Saturday, February 19, 2011



For my second video of the day, here's one where a flight instructor intentionally shuts the engine down on a student for forced approach practice. I think I'd probably beat the instructor unconscious after the landing - shutting down a healthy engine is just plain retarded. What if another airplane was on the runway or a moose ran out, or what if the student screwed up the forced approach? The mind boggles.

15 comments:

5400AirportRdSouth said...

I watched it three times to try and catch the evidence of photo-shop as I simply cannot believe what I'm seeing. It would appear the "instructor" ( and I use that term loosely ) is the one holding the camera... I'd be willing to bet that this video is going to bite this guy as soon as someone familiar with the field/plane/student sees it..

Paul Tomblin said...

Wow. When I read your description, I assumed it was going to be a twin, because I know some older instructors still shut down one engine instead of simulating it. But I've never heard of an instructor doing this in a single. That's INSANE!

Anonymous said...

And it didn't look much like a stabilized approach either. There was overshooting both directions before they leveled out quite low over the runway. Or was that deliberate S-turns to loose altitude?

Either way, Yikes.

mR said...

Holy unsafe instructing, Batman. What is this "instructor" looking to prove? I've never seen or heard of anything like this before...and to FILM it? Yikes. Glad it turned out okay, but if I was the student, I'd report this to the CFI immediately. There is no acceptable reason for shutting down a good (and ONLY) engine in flight. Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Skinny said...

So are you guys saying your instructors never shut down an engine on you? Mine did this to practice restart and frankly I thought it was silly but since I was only being instructed by one guy...didn't have other experience. This was in a 172. Never landed that way though! It was a random stall and then restart.

Sulako said...

If you intentionally shut down the engine on a single-engine plane, you are creating an emergency rather than simulating one. There's no excuse for increasing the risk level that much, especially with a student on board.

Eric said...

Holy s**t!!!! not only would I beat that instructor within an inch of his life but it would be the absolute last time I EVER flew with that moron

Brian said...

Holy Crap! There's a 152 with a Garmin 430 in it??

sounddoc said...

On the whole the student handled it pretty well - overshooting, s-turns, whatever - the 1500' mark is not bad considering the dumbass CFI gave him only one option in a stressful situation.

I would have restarted the engine and said 'your airplane - lesson's over.' or if i still liked the CFI after this, restarted and create a zero thrust situation, and continue the _simulated_ emergency

As my CFI always taught me - no use in making a simulated emergency into a real one.

Giulia said...

*horrified*

Keith M said...

Okay, I've had 2 CFI's shut the fuel off in a C172 on me in preparation for my private checkride. However, first off they weren't video-taping the whole thing. Second, we didn't actually make the engine stop like this guy did. Third, when I turned the fuel back on the power was pulled to idle and the simulation continued. When this was done to me, we were quite high 4500 feet and we had multiple options to put our bird down (2 freeways, a bunch of golf courses, and a closed-down military airfield) if the engine chose not to restart after fuel was restored.

To turn on another thought: why would you want to do S-turns to loose altitude on a 5,000' runway? Wouldn't a slip, or simply stay over the field be much better? I don't even want to entertain the thought that the CFI's cross-controlled skills are questionable.

Sarah said...

I can top that. A friend of mine put up a youtube video showing a deliberately stopped-prop landing. He was giving a friend ( the camera operator ) a ride in his J3. Yes, that's right, a J3, with no starter. In the winter, on skis.

He got lots of free advice on his risk assessment skills on that one.

Anonymous said...

@Brian - haha! agreed there's not many 430s in 152s!

@Sarah - in a j3 all you would need to do is put it to left mag (impulse side) and drop the nose for an air start. Through about 80 kts the prop will start to turn and engine will fire up.

--

Deadsticking a plane under as controlled an environment as possible is a good skill and it would take a particularly inept pilot to bugger up a forced landing onto such a long runway. By and large I don't agree with it but if you have someone on board who can get out of virtually most situations it's sound. In a 152 you can stretch the glide quite significantly in an undershoot situation and likewise drop it down in an overshoot situation. It's not a 206/207 with an engine off.

There's also a different feel to the quieter plane, even less drag, etc, that only someone who has had a real engine failure (or this instructor) will know about.

Give it a go, and get comfortable with it.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I'm surprised at how aghast most of you seem to be. My instructor shut off the mags and we stalled the propeller and made a "real" forced approach. It was surprising how noisy an unpowered Cherokee was, just gliding through the air.

If I recall, I screwed up the first approach, and we simply re-started the engine and climbed up to try it again.

Sulako said...

@ Anonymous - Well, I'm certainly glad that the engine restarted quickly. What if it hadn't? What would your options have been then, with a 'screwed up' fake forced approach, at low altitude, and no distress radio calls up to then? It would really suck if a perfectly airworthy airplane god bent or if perfectly healthy people got hurt for no good reason. I have flown lots of piston aircraft that were harder to start when they were warm than when they were cold. Again, to me it seems like the added real-life risk for the minimal amount of realism added to the scenario isn't worth it. This demonstrates one of the reasons I love training in the sim - we can do stuff that would be outrageously risky to even think about in real life, and just hit the reboot button if we pooch it. Not quite as easy to do in real life.