Re: [Q] normal practice if an engine fail @ t.o.?

From:         rdd@netcom.com (Robert Dorsett)
Organization: Netcom Online Communications Services (408-241-9760 login: guest)
Date:         16 Jan 95 21:39:07 
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In article <airliners.1994.1768@ohare.Chicago.COM> garylapook@delphi.com writes:
>I don't know what the law is in Australia, but in the U.S. the FAA
>would bust a pilot for this, and have. They take the position that
>when an aircraft no longer meets its type certification, such as having
>many motors, that the aircraft is no longer airworthy. The FARs require
>that the pilot determine that the aircraft s air worthy. If the
>aircraft becomes unasirworthy in flight the pilot *must* land at
>the next available airport where a safe landing can be made.

The problem with your premise is that airworthiness standards are largely 
based on component failure.  AN engine failure is simply part of the 
equation: engine or no engine, the airplane is still airworthy.  Airworthiness
is a relative concept, and there are many, many relationships, as a quick
perusal of a minimum equipment list will demonstrate.
 
Judgement is more difficult to establish.  Is it reasonable to dump a 
hundred thousand pounds of fuel, turn around, and risk a heavy-weight landing, 
even if the airplane (in the captain's judgement) is not in jeopardy?
 
Does proximity to the field of departure have anything to do with
it?  Does engine failure in-flight mean you AUTOMATICALLY have
to divert to the nearest airfield?  In-flight failures even happen in 
the United States, and the FAA doesn't automatically pursue enforcement
actions against the pilots.

>A recent case that was upheld on appeal to the NTSB involved
>a metroliner. 

Perhaps, in the case you cite, the FAA chose to prosecute since
it was a twin which lost the engine, and that the consequences of 
another engine failure would, indeed, be catastrophic.  You are also talking 
about some relatively mountainous terrain.  What was the weather?  Landing
elevations?  Performance?


>The pilot was flying a deadhead flight with no pax
>on board. 

Are you implying that should have made any difference in how the pilot's
actions were judged? 


>Let the pilot beware.

I would be interested in your source for this anecdote, as well as what the 
FAA's position actually was. 



--              
Robert Dorsett                         Moderator, sci.aeronautics.simulation
rdd@netcom.com                         aero-simulation@rascal.ics.utexas.edu