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SE loss of power

Old 04-15-2011, 05:39 AM
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Default SE loss of power

Looks like some good decision making, aviation skill, and according to the pilot - some divine intervention of one's own choosing

Power failure forced Derry Township crash landing - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

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Old 04-15-2011, 06:29 AM
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Wow, off field landing at night. Excellent decision making. Sounds like the throttle cable broke or came loose.

Emergency Procedures for Forced landing at night:
Landing Light: ON
Select suitable landing field.
If no field available, Landing Light: OFF
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:49 AM
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A blind landing is essentially a controlled crash, so you want to use the configuration and speed that will reduce your sink rate and forward speed as much as possible. It isn't usually best glide which is a high forward speed. It also isn't slow and dirty, which can produce a high sink rate. For most airplanes, partial flaps at about 1.3 x Vstall is the right configuration to use. Keep the gear stowed and run the off-airport checklist. You will not know when the ground is coming, so abandon best glide as soon as you know you are landing in the dark.
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Old 04-20-2011, 04:07 PM
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What are your thoughts about attempting to land on a lighted road rather than go to a dark area which is unknown?
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Old 04-20-2011, 06:19 PM
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Good question and I do not know of any official guidance on this. Assuming it is truly dark I teach my students to look for a road then try and land in the field next to it. There are a number of reasons this is a good idea-

1. Power lines are next to most roads and they are impossible to see after dark.
2. Emergency personnel can still get to you in a field.
3. Cars will not hit you, and you will not hit them in the field.
4. If it is a small road, it can remain open and not have to close due to an airplane blocking it.
5. If the landing is going to be a sloppy one, dirt should be somewhat easier on you and the airplane. I don't think this is true of higher gross weight aircraft though, because they land too fast to take advantage of it.

I think if a road is sufficiently large and not too crowded, a well-lighted 4-lane highway for example, it would be better to land on the highway with the flow of traffic.
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