often I have had new pilots fly the airplane into a bad simulated landing because they did not take aggressive action to slip, widen a base, or cut off a base to achieve a touchdown at reasonable speed near the numbers.   It was like they just flew their normal pattern and hoped it would work.  Not good enough.

- As you aim for the 500' point, you must always remember that in a real engine-out situation, you should normally be aiming 1/3 down the landing zone.

-You must know the winds and allow for them in the pattern.  Winds make a huge difference.  One technique is to imagine how far the wind would blow you in the time it takes to fly a pattern and start with your touchdown aimpoint that distance upwind.  As you get closer your imagined TD point moves back towards the real TD point but especially as you roll out on final flying into the wind, you must account for the amount of headwind tending to land you short.

- You must be ready to say "This ain't going to work" and abandon an approach for a better alternative.   A few years ago I helped investigate an accident nearby where Velocity pilots flew their airplane from downwind into a lone grove of trees that killed one of them.  (pic) They should have recognized early that getting to the runway "ain't gonna work".  Possibly they could have crashed in the open field and lived.  

At my airport, I have some references I like to use for testing my proficiency.  There is a taxiway 2200' down; it's tough to make that one.  There is a fence off to the side 2900' down.  If I can't stop by that one, I go home depressed.  ?

It is said "Get to the ground in control and don't hit anything heavier than your airplane.  You will usually survive the accident."    "In control" also means "at reasonable speed".  Anyone can fly a Cozy into a 110 KIAS touchdown.  That ain't gonna work.

I would be interested in how many active canard fliers practice this.

Lex.jpg


-Kent
Cozy IV N13AM-750 hrs, Long-EZ-85 hrs and sold

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33 minutes ago, Kent Ashton said:

Can you do this?...

 ... A few years ago I helped investigate an accident nearby where Velocity pilots flew their airplane from downwind into a lone grove of trees that killed one of them.  (pic) They should have recognized early that getting to the runway "ain't gonna work".  Possibly they could have crashed in the open field and lived.

I would be interested in how many active canard fliers practice this.

So I generally chop the power about midfield downwind, so all of my landings are "engine out", with idle thrust only. About 90% of the time I don't have to add power. My MO is to always be high and have a lot of excess energy - it's easy to get rid of with LB, rudders and slips.

The accident you reference was a COZY MKIV (N795DB), not a Velocity, and the judgement errors there were many. Poor fuel management, WAY too wide on downwind, and trying to stretch the glide when a perfectly good field was right there - I think that it was way more than "possibly".

Along with engineless landings, folks need to practice engine loss on takeoff - that's an eye opener, as was discussed on the mailing list 8 - 9 months ago.

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I also prefer -where possible- to fly a power-off approach from downwind. It offers an almost sure glide to the runway, is faster, more fun, and uses less fuel to boot! And most of my flying is in spam cans, it still works fine, it just doesn't take as long! Actually, some types I have flown glide more like a Space Shuttle than a Cozy, and any opposing wind on base will put you short unless you fly a very tight circuit (which was typically not possible at the busy controlled airport I was operating from at the time).

Of course, doing this you quickly good get at correctly spacing your downwind, timing, and energy management. It seems common, especially in low-time pilots, to fly A380 sized circuits. No way you are going to make the runway from almost any point on that pattern!!

 

Similar deal flying cross-country. I always have a landing strategy. It can be quite difficult over here in NZ, as most of the country is considered mountainous, and there are few runways! There are a lot of ag-plane strips on hillsides if you know how to spot them - not an ideal location obviously, but the steep uphill grade will slow you down fast if you don't misjudge the approach. Otherwise, there are usually flat-ish streams and riverbeds in valleys... :blink: I prefer to fly high for more options, which will work well for low-drag types like canards.

 

I have only flown a handful of times in the last 8-9 years (change of career) but fly my desktop simulator every day (working with desktop sims is my new 'career'). Each time I have flown since (VFR and IFR) has gone really well, even greasing the landings despite the years between real flights. A good sim, while never as good as the real thing, can be very useful for maintaining skills and practicing procedures (normal and emergency) if used appropriately.

It might be interesting to obtain a damaged or retired canard and set it up as a ground-based sim. Does anyone think there could be value in that? 

Edited by Voidhawk9

Aerocanard (modified) SN:ACPB-0226 (Chapter 8)

Canardspeed.com (my build log and more; usually lags behind actual progress)
Flight simulator (X-plane) flight model master: X-Aerodynamics

(GMT+12)

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