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If All Engines Fail....  
User currently offlineUnited Airline From Hong Kong, joined Jan 2001, 9160 posts, RR: 15
Posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7947 times:

If all engines fail, is it possible for pilots to glide the plane down safely? How?

30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently onlineXFSUgimpLB41X From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 4190 posts, RR: 37
Reply 1, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 7949 times:

Yup! There have been a few examples in airliners, with this being the most recent:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/US_Airways_Flight_1549


It's more common in light single engine airplanes... the result is typically non fatal.



Chicks dig winglets.
User currently offlineSCL767 From Chile, joined Feb 2006, 8728 posts, RR: 5
Reply 2, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 7914 times:
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Quoting United Airline (Thread starter):
If all engines fail, is it possible for pilots to glide the plane down safely?

Yes, Air Transat Flight 236 is an example.


User currently onlineBreninTW From Taiwan, joined Jul 2006, 1592 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 7915 times:

Yes, it is possible.

A BA 747 flying through an ash cloud over Indonesia lost all engines, and, of course the BA 777 a few years ago at LHR that lost both engines. The 747 was able to start its engines again, the 777 dug a ditch at the end of the runway, but nobody was killed.

Air Transat and AC both had aircraft that ran out of fuel and glided to safe landings.

I'm sure there are other instances.

Lift is created by the movement of the air over the wings -- so in the event that engines fail. the forward momentum will still allow the wings to generate lift and keep the aircraft airborne until such time as the forward momentum is insufficient to generate enough lift to keep the plane in the air.

Pilots will weigh in about glide slopes and all the information they have to consider, I'm sure.



I'm tired of the A vs. B sniping. Neither make planes that shed wings randomly!
User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16980 posts, RR: 67
Reply 4, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7818 times:

Most times airliners descend from cruise they are basically gliding on idle power. There's a "best glide speed" where the aircraft goes the furthest distance possible gliding.


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24670 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7712 times:

Quoting United Airline (Thread starter):
If all engines fail, is it possible for pilots to glide the plane down safely? How?

I'm surprised there's anyone on A.net who hasn't heard of AC's 767-200 Gimli Glider that ran out of fuel on a flight from YOW to YEG on July 23, 1983 and glided to a safe emergency landing at a closed former air force base at Gimli, Manitoba.

News footage from 1983.
http://www.cbc.ca/archives/categorie...mli-glider-lands-without-fuel.html

And re the aircraft's final retirement flight to the desert on January 24, 2008.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manito...story/2008/01/24/gimli-glider.html

It did a low-level flypast at YUL on the retirement flight. The two pilots from the newsworthy 1983 flight were aboard.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MHy6yy3Z00

Interestingly, 29 years later the same AC143 flight number still operates YOW-YEG at about the same times as the Gimli Glider in 1983, but it's now an Embraer 190 and the routing today is YYT-YHZ-YOW-YEG. Until fairly recently, a year or so ago I think, it was even still operating the identical YUL-YOW-YEG routing as in 1983. It was an A319/320 for quite a while before the current E-190.


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7639 times:

TACA B737-200 was a glider and landed on a levy near MSY back in the 80's, IIRC.


Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7511 posts, RR: 32
Reply 7, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 17 hours ago) and read 7629 times:

If all engines fail - the pilot is back to some of his/her earliest flight training.

As noted above - there have been several successful landings of airliners with all engines not working - some on airports, some on not. And there have been some which did not make it.

Wikipedia notes almost 40 such incidents where gliding was part of the flight - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...line_flights_that_required_gliding

Modern jetliners glide much better than most folks who don't know much about airplanes would expect. The same things which make a modern jetliner more fuel efficient help make it a better glider.


User currently offlineKaiarahi From Canada, joined Jul 2009, 2922 posts, RR: 29
Reply 8, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 7459 times:

I had the good fortune to jump-seat LHR-YMX in 1990 with the same Gimli flight crew. Bob Pearson (the captain) was also a gliding flight instructor at a club based in Hawkesbury, Ontario (ex WW II training base). He "persuaded" me to take up gliding, which has been a thoroughly enjoyable pastime.


Note à moi-même - il faut respecter les cons.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31660 posts, RR: 56
Reply 9, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 7397 times:

Very Much possible to glide......Although a condition of such an Incident occuring is very rare in todays times.The BA 747 & Gimli glider are two very popular ones in the past.
But with a rise in the reliability of Engines.....Wont happen often.

The B777 fuel starvation at LHR is one too.



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineBoeingGuy From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 2954 posts, RR: 7
Reply 10, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 7123 times:

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 6):
TACA B737-200 was a glider and landed on a levy near MSY back in the 80's, IIRC.

Yep, both engines failed due to ice ingestion, I believe. It was a 737-300.

The Captain did an amazing job. What was more impressive is that he was only 26 years old and missing one eye, which was shot out in El Salvador, so he lacked some depth perception. It's refreshing to read about highly skilled pilot action like that, as opposed to tragic accidents with poor piloting (3407, for example). The only possible mistake he made was not landing at the closer Naval Air Station, in which he was given vectors to after the initial engine flameouts, but tried to continue to MSY after the engines re-lit the first time.


User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31660 posts, RR: 56
Reply 11, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 7096 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 10):
What was more impressive is that he was only 26 years old and missing one eye, which was shot out in El Salvador, so he lacked some depth perception.

Was that not a criteria for flying.....



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 639 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 7076 times:

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 11):
Was that not a criteria for flying.....

Certainly is... Some lax medical standards maybe? Or an embellished story!



Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 16980 posts, RR: 67
Reply 13, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 6990 times:

SK751 is another famous example of an airliner that had to glide to a landing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scandinavian_Airlines_Flight_751


"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offline71Zulu From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3058 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 6899 times:

Here is a video on TACA 110, the deadstick landing at MSY.

http://youtu.be/IPn8G7enbF4

The aircraft landed on the grounds of the company that used to build the external liquid fuel tanks for the space shuttle.

10 years later in 1998, the Captain and FO were invited back and given keys to the city by the Mayor of New Orleans.

The engines failed due to massive water ingestion in a heavy thunderstorm.

The aircraft was a 737-300 and was only two months old at the time.

The aircraft ended up with America West, then Morris Air and was then absorbed into Southwest and still flies today as N697SW.



The good old days: Delta L-1011s at MSY
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5963 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 6837 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 10):
The Captain did an amazing job. What was more impressive is that he was only 26 years old and missing one eye, which was shot out in El Salvador, so he lacked some depth perception. It's refreshing to read about highly skilled pilot action like that, as opposed to tragic accidents with poor piloting

Highly skilled? More like luck. The captain was attempting to ditch in the river when his first officer spotted the levee. And it's not like the levee was free of issues, either. On either side of the central "runway" were berms that could have caught a wing.

His ability to fly an aircraft while lacking depth perception due to losing an eye? Now THAT'S skill. (And this coming from a pilot who also lacks natural depth perception, but still has both eyes.)

[Edited 2012-08-26 02:33:33]


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3143 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 6731 times:

Quoting BoeingGuy (Reply 10):
It's refreshing to read about highly skilled pilot action like that, as opposed to tragic accidents with poor piloting (3407, for example).

He flew into a thunderstorm with extreme precipitation. If he had the skill and presence of mind to AVOID this, which you should do, this would have never been an issue. There was nothing refreshing about his actions. His mistake nearly killed a plane full of people.



DMI
User currently offlinezeke From Hong Kong, joined Dec 2006, 8849 posts, RR: 75
Reply 17, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6722 times:

If an engine is no longer producing thrust due to combustion ceasing, normally the turbines still rotate due to the air windmilling through them.

This rotation is normally enough to still power the hydraulics which are needed to power the flight controls.



We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking – Santosh Kalwar
User currently offlinerfields5421 From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 7511 posts, RR: 32
Reply 18, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 6702 times:

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 16):
He flew into a thunderstorm with extreme precipitation. If he had the skill and presence of mind to AVOID this, which you should do, this would have never been an issue.

The NTSB said they flew as directed by ATC and used their radar to avoid the heaviest cells.

Both this flight and Southern Airways 242 highlighted problems with the ability of the FAA ATC radar systems and on-board aircraft radar to give controllers and pilots accurate real-time data to avoid small intense cells within storm systems which appear to be well within aircraft flying limits. The systems are better today, but their are still not perfect.

Yes, he could have tried to fly around the thunderstorms that day. Though I have to wonder about the fuel capacity of a flight from Belize to divert from New Orleans to Tampa or Houston after arriving at their descent point for New Orleans. It was a very large weather system that day across the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Gulf coasts.

Also

Quote:
A CONTRIBUTING CAUSE OF THE INCIDENT WAS THE INADEQUATE DESIGN OF THE ENGINES AND THE FAA WATER INGESTION CERTIFICATION STANDARDS WHICH DID NOT REFLECT THE WATERFALL RATES THAT CAN BE EXPECTED IN MODERATE OR HIGHER INTENSITY THUNDERSTORMS.


User currently offlineflyhossd From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 832 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (1 year 10 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 6567 times:

Over the years, I had the opportunity to try it twice in simulators. Both times, I made the runway from further away and lower altitude than you'd probably expect. My glider experience probably helped.

In other words, it can be done (and has been done) with the right circumstances.



My statements do not represent my former employer or my current employer and are my opinions only.
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31660 posts, RR: 56
Reply 20, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6475 times:

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 12):

Certainly is... Some lax medical standards maybe? Or an embellished story!

Exactly it should have been a desk job....



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 5963 posts, RR: 14
Reply 21, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6473 times:

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 12):
Certainly is... Some lax medical standards maybe? Or an embellished story!
Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 20):
Exactly it should have been a desk job....

Apparently, he was a really good friend of the family who owned the airline. That said, he was flying scheduled flights in a Pilatus around the Guatemalan bush before and after his eye got shot out---including flying himself and his passengers to safety after getting the gunshot wound from a run-in with some drug runners.

[Edited 2012-08-27 04:34:05]


Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3143 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6388 times:

Quoting rfields5421 (Reply 18):
Yes, he could have tried to fly around the thunderstorms that day. Though I have to wonder about the fuel capacity of a flight from Belize to divert from New Orleans to Tampa or Houston after arriving at their descent point for New Orleans. It was a very large weather system that day across the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida Gulf coasts.

If they didn't have fuel reserves, they should not be dispatched.

I picked this paragraph alone but while ATC can give good suggestions that isn't always the case. Their radar is still limited and they don't see the cells like we do (assuming we are in VMC). There have been more than a couple cases where ATC said "the last guy went through" and myself or the other person I'm flying with veto'd the idea because we weren't comfortable with what we saw on our radar or with our eyes.

Bottom line, a little patience and a little better decision making and we wouldn't be talking about a 737 that landed on a levee.

[Edited 2012-08-27 08:18:41]


DMI
User currently offlinebarney captain From United States of America, joined Nov 2001, 923 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 6165 times:

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 22):
Bottom line, a little patience and a little better decision making and we wouldn't be talking about a 737 that landed on a levee.

Agreed.



...from the Banana Republic....
User currently offlineaerotech777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2009, 67 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (1 year 10 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5509 times:

Hi,

I think the problem with all engines failure is when this event happens at low altitudes. Your ability to glide is very limited. You are very limited to trade altitude for the speed and sometimes you can’t glide. It can lead to serious incident/accident (US Airways flight 1549) or even crash. BA 777 event (restricted fuel flow due to ice) is another example even though it seems engine(s) was operating at low thrust (I didn’t read the final report of the incident).

At high/relatively high altitudes you can trade altitude for the speed and you may land successfully as mentioned above after all engines failures.

25.671 FAR (d): The airplane must be designed so that it is controllable if all engines fail. Compliance with this requirement may be shown by analysis where that method has been shown to be reliable.

At low altitudes and after engine failures aircraft controllability is very limited since you don’t enough speed (potential power). This controllability may not lead to successful landing without enough speed (potential power).

Quoting zeke (Reply 17):
If an engine is no longer producing thrust due to combustion ceasing, normally the turbines still rotate due to the air windmilling through them.

This rotation is normally enough to still power the hydraulics which are needed to power the flight controls

In windmilling engine the fan and the LP compressor drive the LP turbines and HP compressor drives the HP turbine (s) and the gearbox. The turbines drive the other mentioned engine components only when the engine is operating. So after engine failure (windmilling engine) HP compressor drives the gearbox (including the engine hydraulic pump) and the turbine. The engine hydraulic pump provides limited hydraulic power (flow) not enough to power the flight control and other components (flaps...etc). You may have 3000 PSI at the beginning, but this pressure will decrease to 0 PSI as soon as you start actuating the flight control.
Low bypass windmilling engine may provide enough hydraulic power compared to high or medium bypass engines. High bypass (medium bypass to lesser degree) windmilling engines don’t provide enough hydraulic power because the majority of airflow bypasses the core engine (HP compressor). So the gearbox (hydraulic pump) is not driven to sufficient speed to provide enough hydraulic power. I think that’s why the RAT provides hydraulic power (in addition to electricity). I believe for that reason the B747-8 is fitted with RAT.

I stand to be corrected.

Regards


25 Aesma : The one that really makes my day is the Air Transat one, since it happened in the middle of the Atlantic.
26 Post contains images Darksnowynight : And would have been even better if they weren't in full landing configuration at the time. I think those guys made the most of a tough gig. Just out
27 longhauler : This is a common simulator exercise we often practise. First Officers are given the aircraft with engines out about 20 miles on final at 250 knots at
28 Post contains links ScarletHarlot : Dude! You asked this same question years ago!! What Can Pilots Do If All Engines Fail? (by United Airline Apr 30 2006 in Tech Ops)
29 litz : The number of things that went right for those guys to make that airfield is a pretty huge list. Sheer dumb luck played a big part, too.
30 CM : For the past generation of engines this was true. With newer engines and very high bypass ratios, the windmilling of the engine is not sufficient to
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