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What if the engine or motor quits?

Many people think that all bets are off if you have an engine or motor failure. The truth is that all airplanes can glide (even a Boeing 747!), just by differing amounts.

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Even helicopters have a limited glide (autorotation). If you're flying a glider you are never worried about your motor or engine quitting, because you don't have a motor or engine!

People who fly both gliders and power planes are generally very comfortable with the idea of motor failure.

Those who have only ever flown power planes may not have had enough practice at landing with power, to feel comfortable with such an event. If the engine or motor quits, first of all DON'T PANIC.

Remember that your plane is now a glider. You can convert kinetic energy (motion) to potential energy (altitude), and vice versa. If you try to zoom up with the elevator stick, you will slow down and stall.

So, let the plane descend at it's preferred rate. Concentrate on steering the plane back to landing area. Do not apply lots of up elevator during the turns.

If you see the aircraft getting very slow, apply some down (forward) elevator.

You may think that down is not the direction you want to go, but the truth is that down is the direction that you're heading anyway!

No engine means gravity has taken over (exception would be if you are in a thermal or other updraft). You should also realize by now (you have been paying attention, right?) that down elevator will actually increase the plane's airspeed and prevent a stall.

Of course, do not overdo it and point your aircraft straight down into terra firma. So, keep the airspeed up, steer the plane to the landing area, and land as normal.

What if you seem to be falling short of the runway?

Do NOT try to keep the airplane in the air longer by applying some up elevator.

First, this may cause a stall.

Second, a gliding plane actually covers LESS ground when it is flying near to stall speed.

The best speed for glide ratio (ratio of distance covered to altitude lost) is higher than the speed that causes the glider to come down (vertically) the slowest (sink rate).

So, keep the airspeed up, and hope that you make the runway.

If you don't make the runway, so what? Most slow-flying beginner planes will land just fine in the "rough" around your chosen landing spot.

No shame in walking a bit to pick up your intact airplane.