Section 9, Lesson 1
In Progress

Emergency Approach and Landing

Emergency Approach and Landing

Pilots must always be prepared for the possibility of an engine failure. During flight, pilots should look around and always scope out potential landing places. When an engine fails, pilots follow all or part of a process that includes maintaining best glide speed, picking a place to land and trying to restart the engine, securing the broken engine, declaring an emergency and landing.

Lesson Notes

If a pilot had sufficient time following an engine failure, they perform the following procedure:

  • Airspeed: maintain best glide airspeed (Vg)
  • Best field: Select a landing spot and fly a path to align with the landing spot, considering terrain and winds.
  • Checklist:
    • Flow: perform a flow to try to restart the engine. In Pipers, this flow moves left to right; in Cessnas, it’s the backwards 7.
    • Checklist: verify that you’ve checked all checklist items in order to restart the engine.
    • Flow: Perform a flow to secure the broken engine prior to landing to avoid the chance of a fuel or electrical fire, and increase your chance of quickly evacuating the aircraft.
    • Checklist: verify all securing items have been completed (except, perhaps the master switch, if you need electrical power for flaps or communications)
    • Declare an emergency with ATC, squawk 7700, and prior to landing turn off the master switch.
    • We use a flows/checklist procedure so that we know the procedures by memory. There may be situations where we either don’t have time for the checklist or don’t have a checklist. We still need to know the procedure. 

Pilots will have to adjust these procedures to fit the given situation. For example:

  • If an engine failure occurs right after takeoff, you don’t have time for anything except maybe the airspeed, best glide, and a quick flow to restart the engine or secure it prior to touchdown.
  • If an engine failure occurs in downwind, you may opt to skip steps, especially securing steps, and focus 100% on the landing.
  • If an engine failure occurs in cruise in the middle of the desert, you may opt to perform the radio call early in order to reach ATC before radar contact and/or radio contact is lost.

Additional Resources

Flashcard Questions

What steps should a pilot perform if an engine fails?

Why might pilots intentionally re-arrange or skip steps?

Why do we follow a flows/checklist procedure instead of simply using the checklist?