What Happens If The Plane’s Engine Breaks During Flight?
Almost everyone has thought about what could happen if the engine of the plane breaks down while traveling. Experts say that failure of one engine of multi-engine aircraft will not cause any problems. It is known that even if all the engines of the plane are stopped, the pilots can land the plane without any problems.
While traveling by plane, we all think of “what happens if the engine of the plane breaks down?” The question has come. In fact, we may think about this more on trips when the weather conditions are bad. However, even if an engine of the plane breaks down, we may not be aware of the problem. Because an engine stall is not a major problem that will hinder flight or cause an accident.
Before talking about what will happen when an aircraft’s engine breaks down or completely stops, it is necessary to explain the physics behind the flight of their aircraft. We all think of airplanes as one flying unit. Actually, the situation is different. In airplanes, two basic components enable flying: Engines and wings.
The operation of aircraft engines can be explained in the simplest way as follows: Air is drawn into the aircraft engine, where it is burned together with the fuel at a controlled rate. This air/heat mixture expands and pushes a piston. Thus, a crankshaft and propeller rotate. Pistons in each cylinder create force by continuing a cycle consisting of four steps. An airplane’s engine is designed to work in this way to propel the airplane forward.
In addition to the rapid thrust of the engines, the aircraft moves in the air on the wings. The curved design of the aircraft wings reveals the force that keeps the aircraft in the sky. The wings of the aircraft allow the air to be directed up and down during flight. Thus, it changes the air pressure. The curved upper part of the wing lowers the air pressure, while the flat lower part of the wing causes the air pressure to increase. This controlled airflow of the wing causes the aircraft to move upward in the sky, while the engines provide forward movement.
What happens if an airplane engine stalls?
While the plane is on its way at 30,000 feet, an engine breakdown may sound like catastrophic news to anyone. However, this does not mean an absolute accident. In fact, the rate of plane crashes due to engine failure is only 200 per 50 million. These are very safe rates.
Aircraft engines can stall due to mechanical problems inside the engine, damage to turbines or panels, oil leaks, fuel contamination, or bird entering the engine. Although such malfunctions are rare, all flight crew, especially pilots, are trained for such situations.
Failure of a single engine in airplanes is not considered a serious problem. Because this is a manageable problem. Airplanes such as Boeing 747 or Airbus 340 with 4 engines have mechanical equipment that can fill the gap that will arise from the failure of an engine. Even for airplanes like the Boeing 737 or Boeing 727 that have two or three engines, one engine failure is not a big deal. Because these planes have the technology to fly 5-6 hours with a single engine.
An engine failure does not cause an accident, but it is a situation where pilots need to make some adjustments. Losing an engine means the airplane’s maximum power will be reduced. Therefore, the difference must be compensated for with the remaining motors. In addition, this will create an asymmetrical force during flight. This asymmetry is compensated by the pilots using the rudder pedals.
In addition, it is not possible to travel at 30,000 feet, as a failure of an engine will cause a decrease in power and speed. Instead, the pilot should prefer a lower altitude. At this point, the cruise should be continued at 15,000-20,000 feet.
Landing will only be a bit more difficult than it would normally be due to engine failure. Therefore, pilots can change the plane’s landing target. Pilots have the authority to change the target if they think the plane cannot land on the targeted runway.
Some of the systems in the aircraft also work depending on the engines. Therefore, engine failure can affect some hydraulic and electrical systems. However, in aircraft, these systems are designed to be supported by other engines. In other words, when an engine breaks down, another engine can continue its task.
As a passenger, you may still think of an engine stalling as a terrible event. However, in some cases, pilots can reset and restart their engine systems during flight. In other words, you may have continued to travel even when all engines stopped.
What if all engines stall?
First of all, it is very unlikely that all engines will stop at the same time in an airplane. Most engine problems occur with a single engine. If all the engines stop though, it’s an emergency. But it can be overcome.
The forces that allow an airplane to fly also allow it to soar without engines. It will be necessary to lose altitude, as the failure of the engines will create a lack of forward thrust. But that doesn’t mean it will fall from the sky like a stone. By adjusting the flaps and rudder, 1 mile of altitude is lost for 10 miles forward. In other words, it is possible to glide 50 miles (approximately 80 km) at 30,000 feet when all engines are stopped.