Title

An Alternative Method of Identification of a Failed Engine in Twin-Engine Propeller Aircraft

Presenter Email

andrey.k.babin@gmail.com

Location

Jim W. Henderson Administration & Welcome Center (Bldg. #602)

Start Date

15-8-2018 9:30 AM

End Date

15-8-2018 10:45 AM

Submission Type

Presentation

Other Topic Area

Flight Safety

Keywords

aviation, safety, accident, engine failure, engine feathering, feather, dead leg, dead engine, identify-verify-feather

Abstract

Previous research revealed that wrong identification of a failed engine during flight is not an uncommon event in twin-engine propeller aircraft. Most accidents of this type have happened on takeoff when pilot workload was at its highest level. This study was based on the assumption that the “dead leg – dead engine” method was not efficient enough. An alternative method of identification of a failed engine, which involved a visual indicator inside a cockpit, was introduced and tested. Method: Student pilots from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who had not obtained multi-engine (MEL) rating were sampled and assigned to two groups – either the Traditional or the Alternative method. Participants performed three takeoffs in a flight training device, and an engine failure was simulated during each takeoff. Participant accuracy of identification and response time to an engine failure were measured and compared across flights and between groups. Results: Participants in the Alternative Group were able to identify a failed engine significantly (an average of two seconds) faster than the participants in the Traditional Group. Additionally, Participants in the Alternative Group reported being generally less confused in regard to which engine was failing and more confident that their identification was correct. It is recommended to measure the effectiveness of the alternative method among pilots who are MEL-rated. Implementation of a visual indicator for identification of a failed engine in twin-engine propeller aircraft may improve pilot performance in high workload situations and reduce the risk of pilot error.

Comments

Presented during Session 8: Technology in Aviation

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Aug 15th, 9:30 AM Aug 15th, 10:45 AM

An Alternative Method of Identification of a Failed Engine in Twin-Engine Propeller Aircraft

Jim W. Henderson Administration & Welcome Center (Bldg. #602)

Previous research revealed that wrong identification of a failed engine during flight is not an uncommon event in twin-engine propeller aircraft. Most accidents of this type have happened on takeoff when pilot workload was at its highest level. This study was based on the assumption that the “dead leg – dead engine” method was not efficient enough. An alternative method of identification of a failed engine, which involved a visual indicator inside a cockpit, was introduced and tested. Method: Student pilots from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University who had not obtained multi-engine (MEL) rating were sampled and assigned to two groups – either the Traditional or the Alternative method. Participants performed three takeoffs in a flight training device, and an engine failure was simulated during each takeoff. Participant accuracy of identification and response time to an engine failure were measured and compared across flights and between groups. Results: Participants in the Alternative Group were able to identify a failed engine significantly (an average of two seconds) faster than the participants in the Traditional Group. Additionally, Participants in the Alternative Group reported being generally less confused in regard to which engine was failing and more confident that their identification was correct. It is recommended to measure the effectiveness of the alternative method among pilots who are MEL-rated. Implementation of a visual indicator for identification of a failed engine in twin-engine propeller aircraft may improve pilot performance in high workload situations and reduce the risk of pilot error.