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Engine Failure while Holding

uwochris

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Hey guys,

Let's say you have been cleared to enter a hold, and just as you enter it (i.e. as you cross the beacon/VOR/etc), you experience an engine failure in a twin.

Is it best to continue in the turn and try to manage the a/c, or, is it better to level out and go through the procedures? What about if the engine fails prior to crossing the fix while you are already in the hold?

My only concern about levelling off would be that you could risk getting outside of your protected airspace; however, trying to secure an engine failure while you are turning would not be very easy either.

What's the best option?

Thanks in advance!
 

darkvw

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declare an emergency and land
 

FN FAL

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What about altitude? There's a guy below you at 5 thousand holding, you were assigned 6 thousand.
 

erj-145mech

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When you declare an emergency and can't maintain altitude, ATC will clear a box around you.
 

SPBRIAN

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An emergency is that an emergency, you have to take into account all factors. Are you in icing? As somebody said before is there traffic below you? Which part of the hold are you in, are you turning or are you straight. Personaly I wouldn't want to leave the holding pattern until I have things a little under control. Possibly flying a procedure for an approach while trying to deal with an engine failure isn't fun. I would get the aircraft under control, let ATC know what's going on ASAP and deal with the situation, once you either get the problem fixed or get the dead engine feathered then leave the hold. The key is to keep control of the situation and know where you are spacialy located.

-Brian
 

GravityHater

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It must depend on the circumstances. In an underpowered piston twin above its service ceiling, do you have any choice? You might be lucky to be able to control direction at all if you let things get out of hand.
In a twinjet or turboprop on a vfr day I know some that wouldn't even declare; 'situation normal'!
Do what you have to do in order to ensure the safety of the ship, and advice atc accordingly.
 

avbug

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First and foremost, fly the airplane. Then consider the circumstances.

If you're holding and experience an engine failure, your first thought is to maintain control of the aircraft. Handle the emergency. Perhaps you're in an aircraft and circumstance in which the engine failure represents a need for immediate action. You're in a light twin, can no longer maintain altitude. You were experiencing light ice, and you no longer have the equipment available to handle the ice and your instruments, due to the failure. You can't stay in the hold, and you shouldn't try.

Fly the airplane, notify ATC, and do whatever you must to ensure the safe operation of the flight. You should already have a general idea of where you're going to go (after all, what would you do if you lost contact with ATC...can't rely on ATC to be there to get you to an emergency field). Ask for what help you need, and inform ATC of your intentions.

On the other hand, you're in the hold or entering the hold and experience the failure, continue in the entry or in the hold as you deal with the situation. You're in an aircraft that is very capable of continuing on the remaining power. You keep flying the airplane, handle the shutdown, do what you must. You operate in terms of your track just as nothing happened, while you do what you need to do. Notify ATC of your situation, and your intentions.

Conversely, you're in a single engine airplane and the failure happens...your choices are largely set out ahead of you. You're descending. Your actions? Continue flying the airplane, notify ATC of your intentions as opportunity permits, and go right on flying the airplane.

There's a common thread...fly the airplane. If you're capable of continuing in the hold while you complete your proceedures, do so. It's part of flying the airplane. If physics and circumstance dictate that you're unable to continue in the hold, then you need to do whatever is necessary to secure the safe operation of the aircraft. If that means an immediate descent, an immediate diversion, whatever...then do that.

However, if your circumstance doesn't warrant deviating from the hold immediately, then don't. Deviate from your normal, routine proceedures only so far as necessary to handle the situation. Even in an emergency, the more routine and standard you can make your actions, the better your ability to handle and simplify the situation...which makes for a safer you, and a safer outcome.
 

Fury220

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avbug said:
First and foremost, fly the airplane. Then consider the circumstances.

...if your circumstance doesn't warrant deviating from the hold immediately, then don't. Deviate from your normal, routine proceedures only so far as necessary to handle the situation. Even in an emergency, the more routine and standard you can make your actions, the better your ability to handle and simplify the situation...which makes for a safer you, and a safer outcome.

Yes to all of that.

Flying the airplane comes first. That includes remaining in the protected airspace if you can. Entering/maintaining the hold is probably almost second nature, so continue along those lines if your aircraft is capable of it. This will give you time to deal with the EP, talk to ATC, and have all your "stuff" in one sock before you put the aircraft any closer to the ground.

Once you've got that under control, start troubleshooting the problem while maintaining aircraft control. Work through your checklists and emergency procedures.

Once you have worked the problem and have an accurate assessment of what's going on, land. Trying to do step 3 before having the first 2 knocked will just put you in a dangerous situation close to the ground.
 

satpak77

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Fly the airplane then declare an emergency and land. An engine failure on a twin is an emergency, period, end of discussion.

of course, highly desired is to carefully thumb thru redbox items and complete checklists, but the situation dictates that. Loose an engine in the sim on a FAA ride, on ILS short final, and if you reach for the "engine out" checklist instead of just flying it and landing, you are asking for a lecture after the ride is over.
 
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FN FAL

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satpak77 said:
Fly the airplane then declare an emergency and land. An engine failure on a twin is an emergency, period, end of discussion.

of course, highly desired is to carefully thumb thru redbox items and complete checklists, but the situation dictates that. Loose an engine in the sim on a FAA ride, on ILS short final, and if you reach for the "engine out" checklist instead of just flying it and landing, you are asking for a lecture after the ride is over.
If I was riding shotgun with some pilot in a plane and he/she started trying to read how to fly an airplane during an emergency, I'd probably web hand or ridge hand him across the esophagus to help jog his memory.
 

satpak77

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yeah lets FLY and worry about books, checklists, and other stuff once FLYING is done

Swissair learned that the hard way. Night electrical fire? Land? Not now, the book says we are overgross and that is prohibited

less bookee, more FLYEE FLYEE
 

FN FAL

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satpak77 said:
yeah lets FLY and worry about books, checklists, and other stuff once FLYING is done

Swissair learned that the hard way. Night electrical fire? Land? Not now, the book says we are overgross and that is prohibited

less bookee, more FLYEE FLYEE
Those 121 airplanes are too complicated to do that. Memory items first, then QRH. You got two pilots and if you're lucky, maybe somebody typed in the plane is jumpseating and can lend a hand. In a two pilot aircraft using crm, the pilot flying isn't reading the QRH, the non-flying pilot is.

In a single pilot aircraft, like a Seneca or a Caravan, you don't have extra hands for reading a book on how to fly an airplane. You should know the how, what, where, when, why of what makes it go and what makes it stop.
 

MauleSkinner

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FN FAL said:
Those 121 airplanes are too complicated to do that. Memory items first, then QRH. You got two pilots and if you're lucky, maybe somebody typed in the plane is jumpseating and can lend a hand. In a two pilot aircraft using crm, the pilot flying isn't reading the QRH, the non-flying pilot is.

In a single pilot aircraft, like a Seneca or a Caravan, you don't have extra hands for reading a book on how to fly an airplane. You should know the how, what, where, when, why of what makes it go and what makes it stop.

So why do they put those checklists in the manual?

The original question referred to being in a hold, NOT inside the FAF, and it was a simple engine failure, not fire, flood, locusts, or other calamity. Yes, an engine failure in a twin is an emergency, but if you can't fly a hold while managing an engine failure, you need more training.

On the other hand, if the airplane can't maintain altitude on one engine, THEN you have a situation where you need to get the memory items done, get yourself into a position to land ASAP, and deal with checklists at a more convenient time.

Remember...Aviate (Fly the airplane, deal with the failure), Navigate (stay within protected airspace...none of this does you any good if you become a CFIT statistic), and Communicate.

Fly safe!

David
 

minitour

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uwochris said:
Hey guys,

Let's say you have been cleared to enter a hold, and just as you enter it (i.e. as you cross the beacon/VOR/etc), you experience an engine failure in a twin.

As I'm continuing the hold entry, Props & Throttles (mixtures maybe - depends on D. altitude) ...clean it up...decide from there. Do I feather? Do I need to? Is it a Fuel thing? Is it a legitimate failure? Can I maintain altitude on one engine? If so, great...if not, it's time to start talking some more.

IMHO

-mini
 

Icelandair

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Can you take a vector? Whats the terrain like around you? In the midwest at 5000 feet is sure different than being in Idaho at 5000 below radar coverage.
 

Airway

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Yes.
Personally, I wouldn't continue to turn (especially depending on the direction of the turn, (i.e. into the critical engine). I'd get control first (even if it means level ing off for a sec and going through the mixture prop throt checklist), then declare an emergency immediately.


Airway
 
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mar

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As diplomatic as I can be.

Airway said:
Personally, I wouldn't continue to turn (especially depending on the direction of the turn, (i.e. into the critical engine). I'd get control first (even if it means level ing off for a sec and going through the mixture prop throt checklist), then declare an emergency immediately.


Airway

Listen my friend, lately everyone is pretty touchy around here, so I want to say right up front I'm not flaming you or trying to insult you or anything else.

But you should be able to make a turn into the dead engine with no problem.

It's much better to hold as published (stick to procedures) than to start improvising. There's a reason why you were assigned that position and direction of hold (terrain or traffic).

If you're not comfortable with turning into a dead engine then find someone who is and go practice it. It's a good confidence builder.

I've seen steep turns done (both directions) in a Seminole with one engine shutdown. Not a problem.

Good luck.
 

ackattacker

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I agree with mar here. Under IMC you need to be prepared to continue flying whatever procedure you're flying. Turning the airplane (in either direction) is not really any more difficult than holding straight and level. You should have had to demonstrate this skill on your ME ride. Of course every situation is different, but in general you need to be mentally prepared to handle the emergency and continue with proper IFR procedures at the same time. You should train this way. It is bad news to develop an attitude than in case of engine failure you'll go straight ahead... what if it happens after takeoff and you have an obstacle DP? What if it happens doing a PT on an non-precision approach? Disregarding the IFR procedures could result in CFIT, or the abandonment of an approach that could have put you on the ground much sooner. Also, if you simply roll out on some random heading then you will quickly lose horizontal situational awareness.
 

Lead Sled

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> enuf
Aviate: Continue to fly the freak'n airplane be doing what it takes to keep it flying - like running checklists, etc.
Navigate: Continue to fly your clearance, i.e. continue to hold, if you are able. If you can't, ask for something you can do.
Communicate: Once you got things settled down and under control it would be the perfect time to declare an emergency and be moved to the head of the line.

Gee, I believe I've heard that advise in the past. I works pretty much perfectly here. Keep things simple. Avoid paralysis by analysis.

Airway said:
Personally, I wouldn't continue to turn (especially depending on the direction of the turn, (i.e. into the critical engine).
Airway, I almost hate to ask this, but are you really an MEI? Heavens man, you're not teaching that to your students are you?

'Sled

[Note: That's it, no more Mr. Nice guy, I've got to change my avatar.]
 

FN FAL

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Why would you continue to hold? Out of courtesy to the other people who do not have an emergency? Or just to give you something to do until the second engine went fubar?

Is it always smart to re-light a failed engine?

Would you shoot the ILS if the AWOS said visibility was 1/4?

What would you do after you got the failed engine relit and you switched fuel tanks, both engines sputtered to a stop?

How long are you going to fly around with this "simple" engine failure, devoting all this time and effort trying to get the engine relit? What if you get it re-lit and the insides come unglued, placing you in a position where the prop can't be feathered, the engine comes out of the engine mounts or exhaust gasses cut your wingspar?
 
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