How pilots handle an in-flight engine shutdown

For most passengers, the idea of losing an engine mid-flight is as bad as it gets. You’re 43,000 feet above the ocean, it’s the middle of the night and you’re miles from the nearest airport. For some, they may imagine the pilots fighting with the controls as they struggle to keep the aircraft airborne. However, the reality is quite different.

Last week I wrote about why, in my opinion, two engines are better than four. New generation aircraft such as the Airbus A350 and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which I fly, are safer and more reliable than ever. They are more fuel efficient than their four-engine counterparts, so produce fewer carbon emissions. They are also much quieter, reducing the impact felt by those who live close to airports.

However, as reliable as these aircraft are, our role as your pilots is to ensure that, should something untoward happen, we are fully prepared to deal with it. This is especially true when it comes to engine failures.

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