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Is it normal to shut down one engine in flight?

Is it normal to shut down one engine in flight?

Old Jul 13, 16, 5:16 pm
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Is it normal to shut down one engine in flight?

I don't know where to ask this but during a short flight in the States today our SWA plane shut down the right engine for the cruising portion of the flight. Can someone answer...? Is this normal. He restarted it on final for landing....
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Old Jul 13, 16, 7:27 pm
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This thread will be moved to the Southwest Airlines forum.


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Old Jul 13, 16, 7:33 pm
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Sounds like a failure or serious warning of some sort. The kind where the pilot would expect the engine to fail after X more minutes of use, so he or she reserved its use until close to landing.
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Old Jul 13, 16, 7:34 pm
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Somebody must be pulling your leg, there is no way an engine was shut down unless there were problems with it, and in that case, you would have landed at the nearest airport.
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Old Jul 13, 16, 7:39 pm
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I wouldn't say so it was normal at all. I take a lot of flights and its never happened to me. If it was a very short flight.........ie SD-LAX or AUS-DAL, then maybe.

If a plane is flying low and not getting to above 25000 feet then shutting down an engine might be used. The air is much denser and more fuel is needed the lower you go at cruising speed.

Landing a plane with one engine turned off is almost certainly not proper procedure, the fact your pilot restarted the engine leads me to think it was a low altitude flight.
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Old Jul 13, 16, 8:31 pm
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Originally Posted by The smallest state View Post
I wouldn't say so it was normal at all. I take a lot of flights and its never happened to me. If it was a very short flight.........ie SD-LAX or AUS-DAL, then maybe.

If a plane is flying low and not getting to above 25000 feet then shutting down an engine might be used. The air is much denser and more fuel is needed the lower you go at cruising speed.

Landing a plane with one engine turned off is almost certainly not proper procedure, the fact your pilot restarted the engine leads me to think it was a low altitude flight.
What? I can't tell whether this is meant to be tongue in cheek, but no. Almost everything in this bizarre post is incorrect. There are no normal (non-emergency) circumstances under which an engine is shut down in-flight.

I also doubt very much whether the sequence of events reported in the OP actually occurred - I'm sure the OP misunderstood or misinterpreted what s/he heard. Shutting down an engine in-flight is a very big deal.
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Old Jul 13, 16, 8:48 pm
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How did you make the determination that the engine had been turned off? Did somebody announce it?
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Old Jul 13, 16, 8:52 pm
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Originally Posted by u00bgw View Post
I don't know where to ask this but during a short flight in the States today our SWA plane shut down the right engine for the cruising portion of the flight. Can someone answer...? Is this normal. He restarted it on final for landing....
If true, not normal at all. How do you know that the engine was actually shutdown?
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Old Jul 13, 16, 9:01 pm
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Originally Posted by u00bgw View Post
I don't know where to ask this but during a short flight in the States today our SWA plane shut down the right engine for the cruising portion of the flight. Can someone answer...? Is this normal. He restarted it on final for landing....
No, not normal at all. Normally they shut down both engines. That way it's quieter for people who want to sleep.

Ok, just kidding. Welcome to Flyertalk.
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Old Jul 13, 16, 9:33 pm
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An oldie but a goodie:

Fifteen minutes into a flight, the captain announced "One of the engines has failed and the flight will be an hour longer. But don't worry we have three engines left".

Thirty minutes later, the captain announced "One more engine has failed and the flight will be two hours longer. But don't worry we have two engines left".

An hour later the captain announced "One more engine has failed and the flight will be three hours longer. But don't worry we have one engine left".

One passenger looked at the other and said "If we lose one more engine, we'll be up here all day"
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Old Jul 13, 16, 9:59 pm
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I was a qualified Instructor Navigator on the T-43A (military version of the 737-200) and the loss of an engine required a precautionary emergency landing if the inflight restart was not successful. On a two-engine plane, you do not intentionally shutdown one of the engines unless there is an extingent circumstance. I won't go into the variations on shutting down engines on military four-engine aircraft to extend endurance.
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Old Jul 13, 16, 10:04 pm
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Any 2 engine passenger plane which shut down an engine would be required to land at the nearest suitable airport. Nothing less would satisfy the authorities.
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Old Jul 13, 16, 10:33 pm
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My guess: The noise of the engines usually reduces when cruise is reached, since less thrust is required to maintain altitude than to climb. On final, ambient noise can increase from use of flaps or thrust variations to stay on the approach path. But shutting down a working engine to save fuel (or for any purpose) isn't exactly SOP for any carrier.
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Old Jul 13, 16, 10:47 pm
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Yes the engines are nearly there for show, they are not needed for the most part.
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Old Jul 13, 16, 11:32 pm
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Our RAAF Orions used to shut down 1...of 4..when on maritime patrol....

Us Navy guys ribbed them about "unreliability"....
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