best glide speed question

If i am flying straight and level right at my airport, and the instructor reaches over and closes the throttle and says the engine just died, my speed is 120 nm/hr and my best glide speed is 75m/hr, do i stay at my altitude until i reach 75 or do i pull back on the yoke and gain altitude and lose speed and get to 75 quicker, then push forward on the yoke to maintain 75?

And if i am asking the wrong question, what is the correct way to ask this question, and what is the correct answer?

my gut says stay at this altitude for the same reason as its much easier to walk on level ground than it is to run down hill and then have to climb back up hill, just to get back to level ground.

Just push the throttle back in and tell the instructor you found the reason for the power failure.

I would agree to maintain altitude and trim for best glide.

I second. It’s going to be a lot easier to get to that best glide in straight and level than it is in a decent, plus it will conserve altitude, because the whole point of the best glide is to keep the aircraft at it’s best possible performance and decent under the circumstances.

Immediately pitch for best glide. Climbing is acceptable.

Reminder: If you have a power failure after takeoff, pitching for best glide is going to require nose down.

Great answer :laughing:

Pitch up, altitude is your friend.

ok pitch up to convert kinetic energy for potential energy, then maintain the best glide speed as per the POH. ty.

If your in the pattern just land.

Here here- I second that…

Altitude is your friend. One of the most useless things in aviation is the air above you. Having to pitch for best glide will gain you some precious altitude for additional glider flight time.

Also, remember it’s better to land long then land short, you can always slip to lose your altitude if you think you are going to hit the trees at the end of the runway…

When my cylinder bit the dust in flight, with a windmilling prop, I was able to buy 2 1/2 minutes of flight time by climbing 500 feet transitioning from cruise to best glide

And when all fails as you read time and time over, fly the plane as far into the crash site as you can.

Plane already failed you, just consider yourself delivering the plane to the insurance company and save your own hide. If you come out of it without bending metal, all that much the better :wink:

I learned this on my private checkride. The examiner pulled the power on downwind abeam the numbers. I started going through the procedures, “First I setup for best glide speed… then I…”
The examiner cut me off and quite loudly advised me to “TURN THIS AIRPLANE TOWARD THE AIRPORT!”
DUH! :open_mouth: :blush:

Live it love it learn it-
Airspeed = life
Altitude = Life insurance

Speed is life and altitude is brains!

Yeah cause its better to stall at 1000AGL the 800AGL

I couldn’t agree more, I’ll take every foot I can get.

My point, which was missed in my sarcasm (and I’m not picking on you) is that- you can survive a crash (in a small GA aircraft) if you fly the damn thing into the ground and NOT stall. Ergo Airspeed is life, Altitude is Life insurance.
I lost a friend to a stall after an engiene quit. The crash would have been survivable had he not stalled.
Seat belts and seats in an airplane are designed to take G-forces forward, you know like a car accident. hitting the ground bottom first at 20G’s will kill you dead dead dead. hitting the ground nose first at 50-60kts and you have a better chance. Granted if land in a patch of trees and HUGE branch comes threw the windscreen and decides to play some chin music with ya, well ya takes your chances.


OK now i think I’m confused again.
One person says climb to get to your best glide, another person says crash into a tree and take your chances, another person says make sure you have life insurance. I’m sure somewhere in there is the truth, thanks a lot.

Its like the argument of guns don’t kill people, people kill people, then someone else says guns don’t kill people, bullets kill people, then someone else says bullets don’t kill people, bullet holes kill people.

I guess i can avoid the whole issue and never fly a plane, I’m just trying to understand the concept and i want to know what to do and why to do it, with out having to think about it under stress.

I read an article that said

Distance To Begin Descent
Determine altitude to lose (drop zeros) then multiply by either 4, 5, or 6 depending on ground speed to get distance from destination to begin descent at 500 fpm. 120 kts=4, 150 kts =5, 180 kts=6
e.g. Altitude to lose at 120 knots = 4,000 ft.
4 x 4 = 16
Begin descent at 500 fpm at 16 miles

It’s amazing how many single engine deaths are related to stalling the damn thing after the engine quits (I can make it back to the airport…I want to land over there…) I lost a very very very good friend when he stalled the airplane like 80 feet above the ground after his engine quit trying to put it in a field. The speed is life part is the primary, Altitude is brains is nice, but when in doubt reference number 1. That being said, when the engine first quits trim for best glide, but not 1 knot less till your landing assured, if you climb 50 feet in the process, you just got a free 50 feet of time.

I disagree with about everyone. There is simply no need to pitch up and I’ll bet it will cost you glide distance in the long run. Simply maintain altitude until you achieve best glide.

I like maintaining the same altitude until my speed reaches best glide speed, the less i do the less chances i have of doing something wrong. And i can spend more time looking for a place to land or talking to the tower not dwelling on something that may or may not matter.

Also from reading i understand there is no advantage to getting rid of extra weight, as it will not affect my glide distance, only my landing speed.

I just thought, maybe i can call my local FBO and ask a CFI.

You’ve received guidance from one CFI right here in this thread. And I suspect that there are probably two to three others that responded that are also CFI’s.