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In two-engine aircraft with wing-mounted engines when one engine quits the aircraft will have a natural tendency to turn to the dead engine. So if you need to turn, it seems logical it should be easier to turn that way.

However in the discussion here is a comment:

By dinger on Monday, Aug 11th 2014 13:42Z:
SOP in a twin is NOT to turn in the direction of the failed engine. Right engine failed and they turned Right.

Is it really standard procedure, and if it is, what is the reason behind it?

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Example of an accident where the turn to the dead engine side was determined as one of the fatal factors en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%8CSA_Flight_001 – Vladimir F Aug 13 '14 at 13:13
@VladimirF: I don't see that say they tried to turn anywhere, only that the aircraft banked because of the asymmetric thrust. – Jan Hudec Aug 13 '14 at 13:48
The investigators published the causes as follows: Failure to bank the plane towards the working engines side "Příčina nehody:... nenaklonění letadla na stranu pracujících motorů... " – Vladimir F Aug 13 '14 at 13:54
@VladimirF: Yes. But that means they failed to properly counter the torque, not that they tried to execute turn and did it wrongly. – Jan Hudec Aug 13 '14 at 14:03
The best place to look to see if this is actually required is in the POH / FOM for the specific airplane. I'd be surprised if the engine out procedures say that you are not allowed to turn into the dead engine though, but rather that you are required to keep a specific minimum airspeed so that it isn't an issue. – Lnafziger Jun 23 '15 at 18:08
up vote 31 down vote accepted

The AvHerald comment is correct, you generally do not want to turn towards the dead engine. The aircraft will tend to turn (both yaw and bank) towards the dead engine due to asymmetric thrust, allowing it to do so at low speed will make it difficult to end the turn, possibly to the point where you lose control. If you turn away from the dead engine, you'll have a tougher time getting into the turn, but the live engine will help you get out of it. That said, attempting low altitude turns with an engine out seems like a bad idea, you should concentrate on going straight and maintaining optimum airspeed to make sure you get some altitude

There are a couple of mnemonics when dealing with engine failures, like "dead foot, dead engine" (determining which engine failed) and "raise the dead" (keep bank towards the live engine)

I can only speculate as to why they chose to go right, either they wanted to avoid the populated area, or they were already unable to control the turn. The high density altitude would certainly affect the OEI performance as well, perhaps luring them into losing airspeed below Vmc.

Disclaimer: I'm not multi engine rated, and have no first hand experience. This is just what I've read.

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This looks about right! – Joe Harper Aug 13 '14 at 8:21
FWIW, when I went through multi-engine training in the early 1970s, the common wisdom was to avoid turning into the dead engine, and that is what I taught as a multi-engine instructor. – Terry Aug 13 '14 at 18:37
Isn't this why Vmca should be observed, and not just stop turning one direction? – Lnafziger Jun 23 '15 at 18:07
@falstro As a former engineer and professional pilot, I am VERY much a "fly by the book" kind of person. The procedures are there for a reason. Want to live? Don't get too slow! :-) – Lnafziger Jun 23 '15 at 22:03
@falstro I know, and I'm just saying that if you don't go below Vmca then you don't have to worry about which way that you turn. In this situation, it would be a cardinal (even deadly) sin to let the speed drop, so you cannot let yourself get distracted to that point. Period! For me it is such a high priority that I can't even see it happening! – Lnafziger Jun 25 '15 at 18:13

I was recently PIC of a twin Aztec, when I was on a single pilot IFR departure. At about 800 feet at gross weight, without warning there was a loud bang and the right engine quit.

I was able to make a wide left 270 tear drop turn into the good engine which was operating at full power.

My multi-engine training taught me the skills necessary to survive this failure. A turn in to the good engine is taught for a reason. Raise the dead...

This helps the rudder have the authority to over power the asymmetrical thrust of the good engine. I believe a turn into the dead engine may have resulted in loss of control, and death.

The main thing is DON'T PANIC... Fly the airplane...

The good Lord was in control as The aircraft was loaded at gross weight (5 passengers and baggage).

I was able to complete the turn and land safely opposite the direction of my departure.

The stall horn was chirping through out the shallow turn, but my airspeed was right at Vyse (blue line). We were NOT climbing. The cause of the failure has not yet been diagnosed.

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Welcome to Aviation! This site is designed as a question-and-answer exchange, not a forum, and this is not really an answer to the question. Please take a look at aviation.stackexchange.com/help/how-to-answer for some tips on what's expected in an answer. – voretaq7 Jun 23 '15 at 20:49
I think that was a great story. – Zuzlx Jan 7 at 20:29

A spin is an aerodynamic, stable maneuver where one wing stalls and the other continues flying. To practice this maneuver once, turn into the dead engine of a twin engine airplane, the spin will be textbook perfect and you'll be back on the ground very quickly.

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lol, 'practice this maneuver once' – Martin James Jul 9 '15 at 13:48
But why does turning into the dead engine provoke spin more easily than turning into the live one? – Jan Hudec Jul 12 '15 at 16:37

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