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10 Answers

Critical engine jammed at full throttle

Asked by: 4819 views
Commercial Pilot, General Aviation

On a recent flight I had to deal with a abnormal situation and afterwards wondered if it was the correct way it was handelled.

Flying a C310 I discovered during my desent that the left engine(critical engine) throttle was jammed in the fully open position.I landed the aircraft with the left engine full throttle, RPM bottom of the green and the RHS engine minimal thrust and full flaps.After landing I shut the LHS down,all good and well.

On debrief of the event there was an opion not to use full flaps because you might flip the aircraft over(dont know if that is true,doubtfull) but only use 10deg.

Another opion was to have shut the jammed engine down before landing and only use the good one,but that would commit you to the landing with no further option(no way out).

I was wondering if there is a textbook procedere for this type of situation.

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10 Answers



  1. Brian on Jun 09, 2013

    Flaps destabilize (remember, less stability means greater controllability. In other words, it’s not necessarily a bad thing) roll and create a nose down pitching moment. Frankly, I wouldn’t fret about flap use as being bad. More flaps means slower touchdown speed, less kinetic energy, and less pain should the landing result in any form of a crash.

    Situation dependent I’d consider an engine shut down. Or at the very least, cut the mixture, as opposed to feathering it. You can always reintroduce fuel and have your engine back.

    Final question. There is no set rule I’m aware of. As with many scenarios, the actions are opinion based unless there is a citable scenario where pilots have salvaged the situation. In this case I’m not aware of one, so the following is merely my opinion: Cut the engine, you can get it back. Use flaps to land as slow as you can.

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  2. Mouhcine Souabni on Jun 10, 2013

    This is my opinion:

    Bad idea:

    To shut down the LHS engine is suicide! Especially considering that it is your critical engine. What if you had to go around because some “Idiot” crossed the runway without authorization. Depending on the situation in some cases, you might not have the single engine climb rate that is adequate enough to allow you to have a positive rate of climb.

    Good idea:

    It might have been a better idea to perhaps pull back the prop lever of the left engine to reduce the RPM and match that of the operating engine, with some trial and error at altitude you can figure a way out. In this case, flaps would not be an issue. But I do suggest using full flaps to minimize the touchdown speed.

    I know it is easier said than done and I can’t put myself in your shoes that day.

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  3. John D. Collins on Jun 10, 2013

    I would have declared an emergency and would consider it more than an abnormal situation. There are several options. Obviously what you did worked, so it must be considered as a viable option. The shutdown scenario described by Brian is a reasonable option, but I would have feathered the engine. A restart of the engine after feathering would only be an option if you were at altitude, preferably with an un-feathering accumulator. Leaving the engine wind milling so that one could restart it would be more risk than I would be willing to take. A proficient multiengine pilot should be able to manage a single engine landing safely, just no go around below 500 feet, so proceed to a towered airport with a long runway so you can get priority. In my opinion, flaps should not be extended until the runway is made and at that point, I am committed to land.

    Another option is to use the mixture control to set the engine power on the engine. This has the advantage of keeping the engine with the stuck throttle still running and available for a go around. You may still have to use some differential power or reduced power on the good engine. Particularly if the engine is fuel injected, power is controllable on the lean side of peak EGT by reducing fuel flow. In fact, once lean of peak EGT, power is directly proportional to fuel flow. Most injected engines will run down to 45 or 50 % power by using the mixture. If the engine doesn’t have balanced injectors, it is likely to run rough, but that is its problem in this situation, although it will not harm the engine. I would still wait until I had the runway made before deploying the flaps.

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  4. Sam Dawson on Jun 10, 2013

    I was going to mention what John mentioned- using the mixture to control the engine as well as declaring an emergency.

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  5. Bob on Jun 10, 2013

    You did the right thing, I’d of done the same thing if I were in your position.

    Critical engine shutdown sound like a dumb idea, declaring a emergency, yea I guess but that’s not going to do anything for the current situation, so if you have time and you feel you might pile the plane in or require priority over the other traffic, sure.

    Pulling the prop back on the stuck engine and comping the otherside via mp, full flaps for less energy on landing, ICOed the trouble engine on touchdown, well done.

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  6. Sidestickplayer on Jun 11, 2013

    we tried a similar failure on an FFS A320 ecept that we anticipated that ENG1 separated from the wing at V1 and ENG2 was stuck in TOGA thrust. And we managed to land without any troubles. Needless to say we had to do some calculations because for landing we needed to shut down the remaining engine and glide the A/C to touchdown with flaps full.

    So if i had a similar failure i think i would have tried to find a controlled airport which is not very goaround critical due to terrain or other obstacles. There i would have performed a single engine landing.
    Considerations about some “weekend warriors” entering the runway during an emergency are good, but there is a point where you have to stop anticipating further failures. An A340 is also not certified to take off when after V1 all but one engines fail and this might also occur.
    this is the point where you have to work with what you have.

    nevertheless well done and kudos.

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  7. Ale on Jun 13, 2013

    Why not just perform the abnormal procedure for your case as specified in your aircraft’s manual?!

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  8. Bob on Jun 14, 2013

    Ale, not everything is a “how to manual” paint by numbers. If ya can’t improvise based on experience and common sense probably shouldn’t be flying a aircraft.

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  9. David Brown on Jun 16, 2013

    I am with Mr Collins on this.

    And remember the most effective power lever you have is mixture. Think about that one for a bit!

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  10. Patrick Flannigan on Jun 21, 2013

    There are a number of ways to resolve the situation and I wouldn’t fault you at all for what you did. I can offer you some insight into my airplane’s QRH for the exact same scenario.

    1. Affected thrust lever — IDLE (check engine response)

    Engine does not respond:
    YES
    2. Single Engine Procedures, In-flight Shutdown — ACCOMPLISH

    Key differences here are that my book is designed for a jet. The aerodynamics are quite different and the consequences of running an engine at full thrust for long will probably result in a broken engine.

    And as John said, yes certainly declare an emergency.

    Well done sir!

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