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Airplane Flying Handbook
Emergency Procedures
EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

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Airplane Flying Handbook

Preface

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

Glossary

Index

• Undue concern about getting hurt. Fear is a
vital part of the self-preservation mechanism.
However, when fear leads to panic, we invite that
which we want most to avoid. The survival
records favor pilots who maintain their composure
and know how to apply the general concepts
and procedures that have been developed through
the years. The success of an emergency landing is
as much a matter of the mind as of skills.

BASIC SAFETY CONCEPTS

GENERAL

A pilot who is faced with an emergency landing in terrain
that makes extensive airplane damage inevitable
should keep in mind that the avoidance of crash
injuries is largely a matter of: (1) keeping vital
structure (cockpit/cabin area) relatively intact by using
dispensable structure (such as wings, landing gear, and
fuselage bottom) to absorb the violence of the stopping
process before it affects the occupants, (2) avoiding
forceful bodily contact with interior structure.

The advantage of sacrificing dispensable structure is
demonstrated daily on the highways. A head-on car
impact against a tree at 20 miles per hour (m.p.h.) is
less hazardous for a properly restrained driver than a
similar impact against the driver's door. Accident
experience shows that the extent of crushable structure
between the occupants and the principal point of
impact on the airplane has a direct bearing on the
severity of the transmitted crash forces and, therefore,
on survivability.

Avoiding forcible contact with interior structure is a
matter of seat and body security. Unless the occupant
decelerates at the same rate as the surrounding
structure, no benefit will be realized from its relative
intactness. The occupant will be brought to a stop violently
in the form of a secondary collision.

Dispensable airplane structure is not the only available
energy absorbing medium in an emergency situation.
Vegetation, trees, and even manmade structures may
be used for this purpose. Cultivated fields with dense
crops, such as mature corn and grain, are almost as
effective in bringing an airplane to a stop with
repairable damage as an emergency arresting device
on a runway. [Figure 16-1] Brush and small trees
provide considerable cushioning and braking effect
without destroying the airplane. When dealing with
natural and manmade obstacles with greater strength
than the dispensable airplane structure, the pilot must
plan the touchdown in such a manner that only nonessential
structure is "used up" in the principal
slowing down process.

Using vegetation to absorb energy.
Figure 16-1. Using vegetation to absorb energy.

The overall severity of a deceleration process is
governed by speed (groundspeed) and stopping
distance. The most critical of these is speed; doubling
the groundspeed means quadrupling the total destructive
energy, and vice versa. Even a small change in
groundspeed at touchdown—be it as a result of wind
or pilot technique—will affect the outcome of a
controlled crash. It is important that the actual
touchdown during an emergency landing be made at
the lowest possible controllable airspeed, using all
available aerodynamic devices.

Most pilots will instinctively—and correctly—look
for the largest available flat and open field for an emergency
landing. Actually, very little stopping distance
is required if the speed can be dissipated uniformly;
that is, if the deceleration forces can be spread evenly
over the available distance. This concept is designed
into the arresting gear of aircraft carriers that provides
a nearly constant stopping force from the moment of
hookup.

The typical light airplane is designed to provide
protection in crash landings that expose the occupants
to nine times the acceleration of gravity (9 G) in a
forward direction. Assuming a uniform 9 G deceleration,
at 50 m.p.h. the required stopping distance is
about 9.4 feet. While at 100 m.p.h. the stopping distance
is about 37.6 feet—about four times as great.
[Figure 16-2] Although these figures are based on an
ideal deceleration process, it is interesting to note what
can be accomplished in an effectively used short stopping
distance. Understanding the need for a firm
but uniform deceleration process in very poor terrain
enables the pilot to select touchdown conditions that
will spread the breakup of dispensable structure over a
short distance, thereby reducing the peak deceleration
of the cockpit/cabin area.

 

16-2