Note before reading further that I'm asking this question purely on theoretical grounds, though you are more than welcome to talk about practical aspects as well.
Now, my question. It's common knowledge amongst many pilots that turnbacks are one of the least safe methods of attempting to survive an engine failure in a single engine aircraft. However, is it actually possible at all to turnback an aircraft to return to the airport perimeter or the runway? How much of it is simply pilot error in executing a possible manoeuvre, as opposed to pilots thinking that they can pull something off that is just impossible, no matter what?
For the purposes of this question, we shall assume the following:
- there is only one runway, so a reciprocal turn is required (we shall assume 210 degrees)
- the aircraft has a flaps up stall speed at MTOW of 75 knots
- the aircraft has a best glide ratio of 1:12 at 100 knots
Alternatively, if you have any other information that is more akin to a real aircraft, you can use that in lieu of this information.
Sources or an explanation as to why this it is or isn't impossible would be appreciated in your answers.