October 03, 2023

Safety Above All: Emergency Flight Training in Australia

Undertaking flight training in Australia is an exciting, fun-filled experience. Students are constantly learning about their passion on their way to becoming skillful and knowledgeable pilots. While flying an aircraft is an uplifting and truly fulfilling experience, it is not without its dangers.

Flight training in Australia focuses heavily on safety above all else. It equips students with a strong knowledge of emergency procedures in the hopes that, should an incident occur, they are prepared to handle the scenario. Let’s take a look at some of the key emergency procedures that all pilots should know.

Engine Failure Procedures

Fuel, ignition or mechanical failure can cause an engine failure at any time. Encountering an engine failure can be surprising and extremely stressful. With the right training, however, you can handle an engine failure effectively. First and foremost, it’s important to remain calm. Remember, your aircraft is built to fly. Even with an engine out, you’re not going to drop from the air, you will have plenty of time to assess the situation and make the decisions that will get you out of the incident safely.

Noted flight instructor and author Jim Davis, is an expert when it comes to flight training in Australia. His book PPL: A Practical Book About Flying Safely, lists three immediate actions in the event of an engine failure that will help pilots handle the situation:

Change tanks. Fuel issues causing engine outs can be a simple fix and are the most common cause of engine failure. It might be as simple as changing tanks and resolving fuel flow that gets your engine back online. This is a best-case scenario that may save you from having to perform a forced landing.

Close the throttle. Once you’ve decided that a forced landing is required, closing the throttle will effectively turn your plane into a glider. Engine failures are unexpected events. It can be difficult to determine why an engine has failed, it may have the capacity to come back. This way, should your engine power return for any reason, you won’t have any unexpected bursts of power that could interfere with your approach.

Establish a glide and head towards your best possible landing option. There is a 1 in 360 chance that you’re heading directly toward your best landing spot. The quicker you figure out where you’re going to land the better, so scan for flat, unobstructed terrain and decide on it. Use your excess speed to make the turn, and then establish a glide toward your spot.

Forced Landings

Executing a safe forced landing is a vital skill, there are several key things to remember.

Select Your Field. When it comes to forced landings, field selection is extremely important. Consider factors such as obstacles, terrain, gradient, wind direction and sun when selecting your field. Once you’ve chosen your spot, stick to it. Indecision can be more dangerous than an uneven field.

Plan Your Descent. It’s important to visualize how you’re going to get from where you currently are to your landing point. It can be helpful to pick a feature or two to help keep you oriented as you work your way down. A line of trees, a road or a dam, can be useful to keep you in position as you come in to land.

Make Your Checks. Once you’ve put yourself in a position for a relatively safe forced landing, you can begin to do a round of checks to see if you can find the cause of the issue. Don’t try to do this one-by-one as you’re likely to miss things. Instead, run through your checklist as you would pre-flight to ensure everything is covered.

Call Mayday. If your checks can’t determine the issue and you can’t get the engine running again, it’s time to call Mayday. It’s best to do so at a reasonable altitude for optimum VHF range.

Land With Gear Down. It’s generally accepted that you should land with gear down. It’s the safest option. If the terrain is good enough, the gear will work as intended, but even if the terrain is poor, your landing gear will help with deceleration. In low-wing aircraft, landing with gear down will also keep the fuel tanks from coming in contact with the ground for some time.

Preparation Saves Lives

What’s better than a safe and successful forced landing? Not needing one at all.

A thorough, detailed pre-flight check is likely to pick up on a multitude of issues before you fly. If you’re able to spot those issues on the ground, you can avoid having to deal with them in the air. Always give your pre-flight checks your full and undivided attention. Ensure you address every point in your pre-flight checklist.

At Learn To Fly, we’re dedicated to training safe and skilful commercial pilots. Safety is emphasised throughout our multiple flight training courses, ensuring our students are prepared to handle many emergency scenarios.

What Else Is Worth Consideration?

As well as the financial implications, it’s important to make sure you’re well-informed before you undertake your CPL flight training. Here are some other topics that are worth exploring to help you achieve your aviation goals:

  1. FAQs About Obtaining Your Commercial Pilot Licence
    Find answers to the most commonly asked questions from former CPL students.

  2. The Benefits of Online Flight Training Courses
    Read about saving by completing your aviation theory online.

  3. Flight Schools in Australia – How Do I Choose the Right One?
    Make sure you’re choosing the best flight school to achieve your aviation dreams.

  4. Aspiring Career Pilots – Here’s Why You need a Diploma of Aviation
    If you’re looking to fly commercially, this is a great place to learn about course options.
  5. How to Become an Airline Pilot in Australia
    Understand the pathways and career options for commercial pilots operating in Australia.

Chat to one of our flight training specialists to get your pilot training off the ground. Email [email protected] or go to to book a meeting and school tour.