Engine - Out
Save The Model Recovery Procedures

by: Bob Violett

  Generally, our model turbine engines are reliable and we can become very confident that they will not let us down.  However, should the unthinkable happen, like a puff of smoke, followed by a deafening silence, the following procedures, if applied in time can save your model, or at least, minimize the damage.

1.  Always convert excess air speed into altitude.

2.  Select take-off flaps (about 15). This will provide maximum L.O.D. (lift over drag ratio)

3.  Point the model towards the field, or if excess altitude (500-600ft A.G.L.) is available, aim for a "High Key" position for a 360 circle to land, or a "Low Key" (300-400ft A.G.L.) position for a 180 turn to land.

4.  If the wind is above 2-3 mph - always choose to land into the wind.

NOTE:  Landing into the wind, gear-up, and on grass, is preferable to a high speed gear down, downwind landing on a paved surface, especially if the model runs off the end of the runway or bounces uncontrollably.

5.  The landing gear and open wheel wells create significant aerodynamic drag, so, do not extend the gear until you are certain that the available altitude and airspeed assure that the model will glide back to the runway. Again, a nose high landing on a grass surface with the landing gear up, usually yields minimum damage.

6.  Use Full Flaps and Speed Brakes: these items also produce additional aerodynamic drag. If the model has excess altitude or speed, use these air braking devices to descend more rapidly and kill-off extra airspeed.


  If you have done everything perfectly and timely, you can squeak it on to the runway and enjoy the accolades of your model buddies.  If of course, the engine quit too low or too slow, at least these procedures will help minimize the damage.


 If you've got it on board, these electronic read-out and/or voice commands can reinforce your decisions.


 Pilots of man carrying airplanes, from Cessna's to F-16's, practice for the possibility of an engine out landing by pulling the engine(s) to idle and following prescribed procedures. During the last few years there have been a few successful F-16 Falcon dead sticks. Model jet pilots can make this new "skill set" a part of their recurrent training.


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