A practice approach to a runway by a jet aircraft (invariably military) at idle thrust and generally with the airbrakes out (sometimes, the flaps are partially down to simulate conditions akin to an actual flameout). The approach may start at a relatively high altitude with the aim to make the high key—a point generally in line with the landing dumbbell. The pilot then aims to make it to the mid key—a point at right angles to the runway (on the first crosswind leg) and continues on a relatively high downwind leg with a high rate of descent and a continuous turn to the final. In any pattern, the aim is to make it to the low key—abeam landing dumbbell on the downwind leg—at the stipulated height. The exercise does not generally terminate in a landing but in most cases, a go-around maneuver is executed. The exercise is normally carried out on training aircraft and not on operational aircraft, where a landing with a flamed out engine is not considered safe because of the very high rates of descent. The exercise aids in providing realistic training to aircrews.
An Illustrated Dictionary of Aviation Copyright © 2005 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved