11 Successful Forced Landings - Wow!

No less than 11 forced landings are reported in the AAIB monthly bulletin for October 2019 and none of them involved serious injury, let alone a fatality. Can it be, your compiler wonders, that UK GA pilots are at last getting the message, which is that when an emergency such as loss of power suddenly occurs you must give maximum priority to keeping the thing flying. Never mind upset passengers, controllers asking for a change of squawk or a growing realisation that you are not going to make the selected field, keep the speed up, the angle of bank moderate, fly the ‘plane all the way down and you will probably walk away. All these 11 aircraft suffered loss of power and all the occupants walked away, thanks to the pilots knowing what was their absolute priority. Will you do as well when your turn comes?

AAIB reports in the monthly bulletins have changed. They used to be either ‘Field Investigations’, which are the subject of a thorough investigation by appropriate experts or ‘Correspondence Investigations’ which rely mostly on the commander’s report often augmented by the result of a phone call or two from AAIB. Nowadays a third category has been added - ‘Record-Only Investigation’ which relies almost entirely on the commander’s report. The reports do not include the usual analysis of the commander’s age, experience and recency nor the remainder of the factual records that are set out at the beginning of the more detailed reports.

In addition to 11 forced landings there was one precautionary landing, 22 landing accidents, 5 take off, 4 taxiing, one fire on the ground and one accident while dismounting from a stationary balloon.