Beaches and airplanes go together like a salad and a toss, especially for emergency landings. But there have been fatalities when pilots land without seeing people walking or wading. In this AVweb video, Paul Bertorelli examines the risks and offers tips on landing on a beach or ditching offshore, if that’s the better option.


  1. Paul:

    Nice video. We just discussed this at our flight school–we fly out of W29 and the end of the runway is the Chesapeake Bay. Your video helps.

    Beach landings are as old as powered aviation. The Wright brothers settled on Kitty Hawk based on wind tables they obtained from the weather service. However, a real plus for Kitty Hawk was that it was sand. Better to land on sand than rocks and dirt.

    Stay well.


    Vince Massimini
    Kentmorr Airpark MD (3W3)

  2. Great video (as always).
    I had often thought about these silent emergency ldgs like on a beach, golf course,
    etc. But how can you warn someone that you are about to hit them?
    Believe it or not, I carried an air horn which is VERY LOUD.
    These are made for boaters – compressed air in a freon can.

  3. Thank you Paul for an excellent video essay. I share your valuable work with my students every time. Cheers!

  4. Wow. What an awesome training video Paul. The photography really brings home a lot of your points. I will be passing this on to some CFIs. Thank you.