Forced Landing

Forced Landing procedure

Forced Landing


  • To learn the procedures to follow in the event of a power failure.


  • It’s an emergency situation, knowing and executing the procedures perfectly can save your life.


  • Descending
  • Circuit
  • Landing.

Review questions

  • If, when descending at a constant airspeed we extend the flaps, the rate of descent increases. Why?
  • what visual clues are used to determine how far we can glide?
  • How do you estimate how far the airplane can glide ?
  • What does it mean if during descent a reference point is moving up on the windshield?

Forced landing: Causes

  • fuel starvation – plugged fuel tank vents – fuel selector – primer unlocked;
  • oil starvation.
  • mechanical failure.
  • carburettor icing.
  • engine air intake blockage.
  • other (impending power failure).


Selection of the landing area

Differents types of fields that can be observed from the air:
  • Grass.
  • Road, runways (be alert for powerlines, signs and traffic).
  • Cultivated field (landing should be made parallel to the furrows).
  • Near houses or roads.
  • Avoid field with contour plowing, deep ditches or with any other features that reduce the stability.
  • Civilization (nearby).
  • Obstacles.
  • Wind.
  • Length.
  • Surface

Key points

  • In accordance with the wind direction, select 3 key points (geographic reference) around the field you have selected.
  • Plan your glide to the key position to correspond as closely as possible to the familiar circuit pattern.
  • High key position:
    • 1000 feet AGL (If strong winds plan to be higher than 1000’ AGL over key point).
    • Simulated downwind.
  • Low key position:
    • 500 feet AGL.
    • Simulated base.
  • Aim point:
    • To touch down about one third into the field.


  • A straight glide at constant airspeed gives a constant angle of glide. If the descent is continued all the way to the ground, then the point at which the aircraft would hit the ground remains stationary in the windscreen
Forced Landing

Cause check

  • Primer locked (if unlocked can cause engine malfunction).
  • Magneto switch on (check left and right).
  • Master on.
  • Mixture rich.
  • Carb heat off and on (check carb ice)
  • Fuel selector on (check left and right a line could be blocked).
  • Check temperatures and pressures.

Mayday call

  • Mayday Mayday Mayday.
  • Identification
  • Cause.
  • Geographic location.
  • Intention.
  • Person on board.
  • Ident again.
  • Squawk 7700.

Engine shutdown

  • Fuel: off
  • Throttle: close
  • Mixture: idle cut off.
  • Magnetos: off
  • Master: off (after flaps are set for landing not before !).

Passengers briefing

  • Inform your passengers that you are about to make an unscheduled landing
  • Remove glasses and all sharp object and stow them securely with other loose object.
  • Move the seat as far back as possible.
  • Seat belt fasten snugly.
  • Just before touchdown unlatch the door.

Forced Landing: Procedures

  • Fly the aircraft.
  • Establish glide speed.
  • Carb heat on.
  • Trim.
Select field and plan approach:
  • C.O.W.L.S
  • Select key points.
  • Cause check.
  • Mayday (121.5)
  • Squawk 7700.
  • Shutdown check
  • Passengers briefing.
Final Approach:
  • Keep field in sight at all times.
  • Use flaps as required.
  • If too high:
    • apply a slip or add flaps or extend the pattern.
  • If too low:
    • Fly direct the field
    • Delay flap extension
    • Extend flaps as the aim point moves down on the windshield
  • Unlatch doors prior to touchdown.
  • Try to touch down:
    • Between the threshold and aim point.
    • As slow as possible.
    • In a full-stall attitude.
  • Hold yoke fully back, to keep nose wheel off the ground as long as possible.
Simulated forced landing:
  • Overshoot: 500ft AGL or higher.
  • Warm the engine every 500ft.
Forced Landing

Review questions

  • What are the initial action when an engine failure occurs ?
  • What are some reasons why an engine failure could occur?
  • What can you do if you are low on your base leg?
  • What affects the glide distance of an aircraft?

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