Fuel conservation programs are leading to single engine taxi out, asking the crew to start the other engine near or on the position 2, where the ground crew cannot monitor the engine's status outside the aircraft. How safe is this procedure? One example is the jet pipe fire during the start up.

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    $\begingroup$ Are you assuming that mechanics always monitor engines during startup closer to the gate? Even closer to the runway, other aircraft or ATC should still be paying attention. They tend to notice things like engines on fire. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 17:52
  • $\begingroup$ Are they responsible for that? I mean, from a distance, it could seem to be, or even to late for an instant action. couldn't it? $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 17:54
  • $\begingroup$ Well ATC is responsible for keeping everyone moving safely, and have been faulted when not paying enough attention, so I would say they are somewhat responsible in this role. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 18:12
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    $\begingroup$ Mechanics are not responsible for startups, in fact they are very rarely present for engine starts, so regardless of it being at the gate, or the ramp, or the taxiway, or the runway, the responsibility lies with the pilots in the aircraft and people observing on the ground to report things out of the ordinary. $\endgroup$
    – Ron Beyer
    Commented Feb 15, 2016 at 19:00
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    $\begingroup$ As I am neither a pilot nor airport agent, I am allowed to make mistakes, and to me, and most of the passengers, the ground crew who is connected to the aircraft by the radio system would be mechanics, however, I'd never call them as "rats", to us they are as essential as pilots. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 17, 2016 at 11:44

1 Answer 1


I am not aware of mechanics watching civil aircraft start up. They usually have far better things to do. Aircrew are responsible for the aircraft at this point.

The question on a twin is about directional control not safety. How easy is it to taxi on one engine without losing control or stressing the aircraft or tyres in any way? I think this probably depends on the aircraft, some will be easier than others. Also if its a piston twin, you don't want to wait for the other engine to warm up when you are ready for departure. Some four engined aircraft might taxi on two engines - one either side but I've never heard of twins doing this routinely.

  • $\begingroup$ Fuel conservation program requires, for example, LATAM Airlines, the A320/21s perform the taxi in and out, with only the engine number 2 running. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 17:44
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. I was thinking more of light twins with piston engines. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 16, 2016 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ I see saab 2000s do this quite often $\endgroup$
    – Chris V
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 21:31

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