Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

5 Answers

How to land an airplane if you are not a pilot

Asked by: 2037 views General Aviation

There is an interesting post floating around the interent today:


I thought I'd toss it out here to see what you folks think.  Doable?  Good advice?  Bad advice?



Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

5 Answers

  1. Chris Carlson on Feb 01, 2013

    Poor advice. Over complicates things and makes it sound too easy that one could think they might not have to declare an emergency, because for some reason, people might find talking to ATC one of the most frightening things.
    The article starts off with ‘don’t touch the pedals’ and then goes on to say ‘whatever you do, don’t redline’ which leads tone wanting to keep it slow for fear of going too fast. Then he says that the chances of stalling, spinning are near zero.
    The article should be 3 steps.
    1- ‘This is the throttle, the yoke controls the two axis of motion, the pedals the third’
    2- If ifr, keep the attitude indicator S/L, if vfr, don’t go into a cloud, whatever you do
    3- Here is the push to talk button, and here is how to get to 121.5 if you don’t get a response from anyone on the frequency.
    It is ATCs responsibility from here to help however possible in an emergency.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  2. Chris Carlson on Feb 01, 2013

    **Tone = to one

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  3. Steve Butler on Feb 01, 2013

    I really don’t think that the author of the blog has ever flown anything other that a flight sim. Flaring at 1 1/2 meters and holding it there until the aircraft stalls in? Adding full power in a spin? Pan Pan for 15 seconds?

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  4. Brian on Feb 02, 2013

    Hi Gary,

    I like his idea, but unfortunately I think the only people who would read something of such length just before a flight are of the paranoid type. I’m not sure someone of that psychological makeup would be best qualified to try and do something that would require, first and foremost, them remaining calm.

    That said, unless a how to guide (not this one in particular, just any guide) is read just before the person takes the controls, most of the information will be lost. Not to mention what might be misinterpreted. My instructions would be far simpler in hopes they could be remembered:

    1. If you’re on a flight in a small aircraft with a single pilot, ask the pilot how you would tune 121.5 and how to use the radio to ask for help if god for bid you found yourself having to fly the aircraft.
    2. What is the type of aircraft.
    3. Write down both answers should they need to be referenced later.

    That would be my blog. Leave it to ATC to work things out with the person, we often forget that a great number of the folks we are talking with over the radio are also well trained pilots. Not to mention the thousands of airline pilot personel they could likely get on the horn to walk someone through the basics should it be needed. In my opinion there is no way to write a how to guide in three short concise points that will cover everything for all types of aircraft. And anything more detailed will be soon lost.

    So my conclusion is this is a great guide for the barefoot bandit, but if you want to have a chance learn the basics of the radio from the pilot on the particular flight and let those trained to do this do it.

    +1 Votes Thumb up 1 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

  5. Gary Moore on Feb 02, 2013

    I like your thoughts on this Brian – and I think your three steps are totally dead on and I think that they should find their way into our standard pax briefing – maybe even on a printed card.

    I found the article mildly amusing – rather than informative – I was just curious what others thought – it’s been a good discussion….


    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes

The following terms have been auto-detected the question above and any answers or discussion provided. Click on a term to see its definition from the Dauntless Aviation JargonBuster Glossary.

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.