What is an engine failure after takeoff (EFATO)? - اسأل الطيار ask pilot

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Sunday, July 12, 2020

What is an engine failure after takeoff (EFATO)?

engine failure after takeoff (EFATO)


An engine failure after takeoff can be considered as a failure of the engine to produce power any time from the point after the wheels leave the ground until the aircraft reaches 1000ft above the ground. It is a serious and potentially very dangerous situation and is the cause of many fatal accidents. It is widely considered as the single most stressful situation a pilot of a fixed-wing aircraft can experience. This is due to the slow speed of the climb out, low altitude and very small reaction time to mitigate the situation.
engine failure after takeoff (EFATO)
**There are four main generic causes of an EFATO.
#Fuel - This could be due to contamination (fuel quality) , starvation (fuel is not getting to the engine from the tanks), exhaustion (there is no fuel left in the tank), or pump failure.
#Spark - The magneto system that provides the spark to the spark plugs may not be functioning correctly or at all.
#Air - Ususually an air intake blockage, due to a birds nest, bird strike, FOD etc.
#Mechanical - A total or partial failure of an engine component leading to loss of power.

***Avoidance
1) Ensure the engine temperature is warm before applying full power at any time.
2) Most of the causes can be picked up on the pre-flight inspection.
3) Maintenance is normally out of the pilot's hands, but a proper inspection can aid in spotting any abnormalities on the aircraft and passed on to an engineer.

**What to do!?
In any emergency a pilot is taught from the ab-initio stages that there are only 3 things that absolutely must be done in order to mitigate an abnormal situation. They are specific in their order as well.
#AVIATE: Fly the aircraft as a priority! The usually means lowering the nose to the best glide speed. Lowering the nose is to avoid an inadvertent stall, due to the high nose attitude in the takeoff and climb out which are accompanied with low air speeds. Close the throttle to reduce the indecision from any partial power that maybe apparent.
#NAVIGATE: Follow the takeoff brief.
- Choose a landing site within 45 degree either side of the extended runway centre line (think of the wind).
- Use flap as required to make the landing site
- Avoid major obstacles
- Keep cabin intact by steering around power poles / fence posts etc.
#COMMUNICATE: This is an additional task that may or may not be appropriate due to the time available. However should time permit a Mayday call will alert either ATC or other pilots to the situation and enable assistance to be organised more expeditiously. Setting the code '7700' (the emergency code) on the transponder will also alert ATC via radar to the situation.
#NEVER TURN BACK TO THE RUNWAY - There is usually not enough height to achieve this and coupled with the tailwind on landing is not recommended. This is known as the Impossible turn.

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