Circuit Training with a twist – Engine Failure on take-off

Today (8th December 2013) like the last few weeks was more circuit training, the conditions were a little bit windy to the point that the parachute club next door were not operating, but that didn’t stop us!


Today’s runway is 24*.  I could describe the circuit, but I have done that a few time in other posts, so what was different today well not too much to be honest, I still seem to get the height above the runway wrong on occasions and don’t normally pull the stick far enough back on the flare, but the news here is that we may have found out why! I tend to fly with my arm on the armrest, which seems to limit the movement of the stick as I’m using my wrist to move it and not my arm (too many hours spent on the Xbox 360), Mike spotted this and the last two landings were better so we will see next week if this is the key to my issue.

The twist this week is Mike took over on a climb out at just over 200ft and showed me what to do if we have an engine failure on take-off. We had also discussed this in the pre-flight briefing, you must get the nose down explained Mike and select a landing spot ahead of you, don’t try and go around and land back on the airfield you won’t make it, he adds.

We continued flying circuits and after another couple we are claiming out and Mike says engine failure and takes the power back to idle!  I impressed myself! Nose down selected a field to land in had time to put a stage of flap on and flew the best approach of the day right down to the field and then, just before touch down, full power and around we go. I guess it’s best for the farmer’s field and the aeroplane that we don’t actually put it down in the field if we don’t need to.

On the last circuit Mike says ok this time let’s make it a full flap landing and I make probable the best landing of my lesson.

I still find it very infuriating that at best I’m inconsistent, why is this part so damn hard? I likened it to when I was a martial artist, progression through to brown belt was quick, but the level of detail and consistency need to go from brown to black is a marked step change and that took me a while too, so maybe there is hope and maybe there is now a dim light shining at the end of my current tunnel!

How did you fined learning to land, easy, or is your experience similar to mine, I would love to know so why not add a comment below?

I rounded off the day by taking my Human Performance and limitations exam, which I’m glad to say is a lot easier than learning to land, I passed this leaving only the Navigation and Aeroplane technical exams to do, which I will probably leave until the New Year.

As I was leaving for the day I looked back and saw this lovely view view.

Sunset at Chatteris Airfield

* Runway numbering, as a passenger on a commercial airliner I had always wondered why an airport with 1 or 2 runways number them 27, 24, 03 etc. well since I started to learn to fly that is now obvious to me and it turns out to be quite sensible too! The runway number is the first 2 digits of the heading the runway aligns to. So if you are on the center line and lined up straight down the middle of runway 24 the compass will read 240 degrees.

4 Replies to “Circuit Training with a twist – Engine Failure on take-off”

  1. Hi Adrian, funnily enough I have the same problem. I agree its to do with leaving my arm on the Center rest but also due to not looking far enough down the runway. I tend to look just over the nose rather than down the runway.

    1. Hi Kevin. Yes these days I take my arm off the rest and as I flare I change my gaze to the end of the runway the combination of these two things together with a lot of practice seems to be working!

  2. Hi Adrian,

    I am enjoying “cruising” through your blog-site and am at the same stage as this blog… trying to prefect my landings. Will be focusing on these tips in my next flight now! Many thanks 🙂

  3. Hi Adrian,

    I am enjoying “cruising” through your blog-site and am at the same stage as this blog… trying to prefect my landings. Will be focusing on these tips in my next flight now! Many thanks 🙂

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