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TRAINING & SAFETY

The Runway Behind You

Reality Check

Is the “impossible turn” in a single-engine airplane after all possible? Ask a group of pilots and you’ll stoke a passionate debate among opponents and proponents of what is known as the “180-degree turnback” to the departure runway after engine failure on takeoff.

The AOPA Air Safety Institute decided to test the disputed turnback theories, using a Piper PA-18 Super Cub, a Van’s RV-4, a Cessna 172N, and a Beechcraft Bonanza A36. Our study was conducted by highly experienced and proficient pilots flying predetermined profiles in near-perfect conditions. But the different results of turning back to the runway were surprising for each of us flying these profiles. You’ll see why in this Reality Check video.

Tablet: Compatible
Length: 10 mins
Topic: Takeoffs and Landings, Flight Planning and Preflight
FAA WINGS: Not Eligible
Accident Forgiveness: Not Eligible

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This video qualifies for AOPA Accident Forgiveness.