Exercise 15a: Flight emergencies – precautionary landings



In this lesson, the student will learn how to correctly identify and carry out a safe precautionary landing procedure following an in flight emergency. They will too be able to identify the emergency and be able to execute the appropriate response or recovery action. Repeated practice and exposure to simulated emergency conditions will better prepare the student for handling a real emergency should they ever occur.




  1. Brief the student about the emergencies or conditions that could necessitate a precautionary landing.
  2. Brief the appearance of warning lights and the difference between a “land immediately” and a “Land as soon as practical” warning light/Emergency.
  3. Brief verbal warnings of simulated emergencies that will be used during the exercise. (E.g. this is a “LAND IMMEDIATELY” exercise to simulate the appearance of a red warning light.
  4. Climb to a safe altitude and do HASELL Checks
  5. Always ensure that there is an available LZ Before simulating an emergency procedure
  6. Recap the immediate actions:
    • Identify the emergency
    • Turn into wind
    • Select an LZ
    • Set autorotative attitude, 65kts. Be prepared to enter an autorotation if so required
    • Radio or MAYDAY Call as appropriate
    • Conclude any other vital actions
    • Conduct pre landing checks
    • Maintain a good lookout
  7. Confirm that the student is ready, then simulate an emergency using a verbal warning
  8. Ensure that the student correctly identifies the emergency and immediately turns into wind and selects an appropriate LZ. Turning downwind, obstacles notwithstanding, is non negotiable.
  9. When selecting an LZ, assess size slope and suitability, consider ease of access after landing.
  10. Whilst establishing an autorotative attitude of 65kts, make a radio or MAYDAY call. Emphasize the importance of flying the attitude and not chasing instruments.
  11. Remind the student to scan the gauges for any changes that might have occurred in the event of an actual emergency. E.g. oil temperature or pressure.
  12. Conclude any other vital actions relevant to the emergency. E.g. ventilating the cabin in the event of smoke in the cockpit.
  13. Conduct pre-landing checks as for a normal landing.
  14. Scan the ROD; under the pressure of a simulated emergency, students tend to select an LZ that is too close resulting in an excessively high ROD to make the LZ. Reiterate the importance of managing ROD and speed, as this is still a power on landing and the danger of VORTEX ring state exists.
  15. Maintain a good lookout for wires, obstacles and FOD
  16. Land at selected LZ




At the completion of this exercise the student must be able to correctly identify the emergency and reposition for landing as per the precautionary landing procedure. They need to be able to consider any other relevant risks and demonstrate mature decision-making. The student will display confidence in managing the cockpit and be able to correctly prioritize tasks and responsibilities to be able to safely land the aircraft.


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