Engine Inoperative Approach and Landing in a Multiengine Aircraft

The approach and landing with OEI is essentially the same as a two-engine approach and landing. The traffic pattern should be flown at similar altitudes, airspeeds, and key positions as a two-engine approach. The differences are the reduced power available and the fact that the remaining thrust is asymmetrical. A higher-than-normal power setting is necessary on the operative engine.

With adequate airspeed and performance, the landing gear can still be extended on the downwind leg. In which case it should be confirmed DOWN no later than abeam the intended point of landing. Performance permitting, initial extension of wing flaps (typically 10°) and a descent from pattern altitude can also be initiated on the downwind leg. The airspeed should be no slower than VYSE. The direction of the traffic pattern, and therefore the turns, is of no consequence as far as airplane controllability and performance are concerned. It is perfectly acceptable to make turns toward the failed engine.

 

On the base leg, if performance is adequate, the flaps may be extended to an intermediate setting (typically 25°). If the performance is inadequate, as measured by decay in airspeed or high sink rate, delay further flap extension until closer to the runway. VYSE is still the minimum airspeed to maintain.

On final approach, a normal, 3° glidepath to a landing is desirable. Visual approach slope indicator (VASI) or other vertical path lighting aids should be utilized if available. Slightly steeper approaches may be acceptable. However, a long, flat, low approach should be avoided. Large, sudden power applications or reductions should also be avoided. Maintain VYSE until the landing is assured, then slow to 1.3 VSO or the AFM/POH recommended speed. The final flap setting may be delayed until the landing is assured or the airplane may be landed with partial flaps.

The airplane should remain in trim throughout. The pilot must be prepared, however, for a rudder trim change as the power of the operating engine is reduced to idle in the round out just prior to touchdown. With drag from only one windmilling propeller, the airplane tends to float more than on a two-engine approach. Precise airspeed control therefore is essential, especially when landing on a short, wet, and/or slippery surface.

Some pilots favor resetting the rudder trim to neutral on final and compensating for yaw by holding rudder pressure for the remainder of the approach. This eliminates the rudder trim change close to the ground as the throttle is closed during the round out for landing. This technique eliminates the need for groping for the rudder trim and manipulating it to neutral during final approach, which many pilots find to be highly distracting. AFM/POH recommendations or personal preference should be used.

A single-engine go-around must be avoided. As a practical matter in single-engine approaches, once the airplane is on final approach with landing gear and flaps extended, it is committed to land on the intended runway, on another runway, a taxiway, or grassy infield. The light-twin does not have the performance to climb on one engine with landing gear and flaps extended. Considerable altitude is lost while maintaining VYSE and retracting landing gear and flaps. Losses of 500 feet or more are not unusual. If the landing gear has been lowered with an alternate means of extension, retraction may not be possible, virtually negating any climb capability.