One of the most common fears that people have about flying is the engine quitting. It’s a reasonable concern. After all, when a car’s engine quits, you stop driving, so it would make sense that when an airplane’s engine quits, you stop flying. While there is no pilot who embraces and looks forward to the thought of engine failure, the airplane will still fly without an engine. Say what? Yeah – stay with me. Visuals are coming.
Introducing Clayviation On YouTube
To illustrate, I’d like to introduce you to the debut video of the Clayviation YouTube Channel. Using the X-Plane flight simulator, I’ll take you along on virtual flights to help give you some insight into what flying is like. Flight simulators don’t replace flying by any means, but there is much to be gained from them, and I hope to keep the virtual passenger seat warm – with you as my passenger. Read about some benefits of flight simulators to pilots here.
Setting Up The Scenario
To set this video up, we begin flying around the Athens, GA area (KAHN) – home of the University of Georgia. While at 5500 feet, I simulate an engine failure by cutting off the mixture and throttle. What happens next? Watch and see. Take note that while pulling the mixture and throttle stops the engine, I later mention “shutting the airplane down.” You might think of this like a car’s ignition, which can be turned to shut off the engine, but the radio still works while the key is turned to the correct position. Similarly, in the airplane, pulling the throttle and mixture will stop the engine, but there are still electrical components on as well as gas lines that would start the engine if cranked. The final shutting down of the airplane shuts off the fuel lines from being able to reach the engine (the “fuel”) and turns off the electrical components (the “spark”). Since fires require three components – fuel, air and spark – this is done to reduce the chance of fire if there were an impact.
Keep in mind that this video is not flight instruction on engine failure. While I walk you through a scenario, the purpose of this video is to highlight that planes don’t just fall from the sky if the engine stops working. Flying without an engine is not inherently disasterous unless you don’t have the altitude to glide to a good landing spot or don’t have a good landing spot. For a little more illustration as to why this is, read the blog Does An Airplane Drop Like A Rock? and be sure to subscribe to the Clayviation YouTube channel to keep up with new videos. Are there any flights you’d like to see on the channel? Comment below! I’ll do my best to get us where we want to go without losing an engine and gliding it in.
And Now For The Video
Subscribe to our mailing list for great content each week! Follow us at facebook.com/FlyClayviation and Twitter/Instagram @clayviation