October 2007 Issue

Gliding With Precision

When your single’s engine quits, you become the pilot of a fairly lousy glider. How to make the most of your altitude, the energy source now keeping you aloft.

From almost our very first flying lesson, pilots are taught what to do in the event a single-engine airplane’s lone powerplant fails. As with too many concepts at that early stage of our training, we basically accept what we’re taught without many questions. Later, as we gain experience, we begin to think more about those early lessons and try to apply to them what our experience has taught us. In turn, many questions can arise. If your airplane ever becomes a glider, you would suddenly become very interested in its new aerodynamics. How promptly and accurately you can remember to make the most of the variables at your disposal would play a large part in determining where and how softly you land. Let’s take a look at those variables and how they can affect your emergency glide.

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