Impossible turn at 500ft AGL

Posted for entertainment value only. This procedure is not recommended in any model Cirrus Aircraft.

not sure why anyone would practice this. I don’t get it. It is Russian roulette and I don’t know anyone who practices that.


There are a couple dead guys (one a CFI) who tried it in a Cirrus in the desert here a while back. DO NOT try this “for real” like this guy did. Stupid. [8-)]

In a Cirrus at the same point that the “impossible turn” is theoretically possible you have viable CAPS altitude. CAPS pulls at that altitude or higher have a 100% success rate. The impossible turn? Not so much. Easy choice.

This was pretty standard training when I was working on my PPL, and in some planes 500 feet is plenty of altitude to get back. With most single engine tricycle pistons, it takes more.

Clearly, practicing this to a real runway is no longer an approved training maneuver in a Cirrus.

I think it is still a useful maneuver to practice, but at an imaginary runway that is at 3500 AGL. :slight_smile: The utility of the maneuver is not to try to return to the runway in a real emergency (unless over the Amazon with piranha circling below, I would just pull the chute - for me, at anything above 300’ or so); but rather to get a feel for managing altitude and airspeed in a safe and controlled way. It’s still a pretty challenging maneuver in a Cirrus at 1000’ (starting at 4500’ AGL).

Landing among the trees, this was an impressive video. -j

only with an AoA on board and half flaps is possible.

As mentioned above, it is not the right maneuver for the Cirrus. Too little glide ratio and with the composite prop if it is windmilling, drops like a rock. But as mentioned above, it does depend on the aircraft and the terrain. You don’t need an AOA. But if the first time you lose an engine is the first time you attempt to do a return procedure, probably not going to end well. The PA46 can return to field safely at 500 feet AGL with a Vy climb into a neutral or headwind, but there is a formula, and a technique, that is highly reproducible . Some instructors teach it, some won’t. When I practice it, I go what??? drop the nose, wait 3 seconds to simulate helmet fire and then begin the procedure. I have done it in the aircraft, and many times in the simulator. I used to practice it in the piston, because I felt the risk benefit was worth it. With the ultra low risk of it happening in the turbine, I only do this in the Sim now, because it is a different risk benefit ratio. But I do brief a return every departure. I will take the turn back which I consider pretty guaranteed over landing off field, which is pretty good, but not guaranteed.

Even with a metal prop it is very difficult if not impossible (no pun to the turns name intended) in a SR22. I have practiced at altitude with an instructor in the plane. The Cirrus this may be easiest in is an SR20 equipped with a 2 blade prop - with its lighter airframe and less drag from the 2 blade prop IT MIGHT WORK. Never tried it in one but it has the best glide ratio of the fleet.

Don’t try this with a Cirrus. CAPS at that altitude is nearly assured, the impossible turn is likely terminal.

Larry, I know you like to post interesting videos but that one is in poor taste here. While we all like to see interesting aviation videos - PUT A BIG DISCLAIMER ON THIS ONE!!!

Just to be clear , I am 100% pro chute, if this was a Cirrus , I pull the chute for sure, and would not try to turn back, or land straight or nothing.

I have been considering getting one for my Cessna 182, its a great invention for aviation, just very expensive.

That is all good and interesting. But it does not address Roger’s concern and his request.

Why the sidestep? Why not delete the post or plaster I giant disclaimer on it? If your permissible edit period has expired, I am sure a member with permissions would help you.

Sorry I am not native English speaker, what is a disclaimer?

Give an example of what should I put and where?

A disclaimer is a warning. Something like:

Posted for entertainment value only. This procedure is not recommended in any model Cirrus Aircraft.

Or something like that.

Not to be unkind, but this response is, at best…lame…

Posted thank you.

I’ve seen a lot of things posted here “in poor taste”. The video in question is hardly one of them.


Thank you for putting together this video. I appreciate your comments. I believe you said that you practiced this ten times. The first two did not work out, the next seven did, and the last two again did not. I also greatly appreciate your statement in the video that you would not attempt it in case of a real loss of power on takeoff.

You also mentioned that pilots of a couple of other aircraft tried the same training maneuver and could not execute this from even 1,000 AGL, e.g. a Commander 114, I believe you indicated. Thanks for pointing this out.

As many know, this maneuver is not recommended in the Cirrus SR aircraft. I see you’ve added a disclaimer about the Cirrus, which is appreciated.

PS: The instructor sounds like an interesting fellow. If I understood you correctly, he was the pilot who dead-sticked a 737 onto grass with both engines out? I had to look that up. TACA Flight 110.

“I’ve seen a lot of things posted here in “poor taste”. The video in question is hardly one of them”

I guess it’s all relative. We work hard on safety here at COPA and anything that indirectly condones a return like this is what I mean by the term “poor taste”. Perhaps a poor choice of words.

Do you mean something like the video that is 4 posts after Mr Larrabure’s that shows that the 500’ impossible turn in a Cirrus can be done with 30 degrees of bank using AoA? Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with that video’s content either. Good stuff.

Larrabure’s video isn’t even a Cirrus-specific video. And with different glide characteristics, that type of plane might have more safety margin than a Cirrus. If I’m flying an aircraft without CAPS (which I do), I can envision scenarios where I will do the turn.

Why does one video fail your sniff test, and the other doesn’t?

I disagree. It seems (to me) like poor taste to use COPA’s medium to post an “interesting” General Aviation video that so directly contradicts COPA’s safety mission. Not every forum reader has your level and breadth of training, expertise and judgment. I know I don’t.

Not that it matters much, but I have wondered why the poster (who is a member) places his general-interest videos in the lightly-used Guest forum rather than the widely-read member General Aviation forum. I find it curious but not upsetting.

“Do you mean something like the video that is 4 posts after Mr Larrabure’s that shows that the 500’ impossible turn in a Cirrus can be done with 30 degrees of bank using AoA?”

I don’t condone that one either. AoA doesn’t make that maneuver any smarter. My lack of commentary should not infer support for it.

I guess I was only moved to comment on the original post. I have no rationale why although I perhaps should.

Being a Florida guy I go to Sun n Fun every now and again, and see a lot of airplanes maneuvering in a way that is not recommended in any model Cirrus aircraft. The crowd, including me, loves it! The skills on demonstration at Sun n Fun are entertaining, but well beyond the pay grade of most of the pilots in the bleachers.

Thanks for posting this video (with Roger’s very appropriate disclaimer), as well as all the others you’ve done before. I don’t plan on attempting any of the maneuvers in your videos myself. And I don’t plan on putting on a wing suit or a jet pack either. But it’s fun to watch the videos of those guys, and yours as well!

I have no problem with guys like Roger or James posting about how dangerous these maneuvers are for the unskilled, and that the typical COPAn has no business attempting them. In a safety conscious internet forum, you can’t put too much emphasis on that. The same applies to Lawrence’s video - few of us, including most CSIPs even, have the experience, skill, and equipment (a first class heads up AOA with which we are intimately familiar) to pull that off safely. With appropriate disclaimers, these videos are interesting to me at least, impressive even.