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tf51d

No master caution on engine failure?

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I had to stop my flight to attend to some matters that came up, so I decided to try out an engine out failure. I programmed the failure for eng 2 severe engine failure, set it to trigtger in 2 minutes. Right on schedule the engine died, but there were no master caution, audible alerts, or EICAS messages. When I brought up the ECL, it was set to the engine out abnormal checklist as expected, but I would have expected at least a master caution alert? Has anyone else run into this?

 

Tom Cain

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I tried this for the first time today and while the failure occurred as expected, there was no Master or Warning light. There were several EICAS messages relating to the usual failures when the engine stopped. But no audible or visual warnings. I looked through the manuals and the internet, but no one seems to have tried any of this. I guess, like most of us, when we fly we expect everything to work perfectly. One of the reasons RW pilots make the big bucks is for the training and experience they get from practicing emergencies. But practicing emergencies is what makes simulators really valuable.

 

What I ended up doing is popping up the main EICAS panel on takeoff so I could see right away when something happened to the engines. There is not much time to react if an engine fails at or before V1 and some kind of stimuli would be very useful. If we had a second pilot it would be better but I doubt most of us have that available. Of course engine failures after V1 don't require such rapid actions other than controlling the airplane and shutting down the affected engine/system.

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Which engine failure did you trigger? Catastrophic or flameout?  If it's the latter, read the intro manual about how the plane selectively alerts you (a realistic behavior), and you might've noticed the engine just kicked right back on (the plane recognized the failure and immediately began the procedure for a re-start, if it could).  No need to trigger alarms if it's being handled.

 

Think of it this way:

An engine flames out.  Do you immediately jump on the PA and alert the passengers, or do you try to fix it first, because you could very well just re-light the engine and carry on without most of them even knowing.

 

Same thing here.  The automation may not decide that it's worth freaking you out over various items that you can't do anything about, or it is currently trying to handle.

 

For some reason, I remember there being some type of advisory message, but sirens weren't going off incessantly when I tried it myself.

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Just tested this, engine 2 flame out - EICAS ENG FAIL R & Master caution.  Only lasted for a few seconds,  auto start immediately kicked in relighted the engine and all indications returned to normal. 

 

As you would expect in a modern airliner, auto start is doing it's job. 

 

Engine 2 severe damage, not so pretty!

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Engine 2 severe damage, not so pretty!

 

If you step outside to look, and/or look at the synoptics, you'll note that it's so catastrophic that the engine core freezes up...  No fan rotation at all (at least last I checked).

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If you step outside to look, and/or look at the synoptics, you'll note that it's so catastrophic that the engine core freezes up...  No fan rotation at all (at least last I checked).

 

I once read a post in a pilot's blog where his airline had provided guidelines based on recommendations from Boeing regarding which checklist to run when you have an engine out condition, whether to use the engine failure/shutdown or the engine fire/severe damage/separation. He said that the airline basically reminded them that a severe failure condition is indicated by no N1 rotation, no N2 rotation, abnormal vibration, loss of oil pressure and or loss of oil quantity. if the conditions are such then you use the engine fire/severe damage/separation checklist, however if there is rotation then you simply use the engine failure/shutdown checklist.

 

The importance of selecting the correct checklist could mean the difference between securing a badly damaged engine properly and preventing other problems (losing hydraulic fluid because of the damaged engine) and not wasting time doing other non critical items during critical phases of flight (like pulling fire handle if its not necessary to do so) e.g right after becoming airborne.

 

I hadnt really thought of the differences between these checklists til i read that blog article. Luckily in the case of the 777 and the ECL, it should select the correct checklist based on the above situation right?

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I hadnt really thought of the differences between these checklists til i read that blog article. Luckily in the case of the 777 and the ECL, it should select the correct checklist based on the above situation right?

Nope.

 

The system can not differentiate between an engine spool down and and engine seizure.

In both cases you will get the Eng Fail EICAS message.

 

It is up to the pilots to then confirm the problem as an engine failure or as an engine severe damage.

If the failure is identified as a severe damage, then the memory items have to be done ASAP (otherwise not).

After having cleaned up the aircraft (flap retraction), the checklist button is pushed which will bring up the Engine Fail checklist automatically.

If you had a seizure, you need to click OVERRIDE in this checklist (to stop if from reappearing) and then you need to manually navigate to the Engine Severe Damage checklist.

 

The system is smart, but we are still needed, thank god ;-)

 

Same with the TAC. For most engine failures the TAC will apply rudder automatically to counteract assymetric thrust. But for some failures (mainly severe damage situations), the system can not determain, is unsure of what exactly happened, and then the TAC does not work. (this situation is actually trained more often then the situation where the TAC does work)

I had to stop my flight to attend to some matters that came up, so I decided to try out an engine out failure. I programmed the failure for eng 2 severe engine failure, set it to trigtger in 2 minutes. Right on schedule the engine died, but there were no master caution, audible alerts, or EICAS messages. When I brought up the ECL, it was set to the engine out abnormal checklist as expected, but I would have expected at least a master caution alert? Has anyone else run into this?

 

Tom Cain

two minutes from take off or during cruise?

 

During take off, the master caution light and beeper should be inhibitied for EICAS Caution alerts between 80kt and 400ft (or 20sec after take off if that comes sooner).

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