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Airplane Flying Handbook
Emergency Procedures

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Airplane Flying Handbook


Table of Contents

Chapter 1,Introduction to Flight Training
Chapter 2,Ground Operations
Chapter 3,Basic Flight Maneuvers
Chapter 4, Slow Flight, Stalls, and Spins
Chapter 5, Takeoff and Departure Climbs
Chapter 6, Ground Reference Maneuvers
Chapter 7, Airport Traffic Patterns
Chapter 8, Approaches and Landings
Chapter 9, Performance Maneuvers
Chapter 10, Night Operations
Chapter 11,Transition to Complex Airplanes
Chapter 12, Transition to Multiengine Airplanes
Chapter 13,Transition to Tailwheel Airplanes
Chapter 14, Transition to Turbo-propeller Powered Airplanes
Chapter 15,Transition to Jet Powered Airplanes
Chapter 16,Emergency Procedures



Emergency Procedures


This chapter contains information on dealing with
non-normal and emergency situations that may occur in
flight. The key to successful management of an
emergency situation, and/or preventing a non-normal
situation from progressing into a true emergency, is
a thorough familiarity with, and adherence to, the
procedures developed by the airplane manufacturer and
contained in the FAA-approved Airplane Flight Manual
and/or Pilot's Operating Handbook (AFM/POH). The
following guidelines are generic and are not meant to
replace the airplane manufacturer's recommended
procedures. Rather, they are meant to enhance the
pilot's general knowledge in the area of non-normal and
emergency operations. If any of the guidance in this
chapter conflicts in any way with the manufacturer's
recommended procedures for a particular make and
model airplane, the manufacturer's recommended
procedures take precedence.

This section contains information on emergency landing
techniques in small fixed-wing airplanes. The
guidelines that are presented apply to the more adverse
terrain conditions for which no practical training is
possible. The objective is to instill in the pilot the
knowledge that almost any terrain can be considered
"suitable" for a survivable crash landing if the pilot
knows how to use the airplane structure for self-protection
and the protection of passengers.

The different types of emergency landings are defined
as follows.

• Forced landing. An immediate landing, on or off
an airport, necessitated by the inability to continue
further flight. Atypical example of which is
an airplane forced down by engine failure.
• Precautionary landing. A premeditated landing,
on or off an airport, when further flight is possible
but inadvisable. Examples of conditions that
may call for a precautionary landing include
deteriorating weather, being lost, fuel shortage,
and gradually developing engine trouble.
• Ditching. A forced or precautionary landing on

A precautionary landing, generally, is less hazardous
than a forced landing because the pilot has more time
for terrain selection and the planning of the approach.

In addition, the pilot can use power to compensate for
errors in judgment or technique. The pilot should be
aware that too many situations calling for a precautionary
landing are allowed to develop into immediate
forced landings, when the pilot uses wishful thinking
instead of reason, especially when dealing with a
self-inflicted predicament. The non-instrument rated
pilot trapped by weather, or the pilot facing imminent
fuel exhaustion who does not give any thought to the
feasibility of a precautionary landing accepts an
extremely hazardous alternative.

There are several factors that may interfere with a
pilot's ability to act promptly and properly when faced
with an emergency.

• Reluctance to accept the emergency situation.
A pilot who allows the mind to become paralyzed
at the thought that the airplane will be on the
ground, in a very short time, regardless of the
pilot's actions or hopes, is severely handicapped
in the handling of the emergency. An unconscious
desire to delay the dreaded moment may lead to
such errors as: failure to lower the nose to maintain
flying speed, delay in the selection of the
most suitable landing area within reach, and
indecision in general. Desperate attempts to
correct whatever went wrong, at the expense of
airplane control, fall into the same category.

• Desire to save the airplane. The pilot who has
been conditioned during training to expect to find
a relatively safe landing area, whenever the flight
instructor closed the throttle for a simulated
forced landing, may ignore all basic rules of
airmanship to avoid a touchdown in terrain where
airplane damage is unavoidable. Typical consequences
are: making a 180° turn back to the
runway when available altitude is insufficient;
stretching the glide without regard for minimum
control speed in order to reach a more appealing
field; accepting an approach and touchdown
situation that leaves no margin for error. The
desire to save the airplane, regardless of the risks
involved, may be influenced by two other factors:
the pilot's financial stake in the airplane and the
certainty that an undamaged airplane implies no
bodily harm. There are times, however, when a
pilot should be more interested in sacrificing the
airplane so that the occupants can safely walk
away from it.