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True, but that said, it's probably not an emergency to have an engine failure in a twin-engined jet is it? Most of these aircraft have such good single engine climb performance and range with one engine, it would certainly require a 'PAN' call, but not a 'MAYDAY'. A fire or overheat on any aircraft though, and you're talking emergency then. Get on the ground ASAP.

Or an engine failure in a light piston twin like a Baron or an Aztec after takeoff - those things have dreadful single engine climb performance.

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I was a controller at JFK ATCT (many years ago) and we would often call emergency equipment for all sorts of flight irregularities whether the flight declared an emergency or not. It is not widely known, but ATC also has the authority to declare an emergency. In retrospect, pilots would often be surprised and get ticked off to see emergency equipment standing by for mundane type situations. I remember one time we received word of an inop APU on a B747 and a young, inexperienced CIC (controller-in-charge) reached for the emergency red phone in just seconds. 

I agree with 'rondon9898' that normally, the loss of a single engine on a 4-engine aircraft does not generally warrant an official 'emergency' declaration. 

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There are a couple of significant differences (apart from the number of engines) between having four jet engines compared to two:-

1) After suffering an engine failure, a twin jet is required to land at the nearest suitable airport,  whereas the B744 can fly on quite happily at the Captain's discretion on 3 engines to either its destination or any suitable alternate.

2) If you talk to any pilot on a twin jet they will often use the excuse that you are twice as likely to have an engine failure on a four engine jet than a two engine one! 

ETOPS certainly changed the longhaul flying game in a big and more reliable way, but I know which type I would rather be in after suffering an engine failure over the middle of the ocean and several hours flying time from that nearest suitable airport!  Incidentally, unlike the earlier Apache and Aztec twins, the Beechcraft Baron has a good single engine climb performance as long as you are clean with the gear retracted and keep above the blue line speed.

Bertie Goddard

 

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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, berts said:

Incidentally, unlike the earlier Apache and Aztec twins, the Beechcraft Baron has a good single engine climb performance as long as you are clean with the gear retracted and keep above the blue line speed.

I earned my MEL in a Seneca, an aircraft that is almost guaranteed to get you to the accident site on a single engine.  The rest of my time has been in a C414 Chancellor and she does quite well...., the biggest problem is that a piston engine is going to fail.  It is just a matter of when not if.  I've had two forced shutdowns.

Edited by downscc

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1 engine fail not an emergency 2 engine fail is an emergency 3 engine fail is a Catastrophe.:bengong:  

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4 minutes ago, downscc said:

I earned my MEL in a Seneca, an aircraft that is almost guaranteed to get you to the accident site on a single engine.  The rest of my time has been in a C414 Chancellor and she does quite well...., the biggest problem is that a piston engine is going to fail.  It is just a matter of when not if.  I've had two forced shutdowns.

Well at least I am pleased you live to tell the tail, Dan! 

Many years ago a good friend of mine was carrying out a fifth pod flight in a B747-100 series one very dark night when shortly after take off there was a loud bang and the whole sky lit up as one of the four good engines tried and failed to ingest a large sh... night hawk.  When the aircraft landed back at the departure airfield after dumping fuel, the crew found that the whole of the inside of the hot end of the engine looked rather like a corn-cob, because there was no sign of the turbine blades.  Apparently the early JT9D P&W engines were sometimes susceptible to going pop like this; especially in the extreme summer heat.

Bertie     

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3 minutes ago, rjfry said:

1 engine fail not an emergency 2 engine fail is an emergency 3 engine fail is a Catastrophe.:bengong:  

4 engine fail?  It is not a problem because you are in a glider!

Bertie

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Posted (edited)

Bertie’s right on the 3 engine point - some years ago, a BA crew kicked up a bit of a stink when they had an engine fire, shutdown with no problems or residual fire or overheat and so continued over the Atlantic back to the UK (been discussed on this forum before) - not a decision I think I’d have made, because after any fire I’d want to get on the ground for inspection, but shows the Jumbo’s perfectly happy on 3 engines.

As for the Baron, I still wouldn’t trust it single engine on takeoff just like any other light twin. Mind you, as far as I recall from anectode (never flown a Seneca myself) but I’ve heard in the Seneca if one particular engine fails you not only have to do all the stuff required with engine failure on takeoff (gear up, prop feather etc.) but you also had to pump the gear up by hand - don’t know if that’s accurate but jolly good luck with all that straight after takeoff! (is that true Dan or am I misremembering?)

Edited by rondon9898

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28 minutes ago, rondon9898 said:

some years ago, a BA crew kicked up a bit of a stink when they had an engine fire

Just to be clear - in the incident in question there absolutely was not any fire. It was a slight compressor surge/stall which went away when the engine was throttled back. The crew thus decided to shut the engine down themselves.

I don't doubt that if there had been a fire the crew would have reached exactly the same conclusion as you!

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I was told that if you lose an engine, you will likely declare an emergency, if you shut it down, you normally don‘t. 

Case 1: you have had a fire, bird strike etc or you don‘t know the reason —> danger.

case 2: you know why you did it (high oil temp, vibrations etc) and to make sure you are safe you decide to shut down to prevent any danger...

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7 hours ago, skelsey said:

Just to be clear - in the incident in question there absolutely was not any fire. It was a slight compressor surge/stall which went away when the engine was throttled back. The crew thus decided to shut the engine down themselves.

I don't doubt that if there had been a fire the crew would have reached exactly the same conclusion as you!

Well, there were flames coming out of it and a high EGT indication but I get your point - it wasn’t a continuous fire situation.

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1 hour ago, rondon9898 said:

Well, there were flames coming out of it and a high EGT indication but I get your point - it wasn’t a continuous fire situation.

Not to labour the point, but there really wasn't any sort of fire. When a car backfires, flame sometimes comes out of the exhaust but nobody would suggest it was on fire! A compressor stall in a gas turbine is much the same situation.

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On 4/4/2018 at 12:06 AM, rondon9898 said:

Bertie’s right on the 3 engine point - some years ago, a BA crew kicked up a bit of a stink when they had an engine fire, shutdown with no problems or residual fire or overheat and so continued over the Atlantic back to the UK (been discussed on this forum before) - not a decision I think I’d have made, because after any fire I’d want to get on the ground for inspection, but shows the Jumbo’s perfectly happy on 3 engines.

As for the Baron, I still wouldn’t trust it single engine on takeoff just like any other light twin.

Every engine fire and failure or other emergency in flight is different, so the decision to continue or not has to be a command decision on the day.  If there is any sign of fire or doubt in your mind, then by all means declare a Mayday because you can always downgrade it to a Pan later.  Don't forget to use all available resources too and this might even include a limited visual inspection by another crew member from inside the cabin.

If the emergency has been dealt with and there is no longer any sign of fire, severe damage or risk to the flight by continuing, then why would you want to dump fuel and return to the departure airfield?  The B744 will fly perfectly well on two engines provided you are familiar with its handling and performance requirements in this emergency condition and crews are trained to do exactly that on a fairly regular basis as part of their routine Licence renewals.  

As for the Baron, if the engine failure happens during the take off roll then the safest option will usually be to stop, even if it means going off the end of the runway at a relatively slow speed.  However, if the failure happens when you are just airborne then I'm afraid you usually have little choice in the matter but to deal with the engine failure and trust your training as well as its single engine climb performance - including your previous load and balance calculations - which I hope doesn't mean that you are overweight and unable to climb on one engine!  

Bertie

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17 hours ago, berts said:

As for the Baron, if the engine failure happens during the take off roll then the safest option will usually be to stop, even if it means going off the end of the runway at a relatively slow speed.  However, if the failure happens when you are just airborne then I'm afraid you usually have little choice in the matter but to deal with the engine failure and trust your training as well as its single engine climb performance - including your previous load and balance calculations - which I hope doesn't mean that you are overweight and unable to climb on one engine!  

Agree.  The Seneca is the same, as are most light twins.  There is a trap after rotation that you need to accelerate 10-15 kts to get above the blue line and I was taught to pull power and land.  Slightly larger and more powerful light twins, such as C-414, at least have rotation speeds above blue line and while it isn't as easy as a 777 take off engine failure the problem is manageable if one is prepared.

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