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Engine Failure Scenarios

I performed a number of glide approaches to simulate an engine failure, starting from downwind abeam the threshold at 1000ft agl. Then overhead the airfield 2500agl. Finally I performed several simulated engine failure on takeoff scenarios.

Immediate Actions

As with any aircraft the first action is to lower the nose and trim to a suitable glide speed. I found that 60kts or 70kts were fine. Both result in a reasonably steep glide angle. Due to the loss of elevator authority below 55kts I kept a minimum speed of 60kts right into the flare. Moving the pitch lever to a coarse pitch may reduce drag and extend the glide.

Memory Items

These are pretty standard for any light aircraft: Fuel - pump on, change tanks Mixture - rich Alternate air - on Ignition - L, both, R, both. Because I normally fly with the fuel selector in the both position, case I will select either L or R. After one minute if the engine has not started then I will select the opposite tank. This is to cover the situation of a fuel line vapor lock.


The Bearhawk glides steeper than most GA aircraft. With 3 or 4 people on board this is going to be quite steep.

Engine failure on takeoff

The main consideration is to lower the nose immediately. This is even more important if taking off with F3 because of its added drag. Even with just one POB, the nose needs to be lowered very promptly, and well below the horizon initially to preserve airspeed. The pitch feels quite different at this point because the trim is still set for takeoff and it's unlikely there will be time to re-trim for landing. The Bearhawk lands fine even though trimmed for takeoff.

Possible causes of an Engine Failure

A number of pilots have reported fuel related engine failures when flying out of balance (ball not centered), particularly if the fuel selector is not in the BOTH position.

During test flying I kept a minimum of 100 liters in tanks to protect against unporting, with the fuel selector in the BOTH position. It was an easy way to mitigate the issue until I was able to keep the ball centered consistently.

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