What happens if a plane engine fails over the ocean

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Right now (December 8, 2017): Journey tip: Affected by concern of flying over water? Right here’s what you’ll want to know

Followers of my weblog know that I endure from concern of flying, which is very unhealthy when flying over massive our bodies of water. Though completely irrational, it does make sense to some extent from an anxious passenger’s perspective, because the distinction between flying over water and over land is the absence of an acceptable airport beneath within the unlikely state of affairs that one thing goes fallacious (e.g. engine failure, onboard fireplace, and so on …). Flying over the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean is an actual problem for me, for the reason that data that there’s no diversion level shut by makes me really feel extraordinarily uncomfortable, usually to the purpose that I take a light-weight tranquilizer (which hardly ever helps). I not too long ago flew to Hawaii, a journey itinerary which made me nervous even weeks previous to departure (the stress virtually made me cancel that journey). The Hawaiian Islands are sometimes described as probably the most distant landmass on earth, and though that declare to fame belongs to Easter Island, the Hawaiian archipelago continues to be one of many islands farthest away from any continental land mass. Flights from the USA West Coast to Hawaii take 5 to six hours, relying upon the top winds and town of departure (San Francisco is positioned closest to the islands), so it signifies that on the level of no return, you’re 2,5 as much as 3 hours away from land. I don’t know if others additionally endure from the same type of ‘over-water-flying concern’ (be at liberty to depart a remark).

See more: What happens if a plane engine fails over the ocean

To place issues in perspective and to emphasise how secure over water flights really are, I’ve requested an professional within the subject the questions I can’t cease occupied with when flying over the ocean. Lode is an Airbus A320 captain who has greater than 14,000 flight hours and 19 years of expertise as a pilot. With a background as a coaching pilot, he attaches nice significance to wonderful communication with each passengers and colleagues, and promotes basic aviation security as he traverses the airspace. I requested Captain Lode the next questions:

  • Can a airplane fly on one engine?
  • What’s ETOPS?
  • Can a airplane include a fireplace when flying throughout the ocean?
  • Are pilots educated for ditching a airplane on the water
  • Can a airplane land on water in case of an emergency?
  • Is there a distinction between flying overwater in a slender or huge physique plane?
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LODE, CAPTAIN OF A320 AIRBUS
Can a airplane take off and/or fly on one engine?

Sure it might probably. Earlier than a sure velocity – the so-called resolution velocity or V1 velocity – the takeoff could be aborted and the plane could be delivered to a cease. If an engine fails after reaching V1 velocity, the plane will proceed its take-off roll and get safely airborne on one engine earlier than returning to the airport. If an engine fails mid-flight, the airplane won’t be able to keep up its altitude however it should safely proceed flying. For instance, in 2003, the captain of a United Airways B777 flying from Auckland, New Zealand, to Los Angeles, USA, was compelled to close down one of many airplane’s two engines as a result of the oil stress dropped dramatically. The Boeing continued to fly for greater than 3 hours on one engine over the Pacific Ocean, earlier than touchdown in Kona, Hawaii. Each industrial airplane is ready to safely land on one engine. Your complete flight crew is educated and repeatedly checked within the simulator to carry out manoeuvres reminiscent of taking off and touchdown on one engine.

What’s ETOPS?

ETOPS stands for ‘Prolonged vary Twin-engine Operational Efficiency Commonplace’ and applies to twin engine plane on routes with a diversion time of a couple of hour. It signifies the time {that a} industrial plane is allowed to fly away from the closest appropriate airport, to verify it might probably safely land within the unlikely state of affairs that certainly one of its engines turns into inoperative. The cornerstone of the ETOPS strategy is the statistics exhibiting that the turbine meeting of a contemporary jet engine is an inherently dependable element. There are totally different ranges of ETOPS certification; for instance ETOPS 240 signifies that the airplane can fly so far as as much as 240 minutes (even on one engine) from the closest appropriate airport, as a result of it has been reliably confirmed to take action.

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As outlined on this very informative Wikipedia web page, ETOPS certification is a two-step, extremely managed course of, the place irregularities would instantly result in a downgrade or suspension of the ETOPS capabilities of an airline:

  • First, the airframe and engine mixture should fulfill the fundamental ETOPS necessities throughout its kind certification. Such checks could embody shutting down an engine and flying on the remaining engine throughout the full diversion time. Usually such checks are carried out in the course of the ocean. It should be demonstrated that, throughout the diversion flight, the flight crew is just not unduly burdened by additional workload because of the misplaced engine and that the likelihood of the remaining engine failing is extraordinarily distant.
  • Second, an airline who conducts ETOPS flights should fulfill their very own nation’s aviation regulators about their capability to conduct ETOPS flights, which includes compliance with further particular engineering and flight crew procedures along with the traditional engineering and flight procedures. Pilots and engineering workers should be certified and educated for ETOPS.
Can a airplane include a fireplace when flying throughout the ocean?

Sure it might probably. The cargo holds are designed with fireplace extuingishers, as are the engines and the cabin. There are a number of fireplace extinguishers contained in the plane that may be operated by the cabin crew and even the pilots.

Are pilots educated for ditching a airplane on the water?

This extremely unlikely state of affairs is just not replicated in flight simulators.

Can a airplane land on water in case of an emergency?

Sure it might probably, however it isn’t designed to take action, and an emergency touchdown is at all times higher on land at an airport. After all, everybody know the well-known 2009 accident generally known as the Hudson miracle, the place Captain Chesley Sullenberg ditched his US Airways Airbus A320 in New York Metropolis’s Hudson River after each engined flamed out following a strike with a flock of Canada geese. The airplane remained intact and all 155 individuals aboard have been rescued, however the river was a relaxed in the meanwhile of touchdown, so it will be a completely totally different scenerio when touchdown on sea, the place one has to keep in mind the peak of waves. Nonetheless, so long as sea circumstances are clean and the ditching is carried out in a correct means, an plane can land on the ocean and stay afloat. One profitable instance was on October 16, 1956, when a Pan Am flight 6 B377 Stratocruiser ditched en route from Honolulu, Hawaii to San Francisco, about midway the route, with all 31 aboard being rescued by a close-by Coast Guard Cutter. The one sea touchdown within the latest fashionable jet time occurred greater than 20 years in the past, in 1996, when an Ethiopian Airways Boeing 767 was compelled to ditch within the Indian ocean, simply off the shores of the Comoros islands, after it was hijacked and ran out of gas. Sadly, it didn’t land easily because it barely banked earlier than landing, leading to a break-up of the airplane. Solely 50 of the 163 passengers on board survived.

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Is there a distinction between flying overwater in a slender vs wided physique plane?

No there’s not :-).

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