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Tuesday, 17 February 1987
Page: 81

(Question No. 4843)


Mr Mountford asked the Minister for Aviation, upon notice, on 23 October 1986:

(1) What do his Department's guidelines state is the procedure which the pilot of a light plane should follow if an engine or other mechanical failure occurs soon after take-off and at an altitude below 700 ft.

(2) Can this procedure be followed at Bankstown Airport.

(3) What areas are available for an emergency landing near Bankstown Airport.


Mr Peter Morris —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Department of Aviation's Syllabus of Training for the Private Pilot Licence requires that a student pilot must be trained by the Flying Training School in the actions required in the event of engine failure after take-off.

All Flight Instructors licensed by the Department are required to provide this training to their students. The following factors specified in the Flight Instructors Manual must be covered:

``(a) the speed of action;

(b) the gliding speed;

(c) the choice of landing area;

(d) the height available;

(e) the use of flap; and

(f) the position of undercarriage, fuel and ignition controls, and hatches

Choice of landing area and height available must be considered together. The amount of turn should be restricted to the minimum dictated by obstacles ahead. It must be stressed that the rate of descent and stalling speed will increase in any turn.''

Student pilots are required to pass a flight examination prior to issue of the Private Pilot Licence and all licence holders other than students must undertake a flight review at least every two years to ensure the required skills are maintained.

(2) This procedure can be followed with varying degrees of difficulty and likelihood of success at Bankstown Airport dependent on the following factors

runway in use

wind direction and strength (velocity)

aircraft height at time of failure

skill and reaction time of the pilot

geographical position of aircraft at time of failure.

(3) Pilots are trained to use the best area available in the case of an emergency (such as engine failure on take-off below 700'). Availability of areas depends on the factors listed at Item (2) above.

A pilot using Runway 29 could possibly use several vacant paddocks, a golf course, picnic grounds or a river. A pilot using Runway 11 has a more limited choice, although areas are available. There are vacant paddocks, a sports field and race track close in to the airport. These might be used if the failure occurs below 500' above ground level. Above 500' the aircraft would be turning on to the crosswind leg of the circuit and could possibly, depending on wind velocity, return to the airfield.