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The Controller’s Guide to Successful Engine Operation

Guidelines for controllers dealing with engine failure

The engine maintenance of aircraft plays a significant role in ensuring their safety and reliability. Maintaining planes properly is essential to ensuring that they work as they should. The main goal is to keep your craft airworthy and compliant with air safety regulations. In order to ensure that your engine produces reliable, safe power every time you fly, it must be serviced and overhauled regularly.

In Business Aviation, controllers should follow guidance to deal with aircraft suffering aircraft engine failure. Controllers and aircraft engineers should take into account a number of considerations to ensure that Business Aviation provide as much support as possible to the aircraft concerned, as well as maintaining the safety of other aircraft in the area and the provision of ATC (Air traffic control) services generally.

An Explanation of Engine Failure

Multi-engine aircraft have different flight crew SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) for single engine failures compared to single engine aircraft. A contained or uncontained aircraft engine failure is critical. A failure of the engine without containment poses a greater risk because ejected debris could cause harm to the occupants, the aircraft’s structure, and cause engine fires. Inadvertent thrust reverser deployments inflight may also cause aircraft engine failure, as can volcanic ash ingestion resulting in engine flame-outs.

Engine malfunctions and subsequent failures could be precursors to the following technical problems, which might cause the crew to shut down the problematic engine:

·         Oil pressure indicator for low oil pressure

·         Temperature indication of high oil

·         Vibrations of the engine that are excessive

The Reasons Behind Engine Failure

During the phase of flight when the engine fails is another important factor to consider. According to the phase of flight, engine failure might lead to:

·         Aborted takeoff

·         Difficulties in controlling

·         Descent in case of emergency

·         Change in FL (Flight Level)

·         Problems with pressurization

·         Explosions due to fuel dumps

·         Approaching the situation with caution

Handling Aircraft Emergencies

The landing will be safe if precautions are taken after an aircraft engine failure, even though there are a number of factors to consider.

Deficiencies in Standard Instrument Departure (SID)

Crews may follow an Emergency Turn routing in the event of an engine failure at takeoff or after rotation, instead of following the published SID and noise abatement procedures if the engine fails at takeoff or after rotation

Level-off at Intermediate Levels

A crew might decide to handling aircraft emergencies level-off during climb-out or descent in order to assess the situation if the engine fails during descent or climb-out


Inability to maintain altitude may force the crew to descend, or they may decide to descend (gain airspeed and restart the engine) or descend due to problems with pressurization that are connected with the engine failure.

Divergence From Course

An alternate aerodrome or another suitable aerodrome may be chosen by the crew

Approach and Landing at Long and High Speeds

Consequently, non-stabilized approaches, runway excursions, and blocked runways may result from engine failure-related performance limitations.

Slow Turn Rates

Turning the engine on the inoperative side will result in a slow turn rate.

Guidance for Controllers and Aircraft Engineer

It is recommended to follow the ASSIST principle (A – Acknowledgement; S – Separate; S – Silence; I – Inform; S – Support, T – Time)

A – Ask the crews their intentions when the situation permits (if a malfunction or emergency has been declared).

S – Separate the aircraft from other traffic and allow room for maneuvering.

S – Silence all non-urgent calls (as appropriate) and to use separate frequencies whenever possible.

I – Inform the adjacent ATC (Air traffic control) units if the aircraft is approaching or is close to their zones of responsibility; also, inform your supervisor and convey the crew’s intentions.

S– Support the flight information requested and deemed necessary. Find the next suitable aerodrome and provide information and details about it. The crew should be informed of the minimum safe altitude if necessary.

T – Taking time to assess the situation is important. Resist pressing matters that aren’t urgent.


List of Guidance for Controllers and Aircraft Engineers:

1.       Follow instructions from local authorities to clear the RWY (Runway)

2.       The landing aerodrome should be informed that inbound traffic with an engine failure is approaching

3.       As soon as possible, provide the crew with details of the next suitable aerodrome and weather information for that aerodrome

4.       Ensure that the safety strip remains clear

5.       Consider an extended final approach for the flight crew

6.       Do not allow ATC (Air traffic control) to cause a go-around

7.       In the event of a forced landing, record the time and position of the last known location

8.       In the event that towing equipment is needed, make sure it is on standby

Precautions to be Taken for Safety

Being Aware of Your Surroundings

It is the ATCO’s (Air Traffic Control Officers) responsibility to always monitor the course and altitude of traffic in his/her sector. Maintaining constant awareness of any ongoing deviations should allow time for nearby traffic to be vectored.

Reaction in a Timely Manner

In addition to transferring all other aircraft to a different frequency (possible message to all stations to make them aware), leaving emergency traffic on the current frequency, increasing the receiver volume, and having a colleague listen to all transmissions from the aircraft as well (a separate pair of ears).

Limitations Imposed by Technology

Stay within radar coverage as much as possible. Ensure that the radar system you are using has the features you are looking for.

Awareness of the Organization

Administrative levels should aim to provide ATCOs (Air Traffic Control Officers) quickly during emergency situations. Inter-organizational coordination is likely to be improved by periodic training and drills.

Crew Impacts

After an engine failure, a variety of practical problems may arise in the cockpit, including:

An Overworked Cockpit

An intense workload may result from the crew’s assessment of the situation

Identifying the Problem

It is the crew’s responsibility to communicate the problem to ATC (Air traffic control). It is important to follow emergency procedures through MAYDAY and PAN PAN emergency signal distress when communicating during an emergency event, however, nonstandard phrases (e.g., “we’ve lost number two”, “engine no. 2 is dead”, “we’ve lost power in engine no. 2”, etc.) are often used instead.

Obtaining Information and Making Decisions

If the crew decides to land at the nearest suitable aerodrome, they will need information about nearby aerodromes and weather conditions

Searching for the Best Glide Path

Handling aircraft emergencies crew will attempt restarting the engine(s), or reaching the next suitable aerodrome/airfield or place suitable for an emergency landing if there is engine failure on a single engine aircraft, or multiple engine failure on multi-engine aircraft.

How iJET Deals with Engine Failures

Our technicians have experience maintaining multiple aircraft models, and our labor rates are competitive. There are several calendars and hourly engine maintenance inspections through iJET, usually scheduled on a 12-month basis or every 200, 400, 600, or 800 hours. It is always iJET’s goal to ensure a safe flight by providing emergency procedures in case of malfunction

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