Rejected Takeoff/Engine Failure in Weight-Shift-Control Aircraft

Emergency or abnormal situations can occur during a takeoff that requires a pilot to reject the takeoff while still on the runway. Circumstances such as a malfunctioning powerplant, items dislodging during takeoff, inadequate acceleration, runway incursion, or air traffic conflict may be reasons for a rejected takeoff.

Prior to takeoff, the pilot should have in mind a point along the runway at which the aircraft should be airborne. If that point is reached and the WSC aircraft is not airborne, immediate action should be taken to discontinue the takeoff. Properly planned and executed, chances are excellent the aircraft can be stopped on the remaining runway without using extraordinary measures, such as excessive braking that may result in loss of directional control, damage, and/or personal injury.

In the event a takeoff is rejected, the power should be reduced to idle or the engine shut off and maximum braking applied while maintaining directional control. If it is necessary to shut down the engine due to a fire, the fuel supply should be shut off and the magnetos turned off. In all cases, the manufacturer’s emergency procedure should be followed.

What characterizes all power loss or engine failure occurrences after lift-off is urgency. In most instances, the pilot has only a few seconds after an engine failure to decide what course of action to take and to execute it. Unless prepared in advance to make the proper decision, there is an excellent chance the pilot will make a poor decision, or make no decision at all and allow events to rule.

In the event of an engine failure on initial climb-out, the pilot’s first responsibility is to maintain aircraft control. At a climb pitch attitude without power, the WSC is at or near a stalling angle of attack. It is essential the pilot immediately lower the pitch attitude by pulling the control bar back to the chest immediately to prevent a stall. As discussed earlier in the climb section, a preventative measure is to climb to a safe altitude, 200 feet was used as an example, at least the minimum safe climb speed as recommended by the manufacturer to lower pitch angle as a safety measure for this situation to minimize a high pitch angle close to the ground. The pilot should establish a controlled glide toward a plausible landing area (preferably straight ahead on the remaining runway).

Noise Abatement

Aircraft noise problems have become a major concern at many airports throughout the country. Many local communities have pressured airports into developing specific operational procedures that help limit aircraft noise while operating over nearby areas. For years now, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), airport managers, aircraft operators, pilots, and special interest groups have been working together to minimize aircraft noise for nearby sensitive areas. As a result, noise abatement procedures have been developed for many of these airports that include standardized profiles and procedures to achieve these lower noise goals.

Airports that have noise abatement procedures provide information to pilots, operators, air carriers, air traffic facilities, and other special groups that are applicable to their airport. These procedures are available to the aviation community by various means. Most of this information comes from the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD), local and regional publications, printed handouts, operator bulletin boards, safety briefings, and local air traffic facilities.

At airports that use noise abatement procedures, reminder signs may be installed at the taxiway hold positions for applicable runways. These are to remind pilots to use and comply with noise abatement procedures on departure. Pilots who are not familiar with these procedures should ask the tower or air traffic facility for the recommended procedures. In any case, pilots should be considerate of the surrounding community while operating their aircraft to and from such an airport. This includes operating as quietly, yet safely as possible.

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