Flying on the Boeing 777
Wednesday, 12 December 2007 22:14
Hello Capt Lim, I read your comments about flying with one engine. I was on a Newark - Denver on a Boeing 777 yesterday that had the left engine failed during the takeoff roll. We were just getting started, so it was no biggie. But I wonder what might happen if we were past the point of stopping in time? Thanks, Bill
Hi Bill, That was a very good question. All pilots have been trained to recognize at least three important speeds prior to take off, namely V1, VR and V2 .
V1 is the take off decision speed whereby if the take off is continued after an engine failure, it will be possible to continue the take off safely.
It is also the speed whereby, if the Captain abandoned the take off, it will be possible to bring the aircraft to a safe stop within the remaining Runway.
VR is the rotation speed where the Captain begins to rotate the aircraft to lift off attitude and climb away safely.
V2 is the Take Off Safety and Initial Climb Speed to achieve a certain height at a certain distance.
I would not like to bore you with further related technicalities but your question was, what might happen if you were past the point of stopping in time? Well you are then above the V1 Speed (if I interpret your question correctly) and the Captain's decision is to continue the take off without any problem. He has to make a quick decision either to go or no-go. ' Go' means continue after V1 and 'no-go' means abort the take off before V1.
The Captain in the B777 you referred to must have aborted the take-off before V1 and he was very sure he could stop within the remaining Runway. So he would not have the problem of not stopping in time. If he had made a bad decision that would not allow him to stop in time, (depending on the length of the Runway), it would we quite disastrous.
Anyway, the B777 is a very safe and comfortable aircraft to fly as a passenger and all B777 pilots are checked on handling engine failures and aborted take offs every six months.
I hope I have answered your question. Have a safe flight always !
Hi Capt Lim, Thank you for a very interesting answer. So, a Boeing 777 CAN take off safely with only one engine then? Thanks Bill
Hi Bill, Just a small clarification.. You don't plan to take off with one engine.. you only continue to take off with one engine, PROVIDED the aircraft speed has passed V1 (about 145 to 180 mph, depending on weight of aircraft) after an engine failure!