Simple Solution for Twin-Engine Phobia

Advice on how to make a critical choice.

There are a lot of unnecessary fears in flying, or at least fears that are overblown. How many aircraft owners resist adding a multi-engine rating, or shy away from buying a twin, based on the fear of loss of control when an engine fails on takeoff? It is certainly a valid concern, and dealing with sudden asymmetric thrust at this critical stage of flight is addressed in every multi-engine training program. Multi-engine pilots are wise to revisit the issue equally comprehensively in their regular recurrent training. One reason why it stands out from other worries about flying proficiency is that, unlike most decisions that pan out over extended time, an engine failure on takeoff requires quick, decisive action. But here’s some simple advice that, for me at least, puts that fear in perspective. It comes from my friend Wayne Lincourt, Irving, Texas, former associate publisher of Flying.

I continue to enjoy reading your newsletter. There’s always good info, including the flying tips.

One of the most critical phases of flight, of course, is on takeoff where an engine failure forces the pilot to make a split-second decision on whether to continue the takeoff or keep it on the ground. The tip I got from FlightSafety International made that decision a no brainer.

The technique they taught was to keep your hand on the throttles until you raised the gear and then to move your hand from the gear switch to the prop controls. If you lost an engine while your hand was on the throttles, you simply pulled both throttles back and got on the brakes. If your hand was on the prop controls when an engine quit, you feathered the offending engine and continued your takeoff. Decision making doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Hope this is a tip you can use in your newsletter. Keep up the good work.


Thanks, Wayne.

Call to action: If you have any tips of your own you’d like to share, or have any questions about flying technique you’d like answered, send me a note at We’d love to hear from you.


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