NTSB: better emergency procedures needed-?


“The emergency procedures provided to pilots for coping with turbocharger failures in flight are inadequate, the NTSB said this week, and the FAA should require manufacturers to revise pilot operating handbooks. In a fatal crash in May 2004, the NTSB says, the turbocharger failed on a Cessna T206H, and investigators found that in-flight emergency procedures in the POH did not provide a way to assess the difference between an engine and a turbocharger failure. The POH also did not provide any clear guidance about how to handle such a failure once a pilot identified the problem. Manufacturers of aircraft equipped with turbochargers still have not voluntarily improved emergency procedures for turbocharger failures, and accidents and incidents continue to occur, the NTSB says”

So what is the best way to handle a turbocharger failure?

My version:
Emergency checklist
Actual or suspected turbocharger failure

  1. Land as soon as possible

  2. See step 1

No, no, no, PorterJet…

Step 1. Fly turbine powered aircraft.

Step 2. Repeat step # 1.

there you go.

Step 1. Fly turbine powered aircraft

Step 2. Forward insurance/training bill to trafly

Step 3. Wake up, rejoin reality, and do the best you can with what you have.

Step 4. Learn more about turbocharger failures and how to handle them.(apparently not from trafly or porterjet)

You actually pay the bills when you fly?!? Sucker!

Actually my checklist was sort of serious. There is not much you can do in flight when one fails other than get the airplane on the ground.

so the NTSB is blowing smoke?
pun intended

So who has an open seat for me to log my turbine hours in? Here you go find the tubine and I will go…


My buddy had it happen at altitude in his malibu and got to spend a week in New Mexico waiting on parts.

No, I don’t think the NTSB is blowing smoke (good one) but maybe they are just a bit behind the power curve.
I don’t have a 206 handbook so I can’t comment on that directly. BUT, wouldn’t it be common sense to land if your only engine starts to sound funny, loses power, smokes, and who knows what else?
I don’t need to read the POH to come to that decision.

As John has been attempting to explain, there isn’t any means of “handling” a turbocharger failure. The failure of the turbocharger doesn’t magically change your engine into a naturally aspirated one that allows you to continue flying, albeit at a slower speed and lower altitude.

If the turbo stops spinning, you’ve introduced a bottleneck into the intake and exhaust manifolds that will severely limit engine performance, if not stop it completely.

Response? Land. NOW! I will be absolutely amazed if the POH says anything different.

Not to mention the potential of the bad turbo becoming FOD bouncing around inside the cylinders. I’ve seen a couple of really bad ones that had destroyed big rig engines.

Yeah, you should see the mess it makes of one of these!



Sole survivor is at the Garber facility Phil. I’ve seen and touched this gem and for an engine geek like me it was damn near orgasmic.

(Looks to be the same Claiborne engine stand as in the photo above!)

*Lycoming XR-7755-3

The XR-7755-3 is the largest, most powerful reciprocating aircraft engine in the world. During World War II, the U.S. Army Air Forces requested an engine with high takeoff power and low fuel consumption for a yet-to-be designed long-range bomber and transport. Lycoming began designing the engine in early 1944, and it was ready for testing by mid-1946. It featured nine dual-lobe overhead camshafts, which shifted axially for takeoff and cruising efficiency, and a two-speed, geared, dual-rotation propeller drive.

Lycoming built two XR 7755-3 prototypes. The company and the Army successfully tested them, but neither engine ever flew in an airframe. The proven reliability of the new gas turbine engines introduced after World War II made the XR 7755-3 obsolete before it could be fully developed. The engine displayed here is the sole survivor.

Transferred from the U.S. Air Force Museum.

Manufacturer: Lycoming (Williamsport, Pennsylvania)
Date: 1945
Country of Origin: United States of America
Overall: 168.3 x 153.7 x 255.2 x 154.94 cm (66 1/4 x 60 1/2 x 100 1/2 x 61in.), 6049.9lb. (, 2744.2kg)
Physical Description:
Type: Radial 36, 36 cylinders, nine 4-cylinder rows, liquid cooled
Power rating: 3,729 kW (5,000 hp) at 2,600 rpm
Displacement: 127 L (7,755 cu in)
Weight: 2,783 kg (6,130 lb)
Manufacturer: Lycoming Manufacturing Co., Williamsport, Pa.

Missing starter, generator, exhaust stacks, and duct for coolant; on stand.

Weight of engine rigging 225 lbs
Weight of engine with rigging 6,355 lbs
Weight of Claiborne maintenance stand 4,560 lbs

Total weight of engine and stand 10,690 lbs*

Want even more, now. That’s a marvel of engineering! The dual-lobe camshaft is brilliant. I’m not sure I understand the two-speed drive, though. It looks like it’s set up to drive counter-rotating propellers, which makes sense, but I just can’t dope out the two-speed part. You have any idea what that’s about?

BION, besides the contra-rotating adjustable props, the thing has a two speed transmission to match the cruise setting of the cam lobes!

If you like that puppy, you’ll love the Wasp Major, the engine that powered the B-36 (among others)!


*Pratt & Whitney R-4360

The R-4360 was Pratt & Whitney’s last aircraft piston engine, as well as the largest with a displacement of 71.45 liters (4,360 cubic inches) and the most complicated piston engine produced in quantity in the United States. The 28 cylinders were in four rows of seven cylinders each, arranged in a spiral for better cooling, which contributed to the popular nickname of “corncob” applied to all multi-role radial engines.

The R-4360 (known by its commercial designation as the Wasp Major) mainly powered large American military aircraft, including the Boeing C-97, Douglas C-124, and Fairchild C-119 transports and the Boeing B-50 and Consolidated B-36 bombers. Early versions of the R-4360 produced 2,237 kW (3,000 hp); later models developed 3,207 kW (4,300 hp).

Transferred from the U.S. Marine Corps Aviation Museum.

Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney Aircraft
Date: 1943
Country of Origin: United States of America
Overall: 245.6 x 137.2 cm (96 11/16 x 54in)
Physical Description:
Type: Radial, 28 cylinders, 4-rows arranged in a spiral, air-cooled
Power rating: 2,237 kW (3,000 hp) at 2,700 rpm
Displacement: 71.5 L (4,360 cu. in.)
Weight: 1,585 kg (3,490 lb)
Manufacturer: Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Div. of United Aircraft Corp., Hartford, Conn.*

B-29 and B-36 comparative sizes: