Dual Engine Failure

You’ve just taken off from an airport and bird strikes have disabled both engines on your airliner.  Sounds like a recent movie based upon a masterful piece of airmanship and fortuitous circumstances ten years ago, doesn’t it?  Here is a cockpit video of a flight crew handling a dual engine failure made in an EASA qualified Full Flight Simulator configured for a recent Boeing 737.  The simulated bird strikes occur at an altitude higher than that of the U.S. Airways Flight 1549 incident, which permitted the crew in this case to return to the airport whence they took off, although bleeding off the excess energy was dicey.

Note that they landed faster than normally and with flaps not fully extended and hence had to use maximum braking which might have created a brake fire.  The simulated fire trucks after wheels stop are particularly impressive.

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Author: John Walker

Founder of Ratburger.org, Autodesk, Inc., and Marinchip Systems. Author of The Hacker's Diet. Creator of www.fourmilab.ch.

11 thoughts on “Dual Engine Failure”

  1. I don’t know if this is a fair simulation since the pilots knew what was going to happen so they were prepared. The quick decisions looked pre-made.  I was impressed that it was possible to get back though.

    Do cabin crews have simulators with panicky passengers? I was wondering how I would feel having the plane go into a steep bank.

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  2. With light planes the joke is that a two engine plane gets you to the crash site faster. It may be true.

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  3. 10 Cents:

    PhCheese:
    With light planes the joke is that a two engine plane gets you to the crash site faster. It may be true.

    Were/are you a pilot, PC?

    No license. Didn’t trust myself being   Dyslexic and all but my brother had a plane that I used for business. I did quite a bit of flying from the right seat.

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  4. 10 Cents:
    I don’t know if this is a fair simulation since the pilots knew what was going to happen so they were prepared. The quick decisions looked pre-made.  I was impressed that it was possible to get back though.

    Do cabin crews have simulators with panicky passengers? I was wondering how I would feel having the plane go into a steep bank.

    https://youtu.be/i0GW0Vnr9Yc

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  5. 10 Cents:
    I was wondering how I would feel having the plane go into a steep bank.

    The pilot was deliberately “over-banking” to quickly perform the 180° turn back to the airport and also to lose some of the excess altitude.  In a steep bank, the wings lose some of their vertical lift and the aircraft will descend steeper than in a level glide.  However, he was still performing a “co-ordinated turn” in which the bank angle exactly cancels the lateral acceleration from the turn and hence passengers feel no lateral g-forces.  Unless they were looking out the window, they would never notice the steep bank.  The annunciator call-out of “bank angle” was a warning that the bank exceeded the normal operational limit of 35° (it is repeated for every additional five degrees of bank).

    Here is another Mentour Pilot video discussing bank angle and its effect on the lift vector.

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  6. 10 Cents:
    I don’t know if this is a fair simulation since the pilots knew what was going to happen so they were prepared.

    This is a common criticism of simulations, including large and expensive military exercises.  “Wouldn’t be like this in a real war, that’s for sure…”  However, the point of a simulation is to simulate only some things, not everything, which is never going to happen.  Even without going into information theory, or explaining how a record player cannot play another record player, there are simply limits.  Most simulations are meant to aid in the willing suspension of disbelief, so that certain aspects of a personality, or of a team, or its communications, or usually many of these things, can be practiced.  Practice is not about pretending.  Practice is skill-building within an artifice designed specifically to build that skill.

    Note that you found it impressive that the pilots brought the thing back home even knowing the artifice.

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  7. Haakon Dahl:

    10 Cents:
    I don’t know if this is a fair simulation since the pilots knew what was going to happen so they were prepared.

    This is a common criticism of simulations, including large and expensive military exercises.  “Wouldn’t be like this in a real war, that’s for sure…”  However, the point of a simulation is to simulate only some things, not everything, which is never going to happen.  Even without going into information theory, or explaining how a record player cannot play another record player, there are simply limits.  Most simulations are meant to aid in the willing suspension of disbelief, so that certain aspects of a personality, or of a team, or its communications, or usually many of these things, can be practiced.  Practice is not about pretending.  Practice is skill-building within an artifice designed specifically to build that skill.

    Note that you found it impressive that the pilots brought the thing back home even knowing the artifice.

    You mean real birds were not harmed to have this simulation work. 😉

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  8. 10 Cents:

    Haakon Dahl:

    10 Cents:
    I don’t know if this is a fair simulation since the pilots knew what was going to happen so they were prepared.

    This is a common criticism of simulations, including large and expensive military exercises.  “Wouldn’t be like this in a real war, that’s for sure…”  However, the point of a simulation is to simulate only some things, not everything, which is never going to happen.  Even without going into information theory, or explaining how a record player cannot play another record player, there are simply limits.  Most simulations are meant to aid in the willing suspension of disbelief, so that certain aspects of a personality, or of a team, or its communications, or usually many of these things, can be practiced.  Practice is not about pretending.  Practice is skill-building within an artifice designed specifically to build that skill.

    Note that you found it impressive that the pilots brought the thing back home even knowing the artifice.

    You mean real birds were not harmed to have this simulation work. 😉

    We run quality sim here.  We still killed a bunch of birds and threw them around the hardware.

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  9. Haakon Dahl:

    10 Cents:

    Haakon Dahl:

    10 Cents:
    I don’t know if this is a fair simulation since the pilots knew what was going to happen so they were prepared.

    This is a common criticism of simulations, including large and expensive military exercises.  “Wouldn’t be like this in a real war, that’s for sure…”  However, the point of a simulation is to simulate only some things, not everything, which is never going to happen.  Even without going into information theory, or explaining how a record player cannot play another record player, there are simply limits.  Most simulations are meant to aid in the willing suspension of disbelief, so that certain aspects of a personality, or of a team, or its communications, or usually many of these things, can be practiced.  Practice is not about pretending.  Practice is skill-building within an artifice designed specifically to build that skill.

    Note that you found it impressive that the pilots brought the thing back home even knowing the artifice.

    You mean real birds were not harmed to have this simulation work. 😉

    We run quality sim here.  We still killed a bunch of birds and threw them around the hardware.

    Goosing the system again?

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  10. Haakon Dahl:
    Practice is not about pretending.  Practice is skill-building within an artifice designed specifically to build that skill.

    Exactly—as the proverb says, in a crisis you do not rise to the occasion but fall back on your training.  Even though this is a scenario for which airline pilots do not normally train, practicing it increases confidence and proficiency in case such a circumstance should happen and also may reveal deficiencies in standard procedures.  For example, in the U.S. Airways Flight 1549 event, Captain Sullenberger started the APU on his own initiative—this was not in the airline’s flight manual.  That provided electrical power and hydraulic assist without which it wouldn’t have been possible to lower the flaps in order to reduce the speed at which they hit the water.

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