Aircraft navigation can be safely accomplished by properly addressing the following: decision-making, obstacle perception, aircraft state estimation, and aircraft control. To develop a monolithic navigational system is probably an impossible task; instead a hierarchical decomposition is presented, which breaks down the safe recovery and landing of distressed aircraft into sub-problems that maximize the probability that the overall objective is achieved. Navigational performance is often hinder by in-flight damage or failures, which often results in mission failure and an inability to guide the aircraft to a safe landing. Uncertainty is a very important concern in recovery of damaged aircraft since it can cause infeasibilities, false diagnosis and prognosis causing further performance degradation and mission failure. The damaged aircraft is simulated via a simplified kinematic model. The different sources and perspectives of uncertainties in the damage assessment process and post-failure trajectory planning are presented and classified. The decision-making process for an emergency motion planning and landing is developed via the Dempster-Shafer evidence theory. The objective of the trajectory planning is to arrive at a target position while maximizing the safety of the aircraft given uncertain conditions. Simulations are presented for an emergency motion planning and landing that takes into account aircraft dynamics, path complexity, distance to landing site, runway characteristics, and subjective human decision.

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