What if a plane loses engines?

by Carson
737 Engine Failure

If you are a person who flies in an aircraft for the first time, you might ask many questions and here’s one of them. So, what if a plane loses engines?

The Reason

To start, we need to talk about the reason why it happens first. It occurs so rarely because you probably won’t encounter one throughout your life. But, they do happen due to various reasons.

First of all, birds can defeat an engine, although they would not survive in the battle. They would make the turbine stuck and unable to spin. Therefore, it loses thrust, and the horrible scenario begins. Also, maintenance error can do so as it could make parts fail unexpectedly. Moreover, a fire, the lack of fuel, or even hijacking can shut down an engine, providing little to no thrust.

So, what if a plane loses engines?

Well, if it is only a failure, pilots can usually come across it. They can divert the plane and execute an emergency landing. But, if an engine detached from the aircraft, it would cause imbalances and dangerous debris, so the scenario is more perilous.

You might still have one thing to worry about: What if the failure takes place upon take-off? Well, that’s okay too. There is a speed that, if exceeds, aborted take-off will be unsafe. This is V1, and it is very close to the rotation speed, where the aircraft raises its nose. If it happened before that, you’re lucky because the pilots have enough runway to stop. If it happened after that, well…… The pilots still have to raise the plane into the sky and perform an emergency landing afterward.

Have you ever heard that twinjets are very efficient? That’s the key. If a twinjet loses an engine upon take-off, it must rely on only one engine to climb. So they must offer more thrust and provide the aircraft extra range.


Also, engine failures can have their benefits. Firstly, the aircraft manufacturer would know the plane better and work on updates to fix the problem. Secondly, it is also a ‘skill training’ for pilots: It requires thinking quickly to land safely. They could improve their problem-solving skills and cope with other situations better.

So, be grateful that engine failure is often not fatal, and we could learn a lesson from that if that happened.

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