From time to time on dual flights, the instructor should give simulated forced landings by retarding the throttle and calling "Simulated Forced Landing." The objective of these simulated forced landings is to develop the pilot's accuracy, judgment, planning, technique, and confidence when little or no power is available.
A simulated forced landing may be given with the airplane
in any configuration. When the instructor calls "simulated forced landing"
the pilot should immediately establish a glide attitude and ensure that
the landing gear and flaps are retracted (if so equipped). If the airspeed
is above the proper glide speed, altitude should be maintained (while retracting
the landing gear and flaps), and the airspeed allowed to dissipate to best
glide speed. When the proper glide speed is attained, the nose should then
be lowered to maintain that speed and the cockpit procedures performed
during the glide.
|A constant gliding speed should be maintained, because variations of
gliding speed nullify all attempts at accuracy in judgment of gliding distance
and the landing spot. The many variables such as altitude, obstruction,
wind direction, landing direction, landing surface and gradient, and landing
distance requirements of the airplane will determine the pattern and approach
techniques to use.
Utilizing any combination of normal gliding maneuvers, from wings level to spirals, the pilot should eventually arrive at the normal "key" position at a normal traffic pattern altitude for the selected landing area. From this point on, the approach will be as nearly as possible a normal power off approach (Fig. 9-21).
With the greater choice of fields afforded by higher altitudes, the inexperienced pilot may be inclined to delay making a decision, and with considerable altitude in which to maneuver, errors in maneuvering and estimation of glide distance may develop.
All pilots should learn to determine the wind direction and estimate its speed from the windsock at the airport, smoke from factories or houses, dust, brush fires, windmills, etc., and should constantly check against these while in flight.
Once a field has been selected, the student pilot should always be required to indicate it to the instructor. Normally, the student should be required to plan and fly a pattern for landing on the field first elected until the simulated forced landing is terminated by the instructor. This will give the instructor an opportunity to explain and correct any errors; it will also give the student an opportunity to see the results of the errors. However, if the student realizes during the approach that a poor field has been selected - one that would obviously result in disaster if a landing were to be made - and there is a more advantageous field within gliding distance, a change to the better field should be permitted. The hazards involved in these last minute decisions, such as excessive maneuvering at very low altitudes, should be thoroughly explained by the instructor.
Slipping the airplane, using flaps, varying the position of the base leg, and varying the turn onto final approach should be stressed as ways of correcting for misjudgment of altitude and glide angle.
Eagerness to get down is one of the most common faults of inexperienced pilots during simulated forced landings. In giving way to this, they forget about speed and arrive at the edge of the field with too much speed to permit a safe landing. Too much speed may be just as dangerous as too little; it results in excessive floating and overshooting the desired landing spot. It should be impressed on the students that they cannot dive at a field and expect to land on it, particularly with today's sleek, modern airplanes.
During all simulated forced landings, the instructor should control the throttle, ensure that the engine is kept warm and cleared, and advance the throttle when the simulated forced landing approach is ended. When the throttle is reopened by the instructor after the termination of the approach, no doubt should exist in the student's mind as to who has control of the airplane. Either the instructor or the student should have complete control, since many near accidents have occurred from such misunderstandings.
Every simulated forced landing approach should be terminated
as soon as it can be determined whether a safe landing could have been
made. However, in no case should it be continued to a point where it creates
an undue hazard or an annoyance to persons or property on the ground. NOTE:
Regulations state that aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet
to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.
|In addition to flying the airplane from the point of simulated
engine failure to where a reasonable safe landing could be made, the student
should also be taught certain emergency cockpit procedures. The habit of
performing these cockpit procedures should be developed to such an extent
that, when an engine failure actually occurs, the students will check the
critical items that would be necessary to get the engine operating again
while selecting a field and planning an approach. Combining the two operations
- accomplishing emergency procedures and planning and flying the approach
- will be difficult for the student during the early training in forced
There are definite steps and procedures to be followed in a simulated forced landing. Although these may differ somewhat from the procedures used in an actual emergency, they should be learned thoroughly by the student, and each step called out to the instructor. The use of a checklist is strongly recommended. Most airplane manufacturers provide a checklist of the appropriate items (Fig. 9-22).
: EMERGENCY PROCEDURES :
: Engine Failure :
: Airspeed - Glide :
: Fuel selector - fullest tank :
: Fuel pump - ON :
: Mixture - RICH :
: Carb heat - ON :
: Magneto switch - BOTH :
: Flaps - UP :
: Gear - UP :
: Seat belts - fastened :
: EMERGENCY LANDING :
Fig. 9-22 Check the Critical Items
|Critical items to be checked should include the position of the fuel
tank selector, the quantity of fuel in the tank selected, the fuel pressure
gauge to see if the electric fuel pump is needed, the position of the mixture
control, the position of the magneto switch, and the use of carburetor
heat Fig. 9-23).
Many actual forced landings have been made and later found to be the result of the fuel selector valve being positioned to an empty tank while the other tank had plenty of fuel. It may be wise to change the position of the fuel selector valve even though the fuel gauge indicates fuel in all tanks, as fuel gauges have been known to be inaccurate. No doubt many actual forced landings could have been prevented if the pilots had developed the habit of checking these critical items during their flight training to the extent that it carried over into their later flying.
Instruction in emergency procedures should by no means be limited to simulated forced landings caused by power failures. Other emergencies associated with the operation of the airplane should be explained, demonstrated, and practiced if practicable. Among these emergencies are such occurrences as fire in flight, electrical or hydraulic systems malfunctions,