The Engine Out Mantra

Engine Out

Here is the Engine Out Mantra that you need to commit to memory right now:


You’ll repeat these steps so many times during this course that you’ll be saying it to yourself when you fall asleep and repeating it back to yourself when you brush your teeth in the morning.

Here’s how it works in practice.  You’ve just taken off, finally got the airplane stabilized and you look around for a second.  Your instructor will pull EITHER the MIXTURE or the POWER lever on one of the engines to Idle.  Resist the temptation to stare at the instrument panel like a dumbstruck guppy.  Repeat the mantra aloud.


typically your instructor will keep his hand on the mixture or the power level holding it in the idle position, but you can work around him to push the other MIXTURE levers full FORWARD, the PROP levers full FORWARD and the POWER levers full FORWARD.  This will create a lot of asymmetric thrust and the airplane will want to yaw in the direction of the dead engine.


Reach over to the right side of the yoke column and lift the GEAR handle to the UP position, lift the FLAP lever to the UP position, and flick the boost pumps on to both engines.


WAIT half a second before doing anything.  Glance at your airspeed gauge and make sure you are going faster than the blue line.  Look outside.  Pitch for level flight and roll WINGS LEVEL.  Now, look at your turn coordinator.  This will tell you what to do next.  Here’s the first option:

left engine out

Which engine is out?  Who knows, but you know how to figure it out.

Flight school day 1: STEP ON THE BALL!   Give this airplane some left rudder pressure.  It’s going to take A LOT to bring that ball towards the center.  Now say out loud: MY RIGHT FOOT IS IDLE SO THE RIGHT ENGINE IS IDLE.  Saying it out loud really helps.  OK, its identified.  Reach up to the control column and grab the RIGHT power lever.  Now say out loud: I’M BRINGING THE POWER BACK ON THE RIGHT ENGINE.  As you pull the right power lever back to idle there should be no change in the performance of the engine, so say out loud: THE RIGHT ENGINE POWER LEVER IS AT IDLE AND THERE IS NO CHANGE IN PERFORMANCE.  Now its verified.  Reach up for the right prop lever and say: I AM FEATHERING THE RIGHT ENGINE.

At this point your examiner will slide his hand into place so that you can’t feather the engine but he wants to make sure that you grab the right handle and start to move it slowly to the feather position.

Normally, you will be asked to move the lever about an inch to demonstrate that you really are moving the correct prop lever.

To simulate an engine feathering, the instructor will now give you a little power on the idle engine in order to overcome the drag created by the windmilling propeller.  Put your right hand on the good engine power lever and FLY THE AIRPLANE.

Remember the Engine Out MANTRA:

POWER UP!  Mixtures forward, props forward, power forward

CLEAN UP!  Gear up, flaps up, boost pumps on.

IDENTIFY, VERIFY, FEATHER!  Saying this stuff out loud really helps the process go easier and it reassures your flight instructor that you are doing the right things in the right sequence.

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