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Flight Operations Newsletter

GE Aviation

Volume 1, Issue 1

Fall 2006

To all of our Aviation customers, were pleased to welcome you to our first edition of
the GE Aviation Flight Operations Newsletter. The industry in which we operate
has seen dramatic changes in recent years, and as we move forward, one
major aim is to be more proactive in sharing technology updates and
best practices that will ultimately help your operations. This
newsletter is a key part of that process. Our goal
is to provide engine technical and
operational information
in a way that is
familiar to pilots and flight operations personnel. We hope you will find
this information to be beneficial.
Periodically, we will publish this newsletter to bring you updates on new engine
technology, operational recommendations and other best practices related to
engine operation. Please take a look and let us know if there are any topics that you
would like covered in a future issue or if you have any recommendations on how to
make this a better publication.

GE Flight Operations Support A Brief Introduction

GE Flight Operations Support is a part of the GE Aviation Customer and Product Support
Organization based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Our primary focus is providing operational
support which involves continuous interfacing between the operators, aircraft
manufacturers, internal engine experts and regulatory agencies. In addition to
providing engine specific training, we regularly answer operator questions, occasionally
conduct operational reviews -sometimes through jumpseat observations, and help
implement best practices in areas like fuel conservation, increased reduced thrust
usage, FOD reduction, etc. In much the same way as airlines are typically involved in
the initial design of new aircraft types, we are heavily involved in the engine design
process. With continuous feedback from you, the operator, we play a very important
role in promoting engine designs that are practical and user friendly to the ultimate
end user, the pilots. Please meet our crew:
Capt. John Gough is Director of GE Flight Operations Support and has been with GE
Aviation since 2004. John has 12 years of airline operational experience, most recently
as a captain for a major US airline, and prior flew 10 years in the USAF. He is type rated
in the B777, A330 and B737. John can be reached at: (513) 552-4406 or
Capt. Andy Mihalchik has been with GE Aviation for 31 years and is currently
responsible for all CFM, GP7200 and GEnx applications. Andy has an extensive
background in engineering, has been flying for 33 years, and is type rated in the A330
and CRJ700. Andy can be reached at: (513) 552-2737 or
Capt. Walt Moeller joined GE Aviation in 1987 as a design engineer and is currently
responsible for CT7, CF34-8E, -10E, -10A and GE90 applications. Walt has been flying for
26 years including 14 years of airline operational experience, most recently as a captain
for a major US airline, and is type rated in the B777 and CRJ200. Walt can be reached
at: (513) 552-6602 or
Capt. Jim Waggoner joined GE Aviation in 2005 and is currently responsible for all CF6,
CF34-3 and CF34-8C applications. Jim has 13 years of operational experience with a
major US airline and prior flew 8 years in the USN. He is type rated in the B757/767 and
CRJ700. Jim can be reached at: (513) 552-6546 or

In this issue:
GE Flight Operations Support A
Brief Introduction
Engine Power Loss Associated with
Ice Crystal Exposure
Fuel Conservation
Engine Warm-up and Cool-down
The Fleet Logbook
Inclement Weather Operations
Introducing the GEnx

Flight Ops Newsletter is published by:

GE Flight Operations Support
1 Neumann Way, Room 300
Cincinnati, OH 45215
Editor: Walt Moeller
Phone: (513) 552-6602
Copyright 2006
The information contained in this document is GE
proprietary information and is disclosed in confidence. It is
the property of GE and shall not be used, disclosed to
others or reproduced without the express written consent
of GE, including, but without limitation, it is not to be used
in the creation, manufacture, development, or derivation
of any repairs, modifications, spare parts, designs, or
configuration changes or to obtain FAA or any other
government or regulatory approval to do so. If consent is
given for reproduction in whole or in part, this notice and
the notice set forth on each page of this document shall
appear in any such reproduction in whole or in part. The
information contained in this document may also be
controlled by the U.S. export control laws. Unauthorized
export or re-export is prohibited.

Volume 1, Issue 1

Engine Power Loss

Associated with Ice Crystal
GE has been investigating several engine power loss events
associated with flight in inclement weather, more specifically,
flight in or near what is suspected to be an ice crystal
environment. While it appears that the power loss events are
not unique to GE engines, there have been several CF6-80
events since the early 1990s, in a period covering more than
12.5 million departures and over 128 million flight hours. In
all cases, the engines relit and normal power was restored. In
some cases the flight crews were unaware that a momentary
power loss had occurred. This article is intended to share
information relative to the events and our investigation so
that operators have a better understanding about the ice
crystal environment and potential operational considerations
to minimize engine effects due to ice crystal exposure.

Fall 2006
engine. Deep convective weather systems, characterized by
significant lifting and cumulonimbus clouds with very high
cloud tops, may have a combination of ice crystals and
supercooled droplets. These deep convection weather
systems may contain ice crystal concentrations estimated to
be up to 9 grams per cubic meter or nearly 4.5 times the
maximum supercooled liquid concentration of 2 grams per
cubic meter, which is the basis for current engine icing
certification testing.

Event Reports Common Characteristics

Pilot reports and engine data have been obtained from a
number of the engine events. Typically the engine power loss
events occurred during acceleration following prolonged low
power descent with the following similar characteristics:
In or near convective weather with visible moisture
Light to moderate turbulence was often reported
Heavy rain was often reported at very high altitudes and at
ambient temperatures below freezing
Little and often no radar detection at event altitudes
No significant airframe icing. In most cases, icing conditions
were typically not detected/indicated by the aircraft ice
Total air temperature (TAT) significantly different than
expected and often near zero degrees C several minutes just
prior to the engine flameout.
Event altitudes ranged from 11,500 feet to 36,000 feet

Understanding the Engine Effects

The Ice Crystal Environment

Investigation of recent engine power loss events has shown
that some of the events have occurred in or near convective
weather above the altitudes typically associated with icing
conditions. Research has shown that these same convective
weather systems can contain very small crystals of frozen
water. These ice crystals can be extremely small (the size of
several grains of flour) and do not typically adhere to very cold
airframe surfaces, instead bouncing off. For this reason, ice
crystal conditions are often not detected by the aircraft ice
detectors. It is believed that the ice crystals may partially melt
and refreeze on warmer surfaces similar to those inside the

Investigation of engine related effects resulting from ice crystal

ingestion suggests that the ice crystals melt quickly within the
engine forming a liquid film on surfaces, eventually capturing
more ice crystals. It is suspected that during prolonged
operation in an ice crystal environment, ice crystals are
accumulating in the first several stages of the engine core. As
engine power is increased the accumulated ice suddenly
sheds with some of the ice shed leaving through the open
variable bleed valves (VBVs) and some of the ice shed
continuing into the core. In rare cases, the shed ice travels
through the compressor, changing state, causing the
combustor inlet characteristics to change rapidly (see article
on water ingestion later in this newsletter) resulting in an
engine flame-out or brief power loss. This shed typically
occurs within 2 to 3 seconds after power is advanced during
level off. In all cases, the engines have always relit and
continued normal operations.

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Volume 1, Issue 1

Fall 2006

A CF6-80C2 engine undergoing extensive ice ingestion testing

in early 2006 to help identify the cause of suspected ice crystal
related flameouts.

Sequence of Ice Crystal Flameout Event

Avoiding Adverse Ice Crystal Effects

4 Ice changes state thru HPC, melting, evaporation

5 Combustor inlet air temperature depressed, Combustor
efficiency drops

6 Flameout occurs


Although there has been an extensive amount of research

and engine testing related to ice crystal exposure the best
approach to minimizing engine related effects is to minimize
exposure to the ice crystal environment as described earlier.
If flight into or near a suspected ice crystal environment can
not be avoided flight crews should consider the following:
Follow specific operational guidance provided by the aircraft
Turn on continuous ignition if the aircraft/engine do not have
an auto-relight system installed.

GE Aviation

Engine Modifications
Extensive engine testing and research has shown that ice
ingestion into the core of the engine can be minimized by
allowing shed ice to discharge out of the VBVs as shown
above. During low power operation, the VBVs are
commanded open. As the engine accelerates the VBVs are
closed. New FADEC logic will slow the rate of VBV closure
during accels allowing more of the ice that was actually shed
during the accel to leave the engine through the open VBV
doors into the fan stream. Similar engine logic has been very
effective at lower altitudes. Testing has shown that the
revised VBV logic can also provide similar benefits at higher

Combustor flame-out resistance may be increased by

increasing engine bleed air extraction to create a higher fuelto-air ratio.
If practical, reduce engine scoop factor (see included
article) prior to actually entering inclement weather conditions
to minimize engine water/ice ingestion.
The probability of a sudden ice shed within the engine may
be minimized if thrust fluctuations are avoided and a constant
thrust level is maintained.
Extensive research and analysis continues at GE to better
understand the ice crystal environment and its effect on jet
engines. Updated information will be published in this
newsletter and other GE publications when available. Any
additional information that operators can provide is welcome
in our continuing investigation. For more information please
contact Capt. Jim Waggoner at (513) 552-6546 or

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Volume 1, Issue 1

Fuel Conservation
The rapid increase in fuel prices over the last several years has
affected all operators. GE has formed a fuel burn cluster
group, which is studying this issue from every angle to include:
new engine technologies, improved maintenance practices,
different operational considerations and other suggestions to
flight crews for the optimized use of the engines. The
following information may be beneficial in reducing fuel
consumption at your operation.

New Engine Technologies

A primary focus of new engine designs is significantly reducing
fuel burn. The advanced combustor design and other features
of our new GEnx engine powering the B787, B747-8 and A350
will help reduce specific fuel consumption (SFC) nearly 15%
compared to the CF6-80C2 and nearly 7% compared to our
more modern GE90-94B. The CFM56 Tech Insertion program
will be introducing new technologies in existing CFM56
engines which will improve specific fuel consumption (SFC)
and increase time-on-wing by increasing EGT margin. Engine
improvements are also underway for existing CF6-80C2/-80E1
engines called Tech CF6 that will improve fuel burn retention
while reducing maintenance costs. All of these new
technologies will help reduce operational costs and will also
improve engine time-on-wing to reduce overhaul costs.
These new engine designs are integral to our GE
Ecomagination initiative with a commitment to being green
through less fuel burn and lower emissions.

Fall 2006
Proactively Monitoring the Fleet with GE
Operators are increasingly aware of the tremendous resource
that GEs Diagnostics tool can be in reducing fuel burn. EGT or
ITT trending can identify bleed air leaks and other engine
conditions that can reduce engine efficiency. Unidentified
bleed air leaks as a result of a valve change or other
maintenance can increase fuel burn and decrease EGT
margin. Diagnostics can help identify these inadvertent leaks
much more quickly, saving fuel, compared to finding the leak
at the next scheduled maintenance check. The basic GE
Diagnostics tool is available free of charge to all GE engine

Reduced Thrust Takeoffs

An excellent way to preserve engine efficiency and reduce
overall fuel burn is to maximize the use of reduced thrust
takeoffs. Reduced thrust takeoffs using fixed derates,
assumed temperatures or a combination result in less severe
operating temperatures, pressures and rotational speeds for
the engine components which results in less wear, better EGT
margin retention, better SFC retention and ultimately longer
time-on-wing. The concept of reducing thrust for a takeoff is
counterintuitive to most pilots and the theory associated with
the assumed temperature method for thrust and
performance calculations is often misunderstood. Several of
the aircraft manufacturers have published excellent material
covering reduced thrust operations specific to their aircraft.
We also have engine related material to help explain the
concept and significant benefits of reduced thrust operations.

Improved Maintenance Practices

One of the best and simplest ways to reduce engine fuel burn
is the use of water wash. The water wash process is simple,
typically does not require any engine hardware changes, and
is accomplished by spraying water or water/detergent mix
into the engine core while the engine is dry-motored. The
water wash cleans the core of the engine by removing
accumulated dirt and contamination from the engine airfoil
surfaces. The result is a much more efficient engine which
generally has higher EGT margin and better SFC after the
wash process. Typically, for every 10 degrees of EGT margin
loss, fuel flow efficiency decreases approximately 0.6-0.8%
SFC, so keeping the engine clean is essential to fuel savings.
In addition to lower fuel burn, the obvious side effect of
increased EGT margin is increased time-on-wing.

Human Factors
The highest exposure to excessive engine deterioration comes
at the hands of the human operators. Both pilots and
maintenance technicians are equally qualified to cause
excessive deterioration by using aggressive thrust lever or
power lever movements. Rapid thrust lever or power lever
bursts or chops cause rapid thermal changes to occur
between the more massive internal rotating components and
the less massive external engine cases. The different thermal
expansion characteristics combined with centrifugal forces
may result in turbine rubs that actually remove material
from the turbine blades decreasing turbine efficiency and
increasing fuel burn. Operators are encouraged to teach
pilots and maintenance technicians that smooth, and
deliberate thrust/power lever movements are essential in
preserving engine efficiency. Rapid thrust lever movements
should simply be avoided whenever practical.

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Volume 1, Issue 1

Fall 2006

Engine-Out Taxi

Optimizing Reverse Thrust

Many of our customers are using engine-out taxi as a means

to save fuel. There are many factors to evaluate when
considering engine-out taxi operations. GE neither advocates
or discourages engine-out taxi operations. We encourage all
operators to consider the aircraft systems effects of engineout taxi operations and also ask that operators consider
engine related operational requirements like minimum warmup times, minimum cool-down times and FOD prevention in
the overall evaluation of engine-out operations. Additional
information on engine warm-up and cool-down may be found
in this newsletter. The aircraft manufacturers have their own
procedures and recommendations regarding engine-out taxi
and are the final authority as to how the engine is operated on
each particular aircraft installation.

An additional means to save fuel during flight operations is

optimizing the use of reverse thrust when operating
conditions allow. Again, it is important to consider all FCOM,
performance, airline and safety procedures in the evaluation
of the amount of reverse thrust to use. Obviously the benefit
of reduced fuel burn and reduced FOD ingestion associated
with lower than maximum reverse thrust must be weighed
against operational requirements, the potential for increased
brake wear and the operational considerations associated
with the potential for increased brake temperatures. The
potential fuel savings, assuming idle reverse thrust is used on
all engines for 20 seconds, are shown below.


Idle Reverse
Fuel Burn

Estimated Savings
@ $2.00 per Gallon




(2 Eng. Appl..)




(2 Eng. Appl..)






(4 Eng. Appl..)



From an engine only perspective, engine-out taxi operations

may result in considerable fuel burn reduction especially on
larger fleets. The table below contains some typical all engine
vs. engine-out taxi comparisons for a total 20-minute taxi time
(assuming 10 minute taxi-in and 10 minute taxi-out).


All Engine Engine-Out

Taxi Fuel
Taxi Fuel

(2 Eng. Appl.)



(2 Eng. Appl.)


(4 Eng. Appl.)









Savings @
$2.00 per




The fuel savings above are approximate and may vary with
different installations, aircraft loading, etc.

The fuel burn reduction estimates above are approximate

and may vary with different installations, aircraft loading,
One of the fastest growing cost at most airlines is fuel. It is
important flight crews become fully involved in fuel
conservation and take ownership. This may help reduce
operating costs at your airline.
If you have any other recommendations or wish GE Flight
Operations Support to come to your airline to give a
presentation on the optimized use of the engines, please
contact me, Capt John Gough at 513-552-4406 or

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Volume 1, Issue 1

Engine Warm-Up and CoolDown Times

In recent years more and more operators are using engineout taxi procedures as a way of reducing costs. In addition,
shorter quick-turn times aimed at increasing aircraft
utilization are usually resulting in less observance of the
minimum warm-up and cool-down times. While it is true that
fuel burn can be reduced by minimizing engine run time on
the ground, it is important that flight crews understand the
importance of proper engine warm-up and cool-down times
so that more costly engine maintenance and/or in-flight
events can be avoided.

Warm-up Time
The engine warm-up time is used to help thermally stabilize
the engine components prior to takeoff thrust application.
Rapid thrust advance on a cold soaked engine may increase
the potential for turbine blade rubs which increase engine
deterioration and increase fuel burn. In addition, some
operators have found that increasing the first flight of the day
warm-up time, from 2 minutes to 5 minutes for example, can
minimize the potential of an EGT exceedance during takeoff,
especially on older non-FADEC engines.

Cool-down Time
The engine cool-down time is also intended to thermally
stabilize the engine prior to shutdown. Insufficient cool-down
times may result in increased oil system coking and/or
increased fuel nozzle coking. Oil system coking, shown below,
occurs when the oil flow from the engine driven oil pump is
reduced after shutdown allowing the stagnant oil to basically
bake in the tube which is exposed to the high soak-back
temperature. Increasing cool-down time will help reduce this
soak-back temperature and minimize coking. Insufficient

Fall 2006
cool-down times may also increase the probability of a bowed
rotor start during the subsequent start. The bowed rotor
condition is caused by high soak-back temperature and the
decreasing air flow within the nacelle after shutdown. As the
hot air rises within the nacelle the lower part of the engine
rotor system cools more rapidly than the top causing a very
slight bow of the high pressure and/or low pressure rotor.
Although it is typically not detrimental to the engine, a bowed
rotor start may result in increased vibration during the early
portion of the next start until the airflow within the engine
increases, thermally stabilizing the engine components. The
highest probability of a bowed rotor start is typically 20
minutes to several hours after engine shutdown.
The typical normal operation warm-up and cool-down times
for the various engine families are shown below. Specific
operations, like high power maintenance runs or other
operations may require longer times than shown. Please refer
to the aircraft operations documents or engine maintenance
documents specific to the aircraft and engine configuration
you are operating for specific warm-up and cool-down
requirements. For more information please contact Capt.
Walt Moeller at (513) 552-6602 or

Warm-up Time

Cool-down Time


2 min.

2 min.


2 min.

2 min.


2 min.

3 min.


3 min.

3 min.


3 min.

3 min.

The normal times above take into consideration the typical

power/thrust increases associated with aircraft taxiing.

The Fleet Log Book

A brief summary of engine hours to date.


The photo on the left shows a typical oil system component

clogged by accumulated coke which is shown in detail on
the right. Total oil flow blockage may result in increased
bearing wear.

No. of
No. of
Operators Engines Engine Hours
























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Volume 1, Issue 1

Fall 2006

Engine Operation in
Inclement Weather

on successful operability testing to predefined certification

standards that are established by the regulatory agencies to
reflect worst case historical meteorological conditions.

One effect that many flight crews do not understand is the

relationship between aircraft speed and engine speed and
their combined effect on water/ice ingestion and engine

Engine Operation During Water and Ice


The typical flight crew response to encountering turbulence or

heavy rain associated with convective weather is to slow the
aircraft down to the maximum turbulence penetration speed
by reducing thrust. During encounters with rain and/or hail,
reducing engine RPM at higher aircraft speeds increases inlet
air spillage as shown below. The result is that the water-toair ratio at the engine face increases creating a more severe
operating environment for the engine. At lower aircraft
speeds and higher engine RPM this air spillage is not as great
and the water-to-air ratio at the engine face decreases.

Lower engine RPM at a higher aircraft speed results in lighter

air particles spilling around the inlet while the heavier water
particles maintain their trajectory into the inlet.

In comparison, higher engine speed at lower aircraft speed

results in less air spillage and a lower water-to-air ratio at
the engine face in the same weather conditions.

Engine Fuel Schedules

The engine basically has two fuel schedules: an accel schedule
and a decel schedule. The accel schedule is basically a
maximum fuel flow which varies with core speed and the
decel schedule is basically a minimum fuel flow rate that also
varies with core speed. The engine fuel schedules are based

Fuel flow (WF)/Burner Pressure


Scoop Factor

Changing water from a solid or liquid state to a gaseous state

requires energy just like boiling water on a stove. When water
or ice enters the engine core the energy required to vaporize
the ingested water must be recovered or the net effect will be
a reduction in the energy available at the turbine to drive the
compressor and fan, or in simpler terms, a reduction in thrust.
The engine control responds during water/ice ingestion by
increasing fuel or enriching the fuel to burner air pressure
ratio as shown below. This ratio plotted as a function of N2 or
operating line for a dry engine is lower than the operating
line for a wet engine. As the engine water-to-air ratio
increases further the engine control will keep commanding
more fuel until reaching the accel schedule. At this point, fuel
is limited and the engine begins to rollback along the accel
schedule reducing thrust. A flameout may eventually occur if
engine core speed (N2) continues to decrease with the same
level of water ingestion as depicted below.

Accel schedule

line with
high water

Operating line dry

Decel schedule

Core speed (N2)

Comparison of dry and wet operating lines. The wet (red)
operating line represents operation in an extreme water
environment that may be worse than defined certification
levels at lower core speeds.

Minimizing the Effect of Water, Hail or Ice

The simplest way to minimize the effect of water ingestion is
to reduce the amount of water ingested by lowering the
scoop factor. Quite simply, if inclement weather can not be
avoided, it is better, from an engine perspective, to reduce
aircraft speed and increase engine core speed prior to
entering the inclement weather conditions. For more
information please contact Capt. Walt Moeller at (513) 5526602 or
Page 7

Volume 1, Issue 1

Fall 2006

Introducing the

On Track for the 21st Century

The GEnx is GEs next generation, 2 spool, turbofan in the

53,000 75,000 lb. thrust class. It will be the workhorse
engine of the 21st century for medium and large-capacity,
long-range aircraft. The GEnx will deliver up to 15% better
specific fuel consumption, stay on wing 20% longer, and use
30 percent fewer parts than earlier engines. The GEnxs
emissions will be up to 95% below current regulatory limits,
ensuring compliance for years to come.

The first GEnx-1B engine began testing ahead of schedule on

March 19th, 2006. In less than 2 days, the engine achieved
80,500 lbs of thrust. The second phase of testing is under
way focusing on starting, transient characteristics, fuel
system scheduling and overall performance. The GEnx has
already successfully demonstrated the capability to start with
one starter-generator inoperative, an important aircraft
manufacturer requirement. For additional information please
contact Capt. Andy Mihalchik at (513) 552 2737 or To see an interactive presentation
please go to the following site:

Innovative and Versatile Engine Design

A fundamental design requirement for the GEnx was
versatility. By versatility, we mean the ability to provide
essentially common hardware capable of operating at
multiple thrust ratings and an un-compromised solution for
both no-bleed and bleed applications.

Advanced Combustor
Technology for leaner fuel
Unique FOD Rejection System

burn and lower emissions

results in a FOD-free core.

3D Aero Turbine Designs

with Counter-rotating
Spools for increased
efficiency and lower weight

Advanced, Stall-free, HP Compressor

Highest pressure ratio in aviation history
(23:1) in only 10 stages
Innovative bleed and no-bleed
Traditional power off-take for accessory

Coneliptical Spinner
for improved inclement
weather characteristics

Super-high Bypass Fan

With 18 high-flow, swept, wide-chord,
virtually maintenance free composite fan
blades similar to GE90 fan blades with
unprecedented performance only three
GE90 blade removals from service in more
than 7 million flight hours even after multiple
large bird strikes.
Quietest GE engine ever in its class with 30%
less noise than its predecessors for an
enhanced cabin/flight deck environment

Composite Fan Case

for superior damage
tolerance with less weight

Advanced Engine Diagnostics

Electronic oil system debris monitoring
Advanced vibration monitoring
Fuel system trending
Improved starter/ignitor health detection
Enhanced performance trending
Improved troubleshooting capabilities

Page 8