Pilot's tip of the week

Split Flap Emergency Landing Procedure


Subscriber question:

"How about discussing emergency landings with split flaps?" - Glenn


“This is a relatively rare condition, where one flap deploys while the other remains in a retracted position. It’s probably indicated by a rolling/yawing condition.

Split flap landingA good general rule of thumb is to reverse whatever action caused the condition you’re experiencing. In this case, that means retracting the flaps and planning for a no flap landing because this is easier than attempting to land with a split flap condition.

Remember that a no flap landing will require a higher approach speed due to the higher stall speed with flaps retracted. Be sure to stay current with no flap landings.

If you have to land with split flaps, perhaps because they won’t retract for some reason, you’ll also need to use a higher landing speed since one wing is actually performing a no flap landing. However, the split flap condition can cause control problems, especially in a crosswind.

In the event that the flaps can’t be retracted and there’s a crosswind, do not attempt to land with a crosswind from the side with the deployed flap. The reason for that is that you will need to deflect the aileron toward the side with the deployed flap and may not have anything extra to counter the crosswind from that side.

Be familiar with pilot operating manual for the aircraft you fly and utilize any procedures listed.”

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