Navajo Drivers......

maverick_fp00

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For all you Navajo Drivers. Or just anybody who wants to try at this. I don't want to sounds like a smarty pants, but I'm going to ask this anyway. A good friend of mine recently went to SimCom for training in the Navajo. He asked me a question when he came back:

Situation:

No Wind situation:
You takeoff and you're at 800 feet (water is in front of you and there is no place to land on the ground because it's swampy, or it's a city, or whatever - both engines fail, what do you do?

You're taking off of runway 32 and you have a westerly wind, same think - 800 feet, both engines fail, what do you do?

Let me know what you think the answer is, I'll post it after a few replies.
 

maverick_fp00

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The second question is your second scenerio (forgot to say that in the previous statement)
 

DC9stick

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OK, I'll bite! In a Navajo or any other light twin if you have a double engine failure at 800 ft. you are going to land nearly straight ahead, in the case of the water or swamp if you do it right you are going to wade or swim out, in the city situation better be looking for a street. That said every double failure on piston twins I have heard of has been due to contaminated fuel, either jet or H2O. If you take care with your fuel all other engine systems being separate your chances of a double failure are almost nil.
 

TurboS7

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I think the sim trainer is bored. Turn right 45 degrees while establishing a 78KT decending turn next turn left 225 degrees apply flaps 10 while passing 180 degrees maintaining 78kts. When you have picked up the runway drop the gear when you have 3 green feather both props. Maintain airspeed adding flaps over the end of the runway. Apply brakes and stop.
 

TriStar_drvr

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I'll go with DC9stick. I've flown Navajos and I've flown sims, but never a Navajo sim. My guess is that the sim instructor was able to demonstrate a return to the runway when both engines quit. Having been a sim instructor, I know there is a lot of neat stuff you can demonstrate in the sim, that you would never do in flight. As for trying to return to the airport at 800 feet with both engines dead, I'd take my chances landing straight ahead.

In the sim, you are not suprised the engines quit. In the sim your reaction time is immediate since you expect this stuff to happen. In the sim the winds are constant. In the sim the aircraft is not overloaded (ever have a pax lie about his weight or baggage weight?). In the sim you don't have screaming passengers. In the sim you're not fearing for your life, fumbling through the memory items, forgetting to feather the props (you DID feather the props didn't you?).

Anyway, you get my drift. I'll take my chances landing upright and under control in the swamp than possibly out of control, with no chance of survival while trying to return to the field attempting to perform a maneuver that requires flawless execution to be successful.
 

TurboS7

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I have a lot of time in Navajo's too, in real life I would go straight ahead and put it in. If I were over a beach like climbing out of FXE,I would ditch parallel to the beach.
 

avbug

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Concur. There is no way to get it back to the runway, regardless of the winds. Unless the field elevation is 800 feet, and the failure occured on the runway...

Straight ahead, or a turn to get closer to shore.

Weight will make a big difference, as a Navajo at gross weight is no glider.

Attempting to get back to the runway is asking for a nasty accident.
 

TurboS7

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You picked up on that, field 800 feet and failure occured on the runway, but you are still going straight ahead. I know they are calling for the 180 degree turn, I have seen it done before in a sim with another airplane, if you turn into the wind initially you are screwed.
 

TurboS7

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Many years ago at CMI a pilot left a big pile of rubble and 8 bodies short of the runway as he tried to make a 180 degree turn. He is not around anymore so I didn't get to ask him if turned into the wind or not.(he helped dig the hole the passenger fell in it) Sim training is neg training as obviously this pilot never got to try it again. Always go straight ahead, even if you loose just one.
Especially in a PA31.
 

GoingHot

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Read the accident reports. So many have stalled in the turn and left a smoking hole. And that is with one good engine. I will take my changes with a controlled crash straight ahead.
 

328dude

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Pull the other back and hope for the best. Better chance of not becomming a crispy critter in the northern woods of Wisconsin or wherever. Just my 2 cents.

Don't try that 180 degree turn back to the field in the MU-2 if your heavy. Survibility rate? 0%...........Regardless of wind.
 

maverick_fp00

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:confused: :confused: :confused:
TurboS7:
Why would you feather the props last? It's a serious question, I'm just wondering - not trying to be mister dickhead or anything.


:eek: :eek: :eek:
TriStar_drvr:
You are absolutely right about the situation in the airplane being a lot different in the sim. No passengers screaming what's happening or fearing for your life.


:cool: :cool: :cool:
avbug:
And yes, 800 feet AGL.


I want to get a few more replies before I will tell you all what he was taught at SimCom.

I wish people would post stuff like this more often, I like being challenged and having to think.
 

Birddog

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I am going to go with the land more or less straight ahead crowd.
I haven't flown a PA31, but based on my experience with 414's and King Airs, you won't get far from 800 feet, especially in a turn. I would make sure I tighten my harness and tell my pax to do the same. Call a mayday if you have time, and secure the fuel and electrical systems. That is probably all the time you will have. There are quite a few people who have died trying to prove that the "impossible turn" is possible. Fly safe.
 

avbug

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The only realistic soloution from 800' is to make a slight turn for proximity to land, or go straight ahead. Prior to feathering props, attempt a recovery with boost pumps and switching tanks, but 800' doesn't provide much time.

After an attempt to restore power by rerouting fuel, shut it down and feather it, and get stable.

Much better to get stable, and set up for a 300 fpm constant rate of descent into the water. Use minimum sink airspeed, rather than maximum glide. Minimum sink will generally be slower, and it's often not published. Slow to (we had this discussion before, and I belive Asquared was the one who responded properly) approximately Vxse to achieve minimum sink.

Don't try to stall it onto the water, or necessarily even achieve a flare. Especially if the water is glassy. Simply set it down doing approximately 300 fpm. Have a door open, shoes off, belts in, and cushions in front of faces. Be prepared for rapid egress, but don't attempt it until the cabin is full of water and the pressure is equalized. Don't fight for air or the surface. Just hold your breath and float, and follow the bubbles, if it's daylight.

Then be sure to wave and scream dramatically for the evening news cameras that will probably already be on scene, as a shark pulls you back under and severs your femoral artery. And do try to smile. Remember, it's for posterity.

There is always the possibility that the aircraft will continue to float. This does sometimes happen. If you're light on fuel, there's a good chance that enough air in the tanks will keep the aircraft afloat, if the structure remains intact. However, most of the time you'll flip. There are those who will recommend keeping the cabin sealed in order to remain boyant, but don't do that. Unless you're opening forward facing doors or doors at the front of the structure...keep those closed until after coming to a rest. Otherwise, get something opened. If the aircraft begins to sink, you need to flood the cabin to get a door open anyway, to equalize the pressure. It's a good idea to have access doors open before impact, to keep the airframe from twisting and sealing them closed or jamming them.

Finally, take off the other direction, so this doesn't happen to you. Then you can go down in a school yard, instead. Better, ensure that you have a good fuel flow and good fuel, and it won't happen, either. (Unless you ingest a lot of birds, pick up a LOT of ice, or suck a door on both turbos at once).
 

siedkick

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maverick_fp00,

I think I can answer your question to TurboS7 re. feathering last while attempting a return to the runway.

The reason is because the PA-31 gear is straight hydraulic. You would need to keep at least one engine turning because there would be no time for hand pumping in this scenario.

In real life, I'd go for the swim.
 

TurboS7

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You got it. Trying to fly that tight of approach and hand-pumping at the same time would be quite the challange. With the engine's windmilling you have enough hydraulic pressure to lower the gear, then feather. Flaps are electric.
 

OtterFO

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The exception that proves.....

Here is the exception that proves the rule about ditching straight ahead.

I just started with a company in Barrow, AK. We have Navajo's, and in ground school we had a similar discussion. The upshot is, when taking off on either runway (6-24) at BRW and you lose engines, turn south. Your chances of surviving in the water up here is ZERO. You are better off in a less than stable condition and landing/crashing/cartwheeling on the tundra. This in an entirely unique situation.
 

avbug

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You're better off in almost any circumstance to get the airplane onto the land, instead of in the water. Hence the instruction from several posters to Make a turn if it will get one close to the shore, or onto land.

Water just complicates things a whole bunch. The unique circumstances of each incident must be taken into consideration.
 

bobbysamd

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Educated(?) guess

I've never flown a Navajo, nor have I flown in more than eight years, but I wanna try it.

I would use the ABCs of emergencies, as modified for this situation. Of course, the ABCs, as taught to ME by one of my CFI students, are the following:

A = Airspeed
B = Best place to land
C = Carburetor Heat

Obviously no carb heat. I can't remember if Navajos have injected engines; in that case, alternate air. But it doesn't matter in this instance.

I'd realize my predicament, set up minimum sink airspeed as Avbug stated, and fly the airplane. I'd see what's ahead, maneuver as little as possible, and choose the best place to land. I would secure the engines and shut down the electrics and try to set the airplane down as gently as possible, gear up, even with land. I would not try radical turns because I would sacrifice what little lift I have.

I would not attempt the classic turn back to the runway turn in that airplane or, for that matter, even a light, light wing-loaded single.

I suspect this won't be the SimCom answer, but it's mine.
 
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okflyr

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I went thru the SIMCOM Navajo training back in Jan. of 2001 and the instructor put myself and the other student thru the same senario. His point was to show us that even with two failed engines at 800 feet you could return to and land on the runway.
However I agree with others who said that in a Sim you are prepared for the failure and the pressures of real world flying aren't there. I would pick the best suitable place straight ahead and take my chances.

The best lesson I took from this demo was don't feather both props because you do need atleast one to power the hydraulics to lower the gear.

By the way was the instructor in question Howard Cox?
 
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