Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
golfcharlie wrote:Go and do a one-week winter gliding course. Every landing a forced landing.

You know I started my aviation quest with the idea of Paramotoring...Tucker Gott Fan butt..... then I looked closely at gliding but then jumped to the LSA....
We don't have a winter season at our gliding club here in Eastern Canada but I am going to look into in next spring,. Thanks
David Pianosi
TLRippon wrote:Back when SERA came in we all lost our rag over stalling and PFL practice manoeuvres had to be conducted with an instructor onboard. Was this derogated in the final version?

I believe SERA is a European organization.... while I already hold my pilots license here in Canada.... I've not heard of this. I was doing all solo as a student but never forced landings.
Whilst I'm not advocating people just heading off and doing PFLs with the engine actually shut-down, from my (quite extensive) experience of the Jodel 1050 the RoD is about 700 fpm - engine at idle, engine shut-down and prop windmilling and engine shut-down with prop stopped.

Handling is not noticeably different either, particularly pitch authority in the round-out and flare.

Not all aeroplanes will be the same but its worth noting that a PFL with the engine at idle can be a very good simulation of a forced landing with a real engine failure.

The important point is to keep in good practice by carrying out PFLs frequently. Not only does it fine-tune your skills but this knowledge should also lower your stress level should the problem actually arise. Virtuous circle.
You asked about approach speed, and this is what UK glider pilots are taught :

1. Nil wind approach speed is 1.3 x Vs. Add half the estimated headwind for best penetration, ie to achieve best distance over the ground, and to allow for gusts. If its very gusty, more speed won't hurt if you'll still stop within the field.

2. In a strong wind, say 15kt+, you might encounter a strong wind gradient. This is where the wind speed drops appreciably as you descend. The problem is that it takes time for the aircraft to overcome inertia, ie to increase its speed over the ground. So I've commonly seen 10kt or more wiped from my airspeed, which takes me closer to the stall than I want! In a glider the remedy is to lower the nose markedly, and it will pick up speed in plenty of time if you don't delay. In a draggy engine-out aircraft the ground might arrive first, so I'd guess you increase your approach speed early on to give you a margin if this happens. I get the impression that in power the wind gradient is less noticeable, because the propellor is pulling you through the air, so this one could catch you out.

3. If there's a crosswind, curl over from trees or even a hedge can be a nasty surprise in the last 50 ft or so, and a reserve of airspeed helps to give enough control authority to cope. It generally stops as you round out. Landing towards the far side of the field helps.

You probably won't have the problem that gliders have, which is that the aircraft will float until you've bled off your airspeed above the stall (or more accurately, you're so draggy that this won't take long). So you might be able to give yourself a higher margin over Vs than a glider can risk.

However, don't assume this all applies to an engine out aircraft because I don't know where there might be differences. It might be worth talking these points through with an appropriate instructor (one who focuses on stick and rudder flying, rather than procedural flying, as there's no manual for your selected field so you have to improvise).
MichaelP liked this
Good points Chris.

Wind gradient is often referred to as wind shear in Canada.

A tower will report wind gusts such as 10G20, 10 knots gusting 20 knots.
Pilots are taught to add half the gust, 5 knots in this case, to their approach speed to compensate for this.

Any time the wind speed is over 15 knots or there are trees or other wind breaks around your landing area you should compensate for anticipated wind shear.
I teach pilots to lower the nose a bit at 200 feet AGL or so, you won’t add much if any speed, but you will protect yourself from loss of airspeed due to windshear.

Microlight and Ultralight aircraft have little momentum and a lot of low speed drag and so you can really stuff the nose down and still float only a short distance in one.

Seaplanes are likewise draggy.
Doing PFAs (since we’re not ‘landing’ A = Approach is more appropriate) in a Volmer Sportsman a few weeks ago, we used 75 mph instead of the usual 65 mph on short final.
The objective was to do a level touchdown similar to a T21 glider or a wheel landing in a tail wheel aeroplane. Running the keel into the water at a low sink rate.
This was a lot of fun, rather like skipping stones, but without the skips!

I’m in Raincouver, the Hongcouver (Richmond) part south of CYVR.
MichaelP wrote:..

Seaplanes are likewise draggy.
Doing PFAs (since we’re not ‘landing’ A = Approach is more appropriate) ...

'A' for 'Alighting' ? :)

[my Canadian PPL written exams, '60s, carefully talked of 'alighting gear', by which was understood to mean wheels, skis, floats, hull or any combination ..]
MichaelP liked this