Ex. 12 – Emergency Procedures/Malfunctions


To teach:

  • recognition of an emergency condition or system malfunction
  • how to complete all procedures in accordance with the POH


When an abnormal or unsafe condition is detected, a pilot must correctly assess the situation, then carry out the proper procedure to resolve the problem. Alternative action must also be considered if the pilot is not able to fully resolve a system malfunction. The alternative may be to divert to an airport nearby, while coping with limited aeroplane systems.

Essential Background Knowledge

Review decision making concepts and handling emergencies.

Explain, for the aeroplane being used, the procedures for:

  • engine fire on the ground
  • engine failure during take-off
  • engine fire in-flight
  • propeller feathering
  • engine shut-down
  • restart and propeller unfeathering
  • one engine inoperative overshoot
  • landing gear emergency extension
  • gear-up landing
  • flaps:
     - emergency extension
     - split flap condition
  • emergency exits
  • fuel cross-feed during single-engine operations
  • electrical system malfunction
  • electrical smoke or fire
  • unlatched door in-flight
  • maximum glide with both engines inoperative
  • inadvertent spin entry and recovery
  • propeller overspeed
  • runaway electric elevator trim
  • cabin fire
  • pressurization loss (as applicable to the aeroplane type)
  • other systems failures applicable to the aeroplane type.

Advice to Instructors

Ensure that the student is familiar with normal procedures and is handling the aeroplane well, before introducing emergencies and system failures.

It is important that the student be familiar with the POH format, including the location of all emergency checklists, systems and emergency procedures. Instructors must ensure that the student learns all memory items.  The aeroplane should be equipped with a handy Emergency Procedures checklist or Quick Reference Handbook (QRH) that is readily available, in addition to the Normal Procedures checklist.

Emergency procedures can be introduced early and progressively during the training and not left to the later stages of training.  Situations involving landing gear, flap, electrical or fuel problems can be given during the initial training stages.

For “Time Critical Emergencies”, the student will need to know the sequence of actions verbatim.  Time permitting, after completing the check sequence from memory, using the checklist to confirm everything that needed to be done was done is recommended, but the initial actions should be from memory.  If the emergency is critical (fire, engine failure), one really shouldn't be pulling out a checklist until the problem is dealt with.  Long checklists take time to do, and the more useless items on there; the more likely one will miss an important item.  Additionally, it takes away from things like looking outside, scanning instruments (IFR), flying the airplane... etc; remember – Aviate, Navigate, Communicate.  All of which are more important than checking some pointless item that hasn't, and shouldn't have moved the entire flight.

Engine failures on departure or during an overshoot should only be simulated at altitude.  Simulated engine failures should not be initiated below 2000 feet AGL.  It is good advice to avoid setting yourself up for a “cushion-sucking” surprise when a trainee with minimal experience makes a potentially catastrophic error.  Remember, “The hand is quicker than the eye.”

Actual engine shutdowns for training purposes are no longer recommended, as the training value is not worth the increased safety risk and abuse of engines and airframe.  Simulated engine failures should be conducted within 15 miles of a suitable landing site in case an inadvertent actual engine shut-down occurs after which the engine cannot be restarted.  Schools operating out of airports at higher elevations must also be cautious during warmer temperatures.  Single-engine service ceiling and performance can be drastically affected under these conditions.

Simulate rejected takeoffs from slower speeds by using scenarios such as a vehicle on the runway or low oil pressure.  Always consider runway length, width and surface condition prior to doing this exercise.  Avoid teaching rejected takeoffs by reducing the power to idle on one engine.  This can lead to serious directional control problems.

Ensure that all emergency and system failure procedures applicable to the aeroplane used for the training have been covered by completion of the training.  The examiner will test any three of those procedures during the flight test for the rating.

Instruction and Student Practice

All emergency and systems-failure procedures applicable to the aeroplane type are to be taught in accordance with the POH/AFM.

Have the student read the POH/AFM and other texts on multi-engine flight and view videos if available.  Discuss emergencies with the student, using scenarios to help visualize what can happen.  With the student in the aeroplane, go through the procedures, calling each item out loud and touching or moving the various controls.

Question the student to ensure that the critical memory items are learned.  The student must know where to locate all other emergency checklist items.

Teach emergency procedures by presenting scenarios.  This will assist students in analyzing problems and will better prepare them for actual situations.  Always promote the development of sound decision-making skills.

Be careful not to overload the student with emergencies.  Keep the scenarios reasonable and realistic. Avoid multiple emergencies, the student will become frustrated and little knowledge or skill will be gained.  In the later stages of training, multiple related emergencies that cascade from the initial failure might be introduced.