ANSWERS: 2
  • Almost all aircraft are certified to cruise on one engine or three engines (depends if it's a twin or four engine plane...) The simple answer is yes. All multi engine aircraft can fly with one engine out. A twin engined plane will cruise or descend slowly with one engine. The pilot's main concern here is what is called asymmetrics. Because each engine on either side of the plane would be providing equal thrust (therefore pulling the aircraft in a straight line), the loss of propulsion on one side may cause the aircraft to yaw in that direction. While not a catastrophic thing, the pilot does need to act upon it with opposite rudder to keep the plane flying relatively straight. Problems with engine failure are most pronounced at take-off and landing. Obviously losing an engine on take-off - when you are trying to climb to avoid terrain - is not a desired occurrence. The pilot either needs to be able to complete a reduced power take-off, or abort altogether. Landing can be just as tricky - aircraft with reverse thrust/reverse pitch cannot use it to stop - or it will spin the plane. Therefore they must rely solely on brakes - this lengthens an otherwise shorter landing distance. Also, crosswinds and difficult conditions are amplified because of this asymmetric condition.
  • If the question relates to the propeller losing one blade there is a very short answer: This would be considered a catastrophic failure as the vibration caused from the imbalance of the remaining, single blade would shake the engine out of the airplane. Assuming a single-engine aircraft, the pilot would have to quickly shut down the engine and glide to a landing - hopefully in a large, open field.

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