Engine failure on takeoff and the impossible turn

Jason Schappert has posted the second video in his series about engine failures after takeoff. In part one, he had explained what to do if an engine quits at a low altitude while in part two, he moves on to what happens when there is no usable runway left and then he covers the topic of so-called “impossible turns.”

Regarding impossible turns, Jason says that if you are flying below 1,000 feet, you should not even think about trying to turn back but if you are flying at 1,000 feet or above, then you can consider it. He also makes the interesting point that while you my not make the runway, you will at least be on airport property (that is, in the example he used).

Moreover and as we mentioned in a recent post (How impossible is the impossible turn?), there are situations where the impossible turn can be performed but it can really depend on the circumstances and the pilot’s training. After all and as Bruce Mamont commented in the post’s comment’s section:

Learning how to execute, the right altitude and practice are critical. It shouldn’t be attempted on the strength of reading an article, blog, or listening to hanger talk; I’d hope that all of the above might inspire a desire to seek out competent instruction.

A point definitely worth noting!

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2 Responses to Engine failure on takeoff and the impossible turn

  1. Patrick Flannigan January 5, 2010 at 18:22 #

    The impossible turn works out surprisingly well when you have a second runway making a 45 degree angle with the departure runway. In that case, the initial turn ought to line the pilot up with the second runway with altitude to spare. A slip and a few S-Turns later and you've got it made.

  2. Marty January 8, 2010 at 15:16 #

    You should be cautious posting links to videos when the simulations have no scientific merit and the instructional elements aren't discussed with regard to actual aerodynamic facts. The instructional patter is littered with anecdotal nonsense that I found to be absurd. There are a number of factors that should be assessed (or considered) as part of a pre takeoff safety brief

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