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Tn55337
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Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Thu Jan 21, 2021 3:36 pm

Lets say you are flying an old DC-10-10 from MEM to VCV for retirement. You are over New Mexico and you loose the number 2 engine. You are light because there is no cargo, just the empty plane. Do you divert and make Fedex incur the cost of an engine swap just to fly another 500 miles before getting cut up into beer cans or do you go for it knowing that you do not really need the thrust you just lost?
 
FGITD
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:06 pm

Seems the type of decision that would likely be made above the pilots heads, barring an immediate safety concern.

Some dispatcher would probably get the news and have to punt it to the chain to get a final decision.

Much more to take into account, however. Even on future beer can aircraft, the engines and other more valuable parts are usually stripped for reuse or other forms of recycling before the aircraft gets cut up.
 
PGNCS
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Thu Jan 21, 2021 5:44 pm

Diversion to nearest suitable airport is not required on 3 and 4-engine aircraft. Checklists would be run, driftdown would be done (if required), and dispatch and maintenance would be consulted. It's likely the flight would continue to the intended destination, though it's the ultimate decision of the PIC.
 
VMCA787
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Thu Jan 21, 2021 6:19 pm

In a previous life, I was involved with ferrying aircraft for the airline I worked for in the US. It was mainly 3/4 engine aircraft but the 757 would be ferried for things like cargo door issues and door seal problems. But, back to the question. First of all, the airline I worked for the flights operated under FAR 91. Dispatch was there but only in an advisory capacity. They did the flight plan and used the company engine out ferry restrictions. For example, the runway had to be dry for takeoff and landing, no takeoff at night, and only specially qualified pilots would be used.

But, having had an incident on the DC-10, where an aircraft was two engine ferried, en route we received a oil filter clogged light. We treated the situation as if we had two engines and landed at the nearest suitable airport (in terms of time). There is no reason not to do that. Continuing to your destination is asking the FAA to come in and have a chat with you. Luckily, at that company, dispatch never got involved with the decision making and the PIC was the sole decision-maker. Even on the 747, we tended to treat any subsequent engine malfunction as a divert situation. In the greater scheme of things pressing on is not worth it.
 
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Florianopolis
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:18 pm

You're gonna have to see what the checklist says to do with the engine failure. Most of the Part 121 ATP-certificated captains I know are acutely jealous of maintaining their certificate privileges, and care much more about that than whether the airplane will need an expensive engine change (that may be paid for by insurance, btw). Sure sure, the ferry may be under the wild-west rules of Part 91, but still, the FAA may come ask why you took an airliner through the NAS that was an engine failure away from making you a test pilot.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Thu Jan 21, 2021 7:48 pm

Florianopolis wrote:
You're gonna have to see what the checklist says to do with the engine failure. Most of the Part 121 ATP-certificated captains I know are acutely jealous of maintaining their certificate privileges, and care much more about that than whether the airplane will need an expensive engine change (that may be paid for by insurance, btw). Sure sure, the ferry may be under the wild-west rules of Part 91, but still, the FAA may come ask why you took an airliner through the NAS that was an engine failure away from making you a test pilot.


Read up on Part 121.565 (b) says for engine failure enroute for three and four engine planes. You’re not a test pilot in this case, assuming simple engine failure, it’s authorized to continue. Double engine failures are trained on both three and four engine civil types as both initial and recurrent classes and sim sessions.
 
unimproved
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:05 pm

I'd land ASAP unless you shut down that engine yourself with a clear reason. Can never be sure if it was a contained failure (next to tail hydraulics) or if there's a fire brewing.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:20 pm

Could land, then do a two-engine ferry!
 
VMCA787
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Thu Jan 21, 2021 8:40 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Read up on Part 121.565 (b) says for engine failure enroute for three and four engine planes. You’re not a test pilot in this case, assuming simple engine failure, it’s authorized to continue. Double engine failures are trained on both three and four engine civil types as both initial and recurrent classes and sim sessions.


You are absolutely correct. However, I can tell you from experience, our FAA POI made it very clear if you are in a DC-10 and you takeoff on 2 engines, you can't argue the point about 3/4 engine dispatch rules. His position was you land and he didn't care if it was a DC-10, 727 for 3 engines, or a 747 for 4 engines. If you had another engine failure you landed the aircraft. The engine change or delay wasn't your worry.

Seeing how he already showed his hand, I don't think it was really worth taking the chance of having a very pointed discussion with the POI and the VP of Flight Ops. Interestingly enough, there was another 121 carrier, Hq in Chicago, who also took the same position.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Thu Jan 21, 2021 10:04 pm

Twin-engine thinking, but he is the POI and it’s the company’s Ops manual. They write the check.
 
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Florianopolis
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Fri Jan 22, 2021 2:58 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Read up on Part 121.565 (b) says for engine failure enroute for three and four engine planes. You’re not a test pilot in this case, assuming simple engine failure, it’s authorized to continue. Double engine failures are trained on both three and four engine civil types as both initial and recurrent classes and sim sessions.


Point taken, and you guys have forgotten more about 121 operations than I'll ever know. But it's a questionable enough course of action that (d) goes on to say:

(d) If the pilot in command lands at an airport other than the nearest suitable airport, in point of time, he or she shall (upon completing the trip) send a written report, in duplicate, to his or her director of operations stating the reasons for determining that the selection of an airport, other than the nearest airport, was as safe a course of action as landing at the nearest suitable airport. The director of operations shall, within 10 days after the pilot returns to his or her home base, send a copy of this report with the director of operation's comments to the responsible Flight Standards office.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Fri Jan 22, 2021 3:37 am

Read 121.565 (a)

a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, whenever an airplane engine fails or whenever an engine is shutdown to prevent possible damage, the pilot in command must land the airplane at the nearest suitable airport, in point of time, at which a safe landing can be made.

That’s a specific exemption in the case of three and four-engine transports, see the words “Except as provided in paragraph B”. There’s some operational flexibility in operating 3 and 4 engine transports, but in a world that has largely grown up operating twins, “land ASAP” has become the rule. Continuing OEI has limits, terrain, routing, fuel plan, options in the event of a second failure, what caused the first engine shutdown all play. It’s more complicated, so easier just to land.

In the OP, over NM, say a little west of KABQ, by the time the QRH is run, clearance issued and drift down descent begun, you’re diverting into KLAS or KPHX what’s that, 30 minutes from KVCV or less. And you’re empty, positioning flight.
 
T54A
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:22 am

Didn’t BA lose a donkey after take off out of the US on a B744, and continue to the UK on three? This was a normal pax flight I believe.
T6, Allouette 3, Oryx, King Air, B1900, B727, B744, A319, A342/3/6 A332/3 A359
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:39 am

T54A wrote:
Didn’t BA lose a donkey after take off out of the US on a B744, and continue to the UK on three? This was a normal pax flight I believe.


Yep. They then used a bit more fuel than calculated and had to divert to Manchester I think.

The FAA went bonkers, even though no regulations were violated.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
VMCA787
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Sat Jan 23, 2021 12:30 pm

Not quite on the last two posts. There was a compressor stall on takeoff, with sparks and sound effects. Tower notified the flight and they pressed on. I can't remember if the engine was shutdown or left at idle but as they made their way eastward, they spoke with dispatch and maintenance to get more info. As they neared the east coast, the PIC made the decision to continue. Dispatch had run a 3 engine flight plan and they were forecast to be good on fuel. Legally, they could continue the flight as they were are of just what the engine problem was and it didn't present a safety of flight issue.

As they neared the end of the NAT, they spoke with dispatch again to verify the fuel and WX at LHR and all was good. Since the malfunctioning engine was at idle or shutdown, they needed to balance up the tanks and that is where the problem began. The malfunctioning engine was #2 and they were at the point in the fuel sequence where it was tank to engine. The crew, having never having to manage fuel at that low level of fuel, was unsure of the amount of useable fuel in the #2 main tank. The decision was made to land at MAN.

The FAA and CAA investigated the incident and the FAA proposed a $25,000 fine. However, BA appealed the decision on the grounds the FARs and OPS SPEC didn't prohibit continuing the flight. All parties agreed to no action, but it was agreed BA would change their Ops Manual to reflect the need to land in those circumstances. The CAA dinged the crew for fuel management procedures and lack of knowledge on the fuel system.
 
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747classic
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Re: Hypothetical: Engine failure on trijet retirement ferry flight

Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:27 pm

A BA 747-236B with a dedicated F/E, with proper knowledge of the fuel system, would have reached LHR, without fuel feed issues within all legal regulations.
Operating a twin over the ocean, you're always one engine failure from a total emergency.

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