Lesson 11 – more circuits, practice forced landings

The weather was lovely today – clear blue sky and the wind was calm. We’d be practicing more circuits and practicing forced landings in the event of engine failure after take-off (EFATO for short).

If the engine fails after take-off, if at all possible you should aim to land on the runway you have just taken off from. Do not try to turn around to as you probably wouldn’t make it! If there’s not enough runway left for you to land, you need to change attitude for best glide (73 knots in the Warrior) and then select a landing site somewhere between 30degrees to the left and 30 degrees to the right. Landing site selected and sure that you’ll make it, maintaing best glide attitude, extend flaps, then start engine shutdown – throttle closed, mixture to idle cut-off, mags off, unlatch and open the door in preparation for landing.

My first EFATO practice wasn’t quick enough – thank goodness it wasn’t real! – but the next one was much better. Circuits went well this lesson – I’m starting to use the rudder more on final to keep the runway aligned, which seems to be working out well.

During one circuit, as we were on base about to turn final, my instructor spotted a plane above us (he was behind us!) and quickly radioed tower to ask their intentions. Tower immediately asked the aircraft to go around, leaving us to land. Scary few moments – and goes to show the importance of good lookout. Here’s a clip:

If I’m consistent again in the next lesson (and weather conditions are favourable) then with any luck I should be doing a solo circuit. Gulp!

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