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The most reliable way to do a forced landing? High Key / Low Key

I wonder if @Buster1 is still around here…

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I have started using BOTH. A combination of
- high key/low key
- constant aspect

You do need some “gates” to check your glide performance against, and the 2500 / 1500 ’ AGL can be used perfectly for that.

  • If you just use constant aspect and you get the aspect wrong you’re in trouble
  • If you just use gates and don’t check your aspect (to estimate wind, air movements etc.) your in trouble too

So a combination of the two seems to work best.

Peter wrote:

And the range circle is largely bogus given that the tablet has no idea of the actual wind. At best, it will pull in the GFS forecast before you take off, assuming there is a working internet connection (not many tablet users have a SIM card in their tablet, etc…). Also the range is terrain elevation dependent so it may be a complex shape.

Whats bogus about that? The GFS forecasts tend to be reasonably correct and the terrain certainly is. So where’s the problem?

172driver wrote:

The GFS forecasts tend to be reasonably correct
Particularly if you download them just before takeoff!

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

May be worth checking out the chronology of a GFS forecast, from the beginning to the time you might be using the data. IIRC it is something like 12-24hrs. Not that it makes a huge difference but a range circle based on GFS winds could easily be 50% out, especially at low levels.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I’m around!

I recommend known checkpoints for training, heavy details in the book. But with all that training, you develop a sight picture, just like you do when landing on a normal profile. Train to develop the sight picture for a flameout (engine out) and you’ll be well on your way!


Fighter Pilot Tactics for GA Engine L...
KVGT (Las Vegas, NV)

When we train forced landings frlm 2000ft agl over the landing site (no matter if airport or not), we fly to a point 1500ft agl in the direction of the downwind/base turn. Then we can judge the height and adjust the flight path into final. We do train slips, S-turns and working with flaps according to type. Usulally after a couple of approaches the student learns the sight picture. Then we train from different altitudes and positions to use this sight picture.

Most challenging approach was with the 172 on amphibs. Falls like a brick…

Inside the sky.
EDXE, EDXF, Germany

Most interesting engine out training I ever did was during my Antonov 2 training. That airplane has got a possibility to fly very low speed, with full flaps and slats extended. The POH calls it “Parashuting” only without an actual shute. You can park it at almost any piece of flat real estate with a bit of a bump but almost certainly re-usable, which goes for both airplane and people inside it… I had one of those in ernest when the engine developed a severe case of bronchitis on downwind… no chance to get to the runway so straight into a field it was. Apart from some potential popcorn no damage. After cleaning the air inlet and mowing some of the field, we took it back out and flew it home.

Will have to do some training for my SEP revalidation in January. After reading Buster’s book and this thread, I am actually looking forward to it, sounds like real fun I have not done in ernest since 2009.

LSZH, Switzerland

ch.ess wrote:

huv wrote:
I agree that the altimeter should not be used for training final approaches, neither normal approaches nor emergency ones.
…because under the stress of an emergency, your angular estimate of the height above the field will have the same accuracy as one or both of the altimeters ?

In a word, yes. That is my experience also with student pilots. But the main point is that I am talking about off-airport emergency landings, where the exact elevation of the selected landing spot is not known.

Of course I make use of the altimeter during normal training in the circuit, but only to establish and demonstrate consistency. Final approach is a visual judgement exercise and the only glances inside the cockpit are at the airspeed indicator.

EKRK, Denmark

So many numbers! I just can’t be that much “eyes in” during a forced approach, there are too many things I need to be watching outside. When I train pilots in forced approaches, and it’s a vital topic for float and amphibian flying, I teach “making” a [more distant] landing site as a last resort. I would much rather be entirely eyes out, aiming for a more close landing site, with turns/S turns/sideslipping/flap use as might be needed to get in there. I would much rather that a misjudgement result in going off the far end, ‘cause you could not get stopped, than the misjudgement resulting in your not making the landing site, and crashing short. The energy dissipation of going off the far end is much less than crashing short. I would also rather carry a little extra speed, as it can be slipped off at the last moment, rather than having no reserve in speed to trade for the flare you’d like to make to arrest your descent.

Forced approaches require practice in the type you fly. When training in the 182 amphibian, the descent angle could be observed as being about 12 degrees, but a perfect land or water landing could be made from that angle with practice. The glide speed was 80 knots, until entry to the flare. The plane would glide at 60 knots, though a pull to arrest the descent at that slow speed would have been profoundly disappointing!

Practice, practice, practice. Eyes out, get the sight picture, learn to sideslip well, and rely much less on “points” and numbers!

Home runway, in central Ontario, Canada
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