Safety: From Trouble to Touchdown

Has it been a while since your flying club safety meeting focused on emergency procedures?  If you’d like to tackle that topic, the Air Safety Institute (ASI) has a new video, Engine Out: From Trouble to Touchdown about single engine failures that would be ideal to use with your club. 

Whether flying solo or as pilot in command, it’s helpful to further examine what happens—and what to do—when an engine fails. You know about the four ‘opposing’ forces acting on an aircraft in straight-and-level, unaccelerated flight: thrust, drag, weight, and lift. You also should know that so long as the aircraft remains in steady straight flight, these forces will remain in balance according to Newton’s Third Law, which states that for every action or force there is an equal, but opposite, reaction or force. But how do you counteract the result of losing the thrust component of this balancing act when the engine quits in flight?

Although pilots practice simulated engine-out during training, coping with a real emergency is quite different.  The ASI video reviews the procedures in Engine Out: From Trouble to Touchdown.   Made possible by the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association (COPA) Flight Safety Foundation and Donner Canadian Foundation, the video describes the difference in responding to a simulated engine-out during training, versus what to expect and do during a real engine-out when you’re on your own, and it covers various engine-out scenarios during takeoff and at altitude. It also discusses your best choices for a landing site and provides rule-of-thumb calculations that will give you a quick idea how long a glide you’ll have before needing to touch down. Remember to jot those numbers down and keep them handily clipped to your kneeboard.

You also learn about important steps you can take to reduce the risk of an engine failure, including proper engine monitoring, maintenance, and fueling tips.

Learn what matters when you need to tackle an engine out dilemma in a single-engine airplane—whether under relatively benign or tricky circumstances. When one actually happens you and your flying club members should be spring-loaded to deal with it.


Safe pilots are always learning, and the Air Safety Institute’s goal is to ensure pilots have a wealth of information to keep flying safely. Our educational programs are funded through donations from pilots dedicated to forwarding that mission. Show your support by donating to the AOPA Foundation today (

Machteld Smith
Machteld Smith
Senior Editor
Machteld Smith is a senior editor for the Air Safety Institute. She holds a commercial pilot certificate with multiengine, instrument, and seaplane ratings. She loves flying seaplanes and the adventure of landing on rivers and lakes.
Topics: Aeronautical Decision Making, AOPA Air Safety Institute

Related Articles