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Turbine Engine Operational Considerations (Part Three) Flameout

by Flight Learnings

in Aircraft Systems

Flameout

A flameout occurs in the operation of a gas turbine engine in which the fire in the engine unintentionally goes out. If the rich limit of the fuel/air ratio is exceeded in the combustion chamber, the flame will blow out. This condition is often referred to as a rich flameout. It generally results from very fast engine acceleration, in which an overly rich mixture causes the fuel temperature to drop below the combustion temperature. It may also be caused by insufficient airflow to support combustion.

A more common flameout occurrence is due to low fuel pressure and low engine speeds, which typically are associated with high-altitude flight. This situation may also occur with the engine throttled back during a descent, which can set up the lean-condition flameout. A weak mixture can easily cause the flame to die out, even with a normal airflow through the engine.

Any interruption of the fuel supply can result in a flameout. This may be due to prolonged unusual attitudes, a malfunctioning fuel control system, turbulence, icing or running out of fuel.

Symptoms of a flameout normally are the same as those following an engine failure. If the flameout is due to a transitory condition, such as an imbalance between fuel flow and engine speed, an airstart may be attempted once the condition is corrected. In any case, pilots must follow the applicable emergency procedures outlined in the AFM/POH. Generally these procedures contain recommendations concerning altitude and airspeed where the airstart is most likely to be successful.

518VcjVMo3L._SX402_BO1,204,203,200_Learn more about aircraft and their systems with A Pilot’s Guide to Aircraft and Their Systems by ASA. Pilot-oriented rather than mechanic-oriented, this guide to aircraft systems is designed specifically to help general aviation pilots understand how aircraft systems work so that they can better use them in flight.

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