Veritable Aviation

What Happens When an Aircraft Loses Engine Functionality?

Modern aircraft engines are powerful apparatuses, capable of keeping massive vehicles airborne through the combustion of fuel-and-air mixtures. Without the power produced by engine assemblies, aircraft would not be able to generate the thrust necessary for forward movement, eventually leading them to lose altitude as aerodynamic forces change. As such, it begs an important question: what happens when an aircraft loses functionality of its engine during flight?

As the loss of power generation can potentially be catastrophic, a majority of commercial aircraft rely on two or more engines to guarantee redundancy in the instance of engine failure. With aircraft models like the Airbus A380 and Boeing 747, four jet engines are installed for increased power and reliability. In some instances, aircraft may even have upwards of six engines, the exact amount generally coming down to factors such as application, aircraft weight, and more. As every engine operates separately from one another, the failure of one will not have any effect on another’s ability to function.

While multiple engines do increase redundancy and safety, there is a possibility that more than one engine can fail. For example, a 2009 flight carried out by Captain Chesley Sullenberger had to perform an emergency landing when both engines of the aircraft failed, though everyone remained safe as the pilot carefully landed on the Hudson river. While this incident ended well, there have been other times in which multiple engine failure led to dire consequences.

When all engines fail and there is no more power being produced, the aircraft will not simply drop out of the sky. Instead, it will remain gliding in the air as it slowly descends as a result of the lift generated by wing structures. As the aircraft will remain airborne for some time, pilots will have a chance to either conduct an immediate emergency landing or figure out how to restart engines to have more time. Engine failure will be noticeable by the activation of sensors, and it is up to the pilot to perform all necessary steps for an emergency landing. When just one engine fails, the aircraft will still need to land for the means of safety, though they may have more time to find an ideal spot. If all engines fail, the pilot will need to quickly determine the safest landing area, and training will regularly cover how to make this decision. 

When it comes to determining why an engine may fail during flight, there are a number of common reasons. While issues like wear and tear or part failure are fairly straightforward, there are also issues such as fuel exhaustion, contamination, or mismanagement that may also lead to a number of problems. Additionally, induction icing is a possibility if one does not properly use their carburetor to provide heat during descension. To best ensure that your aircraft engines remain reliable during each flight, it is essential that you always conduct thorough preflight inspections and carry out regular maintenance as required.

If you happen to need various aircraft engine accessories and parts for your maintenance endeavors, be sure to rely on a reputable manufacturer like Veritable Aviation to guarantee highly competitive pricing and rapid lead times. Veritable Aviation is a purchasing platform belonging to the ASAP Semiconductor family of websites, and we are your solution for every aircraft engine part or aviation product you may require for your operations. If you find any items of interest listed on our database, be sure to complete an RFQ form at your earliest convenience so that our team members can provide you with a customized solution that caters to your needs and restrictions alike. Here at Veritable Aviation, we are more than just a dependable distributor; we are your sourcing solution for all your operational needs. 


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