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Why You Shouldn't Panic When An Airliner Loses An Engine In Flight

Over the weekend, a Thomson Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner suffered a failure in one of its massive GE turbofan engines over the Atlantic. Instances of an airliner losing an engine are obviously not unheard of. It can and does happen. Most of the time, the pilot diverts and no one is injured. ( More...

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Ric Wernicke 11
I thought ETOPS was Engines Turn Or Passengers Swim?
marknjent 2
Funny, it can also mean Engines Turn Or Pilot Swims...... :-)
Greg Depp 3
Keep in mind that the operating engine contails all of the same parts that failed in the non-operating engine ... =8^ 0
James Carlson 2
See AC 120-42A. ETOPS certification requires either staggered maintenance or separate crews to lower the chances of common mode failures.
Matt West 7
Can't help but feel had this article been about engine failure on one of Airbus' new aircraft, this board would have far more comments by now.

Of course, GE and Rolls make engines for both manufacturers, so it's not so much an Airbus/Boeing issue as it is GE/Rolls - and I don't see quite so many arguments about that on here :-)
Colin Seftel 4
The Thomson Airways 787-8 is equipped with GEnx-1B engines. Since they received their first 787 in 2013, this airline has experienced:
- Fuselage skin de-lamination
- Battery pack fire
and now an engine failure.
Chris B 2
Only thing that puzzles me is if it was just 90 minutes into its flight, why did it continue 2000 miles to the Azores rather than diverting to Bermuda or back to DR?

Something isn't adding up here.
Ian Guy 2
Probably so they could burn the fuel to allow for landing; you have a choice - dump or use; true they could have gone to an alternate, but bear in mind the runway length for a heavier weight landing, plus the facilities that were available for repair and dealing with the passengers could also have been operational considerations.
ken young 1
I say, screw the logistics and company rules. Get my ass onto the ground.
Peter Steitz 2
My thoughts also. They could have gone into a hold over a good airport and burned the fuel. Most QRH's will state "land as soon as possible" with an engine failure in a twin. I don't remember anything about "proceed to destination".
steve rogers 3
on a four engine airplane loosing one engine is no problem you still have three good ones and it doesn't upset the balance , the plane will continue true , on the other hand loosing one of two will make the aircraft yaw to the left or right depending on the engine affected , not a problem for the auto pilot , but landing it makes it more challenging , I know the odds of loosing two engines are next to none , but still like the idea of four

[This poster has been suspended.]

His scenario is a difficult one Phil, his engines got loose from the airplane...
Kevin Cooney 1
How much yaw control is required of the pilots when running on one engine? Or are newer planes capable of compensating automatically?
ddswh1pk0s 3
Yes the Boeing 777 and probably the 787 have a feature called "thrust asymmetry compensation" meaning that when an engine fails the plane automatically does the necessary rudder trim, usually about 6-8 degrees in the 777
I was on an 80's twin LBJ that had to shut #1 down shortly after take off. Even that plane had an auto yaw feature and there was no noticable yaw as the engine got very quiet. The whole ordeal was pretty much a non event for the seasoned PIC.
sparkie624 1
ETOPS - Engines Turn or People Swim... LOL!
Kevin Henson 1
The headline, why you should not panic. the answer is easy, there is nowhere to run, panic has no use......
paul druyts 1
do thay mean when the engine realy falls off , ha ha
noel keegan 1
so what happens when you lose the second one
Peter Steitz 1
Sink or swim.
ken young 1
Gerald Hock 1
I'd rather return to airport of departure.
ken young 1
That should be required....If possible.
I'd rather the captain declare an emergency then be vectored direct to the nearest viable airport.
Thomas Clark 1
Back in the day it was one down and three to go,then it was one down and two to go,
Now it's one down and one to go, the odds keep getting worse.
I know they are much more reliable and marvelous these day's.
But what just happened to one of your marvels that you had to shut it down.
Panic no, but I sure wouldn't be to interested in what the movie was going to be.
Timothy Cline 0
I worked @ Sun Stream Jet Center for 12 years. I worked mainly on Corporate Air Craft. Mostly Lear Jets, Falcons. Loved working on Jets, n also worked on Gulfstream. Tim Cline

[This poster has been suspended.]

I don't see how asymmetric thrust would be of any benefit...

[This poster has been suspended.]

So 2 next to the fuse, and 4 on the wingtip doesn't produce anything asymmetric???
gmcmanus 2
Not in Mike's aircraft, his ego and a little rudder trim compensates for any negative factors during engine loss scenarios.
Gene spanos -4
Maybe the current third world techno geeks for $ 5.00 per hour need to stand down and allow for US aircraft crews to fix them. Having faith in the U.S. based airlines and the many great pilots that are manning the controls as we speak
should be the word of the day....." faith ".
Keep believing that!!! Just look at SWA's great crews that can't keep airplanes on the runways!!!


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