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Forced Landing Poll

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Well-known member
Jan 1, 2002
Hi People!

A few weeks ago I had to do a forced landing with a 152. I was doing 8's on Pylons with a commercial student when we blew a cylinder and lost all the oil. I set it down on the gravel road we were using for the maneuver.

The incident got me to thinking about how common a major engine failure is with light aircraft. I would very much appreciate anyone who could participate in the following simple survey. To make the results most meaningful I'd like people to limit their hours flown and forced landing incidents to piston engine operatons only. I'll post some kind of half-assed statistical analysis after getting a significant number of replies.

question #1: How many hours of piston-engine airplane time do you have?

question #2: How many forced landings have you done due to engine or structural failure. Please include any failures that would have forced you to make an off-airport landing had you not been close to an airport. Please include any returns to the airports for failures that would have caused you to put her down if you had been enroute somewhere. Please don't include a return to the airport because of a fouled plug or losing one Mag. Basically any failure that meant you couldn't maintain altitude or you had to get it on the ground immediately.

To make this survey as valid as possible please reply regardless of your hrs flown or whether you've ever had a forced landing.

Thanks very much!

For me:

#1 - 565 piston airplane total hours
#2 - one forced landing
Last edited:
1600 piston hours. No forced landings and no shutdowns......as I knock on my head with both hands. One aborted takeoff.....alternator failure.
Thanks for the responses!

I told a coworker about this thread and he suggested I ask people that did have engine failures/forced landings about how close to TBO these engines were that gave up the ghost. The one I was flying was at 2300 hrs or 300 over TBO - no big wonder it died! The owner seems to believe in the theory of run 'em till they die. That's real comforting.

And Otter, those aren't great averages you've got going. Any comments on why? Maintenance or bad luck?
Now your getting technical. I ran a Part 135 for ten years we eventually went to overhauling all our own engines here are our stats over ten years.

IO-540-KIA5- 9800 hours two cylinder failures

IO-540-C4B5-17800 hours 6 major engine failure-crankshaft failures-one major fire subsequent to cylinder failure(AD)

I0-520-F 12,000 hours 3 cylinder failures

O-470-R 7000 hours

R-985 3000 hours 6 cylinder failures

TSIO-540-J2BD 4000 hours 2 cylinder failures 1 turbo failure
2,800 recip hours, 1 forced landing due to engine failure thankfully right over a BIG runway, 1 in-flight fire again thankfully just past the IAF on an ILS. And I'm knocking everything made out of wood in this den.

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