I curious that from a pilot perspective, what do they really feel when they experience an engine failure that caused by fire ? Can they easily maneuver the aircraft anymore, or will their situational awarenese decrease by time ?
- Airplanes and helicopters are designed so that their control does not depend on the engines and they can be controlled even with no engine power.
- The asymmetric thrust—in twin-engine plane with one engine stopped and the other running at full power—makes control harder and must be properly handled, which is why multi-engine pilots train it. The main problem is that if the plane gets too slow, the rudder won't be efficient enough to compensate for the asymmetry and the plane will roll out of control. This tends to be most difficult on light prop twins as they have the engines relatively further apart and have less excess thrust.
- It does not really matter why the engine failed, the control problems will be similar. The problem with fire is that it can cause additional damage that can have additional adverse effects and it can get worse over time up to the aircraft falling apart if the fire is not extinguished. Often cutting off the fuel supply is enough to stop the fire since steel and aluminum do not burn, but if not, that's why there are extinguishing systems (at least on transport aircraft).
- Fire is worse once the aircraft stops. While it's flying, the air stream is blowing the flames away from the structure limiting its spread, but when the plane stops, it can completely burn down in a couple of minutes. That's why there is the 90 seconds evacuation requirement. Still, there were some accidents when continued fire damage resulted in an aircraft eventually falling apart in flight (e.g. the infamous Concorde crash).
- Situational awareness is a rather different thing. It means not whether the aircraft can be controlled, but rather whether the pilots know what they should and shouldn't do with it. Situational awareness is only going to improve as the pilots find out what the problem is.