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Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

Old 02-05-2003, 06:21 AM
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n7tb
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

A question for all you experienced flyers. Are there some general guidelines that a newer flyer should keep in mind when flying so that he will have the best chance of getting a plane back to the runway in case of a dead stick and need to land?

Thanks,

Terry
Old 02-05-2003, 06:34 AM
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MikeL
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

I'd break it down like this:

Before a dead stick (things to know at all times):
1. Be aware of the wind.
2. Be aware of what's going happening on the runway.
3. Be familiar with how your airplane glides, and how it stalls.
4. Know how long your fuel will last, so that you don't have a dead stick.

During a deadstick, here's what I do:
1. Communicate! Yell to others that you're dead stick, so they clear out of your way.
2. Depending on how much altitude (time) you have, decide on how you want to set up your approach. If you're high enough, do what you're most comfortable with.
3. Don't be in a hurry to get it down. There's no need to panic and trade all of your altitude for energy at once.
4. Remember that people and property are more valuable than your model. If you can't make the runway (or it's obstructed) be willing to set down in a less-than desirable spot.
Old 02-05-2003, 06:37 AM
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RCLIVIN
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

1. yell dead stick, all other flyers give you right of way
2. If you are on a downwind leg & low to the ground, do not try to turn into the wind to land unless you absolutley have to, the turn into the wind will mostlikely cause the plane to stall & spiral to the ground. If you can stay going down wind & ease it down into the brush or grass whatever your case may be.
3. try to stay 2 or 3 mistakes high, if you go dead stick down wind you can make a turn & keep the nose down to gain air speed & make it back to the runway.
Hope this helps
Gil
Old 02-05-2003, 06:58 AM
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GrnBrt
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

DON'T PANIC!!!!!! Stay as calm as possible and think things out quickly. The above advice is very good, study it and burn it into your memory.
Old 02-05-2003, 09:40 AM
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Slug
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

All the above is very good advice.

When you are in the learning phase one of the most obvious things is to make sure of is that you don't let the model get too far away. Practice dead sticks by dropping your throttle to idle in different places on the circuit and see what happens, can you make it back?

Remember that you will loose a lot of speed in turns, so treat cornering like you would a bike on an icy road, with extreme caution! A straight approach into the rough will likely do less damage than thinking 'I can just make that final turn into the strip'.

Simon.
Old 02-05-2003, 02:30 PM
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MinnFlyer
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

Ditto to all of the advice. I too was going to mention not getting too far away. It seems to me that so many rookies have a passion for flying 3 miles away or as high as they can see. Keep enough altitude to complete a "go 'round" of the field, and keep it close enough to be able to get to the runway if she quits.
Old 02-05-2003, 02:51 PM
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Unstable
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

keep the speed up...

there is a funny thing about gliding that alot of people dont really get until they are forced to. putting the nose down a tiny bit will EXTEND your glide path. this is because the plane will fly at a slightly higher speed with a lower angle of attack and less resistance. if you try to keep the nose up the drag from the higher AoA will slow the plane down.

and when i say put the nose down slightly I mean a few degrees at most (varies with each plane).

now I see alot of people talking about how to make sure you make it to the runway... but what about if you are over the runway and still going like a bat out of hell.. well you have a few options...

1: land and watch the plane roll off the runway on the far end.. not desirable.

2: side slip to bleed off speed. good method but reqiures a bit of co-ordination that you might not have yet... although you should practice it some before you need it.

3: before you get to the runway pull a few tight "s" turns to kill some speed. good option but you have to be on the ball or you could stall and spin.

4: install a drag chute

again its a good idea to practice these before you really need to. dont be afraid to approach your instuctor and maybe do a "false" deadsticks for practice and maybe one or two real ones on the buddy box.
Old 02-05-2003, 04:22 PM
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LenLee
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

And if you're flying your Cub and the engine quits, you'll only be able to glide around way up there for maybe another 20 minutes or so anyway...
Old 02-05-2003, 04:51 PM
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

The above advice is excellent.........the only thing that I can add is to try not to force it down.....stay calm, you have time to get it back....I saw a guy force a Kadet Senior down from about 250 feet....it wasn't pretty.....he could have circled the field 3 times.

Mike
Old 02-05-2003, 05:37 PM
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

Yea, The real trick is knowing your airplane. You're going to have a totally different technique for doing a dead stick landing with a trainer than you would have, for example with an Extra 300.
Old 02-05-2003, 06:18 PM
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RedWing
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Default Dead Stick

Someone here described flying within an upside down cone. The farther away you are from the runway, the more altitude you need. So if you low, you better be close. Stay in the cone and you have a good chance to make it back to the runway.

I wish I could find that thread. Oh well.

Bill
Old 02-05-2003, 06:45 PM
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Goinstraightup
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

All the above is great.

The hardest thing to think about doing when your engine quits is to push the nose foreward. Even at seemingly low altitudes. This is what is required though to make sure you keep suficient speed up. If you're low, don't try to get back to the runway. Just go straight ahead. Many RC planes and full scale have been lost trying to get back to the runway, when everything would be fine straight ahead.

This is why it is a good habit to fly somewhat close. One of the worst things that can happen to your plane is to be way downwind over September corn and be deadstick. Hope you have boots on
Old 02-05-2003, 06:51 PM
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pinball-RCU
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

This should probably go without saying, and I can't say I follow it all the time, but if your engine is not running right on the ground, don't fly! I recently saw a beautiful CG Eagle destroyed. The pilot was having a heck of a time with the engine on the ground, but took off anyway. This was a very experienced pilot, but the engine cut out at a most unfortunate time, and he hit a tree trying to get back to the runway.

Another thing, if you have to go down in the corn or the field somewhere, don't give up! Keep the wings level all the way to the ground, and there'll be much less damage.

Deadstick on take off is very difficult. Usually, you won't have the airspeed or altitude to get back to the field. So again, just try to keep the wings level, glide as much as you can, and resist the urge to turn back without enough airspeed to make the turn.
Old 02-05-2003, 09:32 PM
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Dsegal
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

Learn to fly your plane without listening for the engine. If you have an RC simulator turn off the sound when you practice. With a trainer you can tell if the engine has died by opening the throttle- if it doesn't climb, you had a flame-out. Aim the plane at yourself and get it over the field. Then you can try to set up for the best (least damage to the plane and others) approach. To avoid problems, if the engine does not seem right after takeoff don't keep flying until it dies, bring it back under power, land and reset your needle valve.

Dave Segal
Old 02-05-2003, 10:36 PM
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

I second pinballs advice on "don't give up!". At our field, we make our final turn on the backside of a relatively small hill. Well, I once had a flame out right as I was preparing for my turn. I couldn't make it around the hill and the plane went down on the backside of the hill . I didn't give up and flew it until I couldn't see it anymore. When I lost site I held full up elevator. Well, when I found the plane the only damage was a broken prop. It came to rest on its landing gear and was waiting at the base of the hill . I was relieved, to say the least. Never stop flying the plane no matter what the predicament. Hope this helps.
Old 02-06-2003, 02:37 AM
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

Rather than wait until you have an "unexpected" flame out, get an experienced pilot to take your plane to altitude and kill the engine. You can get some "deadstick" time with your plane to see how it responds without the fan turning. Have the instructor pilot land it for you if necessary. And all the advice in the other threads is very good. I've seen many a plane dorked into the ground in front of the pilot because he thought it was necessary to land the plane on the runway in front of him rather than walk a little ways after it. Getting it safely on the ground somewhere, in one piece, is what it's all about. Walking for even 5 minutes beats rebuilding for 2 hours. (or more)
Randy
Old 02-06-2003, 04:01 AM
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mattebox
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Default Some points from a glider pilot

Good advice all around.

I happen to also fly sailplanes where all our landings are "deadstick" so maybe I can add some pointers. The best thing you can do to ensure a successful deadstick landing is to practice these three manuevers ahead of time:

1. Know your stall speed. Fly your plane two mistakes high slowly over the runway. Reduce throttle to idle, hold back pressure and watch at what speed the plane stalls and how it behaves. Practice this over and over again until you know the onset of a stall like the back of your hand. Also practice power off gliding where you hold just enough back pressure to maintain minimum sink but still prevent a stall.

2. Fly steeper, power-off approaches. Start chopping the throttle to idle sooner in the approach as you get comfortable with how the plane glides. Once you can do a power-off approach to landing from the downwind leg you'll be doing pretty good.

3. Learn how to manage and bleed off energy without increasing airspeed. This is a little trickier, but worth learning once you get some experience. This includes side slips, S-turns, crabbing, and yaw turns and all are designed to increase frontal drag to slow the plane down within a short amount of forward distance. The sideslip is the hardest manuever and the only way to learn how to do it is to practice it over and over again. What I do is apply rudder first and then crab with opposite aileron. The plane will fly sideways and slow down really fast. Keep an eye on the stall speed and then neutralize the controls about 4-5 feet of the ground and level out. When applying the rudder, do it so that that the plane yaws away from the flight line (for safety reasons in case you get crossed up on the controls and lose orientation). This is why I always apply rudder first.

Hope that helps!
Old 02-08-2003, 04:26 AM
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Murddoc
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Default Preparing for a potential dead stick landing

Just remember that the plane WILL touch the ground. Pulling back on the elevator WILL NOT keep it in the air longer. Let the plane continue to fly, airspeed is your friend.
No airspeed, no options.
After you have learned the basics, practice for emergencies. While burning holes in the sky, cut the throttle to idle and try to get back to the runway. If you can land without adding power, then you can land when you can't add power.
Try it from high and close, and low and far, high and far, low and close, fast, slow ..... You will learn that certain things will get you down fast and others will milk all the altitude and speed that you have.

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