Forced landing or outlandings in soft soil

General stuff that gets thrown about when Pilots shoot the Breeze.
Silver Wings
Silver Wings
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Joined: Oct 2010

Forced landing or outlandings in soft soil

Postby ozloadie » Fri Aug 15, 2014 2:06 am

When having to land in paddocks or plowed rows, ideally the obvious selection is central, into wind, along the long axis of the area available.

Any prior inspection if time, a good engine and fuel permits using a bad weather circuit profile is worth conducting.

With a dead engine- fuel and ignition off, you may need the electrics on for final flap selection, then off when committed to short final, depending on type.

Central keeps your wings well clear of side fence posts and wires, and gives you an even margin either side to correct if the landing path slews for any reason.

In ploughed soil and red or black soft dirt fields, mounds can build up in front of wheeled undercarriage mains and may pile over the front and overwhelm the track in front, causing the mains to come to dig in to a sudden stop.

As the mains touch the ground, hold the nose wheel well off for as long as possible.
Expect a lot of noise underneath from dirt spray.

In soft soil, avoid using the brakes immediately if you can, let the soil slow the landing roll.

In a high wing you can observe the build up in front of the wheels.

If you have power available, surf the mains up and over the mound with a deliberate and smooth application of throttle as you would to take off. At this stage the nose wheel should be rolling on as if normal, and maintain back pressure throughout.

It will be obvious when the wheels are clear, then close the throttle to idle.

In severe cases at speed in soft soil, the whole aircraft may "turn turtle and vault over the nose becoming inverted. If this occurs wait until all movement has ceased and look around before undoing your seat belt to ascertain your disposition.

Ensure you carry out post actions mixture pulled, fuel, power and ignition off.

If landing in plowed rows, don't assume both wheels will each automatically track into a row. Luck to you if they do.

If you are landing/taking off into hard dried black or red soil, the dried ruts will be similar to rails and may trap the undercarriage until you have stopped or become airborne.

If you can, survey where the length of each rut goes to make the best choice.
Again hold the nose wheel off for as long as possible on landing or get it off asap on take off to avoid damage to the oleo leg.

*Ensure if you intend to take off from the same surface later, that you inspect the gaps between the control surfaces and the airframe for small stones or hardened dirt clods that may have been thrown up during the landing run. Also conduct a full control deflection check on lining up prior to take off for the same reason. That's the last chance you'll have to avoid a jammed control during take off.*

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