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4 Answers

Multi-Engine Departure Procedures

Asked by: 2377 views , ,
FAA Regulations, General Aviation

Good Day,

I've been training for my multi-engine rating and am planning to purchase a light twin.  During my ground lessons and in talking with a flight examiner, I've been told the following:  that should I attempt to depart an airport in my twin, in conditions where if one of my engines failed, I could not maintain the required departure climb performance, that I could be cited by the FAA (even before I took off) and have my privileges revoked.

It seems to me that twin owners are unfairly "punished" because one of their two engines might quit.  Where-as in a single if the one engine quits, there is going to be an off-field landing.  There is at least the possibility that the twin could make it back around to land.

Is this right?  Can a pilot of a twin be cited for these reasons?  If so, under what regulation?




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4 Answers

  1. Nathan Parker on Sep 27, 2012

    The examiner is likely confusing Part 121 regulations with Part 91. See 14 CFR 121.189. Light twins aren’t required by the regulations to have any climb performance with one engine out. If what the examiner said was true, you really couldn’t fly these airplanes at all.

    Keep in mind, though, that a twin losing an engine at takeoff is arguably more dangerous than a single engine airplane losing its only engine. You aren’t likely to survive a loss of directional control, but you’ll usually walk away from an off-airport landing.

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  3. Jim Foley on Sep 27, 2012

    If your flight examiner doesn’t know something that basic, I’d honestly look for a new one. I wouldn’t want to be tested by someone who obviously doesn’t know the regs. If you have the ASA Multi-Engine Oral exam guide, they cover this in there. In mine (the 5th edition; they just released the 6th a few days ago), it’s Chapter 1 Question 16 on page 1-15:

    “Why are some multi-engine aircraft required to have performance capabilities that require a positive single-engine climb rate? In the interest of safety, the FAA requires that all turboprop, turbojet, large aircraft (10 or more passengers), or aircraft involved in air taxi operations be required to demonstrate continued takeoff capability with one engine inoperative.”

    The ASA book refers to 14 CFR Part 23, and IIRC, it’s 23.67.

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  4. Nathan Parker on Sep 28, 2012

    ” If you have the ASA Multi-Engine Oral exam guide, they cover this in there. ”

    That answer doesn’t really address this question. First, it’s a Part 23 regulation, not a Part 91 regulation, so it binds airplane manufacturers, not pilots. Secondly, the performance requirements for those airplanes aren’t connected to what is actually required for a particular departure from a particular airport.

    Part 121 carriers have to develop their own single engine departure procedures from many airports, because some aircraft can’t meet the performance required to fly FAA departure procedures single-engine while maintaining 121.189 obstacle clearance requirements.

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