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
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.