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Jamhands

Loss Of Engine Oil Pressure In Flight

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are you talking the failure of a bearing from oil starvation? Because I'm not sure anyone has that reliability under control. If you know of anyone who produces an oil free bearing at a reasonable cost please let me know, I wanna invest in that company.

or are you talking about the cause of the low or non existant oil pressure in the first place? that alone could have many many causes not connected to the original design.

 

I'm perfectly aware that no engine can run without oil.

The point of the service letter is to remind pilots to shut down the engine after evidence of oil starvation to try to prevent more damage to the engine. They're pre-supposing that the pilot will make this one of his priorities when faced with the emergency. I'm no rocket scientist but I'm pretty sure the sequence of thoughts going through the pilot's mind will go as follows:

1-"WTF???!!!!!!"

2- "Aw fawk!!!!"

3-"Where the heck am I gonna land this thing??!!!"

4-"Please let me walk away from this, I don't wanna die!!!"

 

"I better shut down the engine so that my employer or his insurance company or engine manufacturer are not subject to additional avoidable engine repair costs....." Is not something that's going to cross his mind.

Those of you who have survived engine failures correct me if I'm wrong.

 

That's why I'm suggesting that for the engine manufacturers to chastise pilots for incurring extra repair costs because they didn't shut down the engine in a life or death situation is quite frankly in poor taste at the very least. How 'bout we worry about what caused the emergency in the first place and let the pilots do their job the way they were trained.

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I'm not making any excuses for the manufacturers Chris, but I totally understand their side, as they have to carry the liability.

 

Nor am I telling a pilot what to do, they're more than capable of doing what they believe is right at the moment. But like i said, you gotta CYA if you do something different.

 

Their lawyers will fight your lawyers all the way. And thats not BS.

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Yes, your Honour, I followed the procedure set out in the aircraft flight manual, emergency procedures section.

 

 

just in case things go sideways...........

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well at least you are alive to speak to the judge

 

Of course of course always follow the flight manual. There would also be a concern of the engine quiting at any point throught the approach, hence and auto approach to a good spot, hence hoping you have a good spot, hence don't shut it down!

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I would certainly keep the homefires burning until I could find a place to land asap WHILE MAKING SURE THERE WAS NO SIDE EFFECTS SUCH AS A FIRE caused by oil lines breaking and lighting to make a nice big bonfire in the sky.

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I'm not making any excuses for the manufacturers Chris, but I totally understand their side, as they have to carry the liability.

 

Nor am I telling a pilot what to do, they're more than capable of doing what they believe is right at the moment. But like i said, you gotta CYA if you do something different.

 

Their lawyers will fight your lawyers all the way. And thats not BS.

 

 

That is correct, the lawyers and insurance companies are the only ones who will second guess a pilot's actions during an emergency and that's why there's a special place in h.e.l.l. for them!

 

(seriously!!?? h.e.l.l. is censored!!?? Are we in grade school here??)

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Its a SERVICE LETTER, flush that ####. Very low on the list of priorities.

 

What does the Flight Manual say?

 

I agree with Helidude.

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Guest plumber

I'm not making any excuses for the manufacturers Chris, but I totally understand their side, as they have to carry the liability.

 

Nor am I telling a pilot what to do, they're more than capable of doing what they believe is right at the moment. But like i said, you gotta CYA if you do something different.

 

Their lawyers will fight your lawyers all the way. And thats not BS.

 

Like the old saying goes, "I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6"

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One of the gripes I have with this whole scenario is in fact what the flight manual's procedures are. To summarize it states:

 

If oil pressure is low or nil....apply autorotational procedure.

 

This "autorotation procedure" can be found on a previous page (which is not specified in the Oil Pressure loss section BTW) under the heading of "Engine Flame Out In Cruise Flight" Apparently one is supposed to assume this is the procedure they intend you to perform.

 

Item # 3 in the list of appropriate actions is "Twist Grip to shut off detent"

 

This is clearly a description of an engine failure as the title indicates and not specific to a loss of oil pressure. I guess the point I'm making is that by the letter of the flight manual, one has to make an assumption about what the proper procedure is. I had noticed this earlier and made my own mental adjustment to the loss of oil pressure reaction. Until of course I read the service letter. The first thought in my head then was, am I the only that thinks that's a really bad idea?

 

In regards to what legal reprecussions a pilot may face, I wonder if the ambiguity within the flight manual is trumped by the service letter. As far as I'm concerned one could argue the flight manual leaves some room for interpretation. The last point is more out of curiosity because in reality, as several others have mentioned, this probably would not cross mind. I would not be shutting the engine down unless there was an indication of a fire.

 

 

Anyway, great response to the original post. Happy to have so many useful opinions on an interesting topic.

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Jamhands, take a closer look at your flight manual.

 

Read the NOTE at the end of 3.1 GENERAL.

The NOTE states: "Immediate actions that the pilot shall take are written in bold characters."

 

Under the Engine oil pressure light procedure, the "Autorotation procedure........APPLY" instruction is not in bold type.

 

Now re-read all of Section 3 "Emergency Procedures", looking for the bold type and take this into consideration.

 

 

Yes, your Honour, I followed the procedure set out in the aircraft flight manual, emergency procedures section.

 

 

just in case things go sideways...........

WTF, you could easily NOT shut down the engine as per the Service Letter and still tell the truth in court.

 

Its a SERVICE LETTER, flush that ####. Very low on the list of priorities.

 

What does the Flight Manual say?

 

I agree with Helidude.

Hazy, you're partially right regarding it being a service letter, but more importantly (or amusingly) it's from the Technical Support Department. They don't even know what their own Flight Manual is intending to say.

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