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Handling Engine Failures
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Emergency Landings; An Emergency Cause Found; Engine Failure on Takeoff; Mechanical Engine Failure;. Other Engine Failures (Instructor); Dealing with Engine Failure; Fire; ...Fire Situations; PTS Emergency Descent; ...En route Engine Failure; Soft Field Landing; Ditching; ...Water Survival; ... Fatigue; Control Failure; ...Birds; ...Foreign Object Damage (FOD); Wildlife; Passenger Emergency Checklist; Starting with a Low Battery; Avoiding Hot Start Situations; ...Better Starter; ...Hot Starts with Fuel Injected Continentals; ...Lycoming Fuel Injection System; ....
Canceling the flight makes the premiere example of a safe emergency landing. The next best is a precautionary landing made while you still have visibility, fuel, and an engine. This precautionary landing at least gives you choices that might otherwise be unavailable.
Planning your flight as an airport vicinity route is a part of every emergency preparation. You want to know where the airports are. Make your arrival at an emergency field/airport on as nearly a normal at-the-numbers position as you can. Avoid the tendency to stay too close or high.
(Letter to AOPA Pilot magazine
Re: "Practice Makes Perfect article" by Marc E. Cook
I have always upgraded your title to, "It takes practice of the right kind, makes perfect." In August of 1981 while on my way to Oshkosh I had a similar engine failure in a C-150. Until reading the analysis of probable cause in the Tri-Pacer, I have had no idea as to what could have initiated the failure and how my illogical last-resort action restarted the engine.
My tendency is to make a short story long, so bear with me. A few years prior to the incident my family and I were returning from a B-29 reunion in Kentucky. We were unexpectedly surrounded by thunderstorms and took ATC direction into the Virburnnum, Missouri airport. Virburnnum is southwest of St Louis. Absolutely nothing there. A helpful passerby rendered us aid.
I was returning to render additional thanks when I landed once again at Virburnnum. Unable to locate our Samaritan, I departed toward Illinois. On takeoff, at 800' the engine quit cold. No time for much except to look for the best spot to land and prepare for the crash. Got best glide toward the 60' dogwood trees with no roads or openings in sight except a lead-mine leach pond. Ran through restart, cracked the doors, tightened harness, pulled the mixture not quite all the way out, and was about to put in flaps when the engine started and continued to run.
I have always taught my students that, given a choice, between being a good pilot and a lucky pilot, take lucky. In over 9000 hours this was my first and only engine failure event. For all these years, at various times I have discussed what happened seeking both a cause and effect answer from knowledgeable aviators without success. Reading your article of engine failure probable cause and my admission of running out of options when I pulled the mixture finally provided me with the probable answer.
Now, I do believe I have the answers. Just shows how all things have solutions if you just live long enough to find them. Thanks!
Failure on Takeoff (Instructor)
Do engine failures happen? Yes! Can you prevent them from happening? Yes, but not every one. You must have pre-planned your options before you enter the plane. Your best option will be the one selected before the problem occurs. Think on it. When in doubt (no pre-plan option selected), land straight ahead with limited turns to avoid obstacles. The worst thing that can happen during an emergency is to have the engine make an unexpected recovery to full power when you have trimmed for nearly full nose up slow flight. Depending on the aircraft, you may not be able to override the control pressures sufficiently to prevent a stall. Once you are committed to an off-airport landing make sure it won't fire up again on you. Pull the mixture. Turn off the magnetos.
The standard emergency for engine failure on takeoff is to land ahead into the wind. Make no more than 30 degrees of heading change to locate the best landing place. Landing into a 10-kt wind at a full flap stall speed of 35 kts gives you a survivable ground contact speed of 25 kts. However, there is another option possible if sufficient altitude has been gained before failure. (A good reason to always takeoff and climb at best rate, Vy) To determine this altitude it is necessary to practice at altitude. At 3000' on a North heading, simulate engine failure and have the student execute a right turn in a 30-degree bank to 240 degrees. Note the altitude loss. Do the same 240-degree turn to the left. Note the altitude loss. Now do both turns with 45 to 60 degree banks. Note altitude lost. Add 50% to the altitudes as a fudge factor for actual use.
From these turns you should decide that the steep turn loses the least altitude. Having determined this we now can add some factors for returning to a runway. If there is any crosswind always make the turn into the wind since it will bring you back to the runway and reduce the amount of turn required. If there are parallel runways turn to the parallel since only 180 degrees of turn will be needed. Crossing runways may even need less turn. If the tailwind is 10 kts it will double the required runway for landing.
There is a minimum safe altitude for return to the runway.
The turn requires knowledge of runway length, wind direction,
controllable bank angle and amount of turn, stall/bank speeds,
personal competence and the pre-planned turn. To obtain this
information you must simulate the situation at a safe altitude.
Later the procedure might be performed at a lower but safe altitude
to confirm feasibility. Do what it takes to guarantee that the
airplane will touch down in a normal attitude under control.
You should have pre-planned on every takeoff the possibility of some degree of engine problem up to total failure. Based on the degree of malfunction you have already decided what you will do. Or have you? What if full throttle gives only reduced RPM? What if you have unexpected engine noise? What if the engine quits before rotation? What if it quits after liftoff? What if it quits over the departure end of the runway? What if it quits at 200, 300 or 400 feet? At what altitude would you attempt to turn to an intersecting taxiway or runway? At what altitude can you expect to make it back to the departure runway?
Every time you fly to a strange airport it would make your departure somewhat safer if you were to overfly in such a manner as to get a look off the departure end for safe off-airport landing areas. Knowing that you have planned ahead will give you just that much more intellectual and emotional capacity to retain control of the aircraft.
I have 'pre-planned' that I could return to an intersecting runway from 600'. Any lower than that I will make slight turns ahead to the best available terrain. I have thought about it ahead of time, and planned what my options are. If I can lift off in a thousand feet and get to 200' in less than thirty seconds, I will need at least 2000' of runway + overrun ahead of me to land. You can flight test this on an 8000' runway with little difficulty. Stockton, Castle, and Mather come to mind. All are former military runways.
Take off and initial climb are the most difficult operating times on an engine. Keep the oil clean. Never use anything made for automobiles. Avoid sudden changes in power. Avoid shock cooling. Symptoms of a maintenance problem would be a rough engine on initial start (sticking valves), Oil or soot in the exhaust, intermittent abnormalities, oil anywhere, excessive oil consumption.
One out of every 20 reportable accidents involves an engine problem on takeoff. Poor maintenance, cockpit management, operating technique or decision-making was a factor. Power reduction was involved in only 4 of 273 accidents.
Fuel problems score #1 as a factor 32% of the time. 10% of failure accidents had induction system problem as cause. This would include Carburetor Heat and air filter problems. 20% of the engine failure accidents were caused by a mechanical problem. In almost all cases deficiencies existed in maintenance or operating technique. Propellers were involved in only 3 out of 273 accidents.
A rapid and total loss of engine oil in flight is indicated by a loss of oil pressure WITHOUT an increase in oil temperature since there will be no oil in the vicinity of the oil temperature probe
One cause of engine failure is due to the failure of some engine component. The other three reasons involve loss of spark, air, or fuel. Ignition failure is seldom total because of duplications in the system. Lack of air is most common due to induction or carburetor icing. Proper fuel management most easily avoids the most common cause of engine failure. Fuel starvation is when fuel is available but not getting to the engine. Fuel exhaustion is when you are out of fuel.
Lycoming makes engines that may be equipped with a single
drive shaft for both magnetos. I have known this shaft to break
and immediately stop the engine. The duality of the magnetos
is useless in this event. Seems to me that the electronic ignition
would be a viable consideration.
An aircraft is most likely to have a component failure during the takeoff and landing process. The use of maximum power and power changes seem to precipitate failures. Rapid power changes can cause a pre-existing component weakness to reach the point of failure.
Either can be prevented by:
--Crew will determine fuel quantity, type, and quality.
--Depart ramp on fullest tank or both.
--Confirm both by feel and visually any fuel selector indent setting.
--Find out what a selector does in other positions on the ground.
--Select new tanks only in vicinity of airports.
Use chart to note places of fuel tank changes.
Engine Failures (Instructor)
Excessive in flight idling of the engine will cause the engine to cool to the point that fuel may not vaporize in the carburetor. This drastically leans the mixture and can fail the engine. A sudden throttle movement may make the problem worse. Precautions are to make ground check of idling setting, avoid abrupt throttle movements at all times. Keep the engine warm during glides by frequently opening the throttle for a few seconds.
The essential element of any engine failure is the amount of time you have remaining in the air. You must have a prepared plan to use and a checklist to make sure you follow the plan. The quickest emergency checklist utilizes the cross panel flow. This must be adjusted to each cockpit and aircraft type. The flow of one instrument panel will seldom work on another panel. The flow lets you complete the task flow quickly and even more quickly confirm completion by reference to the checklist.
Weather and its unpredictability is one major area where a pilot's lack of knowledge and proficiency is apt to cause trouble. Typical decisions that cause this difficulty are. "I'll take a look, and then decide type of flight". Trying to climb over or around building clouds. Trying to sneak under or around weather. You may get lucky but just, as likely you will run out of options. The true saying is, "It is better to be down here and wishing you were up there than to be up there wishing you were down here". Never fly into deteriorating weather conditions.
You will never be prepared for an engine failure. An engine failure will never occur at an appropriate time. It takes a minimum of four (4) seconds to become aware that the engine has failed and to wish that it hadn't happened. Don't do anything.
Get the (# 1) checklist and use it. The pilot who does not have an emergency checklist immediately at hand often becomes just a passenger on the way to the ground.
You must know your aircraft speeds and just to be sure have them on your basic emergency checklist in different colors for the aircraft you fly. There are several engine-out glide speeds. The best glide speed is a lift/drag ratio for best distance. This is between Vx and Vy but will vary by weight. Adding 1/3 of headwind velocity to best glide speed give a penetration glide speed for best distance. The minimum sink speed keeps you in the air the longest.
(# 2) Select a speed and trim for it. Gain any altitude you can with excess speed.
(# 3) Turn to your choice of field based on wind direction. If at high altitude turn toward lower elevations and make your choice at about 3000' AGL (above ground level).
(# 4) Go through your engine restart procedure but first undo the last thing you did to engine operation before it failed. Check fuel, ignition and air to the engine. All three are necessary but the fuel system is most likely to fail. Magneto switch is the only ignition element available to the pilot. Throttle and carburetor heat are the air controls for the engine.
Engine restart checklists begin with the fuel selector, to the mixture and gauges. Then right to left the flow goes from carburetor heat to magnetos, to primer. (See below) Practice until you can hit each item with your eyes closed. Then confirm that all items have been completed.
After you have done all the normal things start being creative. (I once had an engine malfunction (failure at 800' over the dense woods of the Arkansas. Pulling the mixture out about two inches caused the engine to begin running again.) Don't expect what you do to make sense but if it works don't ask why until Sunday. Consider that a primer that has worked loose can cause a rough engine. A partially open primer allows raw fuel to get into the engine intake without atomizing as required for proper combustion.
(# 5) Prepare the cockpit and yourself for the inevitable. Tighten, pad, and protect as best you can. Seats belts and doors.
(# 6) Use your radio
(# 7) Make your landing crash as slow and as controlled as possible. Fly the airplane. Deceleration impacts increase as the square of the speed. Impact forces at 60 kts are four times those at 30 kts. The cockpit will remain intact to 9-Gs. At 45 kts only 9.4 feet of deceleration will bring you to a stop. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to keep you and yours from rattling around inside the cage. (# 8) Prevent fire by shutting off fuel and electricity. When everything stops moving, get out.
The vast majority of engine failures never make Eyewitness News because a successful emergency landing is non-news. Only one out of every seventeen emergency landings results in a fatality. Most pilots will never experience such an emergency in their lifetime.
Engine Failure (Instructor)
Dealing with an engine failure depends on a series of factors, pilot competence, type of aircraft, extent of failure, type of failure, altitude, and general weather/surface conditions. Focus must be on keeping the aircraft aloft and under control. The more altitude the more options you have in acquiring assistance. Emergency checklist is the essential safety aid to be consulted as to what to do.
Apply carburetor heat, open alternate air, switch tanks, turn on fuel pump, check primer pump, select magneto, even moderate vibration calls for immediate shutdown.
The standard emergency for engine failure on takeoff is to land ahead into the wind. Make no more than 30 degrees of heading change to locate the best landing place. An emergency landing into a 10 kt wind at a full flap stall speed of 35 kts gives you a survivable ground contact speed of 25 kts. However, there is another option possible if sufficient altitude has been gained before failure. (A good reason to always takeoff and climb at best rate, Vy) To determine this altitude it is necessary to practice at altitude. At 3000' on a North heading, simulate engine failure and have the student execute a right turn in a 30-degree bank to 240 degrees. Note the altitude loss. Do the same 240-degree turn to the left. Note the altitude loss. Now do both turns with 45 to 60 degree banks. Note altitude lost. Add 50% to the altitudes as a fudge factor for actual use.
From these turns you should decide that the steep turn loses the least altitude. Having determined this we now can add some factors for returning to a runway. If there is any crosswind always make the turn into the wind since it will bring you back to the runway. If there are parallel runways turn to the parallel since only 180 degrees of turn will be needed. Crossing runways may even need less turn. If the tailwind is 10-kts it will double the required runway for landing.
Best glide is when parasitic drag and induced drag are the least. Induced drag decreases with airspeed, and is highest at low speeds as in slow flight. The best glide always occurs at the Angle of Attack that represents the best lift over drag ratio. This angle of attack is a constant, no matter how the aircraft is loaded.
By moving the CG aft, range) is increased, but glide is decreased. This means less downward lift required to counteract the CG and less load factor on the wings. The result is a lower angle of attack needed to maintain straight and level flight. The lower angle of attack allows airspeed to increase. With a faster airspeed we get an exponential rise in parasitic drag. This parasitic drag kills your glide.
At any AOA there's a parasitic drag, and an induced drag contribution to the total drag coefficient. Since the AOA is fixed at best glide, so, also, is the lift coefficient. There is only one factor that we can vary to adjust the lift to match any change in effective weight, the speed. Moving the CG aft, you reduce the second contribution, but leave the first unchanged. Whatever AOA, speed or lift coefficient you fly at, the overall drag coefficient is lower with an aft CG. If you fly the speed that gave best glide for the forward CG, you'll still get a better glide ratio with the aft CG. By flying a little slower you can get an even better glide ratio.
If the effective weight of the aircraft is decreased, while the angle of attack remains the same then the speed for that specific angle of attack must decrease. If the weight increases then the speed must increase to hold that most efficient L/D angle of attack. Adding ballast to a glider increases the penetration capability. The glide angle remains the same, but the speed to obtain that best glide angle increases with the weight. Your "glide angle" remains unchanged since as the weight increases your sink rate increases. Distance covered increases by exactly the same ratio.
Conventional aircraft carry a download on the tail for stability. Moving the CG moves aft reduces the download. This reduction in download acts like a decrease in weight. Since the download on the tail augments your pitch stability reduces your pitch stability margin. At some point the download reduction makes the aircraft difficult to fly. Approaching a stall quickly may make it impossible to get the nose to come back down.
--An airport near mountains
--Deficiency of RADAR coverage
--Limited terrain lighting on approach path
--Maintain terrain clearance altitudes
--Descend only on published routes
--Identify navaids before using
--Cross-check your position
--Night is the most dangerous time.
Most encounters with fire in aircraft end as non-events. Even the non-events would not happen if the pilot makes a no-go decision because of empty holes in the panel. Flying with a known deficiency is just looking for trouble. Preparing for an in-flight smoke/fire occasion should begin with carrying a handheld radio that will give you communications with the electrical system off. Having a small halogen extinguisher is additional insurance.
There are four kinds of aircraft fires, engine start, electrical, in-flight and post-crash. A different checklist is required for each type. In flight aircraft fires are far more rare than ground fires from engine starts. Next in frequency is an engine fire caused by failure of an engine compartment component. Insulation, adhesives and fabrics are the usual fuel once ignited by burning avgas and oil.
Basic fire procedure is to remove the source of combustion. In electrical fires you can shut down the master switch. Done quickly enough it may not have ignited other inflammables. Your best cockpit extinguisher is the Halogen 1211, which is soon to be unavailable.
Electrical fires have an acrid smell with possible white smoke. Begin by shutting everything off with the master. Then shut off all individual circuits. It may be better not to turn anything on but if conditions require, turn on the master and then re-energize each circuit one at a time in an effort to isolate the problem. Handheld radios and GPS become worth their weight and cost in this situation. Don't fly any longer than necessary.
Black smoke warns of oil while fuel makes orange flames. Respond to a fuel fire by pulling the mixture, shutting off the selector, and applying full throttle to use up the carburetor fuel. Shut off cabin heat. Point the nose to the ground and if possible get the flaps down so as to minimize your ground contact speed when you level out.
Post-crash fires are more dangerous than the crash itself. Most deaths come from some and carbon monoxide inhalation. Fill the cockpit with Halogen before exiting. Good maintenance is still the best fire insurance.
Fire in an aircraft will get your attention. Cut off the source of fuel be it gasoline or electricity. Be in an emergency descent configuration for as long as smoke exists. You must decide whether to dive or slip. The slip is most likely to keep the problem away from the cockpit but may take longer to lose altitude. Most engine fires occur on the ground in the winter. The engines are over-primed and a backfire can ignite excess fuel. Shut off the fuel via the mixture and the selector valve. Keep cranking the starter to suck the fire into the exhaust system and if the engine starts so much the better. Give maximum throttle to use up available fuel and perhaps blow out any existing flames. Radio for help and be prepared to bail out. Over-prime with the throttle is most likely to create the ground fire hazard.
Every second of the fire's existence is a prelude to disaster. In the event of a fire there is no time for a checklist. While there are more electrical fires than engine fires, more fatalities result from engine fires. A pilot trained for emergency situations will have a better chance of maintaining control of the aircraft.
Engine fires are mostly caused by exhaust system component failures. Cylinder failure runs second as a fire cause. Defective maintenance is third. Accident specialists find that the source of a fire is usually at the site of the last maintenance work. 20% of in-flight fires are due to maintenance. On average two in-flight fires occur every month. Less than five fire fatalities occur per year.
A small flight kit sized halogen extinguisher can still be obtained. Get one. Structural failure or pilot incapacitation is an imminent outcome of any fire that is not quickly put out. Get down making emergency descent with flaps down if possible. You will get down just as quickly. Otherwise slip as much as possible. Get the fire stopped by shutting off electric masters and fuel supply. Smoke can be removed from light planes by using cockpit and wing vents.
What To Do:
--Engine fire -- shut off fuel; full throttle
--Electrical fire -- shut off master, use extinguisher, ventilate
--Cabin fire -- ventilate, extinguish, use liquids
--Emergency descent flaps, slips as possible.
--Gear up/down, ditching decisions.
Fire is fueled in aircraft by either gasoline or electrical
energy. Black smoke usually indicates gasoline/oil and white
smoke + a distinctive odor is electrical. Most electrical fires
will die when the master switch is cut off. Fuel fires in the
engine compartment can be cut off by the mixture, fuel pump and
fuel cutoff valve. In any event get on the ground as soon as
Getting to the ground quickly and keeping the fire and smoke from the cockpit requires that an extreme nose high slip be set up. A descent rate of well over 1000-fpm can be achieved with full rudder application. IAS may be kept below 50 in this situation. Release rudder at the last moment and hold the aircraft off the ground to land as slow as possible. A deliberate groundloop will bring the aircraft to a quick but abrupt stop. Get your doors open before you land. This might well be something to practice at altitude with your instructor. Aircraft fires in flight are rare but they do happen.
An oil fire is more serious because you cannot shut off the source of fuel as you could with a gasoline fire. The engine compartment is probably the best engineered part of the aircraft. The firewall will contain the fire unless it gets around the nacelle or firewall. The most likely source of an engine fire is in the exhaust system and in old weakened fuel lines and hoses. The inability to make a preflight inspection of such weak areas is where you, the pilot, must put your trust in a maintenance program that includes periodic hose changes.
An exhaust leak will usually vent heat overboard with the cooling air. If an exhaust fire should occur, the heat can be reduced by enriching the mixture. A preferred option might be to pull the mixture to stop the engine. Once a gasket starts to leak it will only get worse. An oil leak is more likely to be in an area of low airflow.
Aircraft fires on the ground usually occur during the starting procedure. The use of excessive (4 pumps) throttle prime means that the carburetor bowl will overfill. The gasoline flows out the vent in the top, and accumulates at the air intake or elsewhere. As the starter turns the engine a slight backfire can ignite the fuel in the engine compartment. The instant smoke appears, pull the mixture, shutoff the fuel selector valve, continue to crank the engine. If the engine starts, apply full brakes and full power us speed consumption of gasoline in the carburetor. If the engine does not start, continue cranking since the vacuum formed by the pistons will draw flames up the exhaust and use up the fuel in the system by drawing it into the engine. Prepare to exit if this does not work. You might consider alerting ATC to send the airport fire crews. About 6% of all accidents involve in-flight fires. Age of the exhaust system and fuel system hoses is the greatest single cause.
Aircraft Fire Extinguisher
Use only a B-C type the A type corrodes aluminum.
--Start-up fire without engine running
Use starter to keep engine turning but shut off all fuel. Suction of pistons will draw fire into engine and exhaust system.
--Start-up fire with engine running
Full throttle and cut off all fuel sources. Uses up fuel and can blow out fire. Electrical off.
Electrical off, isolate cabin from engine compartment, extinguisher, land.
--Engine fire aloft
Mixture off, all fuel off, electrical off, flaps down, isolate cabin, emergency descent
Consider maxim performance slip or power dive to keep fire from cabin.
(No longer required but nice to know)
1. Fastest practical descent. within aircraft limitations
2. Clearing turns
3. Making 30-40 degree banks during descent will increase descent rate
4. Descend at structural cruise speed (yellow-green) or full flaps at top of white arc.
5. Divide attention and ignore distractions
7. End exercise when procedure is established to prevent shock cooling.
En route Engine Failure
4. Alternate Air
--Unplowed brown fields
--Dark brown (wet) fields
--Plowed and planted fields
Soft Field Landing
--Use power to control descent rate
--Steep approach to improve aim
--1.3 x Vref
--Land on mains only at minimum speed
--Power to keep nose off
An over water flight is any flight at which your altitude will not allow gliding distance to land. Don't involve yourself in an over water flight without at least a life vest. Wear your life vest because you won't have time to put it on in an emergency.
--Recognition that ditching is the only option.
Most vital item is to transmit your location. Include altitude, souls on board and any survival equipment. Open doors and have passengers remove headsets and position themselves with whatever will minimize impact shock.
Aim for the nearest land. This reduces any swim distance. The main change from any other landing is that you are going to get wet. If there is a current, land downstream. Otherwise, land into the wind and across visible swells. Circle to determine best arrival, altitude permitting. This may require compromise between swell and wind directions. Avoid landing across swells. Look for smooth areas.
Full flaps with high-wing planes. Retractables, gear up. Low-wing with flaps up. Avoid the absolute full stall landing. Wings parallel to swell surface. Windshield may collapse; aircraft may skip or flip. Remain in crash position until motion stops.
Getting out of the plane
Make your life vest as tight as you can before ditching. A loose vest will funnel water into your nose. Make sure passengers have re-fastened their seat harness. Keep your shoes on. Don't inflate a vest until free of the aircraft.
You may be able to exit low-wing on the wing. Get as far from aircraft as possible. You may not be able to open doors of high-wing until submerged. Don't undo harness until you are ready to leave with doors open. Take no more than three deep breaths before leaving. Avoid hyperventilating. Keep one hand gripping on something as a reference point in the cockpit. Now, release your belt. Once clear of the aircraft follow the bubbles. Don't re-enter aircraft, it will sink without warning.
Jerk lanyard to inflate life jacket. Hypothermia is biggest threat. The heavier your clothing the better. Avoid movement to conserve warmth. Try to signal.
Flying an airplane requires a fineness of coordination and concentration that is greatly reduced with the entry of fatigue. Fatigue reduces awareness. If things do not actually slow down, there is an apparent slowing of reaction and alertness. The situational awareness that should have existed in the flight planning begins to fade as fatigue dulls the senses. The division of attention so important to flying begins to focus on the obvious to the neglect of the essential. You don't hear the radio, the engine, or the wind. I have flown under such fatigue on long solo cross countries. I have closed my eyes on short final. I got away with it once; I learned not to think I could get away with it again.
Unless situation is critical it is best to do nothing in the event of control failure. Elevators can jam due to external object. This is just as likely to occur in the cockpit, as it is in the control itself. Should rudder fail you can still turn with obvious yaw. Doors can act as rudders. Broken throttle should result in some power. Remaining power can be controlled with mixture, magnetos. Making turns with rudder can compensate for aileron failure. Elevator failure can be partially controlled by trim; power can give partial control. No flaps should be used when you experience a control failure.
The Bay Area is in the western migratory bird flyway. Spring and Fall seasons are the high strike probability periods. Over 50% of strikes are sea gulls. 70% of strikes are in daylight. 90% of these are below 3000' and near an airport. Avoid game refuge areas. Airport/Facility Directory and NOTAMS warn of birds. With the closing of the garbage dump near CCR the bird problem is much less. During the migratory seasons fly with your landing light on. Bird strikes are just as likely at night as during the day.
Bird impact force is the square of the impact velocity and even at G. A. speeds will have the effect of a 20-mm cannon shell. Windshield penetration is most likely to produce an accident. Birds will instinctively dive when they feel threatened by an airplane. Climb, but not into a stall. A bird strike fatality is 10 times more likely to occur due to the pilot's loss of aircraft control after the strike. Pilot error is the problem.
Estimated 6000 bird strikes a year. Over half occur below 100 feet. 99% happen below 2500. Record bird sighting is at 37,000'. 805 occur during takeoff and landing. 34 civil crashes and 200 known deaths resulting from bird strikes. $750 million damage. Gulls cause 1/3 of strikes.
Early morning and just before dark is the period of greatest strike danger. Less than 10% of strikes happen above 3,000 feet. Nearly 80% occur within 500 feet of the ground. Over 60% occur within 100 feet AGL. Night is occasion for 25% of strikes. July to November is worst period.
Birds highest speed can be obtained by diving when they fold wings. Pilot should anticipate this reaction and climb. Showing lights and strobes gives birds earlier warning.
--Slow down in vicinity of birds.
--Don't takeoff toward grounded birds.
--Heat your windshield in vicinity of birds.
--Avoid low flight over landfill and marshes.
--Over fly airports early morning and evenings.
--Use lights. The bird will see the light before seeing the airplane.
--Consider safety goggles in vicinity of birds.
Defense is noting notams. Fly high during migratory season. Only one percent of strikes occur above 2500'. Most birds fly in day time. Some do fly at night. The larger the bird the slower the wing beat. Use aircraft lights and strobes when in bird country. Fly above birds when possible. In bird territory slow down.
Object Damage (FOD)
Taxiing is the most likely time for FOD to occur. The runup area should be free of any loose objects and never run the engine over loose gravel while stopped. The propeller vortex will suck up rocks into the blades if it is not moving.
FOD inside the aircraft can become a problem when encountering turbulence. Loose items on the floor can jam controls; spilled fluids can short out electrical components. Tie down what can be tied down if there is any possibility, and there is always a possibility, of FOD in the cockpit.
The FAA makes recommendations as to altitudes above wildlife areas but the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has laws that are not part of your training. The Airborne Hunting Act prohibits harassment of wildlife anywhere. Whatever the reasons for flights near wildlife there is potential for a problem with the government.
Using the radio to get help:
--1. Select a radio on the audio panel at the top.
--2. Try to use the existing frequency or change to l121.5 which is the emergency frequency
--3. Use the push-to-talk button as you talk.
--In-flight emergencies are extremely rare.
--4 Neither you nor the pilot will be prepared for an emergency.
--1. Do what you can to pad the space in front of you..
--2. Fasten and tighten your seat belt and shoulder harness.
--3. Unlatch the door just before touchdown.
--4. Get out of the plane quickly.
--5. An Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) should go off automatically after an emergency landing.
--6. Do not leave the area, yet..
--7. Cross wind landings use only one wheel at first..
with a Low Battery
Hadn't flown my plane in a while. Went out with my partner and found the battery reading only 10 volts. Just enough to barely turn the prop. My mechanic partner showed me how to get a start that I wish to run by the group both as a point of 'how to' information and a question as to how High Flyer and others look at doing this.
Initially we did not lower the flaps to save what juice we
had. Temperature about 50 degrees. We gave two shots of primer
and one pump of throttle. Partner turned off the magnetos and
set the brake. He put in full rich mixture and full forward throttle.
I remained seated and on the brakes and ready to shut things
down as needed.
He then got out of the plane and proceeded to rotate the blades about 8 to 10 times as though trying to hand-prop start the engine. He said that this was done to get the engine drawing fuel into the system. He got back into the plane and after we were fully seated he pulled the throttle back, with master on he put the magnetos to 'start' and the 1/8 turn was enough to fire the magnetos and give us a running engine.
Avoiding Hot Start Situations
Shut down engine using fuel shut off valve. This will remove fuel from lines and the vapor lock that often causes starting problems on hot days..
Sky-Tec starter that requires good battery has torque to start hard starting engines.
Hot Starts with Fuel
Thanks to Jeremy Lew. The author (unknown) is writing about the Cessna Cardinal. The engine and starting /running procedure is virtually identical to the Cessna 172 I use.
He does have an explanation as to why, after shutting off the engine using the mixture control, there would still be fuel left for the engine to run. The mixture control box is on top of the engine, as are the fuel injection lines. The mixture control controls the box where the fuel lines disperse to the injection nozzles at each cylinder. So when you pull the mixture to idle/cut off, you shut off the fuel going to the distribution box, but the lines are still full of fuel, at that moment.
The injectors stop injecting because the fuel pressure is shut off, so the engine quits running for lack of fuel. If the engine is hot, however, as it inevitably is, and because the fuel lines are on top of the engine and heat rises, the heat now acts like a hot plate beneath these fuel lines. With no air blowing across the top of the engine to
keep things cool, the fuel inside the lines now expands and often boils.
The expanding fuel cannot back up into the mixture control box, that's been shut off, but the injectors aren't closed, they are just calibrated orifaces, so the fuel pushes out through them.
THAT'S why there is fuel to restart if you attempt a hot restart within a certain period, even though you have the mixture control at Idle/Cut off, and have kept it there since you shut the engine down.
Once you shut the engine down, then, it's a given that the injectors will bleed out as the latent engine heat cooks the fuel injector lines. The only question is how much fuel has been pushed out before you get back in the cockpit and attempt a start.
It could be that the lines from the distribution box have been bled dry and that the fuel that bled out into the combustion chamber has evaporated. In that case, attempting to start without a prime may result in no joy.
With Continentals only, the fuel injection system incorporates a fuel return line. With these engines, you can run the boost pump for a minute while the mixture is at idle/cut off, and flow cool fuel through the injector lines. Then you shut off the boost pump and start the engine. The fuel line has been pressurized with relatively
cool fuel, so the engine driven fuel pump isn't pushing air (or at least not as much air) through the injectors. This guy has a theory:
Lycoming Fuel Injection System.
There is an engine driven fuel pump that pressurizes the fuel to the design in-line pressure. This pressurized fuel is then routed to the mixture and fuel distribution control box. The control box is controlled both by the mixture control and the throttle. The mixture control varies the mixture from the preset full rich ratio to idle/cut
off, which should be zero pressure.
The throttle controls the fuel pressure at the control box and varies it from idle pressure to a pressure that allows the engine to develop full power, depending on the altitude.
So if you lean the mixture significantly at idle, and then advance the throttle to full, the engine will not/should not respond because the fuel pressure will not reach full power levels. The air valve will open, allowing full air flow, but the control box limited fuel pressure won't allow enough fuel to flow to reach full power. In fact, because there is now a LOT of air and very little fuel, the engine will stumble and probably cut out on the now very lean mixture.
I hope that's accurate information.
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