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Ask the Pilot

Can a multi-engine aircraft fly with only one engine?

pilotQ: Can a multi-engine aircraft fly with only one engine?

A: Yes it can, although there is an extremely low likelihood of an engine experiencing an issue, thanks to our industry-leading maintenance team. Our engine reliability rate is more than 99.9 percent. The good news is that even if an engine were to experience a problem, two-engine turbojet aircraft are designed and certified by the FAA to fly from takeoff to landing with one engine inoperative. Here at United, our modern fleet of jet aircraft is powerful and durable. In fact, one of our Boeing 777 Pratt & Whitney engines produces a whopping 90,000 pounds of thrust, which is ample propulsion to safely fly for long durations and in all phases of flight. In addition, our aircraft are flown by the some of the industry’s most experienced professional pilots, who continually train and are held to the highest standards to operate safely in all flight conditions. Flying on a United aircraft is extraordinarily safe. When you’re flying the friendly skies, we invite you to visit us on the flight deck before or after your flight. Our pilots have a vast knowledge of aviation, a true passion for flying, and enjoy sharing it with you, our valued passengers.

Captain Rob Biddle is United’s Denver chief pilot.​

You can write to United’s chief pilots by addressing askthepilot@united.com

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