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EAA Begins 180 Turn-Around Study

Assessing PPL Training on Engine-Out on Takeoff Responses

The EAA has put together a safety analysis team to evaluate current pilot training and response when gliding to the runway. Specifically, pilot reactions to the difficult 180-degree turn back following an engine failure on takeoff.

The perilous maneuver has long been known to be a cause of incidents for low-time and inexperienced pilots, but the EAA believes a study on real-world reactions could find space to improve.

The group will be led by EAA vice chairman of the board Charlie Precourt, and vice president of advocacy and safety Sean Elliott with representatives from flight instruction, flight testing, academia, data analysis, and industry experts. It will focus primarily on the safety considerations stemming from three sources: Reacting to engine failure on takeoff, stall awareness, and the installation of proper judgement in developing pilots. Under current premises, many private pilot students may only have brief exposure to the concept, with the majority of their training focused on preventing the situation from developing, or selecting a landing site-off airport. The working group will analyze the ability of different aircraft types in the performance of a “power-off 180”, and whether the turn-back option is an ideal response for their aircraft type. 

The group’s formation follows an NTSB report that indicates engine failure on takeoff and climeout remains a significant contributor to GA accidents. Their changes will likely include changes to piloting skills learned in private and sport pilot certification, and additional training programs. The EAA will work with the FAA and submit their recommendations to the agency when complete. 

FMI: www.eaa.org


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