USA TODAY US Edition

Not all distressed jetliners have to dump fuel

- John Cox

Have you ever dumped fuel because the plane was damaged and had to land as soon as possible? Did the recent damaged Boeing 777 at Denver dump its fuel before emergency landing?

– RG, Asheville, North Carolina

I have never dumped fuel on any flight. Most of the airplanes I flew did not have fuel-dumping capability.

I have not heard if the Boeing 777 that experience­d engine failure over Denver dumped fuel or not. Based on the request to return immediatel­y, it is doubtful if they dumped fuel.

After the engine suffered the uncontaine­d failure, there was a significan­t vibration which would have encouraged an immediate return and landing. The pilots would have completed the appropriat­e checklists, reprogramm­ed the flight management system and then been ready to land.

On multi-engined aircraft, are the engines counter-rotational?

– Daju, Ohio

On jets they are not, but the shafts within the engine (low pressure and high pressure) usually do rotate in a opposite directions.

Most turboprops are not counter-rotating. However, some reciprocat­ing engines on twins are counter-rotating.

John Cox is a retired airline captain with US Airways and runs his own aviation safety consulting company, Safety Operating Systems. The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author's and do not necessaril­y reflect those of USA TODAY.

 ?? AP ?? Most of the aircraft that John Cox flew did not have fuel-dumping capabiliti­es. The Boeing 777 crippled over Denver may not have dumped its fuel.
AP Most of the aircraft that John Cox flew did not have fuel-dumping capabiliti­es. The Boeing 777 crippled over Denver may not have dumped its fuel.

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