Emergency Landing Choices

Featuring Bob Martens - view profile

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Mark Robidoux: "In the case when we can't safely glide to an airport, what kind of location should we be looking for?"

Bob Martens:  "Any clear area without hazards or obstacles will serve you well. You're not looking for a perfect location. Far too many times, pilots compound the situation by trying to find the perfect location.

Finding a suitable field without large objects or objects that will adversely affect your landing will work very well for you. Airplanes stop pretty quickly. You know, we don't need a 5,000-foot field, but we do need to identify what in the field may influence our landing. A big rock, a ditch or a stream across the field will adversely affect our landing because when we hit a solid object our airplane comes to a sudden stop. That's where the injuries and fatalities do occur.

As a general rule, I strongly encourage avoiding roads due to traffic and power lines. Obviously, in certain parts of the country, this is less applicable than others. But I have to say at the outset, that our emergency does not entitle us to endanger other people. In that same vein, parking lots and golf courses where people might be present are not ideal primary choices.

Water versus trees: my personal sense is that water is not user friendly. In most water landings, the aircraft will not stay upright, leading to injuries and an immediate survival situation. Tree landings with the aircraft flown under control into the treetops are very survivable, often with only minor or no injuries to occupants."

The above tip is an excerpt from our 20-minute audio available below.

Subscribe to the Free Pilot's Tip of the Week and we'll also send you this free 20-minute audio:

In-Flight Emergencies: Engine Failure

In this MP3 audio you'll learn:

  • Statistics...likelihood of it happening to you
  • Chances of sustaining serious injury or death
  • Military's approach to emergencies (the "big 3")
  • What to do when your engine quits
  • Simple A-B-C framework
  • Stretching a glide to an airport...should you try?
  • Best off-field landing sites -- evaluating the choices
  • Water vs. trees
  • Things you must do to survive (or even walk away)
  • Emergency landing pattern
  • Keys to success…what to do and what to avoid
  • Landing short vs. landing long
  • Wind and flap management
  • Engine failure on takeoff - why pilots turn back
  • Is there a departure altitude where turning back is safe?
  • 10 second procedure that can change the outcome
  • Military vs. GA training (and what we can learn)
  • How you can train for emergency landings on every flight
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Meet Your Tip of the Week Instructors

Doug Stewart was the "National Certificated Flight Instructor of the Year” in 2004. A Master Certified Flight Instructor, Gold Seal Instructor and Designated Pilot Examiner - he is based at the Columbia County Airport (1B1) in Hudson, NY. He owns and operates his own flight school specializing in instrument training and has logged over 8000 hours of dual instruction given, with over 2000 hours of that being instrument instruction. He regularly gives instruction in aircraft as simple as the J-3 Cub, and as complex as the Piper Malibu / Mirage.

Rod Machado has been flying since 1970, instructing since 1973 and has over 8,000 hours of flight time earned the hard way--one CFI hour at a time. Since 1977 he has taught hundreds of flight instructor revalidation clinics and safety seminars and he was named the 1991 "Western Region Flight Instructor of the Year". Rod is the author of some of the most popular books, DVDs and CDs in aviation. You can read his monthly column in AOPA Pilot magazine as well as in Flight Training Magazine.

Bob Nardiello was the "Flight Instructor of the Year" in 2004 and "FAA Safety Counselor of the Year" in 2006 for the Windsor Locks Flight Standards District Office. He has over 10,000 hours of total flight experience, with more than 7,000 hours as a Flight Instructor. He currently holds CFI, CFII, MEI, and ATP ratings and serves as a Designated Pilot Examiner. Bob is the Assistant Chief Flight Instructor at a Part 141 Flight School and is also a seasoned charter pilot flying a Cessna 421 and Citation Ultra.
Scott Dennstaedt is a nationally known aviation weather expert, having the unique qualifications of being a meteorologist and a CFII. In addition to teaching aviation weather, Scott is a flight instructor in technically advanced aircraft including the Cessna 400/350 and Cirrus SR20 and SR22. He co-developed a recurrent training program for the Cessna Advanced Aircraft Club (CAAC) and the Cirrus Owners and Pilots Association (COPA). Scott is also a contributing editor for IFR magazine and has been a regular contributor to Plane & Pilot, Pilot Journal, Aviation Consumer and Twin & Turbine.

Bob Martens is a nationally known speaker, consultant and aviation safety expert. He retired from the FAA after spending 17 years as a Safety Program Manager. In this role, he delivered hundreds of live seminars devoted to General Aviation safety. Bob retired from the USAF (rank of Colonel) in 2000 after 30 years of active and reserve duty. He was an Aircraft Commander in a C-5A and also served as Flying Safety Officer and Chief of Safety with the 439th AirWing. Bob has logged thousands of flight hours in both military and GA aircraft.

Wally Moran is a retired airline captain and spent much of his career as a training instructor and check airman on aircraft including the Boeing 747 and 767. He has held a flight instructor certificate for over 47 years. Wally is a designated pilot examiner for single and multiengine aircraft and gliders. He is authorized to issue certificates all the way up to ATP and has given over 3400 hours of flight instruction in single engine, multiengine, tailwheel, gliders, seaplanes and instruments.

John Krug's 27 years experience as an Air Traffic Controller combined with his experience as an active flight instructor, allow him to assist pilots in gaining a better understanding of the ATC system and how to best operate in it. While with the FAA, he was an On-the-Job-Training Instructor for new controllers and worked as a Quality Assurance Specialist, responsible for conducting in-flight evaluations of the Air Traffic System and investigating accidents and incidents.

Bob Adelizzi has been a controller at Boston TRACON for twenty five years and affiliated with the FAA safety program for over twenty. Over the years he has briefed countless pilots at corporate flight departments and aviation colleges, and was recently asked to speak at the ACONE Crash Course 2007 and the AOPA Communication Seminar which had a combined attendance of over 600 pilots.

Subscribe to the Free Pilot's Tip of the Week presented  by our panel of instructors and we'll also send you this free 20-minute audio:
In-Flight Emergencies: Engine Failure

Where should I send the tips and audio?
 
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