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One more. As before we do not want trained pilots to answer this one, we expect them to know it.

You are flying a single engined aircraft at 7000 feet. There is a solid cloud layer between 6000 and 3000 feet (agl). No airport near. Your engine stops and can not be restarted. What's the best way of descending through the cloud layer?

Sorry for the posting problems with this message.

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Making gradual turns at a standard descent rate so as to avoid a stall while looking for a break in the cloud layer, using instrument flying for maintaining the standard rate turn. Descending at 300 to 500 feet/minute (or as appropriate to the type of aircraft) to stay above stalling speed...

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Making gradual turns at a standard descent rate so as to avoid a stall while looking for a break in the cloud layer, using instrument flying for maintaining the standard rate turn. Descending at 300 to 500 feet/minute (or as appropriate to the type of aircraft) to stay above stalling speed...

Nope.

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since there are clouds, you should fly under IFR rules, so declare an emergeny and follow the guidance of atc during the descent through the clouds?

ok about the call to ATC (though you can fly in many parts of the world VFR above a cloud layer) but the question was about the best way to descent through the clouds. ATC can give you some advise but they can't help you find a landing spot. The risk of a mid air is rather relative if you are gliding into a cloudbase without an airport below. Besides, they would clear out the other traffic and you would still be able to do what you think is best.

So what's the best way to descent?

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I'd call in ATC to declare an emergency first, and immediately ask if I can be given any hint on what terrain to expect (specifically I'd want to know about water and roads, if I don't have a map already which tells me that). In the meantime, I descend at about 1000 ft/min, so after three minutes I should be out of the cloud layer, expecting that at that time ATC should have provided me with some useful information. Depending on what they say and I see when just out of the clouds, I'll have to search for a landing spot, best would be a cleared area parallel to a road, or a lake of some sorts (a river perhaps?)

Of course, all of this is very much dependent on the availability of water/road in the vicinity. If there is a spot to land closeby, I'll try to get down as fast as I can, extending some flaps to make sure I don't come in too hard. If I don't have anything *that* close by, I'll gradually descend. How much is dependent on the current airspeed and the distance to the lake/river/road. If that distance isn't so small, I'll try to descend with a rate that will bring me to 200kts, and from there I'll increase my rate of descent to keep that speed up. Again, i can't be very precise: it's all dependent on airspeed, weather, distance to landing spot, weight, etc....

Agh, in reality I'd probably make a lousy pilot :D That's why I study biology and keep my flying restricted to my computer ^_^

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hey,

most important thing is time.

without engine it is just a matter of time when you hit the ground.

so i would choose best glide-speed (c-172 i think 68 kt) trim the airplane and let it decend.

meanwhile one is able to choose a landingspot.

best wishes,

sören

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Get though the layer very fast so that you have high airspeed when under the clouds, then you would have more time (because airspeed building off) to look for a safe emergency lading spot?

Bingo, we got a winner.

As written, you need to have as much energy in your aircraft the moment you can see the ground as that directly translates in longer glide distance. So the best way to handle this situation is to get the airspeed all the way up to Vmo (or if known, Vd (design dive speed))

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