Engine Failure Enroute Engine Failure Enroute

   Normally, when an engine failure occurs while enroute in cruising flight, the situation is not as critical as when an engine fails on takeoff. With the more leisurely circumstances, the pilot should take time to determine the cause of the failure and to correct the condition, if possible. If the condition cannot be corrected, the single engine procedure recommended by the manufacturer should be accomplished and a landing made as soon as practical.

   A primary error during engine failure is the pilot's tendency to perform the engine out identification and shutdown too quickly, resulting in improper identification or incorrect shutdown procedures. The element of surprise generally associated with actual engine failure may result in confused and hasty reactions.

   When an engine fails during cruising flight, the pilot's main problem is to maintain sufficient altitude to be able to continue flight to the point of intended landing. This is dependent on the density altitude, gross weight of the airplane, and elevation of the terrain and obstructions. When the airplane is above its single engine service ceiling, altitude will be lost. The single engine service ceiling is the maximum density altitude at which the single engine best rate of climb speed will produce 50 FPM rate of climb. This ceiling is determined by the manufacturer on the basis of the airplane's maximum gross weight, flaps and landing gear retracted, the critical engine inoperative, and the propeller feathered.

   Although engine failure while enroute in normal cruise conditions may not be critical, it is a recommended practice to add maximum permissible power to the operating engine before securing or shutting down the failed engine. If it is determined later that maximum permissible power on the operating engine is not needed to maintain altitude, it is a simple matter to reduce the power. Conversely, if maximum permissible power is not applied, the airspeed may decrease much farther and more rapidly than expected. This condition could present a serious performance problem, especially if the airspeed should drop below Vyse.
The altitude should be maintained if it is within the capability of the airplane. In an airplane not capable of maintaining altitude with an engine inoperative under existing circumstances, the airspeed should be maintained within ±5 knots of the engine out best rate of climb speed (Vyse) so as to conserve altitude as long as possible to reach a suitable landing area.

   After the landing gear and flaps are retracted and the failed engine is shut down and everything is under control (including heading and altitude), it is recommended that the pilot communicate with the nearest ground facility to let them know the flight is being conducted with one engine inoperative. FAA facilities are able to give valuable assistance if needed, particularly when the flight is conducted under IFR or a landing is to be made at a tower controlled airport. Good judgment would dictate, of course, that a landing be made at the nearest suitable airport as soon as practical rather than continuing flight.
During engine out practice using zero thrust power settings, the engine may cool to temperatures considerably below the normal operating range. This factor requires caution when advancing the power at the termination of single engine practice. If the power is advanced rapidly, the engine may not respond and an actual engine failure may be encountered. This is particularly important when practicing engine out approaches and landings. A good procedure is to slowly advance the throttle to approximately one-half power, then allow it to respond and stabilize before advancing to higher power settings. This procedure also results in less wear on the engines of the training aircraft.

   Restarts after feathering require the same amount of care, primarily to avoid engine damage. Following the restart, the engine power should be maintained at the idle setting or slightly above until the engine is sufficiently warm and is receiving adequate lubrication.

   Although each make and model of airplane must be operated in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, the following typical checklist is presented to familiarize the transitioning pilot with the actions that may be required when an engine fails.


      1. Mixtures - AS REQUIRED for flight altitude.
      2. Propellers - FULL FORWARD.
      3. Throttles - FULL FORWARD.
      4. Landing Gear - RETRACTED.
      5. Wing Flaps - RETRACTED
      6. Inoperative Engine - DETERMINE.
         Idle engine same side as idle foot.
      7. Establish at least 5 degree Bank - TOWARD OPERATIVE ENGINE.
      8. Inoperative Engine - SECURE.
         a. Throttle - CLOSE
         b. Mixture - IDLE CUT-OFF.
         c. Propeller - FEATHER.
         d. Fuel Selector - OFF.
         e. Auxiliary Fuel Pump - OFF.
         f. Magneto Switches - OFF.
         g. Alternator Switch - OFF.
         h. Cowl Flap - CLOSE.

      9. Operative Engine - ADJUST.
         a. Power - AS REQUIRED.
         b. Mixture - AS REQUIRED for flight altitude.
         c. Fuel Selector - AS REQUIRED.
         d. Auxiliary Fuel Pump - ON.
         e. Cowl Flap - AS REQUIRED.
      10. Trim Tabs - ADJUST bank toward operative engine.
      11. Electrical Load - DECREASE to minimum required.
      12. As Soon As Practical - LAND.

   AIRSTART (After Shutdown)
   Airplanes Without Propeller Unfeathering System:
      1. Magneto Switches - ON.
      2. Fuel Selector - MAIN TANK (Feel For Detent).
      3. Throttle - FORWARD approximately one inch.
      4. Mixture - AS REQUIRED for flight altitude.
      5. Propeller - FORWARD of detent.
      6. Starter Button - PRESS.
      7. Primer Switch - ACTIVATE.
      8. Starter and Primer Switch - RELEASE when engine fires.
      9. Mixture - AS REQUIRED.
      10. Power - INCREASE after cylinder head temperature reaches 200 degrees F.
      11. Cowl Flap - AS REQUIRED.
      12. Alternator - ON.

   Airplanes With Propeller Unfeathering System:
      1. Magneto Switches - ON.
      2. Fuel Selector - MAIN TANK (Feel For Detent).
      3. Throttle - FORWARD approximately one inch.
      4. Mixture - AS REQUIRED for flight altitude.
      5. Propeller - FULL FORWARD.
      6. Propeller - RETARD to detent when propeller reaches 1000 RPM.
      7. Mixture - AS REQUIRED.
      8. Power - INCREASE after cylinder head temperature reaches 200 degrees F.
      9. Cowl Flap - AS REQUIRED.
      10. Alternator - ON.