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  #1  
Old 08-11-2019, 09:41 AM
Eddie P's Avatar
Eddie P Eddie P is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Reno NV
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Default Recommended book - Engine Out Survival Tactics

I just finished a book by Nate Jaros titled, "Engine Out Survival Tactics". I'd recommend it to any RV aviator who is looking to sharpen up. It's somewhat of an easy read (I finished in a few days while taking notes and looking up relevant information that applies to my RV-8 during the read) It's a good primer for learning or potentially improving on multiple tactics required to effectively manage energy and make decisions to position our aircraft for a successful engine out landing. His approach uses informed decision making, judgment and some simple pilot math. We've all learned the basics and some have gone beyond that basic level. This book helps bridge that gap in a practical way (straight to a field engine outs, overhead arrivals, engine out in IMC arrivals, and more). This information is not a re-hash of the basics from GA instructional flight publications, nor is it exhaustive; but it is a bridge to the kind of information that is harnessed from multiple specialties within aviation and some practical post-event analysis.

One thing to note is while the book is written from the perspective of a V35 Bonanza used as a base line aircraft, he mentions and suggests RV8 and RV-7 glide ratios and these are generic and not necessarily completely accurate (They are good, but can be fine tuned to your configuration and he gives great advice on how to accurately and safety test while practicing engine out glides). There are also, of course, a few good threads here on VAF on "Glide Ratios" for our aircraft. Keep in mind a lot depends on the specific propeller system used and aircraft layout (ie: cowl used, aerodynamic improvements, or how effective the basic speed fairings are on each aircraft). Our VAF member Kevin Horton maintains a great web page resource based on his RV-8 with a lot of actual test data from his flight test program. Since he's a professional test pilot, there are accurate and well presented data points to reference and consider, while reading this book. I humbly suggest taking notes along the way and getting to know the numbers behind the numbers as you read. It will be interesting at the very least and powerful at the best when that knowledge is used properly *if* the need ever arises.
Glide Ratio 2015 test
Glide Ratio 2009 test
Background on tests and considerations

Some background on my perspective on the book. In 2008 I was flying 747's for a living and began to feel disconnected to the art of being a pilot. Flying 747's was a bit more like running cruise ships than flying. So I decided to jump into the art of flying sailplanes. It was an outstanding activity and made me a better pilot (and actually gave me some real stick time for a few years while I guided ocean liners across the globe). Flying many hours without the aid of an engine is actually great for the head work and gives a lot of visceral exposure to what is really going on when flying. A powerplant can mask these important and subtle details. Still, even being a sailplane guy, I have to say this book was a good read as it brought in a few "low glide-performance piston aircraft" concepts into light.

While I love my synthetic vision and fancy avionics devices to give essential SA on where to turn to survive when the engine goes silent, the real truth of the matter is it's not going to assist as much as assumed, unless the aircraft is flown specifically, correctly and efficiently - immediately after the engine goes silent. This book helps bring those essential aviator items into organization again. This book may not be a "game changer" for everyone but it was a good bang for the buck and worth the time as a primer to activate those visceral processes again.
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Last edited by Eddie P : 08-11-2019 at 02:46 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-11-2019, 12:07 PM
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N804RV N804RV is offline
 
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Great book! I read it last year. What I like best is that all the numbers and analysis in the world still doesn't substitute for good old hand-eye coordination and seat-of-the-pants feel when it comes down to getting it on the ground and being able to walk away.

I've tried a practice engine out from 4,000' and 4 miles several times and point of touchdown can vary greatly.
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Last edited by N804RV : 08-11-2019 at 12:11 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-11-2019, 02:24 PM
Ted RV8 Ted RV8 is offline
 
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Just bought one last week. Waiting for it to arrive.
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2019, 04:58 AM
vic syracuse vic syracuse is offline
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Default You never know when...

Unfortunately, I got to try my skills out with this scenario on Father's Day this year. The Stearman threw a connecting rod on #5 cylinder just after level off, about 5 minuts into the flight. Home field was directly on my tail, with 2 other airports 90 degrees off my wings. Let me tell you the urge to turn back home is really strong, but I made a 90 degree right turn and never waivered from it. It turns out that home wasa bout 2 miles further from my location than the airport I chose. The 2 mile difference gets really driven home when you land on the numbers at the chosen airport, out of oil pressure with the engine really clanging, and realize just how far 2 more miles really is.

You can read all about it in the upcoming issue of KitPlanes. .

Vic
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2019, 07:37 AM
rmarshall234 rmarshall234 is offline
 
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Location: San Diego, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vic syracuse View Post
Unfortunately, I got to try my skills out with this scenario on Father's Day this year. The Stearman threw a connecting rod on #5 cylinder just after level off, about 5 minuts into the flight. Home field was directly on my tail, with 2 other airports 90 degrees off my wings. Let me tell you the urge to turn back home is really strong, but I made a 90 degree right turn and never waivered from it. It turns out that home wasa bout 2 miles further from my location than the airport I chose. The 2 mile difference gets really driven home when you land on the numbers at the chosen airport, out of oil pressure with the engine really clanging, and realize just how far 2 more miles really is.

You can read all about it in the upcoming issue of KitPlanes. .

Vic
This is a great testimonial from someone that we all respect.

I can tell you from my 4 decades in the skydiving world dealing with in-air emergencies, and from watching other people deal with theirs, that the best thing to do when the sh*t hits the fan is to make a decision and _stick with it_. I've seen so many people - as they got lower and lower and the reality more stark and inevitable - deviate from what they had originally planned to do and almost always, with terrible outcomes.

I'm buying a copy of the book this week..
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  #6  
Old 08-12-2019, 05:21 PM
rackley16 rackley16 is offline
 
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I bought my copy to try to learn more. Hopefully I'll never need it, but the possibility exists, so....I bought it. Thanks for the heads up!
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  #7  
Old 08-12-2019, 05:57 PM
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flightlogic flightlogic is offline
 
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Default great!

Eddie,
You have provided and shared a resource to fellow aviators. I (and I hope, others) appreciate that.
I have ordered my copy. Even though I am coming up on eligibility for the FAA 50 year award, I always find learning fun and productive.
Three forced landings ranging from on fire to just plain mechanical bad luck have shown me the necessity for having a plan. Thanks!
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2019, 07:04 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
 
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A little off topic...

If you have an EFIS that can display a "banana" arc, it is easy to estimate your best glide speed.

Go to altitude, say 8,000 feet. Set your desired altitude to 5,000 feet, throttle back to idle, set your AP to your known or estimated best glide speed. Increase and decrease your speed. Whatever speed moves the banana out the furthest is your best glide speed.

It may take a few tries to dial it in.
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2019, 11:26 AM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
 
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While at Oshkosh I attended an AOPA seminar (sorry, can't remember the title nor the name of the presenter). The seminar was about transferring some very simple techniques to pilots in order to maximize the outcome of an emergency landing.

I guess one of the reasons I didn't take time to remember the details of the seminar is because I walked away with what I consider to be THE simplest, most effective lesson for managing glide speed. Here it is...

Look out the window. If the wing is "flat" to the horizon, you are at or very close to best glide speed. This is easier to do in a high-wing airplane since your eyeball can see the flat underside of the wing and compare its angle relative to the visible horizon.

It really is that simple. The presenter showed a couple of slides where this technique was demonstrated in a C-172. This "rough guide" proved to be surprisingly-accurate in the 172.

I'm sure that with only a little bit of practice one could easily establish a similar visual cue for low-wing airplanes like the RVs.
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  #10  
Old 08-20-2019, 01:34 PM
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gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
 
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Don't Stall, ever never ever.
Use all your skills, S-turns, forward slips.....
Fly the plane all the way into the crash as long as you can. (Bob Hoover)
Slow to min controllable speed before impact / landing but don't stall.

Practicing power off glides to spot landings is handy.... but recall by memory, like instinct, mental fitness, if engine quits:
Pitch and trim to best glide speed
Find landing spot go to it
Boost pump on,
switch tank,
check ignition
Carb heat Alt Air
consider restart
Know your GPS nearest airport
Have situational awareness as you fly about terrain you are over.
(You can do two things at the same time or several quickly, order may vary)

T/O Brief - SEL airplanes depending on when the engine quits you have a choice, stop or land soon. Brief the TO every time. Decide what you will do and when before you takeoff. Check your power during TO roll.... Have an idea of options to land off field. In mountain airports, congested city airports, island airports surrounded by waters your options may be slim. At least mentally acknowledge that and have a plan... Below 1000 feet you better be picking a place +/- 45 to 90 degrees off the nose you can land on.* Remember your aim point steady in windscreen you are going to it... aim point moving up you are undershooting, moving down you are overshooting. Do something about it early. You may have to accept you will not make your intended aim point. Don't stretch the glide. Don't want to be so slow sinking with no energy to flare. I'd rather land sort of the runway under control than hit really hard or stall spin on the numbers. On the other hand an overshoot you have S-turns and slips (either or both at the same time but don't stall).

DON'T STALL...

Everyone knows this stuff (at one time). The issue is when was the last time you thought about it? Do it every flight.
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Last edited by gmcjetpilot : 08-21-2019 at 05:42 PM.
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