mawingho
Topic Author
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Engine Failure After Take-off

Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:11 pm

I have got the following questions, but I do not understand why the answer is C.

17. One of the basic rules following an engine failure immediately after take-off is:
a. always try to restart the engine.
b. immediately make a distress call.
c. never turn back to the runway.

Reference: Robson, David. "Appendix 1: Practice Exams" Basic Aeronautical Knowledge (BAK). Darra: Aviation Theory Centre Pty, 2009. 379. Print.

Why a and b are not correct?

Hope someone can help me. Thanks!
 
tb727
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:32 pm

Quoting mawingho (Thread starter):
I have got the following questions, but I do not understand why the answer is C.

17. One of the basic rules following an engine failure immediately after take-off is:
a. always try to restart the engine.
b. immediately make a distress call.
c. never turn back to the runway.

A is not correct because you don't want to just automatically restart an engine, you want to run through a checklist and find out why it failed. You might be able to restart it but don't always assume you will be able to. In some cases you could make your problem worse by trying to restart a damaged engine.

B you are going to let them know you have had an engine failure and you will state your intentions at some point but it's aviate, navigate, communicate. Avoid terrain, get the situation under control, figure it out and go from there. You brief this all in the takeoff briefing so you have at least gone through it in your mind before every takeoff.

C you don't just turn back to the runway. You work your way through it and don't rush things. You will never just turn back to the runway so I think that is why the answer is C.

It's kind of a misleading/strange question but I guess they are trying to get you to think.
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Fabo
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:42 pm

Quoting tb727 (Reply 1):
C you don't just turn back to the runway. You work your way through it and don't rush things. You will never just turn back to the runway so I think that is why the answer is C.

This is true as well, but I would say that the main reason is that pilots underestimate altitude loss during a turn back to the runway, especially in singles and light twins.

That was one of the things that we were drilled in our ground course even for sailplanes, DO NOT attempt to turn back to the airport in case of propelling power loss (be it winch failure or rope damage). Unless you are absolutely sure you can turn around and sail back. Field in front of you is always first choice.
(I was told that part of this is that pilots dont realize the actual amount of direction change, they expect change of 180 degrees but it is more like 360 degree turn since you need to return to runway centerline)
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tb727
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:00 pm

Quoting Fabo (Reply 2):
This is true as well, but I would say that the main reason is that pilots underestimate altitude loss during a turn back to the runway, especially in singles and light twins.

That is true, disclaimer, all my above answers were for transport category aircraft. It's been a while since I thought little plane!
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vikkyvik
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:07 pm

Quoting tb727 (Reply 1):
It's kind of a misleading/strange question

It is, because choices A and B are positives, and C is a negative. I had to read them a few times to get it.

I'd hazard a guess at a few other reasons:

1.) You're in a relatively precarious flight regime. You're at a high pitch angle, low altitude, low speed, and you just lost half your thrust (on a twin). Ensuring you aviate first would be key. Establish the speeds and/or pitch angles you're supposed to establish in the event of an engine failure. Then figure out where you're currently going (nagivate). Then tell ATC (communicate).

2.) Restarting the engine is a checklist of its own, far as I know. With one pilot flying and the other running through the engine failure checklist, you can't be doing the restart procedure at the same time. Get your situation stabilized and then work on the solution.

3.) At a busy airport, the next airplane in line could have already lined up on the runway from which you just departed. Not a good situation if you turn around to land on that same runway, going the opposite direction.
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David L
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:47 pm

Any chance the question and "correct" answer are geared towards single-engine ops?
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Thu Sep 13, 2012 12:03 am

I would say yes it's for single eng ops. on a big jet you wouldn't need to be in a hurry at all. many folks have tried the 180 back over the years in single eng planes only to prove it won't work. i was taught this too when I was working on my PPL.
 
Mir
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:09 am

Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 6):
many folks have tried the 180 back over the years in single eng planes only to prove it won't work.

The 180 turn back to the runway does work, but only if you have enough altitude to do so. If you lose your engine right after takeoff, forget about it, but once you've got something like 1500 feet below you, it might become a viable option.

-Mir
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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:19 am

The post said

Quoting tb727 (Reply 1):
One of the basic rules following an engine failure immediately after take-off is:
 
bueb0g
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Thu Sep 13, 2012 4:41 pm

Quoting mawingho (Thread starter):
a. always try to restart the engine.

This is wrong because, just after takeoff, you don't have enough time to be restarting. All you have time to do is put the nose down to achieve best glide speed, pick your field, secure the engine (throttle closed, mixture ICO, fuel pump off, fuel off, mags off), brace any pax and open the door, then land. No time to attempt a restart - it's not worth trying to get the engine going again but stalling or missing the field in the process.

Quoting mawingho (Thread starter):
b. immediately make a distress call.

Again, same idea as above. It's not a bad idea to squeeze out a call but it shouldn't be a priority. Also note that, at an airport, the controller will probably still have visual contact and will see you going down.

Quoting mawingho (Thread starter):
c. never turn back to the runway.

This is known as the impossible turn, and unless you have a *lot* of height (1,000 + at least - and at this point you will probably have turned away from the runway), you land ahead. Pick a field within a 60 degree arc right infront of you and land it there. Don't even think about the runway. If you try and turn back you'll probably stall it and kill yourself, or lose so much height that you can't make the runway. You may still be able to land safely in a field but now you're much lower, have less to play with and no longer hold any cards.

Quoting vikkyvik (Reply 4):
3.) At a busy airport, the next airplane in line could have already lined up on the runway from which you just departed. Not a good situation if you turn around to land on that same runway, going the opposite direction.

While it would be good airmanship to think about this it's not the reason that turnbacks are not recommended. As stated before it's the height loss sustained in the maneuver and the chance of stalling. Has killed many, many pilots (and their passengers), including someone I knew well.
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skyhawkmatthew
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:44 pm

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 9):
Don't even think about the runway. If you try and turn back you'll probably stall it and kill yourself

This is what was drilled into my head in initial training.

A) It would be nice to get the engine running again, but hardly a 'basic rule'.
B) Again, it would be nice to make a distress call, but not a 'basic rule'.
C) NEVER, EVER attempt to turn back. Especially in the heat of the moment, you will attempt a very steep turn back to the runway, in a glide no less. You are very, very likely to stall and crash if you try and go back - a spin at this sort of altitude is unrecoverable. The 'basic rule' is to lower the nose to maintain best glide speed, select a field within 60° of your track, and set yourself up for a landing there. Then, and only then, begin troubleshooting/attempting to restart the engine (if there is time) and make a distress call.

Aviate (glide speed), Navigate (select a landing site and set up an approach), Communicate (MAYDAY).
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wingscrubber
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:39 am

Rule #1, fly the airplane. Radio calls and restart attempts are secondary.
Best tactic is to immediately trim for best glide if you've lost your only engine, or trim for a shallow(er) climb if you have 1 or more engines remaining. Some twins might not be able to climb on a single engine at all if they're overloaded.
As for turning back, this is a natural thing to want to do, but with low energy and low altitude this often results in a stall-spin-bodybag scenario. Plenty of pilots have been killed this way.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Engine Failure After Take-off

Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:39 pm

Quoting skyhawkmatthew (Reply 10):
C) NEVER, EVER attempt to turn back. Especially in the heat of the moment, you will attempt a very steep turn back to the runway, in a glide no less. You are very, very likely to stall and crash if you try and go back - a spin at this sort of altitude is unrecoverable.

Just for yucks, we tried the impossible turn today in a Cessna 172R. Simulated climbout at Vy. When the engine "fails", immediately put in full flaps, slow to best glide and do a one-eighty without stalling. I lost 180 feet. My instructor lost only about 100. And of course we weren't on centerline anymore.

Not saying it's a good idea at very low altitude but say you're climbing out and have reached 700-800ft... If you can stay cool it is doable, at least in this aircraft, although the risk of stalling and spinning under stress is very real. We had a few thousand feet under us so we knew we could recover.
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