Why Aircraft Engines Quit

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by RyanB, Apr 11, 2021.

  1. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Here’s an interesting video that breaks down some of the common reasons aircraft engines bite the dust.

    Thought it was worth sharing -

     
  2. Jumpmaster

    Jumpmaster Line Up and Wait

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    He can be a hoot at times! His dry, sarcastic wit can be used to drive home important points.
     
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  3. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I love Paul, he's a funny guy and the videos he puts together are great. I saw this the other night but hesitated to post it due to my history of the whole "1900s engine tech vs car's"

    This was a great video and well put together.

    The TLDR is that engines are safe, as long as you remember to put fuel in it!
     
  4. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach

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  5. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Lack of gas....
     
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It's further complicated by the unconscionable policy of the NTSB which allows the engine manufacturer complete autonomy to inspect and invent a cause of engine failure rather than doing any real investigation or allowing some independent oversight of the process.
     
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  7. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Cool, I'm never checking the oil ever again. ;)
     
  8. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

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    I am beyond glad you said this as I have thought for years that this seemed to make as much sense as letting a criminal draft his prosecution.,.

    ps. Gotta run and go check the fox who’s guarding my henhouse for me.
     
  9. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, I learned this the hard way. It is now impossible to figure out why I ended up in a field in central Virginia. Continental did a hatchet job on the engine with a completely implausible excuse for why it failed. NTSB refused to allow me to attend the teardown. They claimed I wasn't a responsible party. HELL it was my freaking life that was on the line and I want to know why. I'm not trying to sue anybody, I just want to do a risk analysis. I should have known when the adjuster from the insurance company said, "oh yes, like there couldn't be anything wrong with the engine" sarcastically when I told them the NTSB had taken the engine.
     
  10. RyanB

    RyanB Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Just wow...That’s infuriating!
     
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  11. Flocker

    Flocker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I had no idea he dated JLo
     
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  12. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf En-Route

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  13. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    [​IMG]
     
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  14. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As an adjuster I found it interesting how the engine rep shows up at accident sites before we or the NTSB gets there. But engine failure inspection is not cast in stone. I've had independent inspections done to get another opinion. And some NTSB IICs do hire outside engine shops to inspect sometimes. I know of one going on right now. But, the bigger the liability, the more interest it attracts. Fatal crash? Expect the engine rep to be there to protect there @$$. Jets? Expect the airframe rep and engine reps to be there before the NTSB.
     
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  15. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well, I was told in no uncertain terms that I wasn't going to get to observe it and whatever evidence was pretty much destroyed by Continental in their teardown. This wasn't a fatal crash, in fact, there wouldn't have even been an NTSB investigation had I not hit a blasted fence post on roll out. The plane was undamaged (other than the engine) until that point.
     
  16. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    I bet you a dollar that United was present when P&W inspected the engine on that 777 that went kablewy a few months ago. What is the difference between them and you?
     
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  17. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That was exactly the point I made to the NTSB rep. How was I not an interested party? I was also able to explain just what the failure sequence which would have completely invalidated the horse excrement explanation that Continental came up with.
     
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  18. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    I would have been spitting mad, and calling every senator and congressscritter I could find phone numbers for.
     
  19. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    At the time I was denied the opportunity, it was just a curiosity to me, It wasn't until the report came out much later that I found out that it was going to be a whitewash job.
     
  20. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    Can you post a link to the investigation and the results?
     
  21. Huckster79

    Huckster79 Pattern Altitude

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    can you share what really happened vs what they said?
     
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  22. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    What's the point? It's their statute:

    (1) The IIC may designate one or more entities to serve as parties in an investigation. Party status is limited to those persons, Federal, state, or local government agencies and organizations whose employees, functions, activities, or products were involved in the accident and that can provide suitable qualified technical personnel to actively assist in an investigation. To the extent practicable, a representative proposed by party organizations to participate in the investigation may not be a person who had direct involvement in the accident under investigation.

    49 CFR § 831.11 - Parties to the investigation. | CFR | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)


    Edit: Whoops. My mistake. It's just an NTSB reg. Disregard.
     
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  23. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pattern Altitude

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    It's one the NTSB must observe.
     
  24. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    True. But, my point was based on a mistaken belief it was a statute, not a regulation. They come from different bodies.
     
  25. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    FYI: he was the pilot flying. Same goes for any mechanic who may have worked on the aircraft. Neither are usually invited to attend. This also includes any possible claimants or legal professionals who are not permitted to participate in the investigation. Which he could have been considered at the time.
    Curious. Provided we've read the same report, I don't quite follow your definitions above of the investigation results. Perhaps you can explain how a leaking oil cooler temp bulb is not a plausible cause for the loss of oil and subsequent engine failure. It even failed a pressure test and leaked. Seems to me you should be directing your energy toward the person who installed that temp bulb and safetied it.;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
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  26. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That oil cooler hadn't been touched in 800+ hours of flying. The idea that the thing suddenly untorqued itself and leaked out all the engine oil in 45 minutes of flight is preposterous. There was plenty of oil exiting the crankcase when I touched down. It hadn't all left the engine at that point. There was no sign of any amount of oil leak (I had been breaking in a new cylinder so I was watching the consumption and the airplane was annulled just before the accident flight and had been test run and checked for leaks prior to the fight). There was no sign of loss of oil (I had a JPI EDM 830 which would have alerted the high oil temp/low pressure) prior to the engine starting to fail. There was no sign of oil anywhere on the plane until after the case breached.

    Did you look at the pictures? When the engine blew itself apart it was pretty violent. I wouldn't be surprised that there was damage to the probe inflicted as part of that sequence.

    The report is full of other bullcrap. The most recent inspection was not a 100 hour, it was an annual. The engine was not rebuilt in November 2011, I have no clue what the hell that means. The engine was 833 hours SINCE IT CAME OUT OF CONTINENTAL'S OWN FACTORY IN 2004. BRAND SPANKING NEW ENGINE.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
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  27. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    I recall the late Ben Haas assisted the NTSB with an RV that had crashed at his home airport. He hangared the wreckage with no recompense and did quite a bit else. I also recall he was incensed at the hatchet job done by the NTSB. Disheartening that we can't count on the responsible government agency to suss out what happens when things go wrong.
     
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  28. Bell206

    Bell206 En-Route

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    In my experience, if an item is properly torqued and safetied, the item will not untorque suddenly or otherwise. However, items that are installed and not torqued properly can and do maintain their integrity for a period prior to normal vibration and thermal cycles drive the item loose. But never said it leaked all the oil out. Preposterous, no; plausible, yes.
    You do understand an engine can be full of oil and still fail due to lack of lubrication? There can be an internal pressure drop at certain points but the rest of the engine receives the proper pressure. There can be various causes, one being an oil pressure leak at a point upstream of the supply galleys which can reduce the internal pressure head at the high interference parts. So yes, you could still have lubrication failure at the crank journals (as noted in the report), with oil in the sump, and good pressure on your JPI. And it failed on that flight. There are a number of similar oil system failure reports out there if you can find them in the new CAROL.
    Yes. Violent, sure. But you still have all your pistons and cylinders attached and accounted for. However, I would be very surprised it caused the leak at the temp probe/bulb. The cooler survived. And even if it was damaged it would not have loosened up a properly torqued and safetied temp bulb. As I mentioned, the fact that the bulb was loose and safetied speaks volumes from my point of view and your 1st finger to point should have been at the person who installed it.;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2021
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  29. mondtster

    mondtster En-Route

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    Did I somehow miss the posting of the NTSB report and pictures?
     
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  30. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    ^no.. I think we're just along for this one as passengers. I'd be curious to see it though.
     
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  31. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If that were the case, then a leaking temp bulb was not the cause.
     
  32. RudyP

    RudyP Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've never come close to running out of fuel but I can tell you I have a lot more powerplant confidence being pushed by two turbofans than I did behind a single Continental in my Cirrus...
     
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  33. pigpenracing

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    Sometimes cranks just break in half. I was lucky and landed safe on the runway. That was the nicest landing I ever did! crank 1.jpg a eagle 3.jpg
     
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  34. nauga

    nauga Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I believe there was quite a bit more to the investigation than Ben's story. The reports and docket material are available and a good read.

    Nauga,
    forensically
     
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  35. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Exactly, Sherlock. But this is not the ******** Continental argues. Their argument is an oil link external to the engine caused the quantity to deplete beyond the limits that the FAA requires for certification.

    Accounted for in that they were still in the cowling, but the thing was completely, as we say in NASCAR, blowed up.

    That presumes that Continental is not making things up. Again, nobody other than Continental saw this. Not the NTSB, not the FAA, not the owner and operator of the aircraft.

    There report is demonstrable fiction. I( can point to a dozen LIES in it. Nobody believes what Continental said. Not my insurance company or their adjusters (which have no bias in this, because while they are on the hook for the post-failure problems, the engine is on me 100%). Not either of the two shops that have worked on my plane in the past year. Not any other number of INTELLITENT independent A&Ps who read the reports.


    This is not the first run I've had with Continental outright lying and covering up safety of life things. Don't get me ****ing started on the starter adapter issuesem

    YOu seen to be a ****ing expert based solely on reading a packet of lies.
     
  36. Tarheelpilot

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    You should have refused to give it to the NTSB.
     
  37. mondtster

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    So what do you and your friends think happened?
     
  38. Notrub

    Notrub Filing Flight Plan

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    Did insurance keep u away? like a car if you are the owner how and how and why can anyone touch it without your permission? This just seems so out of wack.

    An ex girlfriend’s dad lost an engine a decade ago in his a36 his son filmed the emergency landing in a field..I remember him fondly talking about the teardown and inspection. He now owns a baron....
     
  39. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Don't know. Something broke in the engine and disrupted the oil flow. Oddly nothing near the cylinder that was replaced seems as damaged (one theory was they let the case loosen and spin the bearing around the removed cylinder, but that doesn't appear to match.

    The insurance company has the same dim view of Continental that I did. It wasn't their call. The FAA took the engine and the NTSB refused access to it during the inspection process.

    Had I not hit that fence post, there would have been no damage to the plane (other than the engine) and I'd have been on my own. When my gopher engine blew up, the subsequent landing involved a minor prop strike, so yes I got the insurance company to pay for the teardown. I got a very nice report from the shop that did it and I'm sure if I had the time then, I could have watched. Of course, the shop that did THAT teardown had no pecuniary interest in it, unlike Continental.
     
  40. texasclouds

    texasclouds Cleared for Takeoff

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