Al Marsh

How to make an emergency landing

December 4, 2008 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

The Los Angeles Times is showing this video of a Cessna 310 that made an emergency landing at Van Nuys Airport on the north side of Los Angeles in late November with a failed nose gear. The pilot minimized the damage to his airplane by keeping the nose off the runway as long as possible.

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5 Responses to “How to make an emergency landing”

  1. Brenton Says:

    That was very keen of this pilot to stop the engines and try to make both props horizontal as well! Well done.

  2. Chris Says:

    This pilot was so concerned about saving his engines, and spent so much mental effort in turning them over until the props were horizontal, that:
    > he flew a very unstabilized approach
    > he descended too soon for an engine out approach
    > he lansed very short – well before the displaced threshold, meaning he did not have adequate obstacle clearance on the approach.
    > he was wobbling vertically, and it is diffecult to tell if he was near a stall

    I would think one should forget the engines and fly the airplane. At this point the engines are the concern of the insurance company, not you.

  3. Luis E. Hernandez Says:

    One of the problems is that even though you feather both before landing , the C-310 propelers keep windmilling and you cannot control their position as you let the nose down into the runway.And I bet it felt like a long way down to the runway from level,HUH?!! I know because I did something similar fifteen years ago at Isla Grande airport (TJIG)in san Juan, P.R. But your landing was beautiful and your runway was better paved than mine. God bless, this was a great landing and you are an excelent pilot. Ticky Hernandez

  4. Luis E. Hernandez Says:

    Chris, it sounds like you have never had troubles with a C-310. When you lose both engines in one of these and you have a flying brick under you and you do the best you can with with the bad you got and land it the best and the safest way you can. Also on final and slow, 310 do not like slow speeds on final, you get to land where the critter wants nor really where you want to.It comes down like a rock. Bye.

  5. Pete Bedell Says:

    I, too saw this video and cringed. Chris (above) is correct. To feather both props and blip the starter to get the props flat and try to “save” the engines is not smart at all. You have a simple nose gear problem that you’ve now turned into a no-engine, dead-stick landing. How smart is that? This guy came perilously close to not making the runway. In fact, he didn’t even make it to the numbers while dragging the 310′s nose! He also struck the tail a few times. Oh, and by the way, the props still struck the runway. As far as the Feds are concerned, the engines need to be torn down anyway because of a prop strike during aircraft movement. Some hero!

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