United Engine Failure

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      I’ve had a lot of thoughts about the breathless coverage of the United Airlines jumbo jet that experienced engine failure after taking off from Denver. A few:

      •  engine failure should not happen very often, but does.
      • uncontained engine failure should never happen, but did in this case and definitely looked scary.
      • A Boeing 777 can fly transatlantic on one engine. It has to be able to by virtue of the requirements for over water operations for airlines (ETOPS).
      • this event, while doubtless scary when it first happened, would have been fully under control within moments.
      • the press (cnn in this case) has run with passenger quotes ranging from “I thought we were dead” to “thank god it didn’t happen over the ocean.”  Both of which are ignorant of the true danger of the situation. The press does nothing to mitigate the hyperbole.
      • no, I would not have wanted to be on that plane, but I would have been able to realize that such a situation, while serious and in the case of uncontained failure quite terrifying, is far more common that people appreciate.


      Sic transit gloria mundi (so shut up and get back to work)

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