Flight Principles – One Engine Inoperative

References: Airplane Flying Handbook – Chapter 14, Flying Light Twins Safely, Leave Yourself an Out

What How to maximize performance and maintain control during flight with one engine inoperative Why Why do we fly multi-engine aircraft?

• • • •

Increased payload Faster (longer range) Career

Safer (If we know what we’re doing, we can continue single-engine and land at the nearest airport. In a single, we don’t have that many options.) How – New Concepts Related to Single-Engine Operation of a Multi-Engine Airplane As long as everything is working correctly, the single-engine and multi-engine airplanes are aerodynamically very similar. It’s when we lose an engine that we see the greatest differences. What should we do if we lose an engine? In the Cadet Stay Calm Maintain Control


Pitch
Moves down, establish best glide speed


Yaw
Not much difference


Roll
Not much difference

Maximize Performance

• • •

Establish best glide airspeed

Decide what to do Troubleshoot Land in the near vicinity.

In the Seminole Stay Calm Maintain Control


Pitch
Maintain a safe airspeed (more to come)


• •

Yaw – The airplane will yaw toward the inoperative engine
Asymmetric thrust pivots the airplane about the vertical axis at the CG location Counteract the yaw with rudder pressure


• •

Roll – The airplane will roll toward the inoperative engine
Induced airflow from the operating engine produces more lift on the wing with the operating engine causing the airplane to roll about the longitudinal axis Counteract roll with ailerons.

What is a critical engine? It’s the engine whose failure would most adversely affect the performance and handling qualities of the aircraft. The critical engine on most US twins is the left engine.

• • • •

P A S T

P-Factor Accelerated Slipstream (Induced airflow over the wings) Spiraling Slipstream Torque

The Seminole doesn’t have a critical engine (counter-rotating propellers)

Maximize Performance


• •

Mixtures rich, propeller controls full forward, throttle set to appropriate setting
Mixtures, props, think! Usually full throttle, but if landing you may choose a less than full setting

• •
• • • • • • •

Gear Retract, Flaps UP (reduce drag) Establish the best airspeed for our particular phase of flight.
If we are in a climb (as in departing the airport) we will want to establish VYSE. VYSE – Blue Line at 88 KIAS Best rate-of-climb speed (single-engine). This speed will provide the maximum altitude gain for a given period of time with one engine inoperative. Mention VYSE Demo If we are in straight & level cruise, we may choose to exceed VYSE if that helps us to maintain our altitude It’s possible above certain altitudes that we will not be able to maintain our altitude. Look at performance charts to determine SE service ceiling and SE absolute ceiling.

Single Engine Inoperative Performance Characteristics (Open POH to Section 5)
When we lose an engine, we only lose 50% of our power, but we lose most (80% or more) of our performance! An airplane climbs because of excess thrust horse power (ETHP) When we an engine fails, we lose most of our ETHP. Just check the POH performance Charts – Two Engines Operating Pressure Altitude: 4000’ O.A.T.: 10° C Weight: 3800 lbs. Rate of Climb: 950 fpm One Engine Inoperative Pressure Altitude: 4000’ O.A.T.: 10° C Weight: 3800 lbs. Rate of Climb: 15 fpm 950 fpm - 15 fpm 935 fpm difference = 98% loss of performance!!! Now, let’s take off from Vail, CO on a warm day. Two Engines Operating Pressure Altitude: 8000’ O.A.T.: 20° C Weight: 3800 lbs. Rate of Climb: 500 fpm One Engine Inoperative Pressure Altitude: 8000’ O.A.T.: 20° C Weight: 3800 lbs. Rate of Climb: -200 fpm

If we continue to pitch up in an attempt to maintain our altitude or squeeze more performance out of our aircraft, our speed will decrease below VYSE and eventually reduce to VMCA. At this airspeed, we will no longer be able to maintain control of the aircraft without making corrective actions.

What is VMC? VMC – red line (23.149) VMC is the calibrated airspeed at which, when the critical engine is suddenly made inoperative, it is possible to maintain control of the airplane with that engine still inoperative, and thereafter maintain straight flight at the same speed with an angle of bank of not more than 5 degrees. The method used to simulate critical engine failure must represent the most critical mode of powerplant failure expected in service with respect to controllability. VMC must be determined with the most unfavorable weight and center of gravity position and with the airplane airborne and the ground effect negligible, for the takeoff configuration(s) with--

• • • • •

Maximum available takeoff power initially on each engine; The airplane trimmed for takeoff; Flaps in the takeoff position(s); Landing gear retracted; and All propeller controls in the recommended takeoff position throughout.

VMC is NOT a static number There are multiple factors that affect VMC and aircraft performance and control.

Factors that we as pilots can not control once airborne
Factor
Weight – Heavy

Effect on Performance

Effect of Controllability

Airspeed at which loss of control (VMCA) will occur Lower is better.

With more weight, the engine’s thrust is less effective.

A heavier airplane is less susceptible to the yawing force created by the engine. (inertia) But it should also be noted that a heavy aircraft is also harder to recover once it has been disrupted. A lighter airplane is more easily disrupted by the yawing force created by the engine. (inertia) With a forward C.G., the length of the “arm” from the C.G. to the rudder control surface is longer and more effective. With an aft C.G., the length of the “arm” from the C.G. to the rudder control surface is shorter and less effective. Since there is less yawing force, controllability is increased compared to a lower density altitude day.

Lower

Weight – Light

 

With less weight, the engine’s thrust is more effective.

 

Higher

Center of Gravity – Fwd.

With a forward C.G., a higher A.O.A. is required and in turn performance is reduced.

Lower With forward C.G.s, VMC is reduced because of the gain in controllability from the rudder control surface. Higher VMC is at its highest in this scenario.

Center of Gravity – Aft

 

With an aft C.G., less A.O.A. is required to achieve airspeeds and therefore, performance is increased. The engine will not produce as much power AND the propeller’s efficiency will also be reduced which in turn reduces the amount of yawing force produced. The engine will produce more thrust than on a high density altitude day AND the propeller will be more efficient which in turn will produce MORE yawing force.

 

High Density Altitude

Lower

Low Density Altitude

With the greater yawing force produced by the engine and propeller, controllability is reduced.

Higher

Factors that we as pilots can control
Factor
Gear Up Gear Down Windmilling Prop Feathered Prop

Effect on Performance

Effect of Controllability

Airspeed at which loss of control (VMCA) will occur Lower is better.
Higher Lower Higher Lower

    

Less drag, better performance. More drag, reduces performance. Lots of drag reducing performance. Drag reduced to a minimum. With zero degrees of bank, the lateral lift created by the deflected rudder surface combined with the forward thrust produces a sideslip condition towards the inoperative engine creating drag and reducing performance. Best possible performance. Use the yarn to ensure that the aircraft is in a no sideslip condition. Since the aircraft is put into a sideslip in the opposite direction, performance suffers because of added drag.

    

The increased performance reduces controllability Controllability is increased by the keel effect from the gear. The drag from the windmilling propeller yaws the airplane. Lack of windmilling prop helps with control immensely. Since the rudder surface is more aligned with the R.W. in this situation, its effectiveness is also reduced which in turn reduces controllability.

Angle of Bank Not Enough

Higher

Angle of Bank Enough

 

 

Better controllability. The rudder surface is less aligned with the relative wind. Control is at its best, but at the sacrifice of performance. The R.W. now strikes the side of the rudder surface which makes it very effective. Bank angles over 5 degrees should only be used to gain control over the aircraft.

Lower Best Possible

Angle of Bank Too Much

Higher

Why are sideslips bad and why do we want to establish a zero sideslip condition?

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