A pilot would decide to make a precautionary landing either at an aerodrome or at a suitable landing surface if they experienced things such as deteriorating weather, a sick passenger or low fuel.
If landing at an unfamiliar aerodrome, fly one circuit with a low pass and overshoot with your aircraft slightly right of centerline so that you can inspect the runway, and then fly your normal circuit and land.
If landing anywhere else, fly 2 inspection circuits. Make the first one slightly lower than your cruise altitude, and look for things such as streams, houses, trees, ect. After this, fly a circuit at 1000' AGL as normal, and conduct a low pass and overshoot with the surface on your left side. On this pass, look for things such as grass thickness, bumps, wind direction, fences, power lines, ect. If you feel that the surface is suitable for landing, conduct one more circuit and land. If you think it is not suitable, climb and look for another field.
Pilots use forced landings when they have no other choice but to get the aircraft on the ground, such as during an engine failure or fire. For the steps I will describe, we will go with a mock engine failure. *Note: If practicing long glides with engine at idle in cold weather, warm the engine every 500' by applying full power for a few seconds*
1) After your engine fails, turn Fuel Pump On, Carb Heat Hot and Prop Full Forward. Pick the longest possible field to your left hand side, and begin gliding to it at 65 knots. (It is possible to fly a "circuit" to get your aircraft lined up for a certain field)
2) Execute a Cause Check. Make sure: Fuel Pump On, Master On, Mags Both, Fuel Valve Open, Carb Heat Hot, Choke Off, Prop Full Forward, Fuel Quantity, Engine Gauges Green
3) Attempt to restart your engine. Do NOT try this if your engine was on fire, the propeller is wind-milling, or you have no fuel
4) Mayday Call. Include Callsign, Location, Problem, Intentions, # of People On Board, Aircraft Description (Ex. type, colour, trim)
5) Passenger Briefing. Ask if they remember everything you told them before the flight, if not, brief them again
6) Shut off your engine. Mags Off, Fuel Cutoff Valve
7) Land at your field and exit the aircraft.
Finally, I leave you with a picture of what was at Waterloo Airport this weekend. This CF-18 arrived Friday night, and will be leaving Sunday afternoon.
|A RCAF CF-18 Hornet parked at Waterloo International Airport (CYKF) on the morning of December 3, 2011|