Date: 20/10/2006

Time: 14:45 - 16:15 (PUT)

Aircraft: Ikarus C42 - G-CDRO

Exercise: Power Fail Landings (PFL's) - Ex 16a

Weather has been crap recently, so I am glad that today it is flyable. However, because the airfield is very wet, they won't let us do circuits, to reduce the amount of damage to the airstrip.

So we decide to do Power Fail Landing practice instead. We fly off to the west from 26 and find a spot for a demonstration. The first thing to do is reduce speed and have a look around for the best field to land in. Technically, once you are a proficient pilot, you should be constantly looking for suitable fields. Size, shape, surface, slope and surroundings. The field should be big enough for a landing into wind (you have to assess this first). The lighter coloured field will indicate a dryer surface, which should be flat and free from standing crops; however some short vegetation will help to bind the surface.

The first technique we try is the beating method, where you descend to the threshold of the field by turning back and forth, but always turn towards the field to keep it in view, until you can safely make it into the field. Use extra flap or sideslip if required. My first attempt isn't too bad, though I say so myself. We don't actually land, but go-around a few feet above.

We have a few goes and then move onto the Constant Aspect approach. Here you fly around the field, keeping the landing point at the same angle until you get to the point you can make the landing. In practise you can use a combination of both techniques.

Quite enjoyed this exercise and wasn't too bad at it for once.

This lesson has been a long stint at an hour and a half, but unfortunately I am supposed to be going out tonight and we don't really have enough time to do the second flight. However, once we have put the plane away, Jo phones to say tonight is off, so we could have gone - never mind!

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