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Engine out emergency landing


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Enjoying a great evening flight last night when the egine quit without any warning. The only other time I've had to land out was a year or so ago while we were beach flying, so landing was an easy option then.

This time we were over a large farm estate with loads of massive fields but only tractor tracks connecting them. I had been taking sunset photo's, so by the time I had packed my camera away, unsuccessfully tried to restart the motor, set the trimmers & harness straps for landing, radio'd my flying companions etc, I had picked out the best field without crops that wasn't freshly ploughed and into wind.

Meanwhile my mate was on radio saying I should land near a road, and not fancying a long carry out with 50kgs of kit I decided to glide back to the nearest houses where I could see a narrow strip of waste land. Of course it had power lines along one side and small trees on the other, and wasn't aligned with the wind, so after a final turn to approach it was a hard, fast landing. Thankfully only pride was bruised after landing in an undignified heap.

On the plus side, the neighbour who was in his garden saw me land and came over for a chat to make sure everything was OK. Turned out to be ex army with many years jumping out of Hercules aircraft, so he had seen much worse landings. :lol:

On the down side I was a bit annoyed with myself for taking someone else's advice and changing plans halfway, when I could have had a much more relaxed, easier and safer landing with more time to make it perfect. Probably because there were so many options, I hadn't kept my eye on any particular suitable landing sites during the flight.

My advice would now be to just trust your instincts and go with the easiest, safest option - and worry about the retrieve once you have landed & packed away. If this is by a road & houses it is a bonus, but not if it increases the risk factor...

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What was the engine problem?

I feel so much more confident flying over open fields than any where else for that reason, although at the right height you could glide to a safe landing area i prefer fields.

I had emergency landing on a beach too and it was f fast but the safest spot

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Not sure what the engine problem is yet - I was going to check it today but went free flying instead. Certainly electrical though - a short circuit or broken wire perhaps.

Pete & cobra - I agree, thats why I decided to write this. Even though the spot I chose was safe and no harm was done, it added a small amount of risk as my options would have been very limited had there been telephone wires or other hazards when I got there. I am actually very risk averse, so it was silly to add even a small amount for the sake of a sweaty carry out .... With hindsight I would have had more time just going for the easy option.

Anyway, it might help others in a similar situation. If you think you can make the small field next to a convenient pub, road & telephone box, but know you can land in the big empty one below, with a half mile carry out - just go with the easy one that you know you can make ! 8)

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