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Engine failure on multi engine

Asked by: 1288 views Commercial Pilot

i had an interview for pilot job and the interviewer asked me this question and i would like to know the correct answer..

the question is: if you have 1 engine failed(piper semonle) 4 miles from your destination airport, are you gonna continue to your destination or not? and why?

7 Answers



  1. Tony Meconiates on Nov 29, 2012

    Need a little more info. What is my altitude? Is destination closest field? Elevation of field? Any major obstructions / terrain that make approaches / landing difficult at deatination? Available runway lengths? Is there a better field to land other than my destination? I assume I am VFR conditions? Because if IFR, 4 miles out I am probably at or past glide slope intercept and best course to continue approach and land at destination.

    For example if VFR and assuming my destination is an untowered field with 4k runway with a crosswind and it is 4 miles away or I can go to a larger towered field 6 miles away with multiple runways of 5,000+ each, I would want to consider that option.

    Either way, you are declaring an emergency and landing at best field as soon as possible.

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  2. mohammed on Nov 29, 2012

    I think the interviewer was asking this question in general and I answered em that I am not going to continue my flight and land as soon as possible but I think my answer is wrong . thank you

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  3. Jim F. on Nov 29, 2012

    I would absolutely continue on. At 4 miles, you’ll be basically set up and configured for the approach and landing. Why break it off and head somewhere else that would require more reconfiguring, more maneuvering, and more radio/navigation work?

    The only reason I would deviate was if there as some other immediate related issue, like a resulting fire. Then I would deviate if my destination didn’t have ARFF services, but the alternative did.

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  4. Jay on Nov 29, 2012

    Tony brings up a good point. You need to consider the whole scenario. In a light twin such as the Seminole you aren’t guaranteed a positive climb or even to hold altitude depending on the environmental factors. An engine failure on a standard day at 3,000ft PA is usually no problem for a Seminole, you can fly around up there until you run out of gas. But at higher altitudes with lower performance and the possibility of terrain to consider the decision making changes.

    Notwithstanding, an engine failure is an emergency situation whether you can maintain altitude or not. Your #1 priority is to get your passengers on the ground safely as soon as possible.

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  5. Best Answer


    Bill Trussell on Nov 29, 2012

    I would include aircraft weight and fuel status in the analysis. I actually flew this scenario for real and, given the conditions at the time, flew to the destination and landed successfully. The correct answer is ” there is no correct answer” but the interviewer was seeking to explore the thought process and depth of experience. A book answer was not the desired response.

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  6. mohammed on Nov 30, 2012

    thank all of you for the feed back ,i think it was a tricky question because the interviewer asked me would you continue your flight or not? but i answered no i will not continue the flight and land as soon as possible either my destination airport or alternative airport .

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  7. Dan Miller on Dec 15, 2012

    I agree with Bill, clearly a method to assess your thought process. Performance capabilities of the aircraft and the importance of committing to a landing without a single engine go-around. Flying Light Twins Safely states “Above all, avoid a single-engine go-around”.

    Perhaps in this case, the interviewer wanted to see if you would consider all variables and make a decision. In my opinion, the best course of action is to proceed to the field and land. Additionally, using FAA guidance, the pilot would do well to declare an emergency even if you don’t feel you need to do so.

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