Re: Engine shutdown on an A340

From: (Rick Hughes)
Organization: iiNet Technologies (Perth, Western Australia)
Date:         13 May 96 02:08:45 
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  or MIME structure (Francis JAMBON) wrote:

>In article (Dans l'article) <airliners.1996.597@ohare.Chicago.COM>, Andrew
>Goldfinger <> wrote (=E9crivait)=A0:

>>              A friend of my reported recently riding in the cockpit of an
>> A340.  At one point, the pilot flipped a switch and asked my friend if he
>> had felt anything unusual about how the plane was flying.  My friend did
>> not notice anything.  The pilot then told him that he had just shut down
>> the number 3 engine.  He indicated that the autopilot handled the shutdown
>> to such an extent that there was no physical sensation, just an indication
>> of a drop in engine RPM.  Are there any A340 experts out there who can
>> comment on this?

The A340 handles engine failures very well, as do most modern jet
airliners with autopilot engaged.  The sensation will vary depending
on factors such as speed at the time of failure, thrust being produced
by the engine, and whether thrust loss is instantaneous or over a
period of time.

>I am not a "expert" but the auto-pilot of A320/A330/A340 can cope with an
>engine shutdown even just after take-off when the auto-pilot is engaged.
>It is one of the best Airbus security system [from Airbus press] I don't
>know if Boeing or MD Douglas airliners have such a thing. IMO it is a very
>good safety system, but the problem is that the auto-pilot do not give
>enough feedback to pilots, the RMP drop is not enough, I would prefer a
>aural warning too.

The lack of aural feedback only occurs when the engine is shutdown
intentionally as in the above example.  If the engine fails or an
engine fire warning is present,  visual warning/caution lights are all
present as are aural warnings and ECAM procedures.  You can't miss
them ... even at 0500 in the morning after a long dark night.

An interesting aside ... in my experience under most Civil Aviation
jurisdictions, practice engine shutdowns (as distinct from
'precautionary shutdowns') with passengers on board are illegal.  What
is the FAA ruling on this ... can anyone enlighten me (I assume it
would be the same)??

IMHO I doubt there would be many professional aviators shutting down
engines for the benefit of passengers visiting the cockpit.

Rick Hughes
Western Australia