View Full Version : Something for MEP FI/FEs

hugh flung_dung
7th Sep 2009, 17:30
Maybe everybody else already knows this, but ...

Recently I had my second failure (in 10 years) to restart an engine after a deliberate shut-down. After landing I chatted with the fire crew who said that a loss of half the available engines automatically results in a full call-out, which apparently includes the local ambulance service! He suggested that if they knew that the dead engine resulted from a deliberate training shut-down they were allowed to go to local standby rather than a full call-out; so it's worth telling ATC that the engine was healthy when shut-down. The logic slightly baffles me, but if it makes life easier for others it's worth doing (I suggested that the procedures should be changed to ask the pilot if it was a training shut-down - this is being fed back).


Big Pistons Forever
7th Sep 2009, 18:37
The bottom line is regardless of how the engine came to be stopped you are doing a single engine approach which by it's very nature exposes the aircraft to abnormal levels of risk. I do not understand why the fact that you shut the engine down instead of it shutting itself down due to some failure, makes the approach and landing any less risky. I have personnally landed a twin with one feathered on three occasions. The first was when a fuel system failure starved the engine of fuel in a light twin, the second involved a major cylinder failure on a large radial engine, and the third was when a deliberately shut down engine would not restart, also in a light twin. I handled all 3 situations in the same way and declared an emergency on every occasion. The only time I would be prepared to reduce CFR attendance would be on an inboard failure on a 4 engine aircraft with a gross weight low enough that performance equal to 4 engine gross weight figures was available. (I am speaking of prop aircraft here, I do not have the experience to comment on jet transport aircraft).

BTW in Canada the regulator requires that all multi engine rating students conduct a full inflight engine feather and shutdown. Does the CAA also has require such a stupid procedure ?

7th Sep 2009, 19:59
"BTW in Canada the regulator requires that all multi engine rating students conduct a full inflight engine feather and shutdown. Does the CAA also has require such a stupid procedure ? "

Yes I believe they do, it is part of the MEP skills test although I understand that on the test form is is not marked as mandatory.

I am not an examiner so please correct me if I am wrong!

7th Sep 2009, 20:11
The FAA surely mandates this to be demonstrated for the AMEL checkride.

hugh flung_dung
7th Sep 2009, 21:04
Yes, the UK CAA requires a shutdown and (hopefully) restart during the training, on the initial MEPL skill test and on a renewal skill test for a lapsed rating. There's clear value in a shutdown during training but why it needs to be done on a test eludes me.


Big Pistons Forever
7th Sep 2009, 23:09
h f d

Personally i am very much against actual shut downs in training. You do not have to shut down the engine to demonstrate every relavant aspect of Single engine flight in a Multi engined airplane. In my case the student and I converted a perfectly servicable airplane into an emergency situation when the engine would not restart. After that I refused to perform deliberate flight shutdowns.
BTW I phoned the tech rep and asked why the engine would not restart. His reply was deliberate engine shutdowns were not a recommended practice and that there was no certification requirement that an inflight restart had to be possible under all circumstances.

8th Sep 2009, 09:08
So I was the student in the flight HFD is talking about above, and I've been running over this in my mind quite a bit over the last couple of days ...

I also don't see why a restart failure after a deliberate shutdown should be treated any differently from genuine engine failure ... yes, you could argue that the cause being known implies less risk (fuel contamination for example) but after a few minutes of running I would suggest that the situations are pretty much identical and should be treated the same way from a ground services perspective.

I know there was a previous discussion about whether the situation should be a mayday or not, and I must admit that in the calm cockpit, with the other engine running well, I struggled with the idea of it being a mayday ... I believe the definition includes "serious and/or imminent danger and requiring immediate assistance" and, assuming we can maintain altitude and the other engine is ok, then I simply don't believe that reflects the situation ... yes performance is impacted, but we would have to endure another failure for things to get serious.

That said, perhaps the semi-artificial situation and associated calmness builds a false sense of security -- in any case I bring less than 20 hours MEP time to the debate, so I'll bow to the much greater experience here.

Thanks to HFD for a fantastic learning experience. Next time I'll try to include at least one piece of useful information in the mayday call and not do the circuit via Southampton!

8th Sep 2009, 16:44

Although this topic has been done to death a million times, I strongly disagree with it not being an emergency/mayday situation.

In my opinion, if there is even the slightest doubt about it being a mayday or not, it is a mayday and it continues to be until the airplane is safely on the ground. Declaring a mayday costs you absolutely nothing. Nada. Zero. If you feel confident that you are not in imminent danger, that is positive, because with clear thinking you will probably handle the situation better. However if things DO go pear-shaped you want to have all the assistance possible ready -- already. As far as I can see it is the only responsible thing to do given the facts of the situation.

(Now, when you do calmly declare a mayday, you can always tell ATC, if you have the capacity, that you do anticipate an uneventful landing. It doesn't have to be a biggie. Saying the word mayday doesn't mean they start foaming the runway and diverting jets straight away. It doesn't really imply anything other than being a specific wording.)

9th Sep 2009, 04:48
You do not have to shut down the engine to demonstrate every relavant aspect of Single engine flight in a Multi engined airplane.

Whilst I agree with much of the sentiment expressed here, there are a couple of aspects of a full shut down that often cannot easily be demonstrated with a simulation:

- the position of the engine controls - which leads to possible confusion on the inexperienced pilot's part when preparing for & conducting the approach;
- the actions required to preserve functionality of safety devices while asymmetric (i.e. in a SLPC aircraft like the DA42, I recommend using both power levers as one to silence gear warning horn and to maintain variable elevator backstop function on approach);
- human factors such as the distraction of having an actual stationary propeller in the corner of one's vision and distraction of knowing that there is no quick fix if you stuff up a manoeuvre.

The Mayday vs. PanPan argument is certainly an old one isn't it? I try to consider the ICAO (& national AIP) definition of each when considering a call: do I require immediate assistance or do I want priority (urgency) without actually needing immediate assistance? This brings a degree of objectivity to the argument.


art deco
10th Sep 2009, 03:40
I don't have any problem shutting down in flight. It is always above 4000' and never have a problem re-starting on the Seminole. Sometimes you need a bit of extra airspeed, but will always go on the starter.
Probably do it five times for each CPL student and they do it on the CPL test so maybe 20 full shutdowns a month.
If it didn't restart I would just request priority, come back and land. The seminole will happily maintain 3-4000' single engine.
We do 10-15 'asymmetric' landings per student with probably double the amount of 'asymmetric' go-arounds. It is no big deal, and in fact would be more stable with a feathered prop as zero-thrust has to be adjusted for speed to be realistic.
I know the older fuel injected Seneca can be hard to start at altitude due to vapour lock so may be a bit more hit and miss.
I know there is the old argument 'what if the other engine fails etc'. Well, people take off and land with the same reliable donkey in single engine aeroplanes every day and they have a max. continuous of 2700rpm. I guess it depends whether you trust your maintenance guys. I trust ours completely.

Cows getting bigger
10th Sep 2009, 12:27
I would declare a PAN (countless simulated but only one real). My rationale being that I want priority on final (a go-around at committal height isn't high on my personal 'to-do' jobs). Therefore I need to tell ATC I want 'special' handling and the most succinct, unambiguous format is a PAN; it works every time (at least in places that recognise the term PAN).