Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
What If An ATP Had To Land...  
User currently offlineDarius From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 141 posts, RR: 0
Posted (13 years 8 months 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4662 times:

... A Single Engine Piston aircraft?

Following the topic "What if a passenger had to land?", I'd like to ask the Air Transport Pilots out there, what if you have to land a simple SEP airplane? Of course every pilot starts on one of these, but if you haven't flown them for years, would you, in a theoretical situation, dare take one in the air without any kind of checkout or current experience on the type?


17 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (13 years 8 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 4601 times:

Good question

Years ago I blew a landing at the Calgary Airport in my Luscombe 8-A. Nasty cross wind, and I trundled off the side of the runway. Missed the lights, no damage to the airplane. Didn't loop it. Only my pride and ego were suffering.

What made it worse, though, was the Air Canada DC-8 waiting for take-off clearance while I landed. When the tower asked me if I was OK, I replied in the affirmative but expressed dismay at screwing up in front of a professional audience. Tower cleared me across the runway to a taxi-way and then said -- "don't worry about the DC-8 driver. He couldn't land your plane any better than you did." Then he cleared the jet to take off after the Luscombe had cleared the runway. There was no comment from the AC captain.

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1741 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (13 years 8 months 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 4576 times:

You seem to think that airline pilots were born in the driver's seat of a 737. Most airline types that I know spent their share of years in a C152 as a student and instructor and could still handle one pretty well.

I soloed in a Luscombe 8-E taildragger; a considerably more tricky airplane than the C152. It had no flaps and no radio, as well. I bet that after a bit of airwork and touch-and-goes it would all come back to me quickly even though my last landing in a Luscombe was quite a while ago. Even the damned heel brakes.

User currently offlineLearpilot From United States of America, joined May 2001, 814 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (13 years 8 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4576 times:

You lose the feel a bit - but it comes right back. I remember when I was flight instructing, I had a TWA -9 driver want to get checked out in a 172 so he could take some gal for a ride - if you get my drift. He hadn't flown a single in years and it showed the first time around the pattern. On final, he had the nose way up with the flaps all the way down - works in the -9 but not in a 172. After a few more trips around the pattern it came back to him. Not perfection, but good enough to get my blessing.

Heed our warnings or your future will be underpant free!
User currently offlineJetguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (13 years 8 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4576 times:

30E summed it up pretty well. Most of us have spent 1000's of hours in small single engine aircraft. That experience, no matter how long ago, will count for something. I did have a pretty funny experience several years ago when I checked out a Delta Airlines captain friend of mine in a Blannick glider. He forgot for a moment what he was flying and tried to land the glider while he was still about 50' in the air. Other than that, there were no problems. I also had the opportunity several years back to check out a WWII B-29 pilot who hadn't flown anything since the war. Although it had been nearly 40 years since he had flown anything and the last thing he flew was a B-29, he got right back into the swing of things and within 10 hours he was good to go. Some things you just don't forget.

User currently offlineArrow From Canada, joined Jun 2002, 2676 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (13 years 8 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4555 times:

ThirtyEcho --

Did your 8-E have an engine-driven electrical system? I had to hand prop the 8-a (65hp Continental if I remember right). It had a radio run by a car battery in the back, which I had to take out after every flight to get it recharged. Eventually I had a little wind generator installed on the strut. Told my passengers it was the spare engine.

Great airplane, though. My wife said it was a toy. I guess that's close to the mark - but she never had to land it in a cross wind or slow it down with those confounded brakes. And I did occassionally get nervous about that gas tank right behind my head.

Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
User currently offlineJhooper From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 6210 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (13 years 8 months 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 4549 times:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © AirNikon

It probably wouldn't be too much of a problem in a C172 or similar training aircraft. However, I can tell you that the Cessna 180 pictured above it alot of airplane, especially if you have minimum tailwheel time. Many pilots who went through the military don't have much time at all in singles, and probably don't have any tailwheel time. Since a taildragger is a different beast than any airliner, especially in a crosswind, an airline pilot who isn't experienced in this type of flying would probably have difficulty landing correctly. That said, alot of these same pilots who have minimum piston time should really not overestimate their abilities, and ensure that they are properly checked out. I flew with an ATP in a C180 a couple of years ago who closed the cowl flaps right after takeoff, and we climbed another 7000ft. The cylinder head temperatures skyrocketed because he didn't follow proper procedures. He also had no clue about leaning the mixture properly, among other things.

Last year 1,944 New Yorkers saw something and said something.
User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (13 years 8 months 22 hours ago) and read 4523 times:

I am lucky to own a little personal airplane, a Piper L-21c, ex-US Army 1953 observation and liaison airplane, you call that PA18-135 Super Cub...
I learned to fly in J3 Cubs back in 1959... got my PPL in these, then went to the Air Force but never forgot the "Cub" (65 hp)... then it was airlines...
Three years ago, I located that L-21 in Paraguay, for sale, US $7,000... and very similar to the Cub... I bought the airplane and flew it back to Buenos Aires, had to do my own "check-out"... 40 years since I had flown something like that... but it is like swimming, you never forget, really...
Since then I got the engine overhauled, now teaching my 13 years old son to fly with it, he already has 110 hours dual with me... but I had to relearn a lot of little tricks I forgot... I make my plane available to the airline's aeroclub, so many pilots volunteer to teach non-pilot airline employees to fly... and I get free maintenance for doing so...
There is a C-185 at the aeroclub, one of these days I will get checked-out on it, I understand that plane is a little more demanding...
(s) Skipper

User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1741 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (13 years 8 months 19 hours ago) and read 4485 times:


The 8-E I soloed in had no electrical nothing. It was a 65HP that was easily hand propped. I thought it was pretty easy to handle on landing; what did I know? My instructor also taught me spins, rolls and loops in it. Stressed for 9Gs, as you probably know. After the Luscombe, I moved up to a C140 and then a C150. In my opinion, it was the C150 that seemed like a toy: Whaddaya mean we have to TURN to do a 180? Why can't we just do an Immelman?

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30410 posts, RR: 57
Reply 9, posted (13 years 8 months 18 hours ago) and read 4448 times:

He would try and cross the numbers at 90kts just so it feels the same as the big bird  Laugh out loud

There are quite a few jet drivers who would be very dangerous if they got into an aircraft with the correct tailwheel, rather then the ugly and ungainly nosewheel that airplanes typically have.

User currently offlineTsentsan From Singapore, joined Jan 2002, 2017 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (13 years 8 months 15 hours ago) and read 4427 times:

In May this year, I had a friend come down to Perth for a holiday. He's a 777 FO, and he trained in Jandakot a couple of years back.

Anyway, we went up one not-so-fine day for some bits of 'real flying' in a C172. It was good, up and down it was really good, the trimming and stuff was smooth and well done... Only some things which he mentioned was that he was kinda unsure of rotating at 80+ knots, and landing at 60 knots was pretty unheard of nowadays for him  Smile/happy/getting dizzy But it was very nice.

Another friend of his went up as well, but he was an A340 pilot for a number of years, and well, the other guy did remember everything and the flights went well  Smile/happy/getting dizzy


NO URLS in signature
User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1741 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (13 years 8 months 11 hours ago) and read 4378 times:


I agree that the things that momentarily throw me a bit when moving from a high performance A/C to a much lower performing ship are the speeds and rate of climb/descent. I think it is more disconcerting than moving from trycycle gear to a taildragger but, that said, it may be because taildraggers are not unfamiliar to me and one always has the option of doing a wheel landing in a taildragger if feeling a bit rusty. I find it hard to accept the fact that I am using 75kts as a climb speed and soaring up at 600fpm. Then again, doing slow flight at 40-45kts IAS is a real hoot.

It always feels like there should be more to do after takeoff in a C172 than what I am doing; no props to set, no fuel flow to adjust, no gear to retract, etc.

User currently offlineWhiskeyflyer From Ireland, joined May 2002, 224 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (13 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 4374 times:

As mentioned already but also from my experience taking up profession pilots in my little plane its the speed, at first, that freaks them out and the take off and landing run length. Approach speeds on landing are so slow in comparision if they used to flying the big jets but they soon get used to it. Although once I went up as a passenger with a jet pilot who was flying a C310 on ferry (had not flown a prop for a while) well lets just say I thought I was going to see the landing gear struts popping up through the wing on landing.

Now ex High Speed Military pilots in small civil aircraft.........thats another story (considering one nearly killed me once)

User currently offlineDarius From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 141 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (13 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 4360 times:

30E, my question was a hypothetical one, i.e. would you feel confident to fly solo in a light aircraft WITHOUT recent training and/or experience in it?
I am aware that all pilots start learning to fly in the small planes.

Jetguy, here in the Netherlands many pilots do not have 1000's of hours of experience before they start flying the big jets. As a matter of fact, KLM flight academy students finish their education with about 200 hours, having flown Archer's, Bonanza's, Baron's and a A310 simulator, and then starting their jobs going straight to a first or second officer seat.
So their experience on the small planes isn't all that much.


User currently offlineThirtyEcho From United States of America, joined Dec 2001, 1741 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (13 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 4352 times:


I wouldn't feel confident flying ANY airplane without recent training or experience in it. If I hadn't flown a light single in a while I'd want a bit of dual before I launched off alone.

I recall that, after I hadn't flown a C152 for a very long time, I took one for a Sunday morning flight just for grins and was searching frantically for the flap lever on a hot and high landing, not realizing that the C152 now had electric flaps. Lesson learned.

Bear in mind that REAL pilots didn't use flaps back then for takeoff unless it was a short/soft field.

User currently offlineAAR90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 3590 posts, RR: 44
Reply 15, posted (13 years 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 4314 times:

It would be ugly, but it would be safe.

*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
User currently offlineB747skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (13 years 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 4319 times:

I claim I could more or less fly any regular airplane, from airliner down to general aviation singles - and taildraggers dont bother me...
I had a sobering experience though, a few years ago...
A friend of mine owns a DC3 in the USA, and while visiting there, he told me "lets go for a flight", he had invited some 10 passengers to ride along for a short local flight, and he got me in the RH seat from takeoff to landing...
I have never flown a large propeller aircraft such as DC3 or bigger... and the basic instruments I could read, but the engine controls, handles, throttles and levers, dont have a single cue what to do, and to look for...
I got to fly that DC3 for some 10-15 minutes around the countryside, right turn heading this, left turn going for that, climbing 4,500 feet, descending 3,500 feet... but beats me what the proper engine power settings would be, and what handles to push or pull...
If that pilot got a heart attack... ok, I could have flown that DC3 for landing, not very nice maybe, but I think we would all been safe (and scared)... if it would have been the case, I would have proceeded to a very long runway... Maybe also I would not have handled the engines power setting properly, but I doubt they would have "exploded" because of my lack of knowledge...
I dont mind flying your Cessna 150 or Citabria, then you fly my 747... we will see which one survives...
 Smile/happy/getting dizzy
(s) Skipper

User currently offlinePPGMD From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 2453 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (13 years 8 months 5 hours ago) and read 4314 times:

I could land the 747, its as you said. I get on the horn and ask someone which buttons to push to get the thing to autoland.  Big grin Big grin

At worst, you screw up and die.
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic What If An ATP Had To Land...
No username? Sign up now!

Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)

Similar topics:More similar topics...
What If A Passenger Had To Land? posted Mon Sep 30 2002 20:49:14 by Bruce
What Is The Correct Way To Land A Tail Dragger? posted Mon Mar 6 2006 22:45:19 by Jamesbuk
What If? An Airliners Wheels Didn't Come Down? posted Sat Aug 13 2005 23:49:49 by Pawsleykat
Want To Be An ATP. What Should I Do? posted Sat Aug 30 2003 17:49:31 by FastFlyer
If An Aircraft Was Unable To De-pressurise... posted Sat Feb 25 2006 20:38:47 by TupolevTu154
Best Place To Land In An Emergency? posted Thu Apr 28 2005 07:21:23 by Goinv
What Happens If An Aircraft Over Flies 40,000? posted Tue Jun 3 2003 21:40:22 by Airmale
What Does 'Crcle To Land Mean'? posted Sun Sep 16 2001 04:31:46 by Ajaaron
How Does ATC Choose Which Runway To Land On? posted Wed Oct 18 2006 23:24:10 by Fll2993
What If The Nose Gear Collapsed On Takeoff? posted Sat May 20 2006 11:31:42 by F.pier

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format