I had been asked by some of my followers if I could film some private pilot practice manoeuvres, and so I took India Zulu down to Romney Marsh to do simulated engine failures, steep turns, a practice diversion and then a glide approach to land.
As pilots, we should try and practice the things that will save us should the unimaginable happen. Sadly, single engined planes, like all aircraft, can suffer an engine failure. With a single engine, that means you’re going down. But contrary to popular belief, the aircraft won’t just fall out of the sky (if handled correctly), it will come to earth in a controlled descent.
In the PA28, the best glide speed is 73 knots. At this speed it will travel roughly 2 miles, for every 1000 feet lost. This should normally give a pilot enough time to find a field to land in, time to transmit a mayday call, troubleshoot the problem, then prepare the aircraft for the forced landing. In this video, you’ll see that there is plenty of time to do all of this – although in this simulated example, Romney Marsh benefits from a plethora of emergency landing sites!
After practicing this emergency, I did some steep turns – 45 degrees of bank, then set up a practice diversion involving two legs to get me back to Biggin Hill. This all worked out quite well. I finished the flight with a glide approach to land on Biggin Hill’s runway. This involved judging the wind strength, and my height, to touchdown safely on the runway. As it turned out, I touched down quite late, and suffered a slight ‘balloon’ in the flare. But, it was safe nonetheless.
This video also features my ‘top tip of the week’. How to get back on track, if you find yourself 1 mile off course. If you have picked up any good tips that you’d like to share with my viewers, please feel free to comment below, and I’ll endeavour to include them in future films.
This film contains great aerial views of Tenterden, Wadhurst, Lydd, Sevenoaks, and Bewl Water.
A final note of caution. I get asked for a lot of advice, but I should make it very clear that I am a low hours private pilot – I am not an instructor – and if you need advice on your flying training, please speak to your instructor first.
Video: Simulated engine failure