Eddie Sez:

Did you ever wonder how low to the ground you could be after takeoff and lose all engines and still be able to land on the runway you took off from, opposite direction? Me too. I imagine the most realistic scenario is that you've got a bad load of gas to make both engines quit at the same time, that means no APU either. I've tried this in every simulator I've flown for quite some time and have come to a few conclusions:

  • You are better off flying a 90° turn followed by a 270° turn than trying to milk the airplane around on downwind for the runway you took off on, that takes too much distance and you will run out of altitude.

  • You are better off pulling 2 G's in a 60° level flight turn (60° bank) than using the standard 25° bank because that shortens the distance travelled.

  • The natural tendency in a 60° bank turn is to gain altitude. You can pitch the airplane while heavily banked. Try to maintain altitude.

  • You need to try this in the simulator because every airplane is different and some of your assumptions may be wrong. In the G450, for example, losing both engines brings you down to DC batteries which means your stabilizer is frozen. If you want flaps, you need to press the EMER STAB button to disconnect the flaps from the stab and turn the AUX pump on to get the flaps moving. Since the first 10° takes the longest time I would get those and see how the turn is progressing. If you decide on more flaps, make sure they are stopped before you touchdown or your brakes will not work.

  • You are looking for a steeper glide path than normal, since the engines are not producing any thrust. If you seem too high, apply a healthy dose of rudder and opposite aileron to slip the airplane down.

I've only tried this once in the G450 simulator and it worked, but we had too much margin built in. We failed both engines at 2,000' and ended up at 1,000' rolled out on final. (That's why I think we can do this with an engine loss at 1,000' AGL.) If you try this, please let me know how it went. (Contact "Eddie" below.)