CFI Topics

Teaching Engine-Out Glides

7 Lessons Advanced

About this course

Understanding basic aerodynamics tells us that there is a better way to teach this subject

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Course Structure

Traditional Approach

When student pilots begin to learn about emergency procedures, the concept of the engine-out glide is introduced.

Is There a Better Way?

The question we as flight instructors should ask ourselves is “Is this really the proper method of teaching engine-out simulations, or is there a better way?”

Forces on Aircraft in a Glide

Aerodynamic performance is determined by the balance of forces along and perpendicular to the flight path of the aircraft.

The Components of Weight, Pt. 1

The lift force acts perpendicular to the velocity vector and the weight acts downward.

The Components of Weight, Pt. 2

The maximum L/D occurs at a fixed angle-of-attack and is independent of both the aircraft weight and the altitude.


We should teach student pilots to establish a given pitch attitude when simulating engine failures, rather than to chase the airspeed, which is going to be dependent of the weight of the aircraft.

Appendix I

Table of Sines and Cosines

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