Would you turn back to the runway?

The loss of power on takeoff is something every pilot should be prepared for.  At municipal airports surrounded by buildings, when power is lost, the pilot must instantly choose between two high-risk options.  Land straight ahead and try to find a clear area between buildings.  Or turn back to the runway and risk not making it.  If he falls short, he finds himself landing downwind.  Do you know the altitude you need to be at to return to your runways?

The Takeoff Advisor Project

The Takeoff Advisor is a pre-flight planning tool, in development, to help pilots know what their best options are along the planned departure route and for the conditions of the day (e.g. winds, density altitude, etc.).  It tells the pilot what the minimum altitude that their plane can turn back and return to the runway safely.  And it also shows the best glide paths to other runways and off-field landing sites.

Currently we are using Turnback Advisor to assess real-life events such as the one here in our Analysis section

Measure Your Plane!

Takeoff Advisor needs to know only a few basic flight characteristics of your plane such as climb and glide performance as well as the altitude lost in the turn. We are currently encouraging pilots to become part of this project by measuring the flight characteristics of their plane and sharing their data with the flying community (identity of the pilots will not be shared). You will find it informative and the data will help advance General Aviation safety. You can see how to be part of this effort here.

What you Get

If you choose to measure and share your plane's characteristics, you will receive plots of your actual flight data showing the takeoff, turnback, and glide. Even though the turnback maneuvers are done at a safe altitude, the flight data will be put together to show how you would have done over your home airport departing your most-used runway. The plots are FREE.