United Engine Start

Don’t know how unusual this is, experts can chime in. United 484 SAN-DEN 757 this morning, left engine would not start. PIC taxied anways to get in line for morning 6:30am airport opening. Needless to say, engine still didn’t start.

Flight pulled over to side near end of 27 to let others by, contacted mechanics for idea, which was executed. A bit unusual for scheduled carrier, at least something I never encountered as a ff. 484 got back in line, lined up on runway 27 and proceded down the runway a little faster than taxi, apparently to get more air moving through the left engine. The bleed air wasn’t enough according to PIC announcement over PA. The idea worked, engine started, and 484 got back in line for departure.

Seems a bit unusual, however, not complaining, didn’t need to go back to terminal and fix the engine start problem. Just curious on what others think of this situation.

That is a bit odd. I know a lot of times they taxi single engine to save fuel, but I have never heard of a start procedure like that. Usually if there is a problem like that, they choose not to fly until they find the root of the problem, in case it could affect something else.

My parents flew UAL over 20 years ago when they still operated RNO-EKO-ELY-SLC. They were on a 737. At one of the airports enroute (don’t know if it was ELY or EKO) the westbound 737 couldn’t start an engine. (I think the APU was out of service) They used my parents’ 737 to “jumpstart” the other 737.

Now that I have heard of, although not using airliners. Some earlier fighter jets required air start carts in order to start engines. If a cart was not available, they could use the jet blast from another aircraft to get the turbine spooling.

Interesting…so are these engines not capable of being started by a portable “huffer” unit? :confused:

They are… However, if there is an issue with the starter air valve that routes the bleed air or “huff” air to the starter it won’t work either.

In a nutshell…bleed air starters are basically a small turbine with a mechanical shaft attached to the compressor spool of the engine. During the start sequence the starter valve opens allowing high pressure bleed air generated from the APU, an operating engine, or an outside source (Huffer Cart). This HP air spins the starter turbine, spinning the starter shaft attached to a gear on the compressor section of the engine. When the compressor section reaches a specified percentage of RPM ie; sufficient compression for combustion, fuel an ignition is introduced and whalla…engine start.

Apparently these young whipper-snapper airline pilots never heard of a little thing called hand propping. :laughing:

I did not know that. I’m familiar with the apu…but wasnt aware of the details to crank up the civ aircraft. Only familiar with the Mil a/c startups. Thanks.

I’ll stick with the fixed gear singles…no gear up landings, engine quits? No prob set the glide @ 60 to 70 put her down on a road or…some farmers pasture and maybe have sex with the farmers daughter in thier barn till the authorities come. Wth…this is Arkansas. :laughing:

Have you ever heard of a 12-gauge pump?

:open_mouth: I never thought of that. :laughing:

Seriously Will, my point was that I prefer the simple type of flying with the less complex issues that these guys have with engine starts, etc., at this point in my life. As for the 20 something, large breasted, daisy duke wearing, billy bob teeth farm girl…I dont think I’d be thinking of sex after an event described. I’d be more satisfied with a cup of coffee and a smoke.

That’s stupid… And you’re pitiful…

You the pot or kettle today???

I don’t know what I am… :laughing:

And won’t…for several years. :stuck_out_tongue:

that’s right. But I know what I am gonna be…

Whoa, whoa, whoa! This is the exact point where this thread can either stop or turn bad. Not everyday that you know the specific time where a thread gets out of hand…

Mil engines start the same way…although some of the smaller ones use an electrical starter/generator.

The idea of using jet blast from an aircraft in front accomplishes the same thing. The blast aircraft engine blows air through the other aircraft engine to generate enough windmilling effect compressor rotation to support combustion for a start.

Interesting…also concerning jet blast…what is the deal with jet exhaust shutting down turbo props? I distinctly remember (years ago)working on flight decks of A/C Carriers…there was ALWAYS a concern bringing in the E-2 Hawkeye (the hummer) last after all the jets were on deck, and getting thier exhausts turned away from the landing area. For fear of “flaming out”? thier engines…anyone care to elaborate?

AFter landing, I once saw a small turbo prop plane taxying without it’s propellors spinning. How did this happen?