If a twin turbojet aircraft has an engine failure during takeoff, does it return for landing or does it continue to cruise with asymmetric thrust?

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    $\begingroup$ As written, you're asking whether an aircraft with only one engine has the option of returning for a landing or continuing. The answer for that, of course, is that the aircraft is going to come down. I suspect what you wanted to ask is whether an aircraft with more than one engine has such an option if one of those engines has failed. If that's the case and you rephrase your question, you might also wish to specify whether the aircraft has two, three, or four engines to begin with as the answer can be different depending on the number of remaining operative engines. $\endgroup$ – Terry Aug 6 '16 at 6:09
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    $\begingroup$ Edited to make things more clear, and specify "twin" engine turbojet to narrow the focus. If this edit does not match not your (kcihtrak's) intent, feel free to roll it back or edit again to reflect your intent. $\endgroup$ – Ralph J Aug 6 '16 at 13:32
  • $\begingroup$ Related $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Aug 6 '16 at 14:33

As a practical matter, the aircraft will probably land ASAP. Having lost an engine pretty clearly qualifies as an emergency for twin-engine aircraft!

That said, the aircraft would be capable of cruising with asymetric thrust. Rudder is applied to keep the aircraft flying straight.

  • $\begingroup$ It does not matter whether it qualifies as emergency “pretty clearly”. What matters is that it does by SOP and regulation. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Aug 8 '16 at 21:53

Aircraft are allowed to takeoff in weather conditions that are below landing limits.

So yes, with an engine failure after takeoff, twin engine aircraft may plan a "Takeoff Alternate" up to one hour flight time away.

In cruise, modern twin jet airliners like the B777 and A330 are designed to fly ETOPS ("Extended-range Twin-engine Operational Performance Standards") for up to 330 minutes engine to a suitable landing field on ONE engine.

  • $\begingroup$ ETOPS don't, however, permit passing on a good alternate, does it? That is, you still must land ASAP, it just might happen that you are flying a route where nearest diversion field is 330 minutes away. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Aug 8 '16 at 21:51

The jet will take off, but declare an urgent situation and either land as soon as practical if the aircraft is below gross landing weight or be directed to a holding area to either dump off or burn off fuel until the a/c is below gross landing weight, and then land as soon as practical.

  • $\begingroup$ Not always. 747s (and possibly other types, I just happen to know that 747s have done this) have been known to carry a "dead engine" on a return journey and have taken off with an inoperative engine and some have lost an engine in flight and continued to their destination. $\endgroup$ – Simon Aug 6 '16 at 8:22
  • $\begingroup$ @Simon: Sorry - I came late to the party. $\endgroup$ – Peter Kämpf Aug 7 '16 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ On the other hand, twin must declare emergency, which is rather different thing from “urgency”. And emergency generally means land ASAP, overweight or not. $\endgroup$ – Jan Hudec Aug 8 '16 at 21:50

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