Engine-Out Landings

rpastusek's picture


During LOBO's on-going review of accidents/incidents, I noted that a number of Lancair owners have made successful engine-out landings, including at least one while in IMC flight and one at night. I know of these because the pilots involved all had LOBO initial and/or recurrent training, but there are almost certainly others. There have also been a number of successful recoveries after window/door blow-outs during pressurized flight, and some unsuccessful (usually fatal) recovery events. 

If you don't mind sharing your name and some basic details, LOBO would like to assimilate information about successful recoveries after engine-out and door/window/windshield blowouts. Please send your information, including Lancair registration number, date and any details you'd be willing to share with the LOBO membership to r.pastusek [at] lancairowners.com by 1 Feb 2022.

Thanks in advance

Bob Pastusek
LOBO Secretary

757-286-4802 cell


Good post Bob!


great idea!!!  by the way,

great idea!!!  by the way, did you all see that numbskull that jumped out of his Taylor craft?  Destroyed a nice plane and we know it was a stunt as he wore a parachute, the fuel selector seemed to be disconnected in the cockpit dangling above his right shoulder, there was no fuel on the wings or ground post crash, and there were perfectly good dirt roads below in the valleys for landing on.  

Engine out

Hi Bob.

I had a total engine failure during Phase 1 about 10 years ago.  Like hour 12!  I attribute the successful outcome to great ES transition training from Bob Jeffrey, good luck, and some help from above.  I will write it up and send to you





Gordon -- Off topic, but

Gordon -- Off topic, but curious what caused your engine out.  I am just entering phase I in an ES


Hi Dan.  I still have not

Hi Dan.  I still have not done my write-up homework for Bob!  The short version of my engine out was a loss of oil due to a slightly cross threaded NPT fitting on an Airwolf remote oil filter.  Maintenance induced (me!), with lots of contributing factors.  One that every phase 1 pilot should be wary of is the alarm and readout settings on your engine instruments.  I had my low oil pressure alarm set at 10 PSI...That might have been a default on my then AFS 4500.  Allen Barrett since said it should be about 30 PSI.  My engine runs all day long at 54-56 PSI in cruise. I was running at a high power setting at the time, focusing mostly on VOR and NAV systems stuff; wasn't paying enough attention to the engine instruments.  By the time the alarm went off, it was too late.  Blew up a beautiful Barrett engine.

More story to follow one of these days!


Please excuse any typos... I haven't found the spell check yet!

Thank you Gordon for that

Thank you Gordon for that description.  These things help us learn and learn and learn, our ticket in aviation.

Happy and safe flying,

frankblair's picture

Dead stick landing at KACY

Hi Bob:

I had a dead stick landing at KACY a few years ago in my Evolution N401CH. I was at @20,000' descending into Maryland (KSBY) to refuel on my way south from Maine (KBHB). I had been at 24,000 but was letting down for the approach. The weather was good, but it was early January and the Atlantic was cold. I was about 20 NM off the coast when the plane pitched up sharply and a heavy vibration started. I assumed that I had broken a blade on my 5 blade Hartzell prop (sorry Hartzell!). I shut down the engine and feathered the prop and turned towards KACY, which I had just looked at as part of my "If the engine stops, where would I go?" routine. The vibration continued so it was obvious that it wasn't an engine or prop problem. I slowed to max glide plus about 10 knots and declared an emergency, which sure reduced the chatter on Washington Center. I needed both hands to hold the side stick. It was a very rough ride. As part of troubleshooting, I considered restarting the engine, but didn't have an extra two hands to do it while controlling the plane. Also I had recent training from EPS in Bend and felt comfortable gliding in. Relatively comfortable. The wind was from the East and the main East/West runway is 10,000 feet long. I was cleared to land on any runway, any taxiway. I successfully glided in to the first third of the active runway (13), with four fire trucks escorting my roll-out. The fire chief said that I was the first glider to land at KACY. The elevator trim actuator had broken and the vibration was from the small elevator trim tab on the rear of the port elevator. The triangle piece at the end of the elevator push rod had mostly torn through on the descent. I am not sure if the plane would be controllable if it had ripped all the way through. 

Sincerely, Frank Blair

Jeff Edwards, Bob Jeffrey,

Jeff Edwards, Bob Jeffrey, and Chris Rust saved my bacon with the Lancair training they provided to me.  

I wrote up my.... Compromised Crankshaft saga on the "other forum" in Oct 2020.

Without training, I would surely have made a smoking hole.

Robert, Jeff,

Robert, Jeff,

I made an engine-out landing on 7/4/2020 in my 235/O-320.

Pilot error - selected the empty fuel tank for takeoff.

Engine stopped at 80' AGL and 100 KIAS.

I landed in a 600' grass field with minor damage to the lower cowl, and no injuries.

Total time from start of takeoff roll to full stop in the park was 14 seconds. I have detailed data from the Dynon system, including air data, engine data, GPS, control stick positions, AoA. It could make an interesting review. I have no LOBO-based training, but ~2000 hours in hang gliders and sailplanes left me well-prepared to handle the sudden energy-management problem.

I practice engine-out landings frequently, including simulated 500' returns to the runway.


I hope this is not too late

I hope this is not too late for your study, Bob, but I guess it is time to fess up about my forced landing in Tennessee in 2015.   I had never been able to get pressurization in N31VP - my IVP and so I stopped in Tennessee to have the pressure vessel investigated.   The major leak was found and mitigated so when I left the next day for home, I was merrily enjoying the cabin pressure when, passing through 13,000' there was a loud crash and wind was blowing all around the cabin.  The upper half of the door was gone and my headset was dislodged, but other than that, flight was fairly normal.  I was only 10-15 miles away from an airport with a good runway so I declared an emergency with ATC and immediately turned that direction.   Talking with ATC throughout the landing was difficult even with LightSpeed ANR headset.  The most disconcerting part of the landing was transition from cruise to landing configuration.   When I slowed down and lowered the gear, there was a very strong vibration that had me concerned about flutter, broken parts in the tail assembly and other thoughts.   Fortunately I was able to make a long slow turn to final with speed up and the landing was uneventful.   The upper aft door latch was still attached to the cable and I surmise that this part waving in the breeze caused the vibration I experienced.

The cause of the door blowout was design error on the part of the engineer who created the upper door hinges.   Fortunately or unfortunately, that engineer was I.  Going back over my build notes, I did math calculations on the upper door hinges and concluded that 1/4" carbon fiber hinges here would be strong enough to hold the door together under pressurization.   My notes clearly specified I would test the system on the ground before pressurizing the aircraft.   As I had not been able to achieve pressurization for the first three years or so of flight, I forgot that promise and suffered the consequences.  

Regarding training for emergencies, I had a very thorough checkout in the airplane from Ron Galbraith that was crucial in helping me to fly the aircraft safely.   Even though I had a few hours of familiarization flying in a friend's IVP previously, that would NEVER have sufficed as adequate training. I have attended numerous ground school LOBO courses at the fly ins and have had recurrent training from EPS in Bend. 

I could certainly benefit from more recurrent training, but I feel relatively comfortable as a result of all the above training resources I've been able to take advantage of.    I might also mention that through close attention to the Forums over the years beginning in 1995, I have acquired incredibly useful information that helped me in the build and continues to help with maintenance, safety, and enjoyment of Puffin

Thanks, Bob, and all the LOBO board members and volunteers for that.   My thanks extends to the many contributors over the years whose shoulders we all stand on with regards to the enormous and very useful bank of data assembled and available.

"We don't train until you get

"We don't train until you get it right.. we train until you don't get it wrong!" Navy Seals. LOBO training spends a significant amount of time on engine out landings until you don't get it wrong, because some day you will be a glider pilot.


"We don't train until you get

"We don't train until you get it right.. we train until you don't get it wrong!" Navy Seals. LOBO training spends a significant amount of time on engine out landings until you don't get it wrong, because some day you will be a glider pilot.


My Lancair IVP N1955S had the

My Lancair IVP N1955S had the pilot’s side window leave at FL220 in turbulence and IMC about 2006 or 2007.  I was not able to land immediately, as the airport I was over, Salmon, ID, was below instrument minimums.  The nearest airport was Challis, ID, about 40 miles away with no approach, but was VMC.  I circled down over the field and landed without trouble.

I am the second owner of this plane and had built many planes prior.  This was one of the first few IVPs to be built and was very poorly constructed.  I spent a few years just fixing the many mistakes I could find.  One of the fixes was a service bulletin that recommended drilling the holes oversize where the door latch fasteners pass through the side window, then filling them with flox and redrilling them for the fasteners.  Maybe this fix would have worked, yet the adjustment of the door latches is critical so that they share the load equally.  When the window broke out, taking part of the door with it, the explosive decompression caused the other side window and front windscreen to debond.  The plane was quite flyable, just unpressurized, windy and cold.  I built a temporary patch for the door in a few hours and flew it to the Dominican Republic and back to Montana like that, unpressurized.

Unfortunately, the plane was built with insufficient glue and no joint preparation and later came apart in flight a number of times.  The floor ripped away from the gear box, the wings started coming apart, etc.  I elected to reglue the plane.  It took 30 minutes with a putty knife to take the plane completely apart: wings, tail, and fuselage.  That’s how poorly it was put together.  Since the reglue in 2008, I have put another 1000+ hours on the plane and it is solid.  I elected to construct a new cabin door with the door latch fasteners that do not pass through the side window…Jeff Nielsen.

georgerosel1's picture

If you haven’t read my

If you haven’t read my article about my emergency at 25000’, I encourage you to go to the LOBO website under Articles and read… “ Calm down Grandpa”.

… George Rosel