Flight Redemptions

What is EFP in Aviation? (Engine Failure Procedure)

Updated: February 22, 2024

The Importance of Engine Failure Procedure in Aviation

Engine failure is a critical situation that pilots and aviation professionals must be prepared to handle. In the event of an engine failure, following a well-defined engine failure procedure (EFP) is crucial to ensure the safety of the aircraft and its occupants. This article will explore the significance of EFP in aviation, its key components, and the steps involved in executing the procedure.

Understanding Engine Failure Procedure (EFP)

The engine failure procedure, commonly referred to as EFP, is a set of standardized protocols designed to guide pilots in the event of an engine failure during flight. Engine failure can occur due to various reasons, such as mechanical malfunctions, fuel system issues, or external factors like bird strikes or volcanic ash ingestion. Regardless of the cause, pilots must react swiftly and decisively to mitigate the risks associated with an engine failure.

During flight, an engine failure can significantly impact the aircraft's performance, stability, and ability to maintain altitude. Without prompt action, the aircraft may lose control and endanger the lives of those on board. EFP provides pilots with a systematic approach to handle such emergencies, ensuring that they can respond effectively and minimize the potential consequences of an engine failure.

Implementing EFP requires pilots to have a thorough understanding of their aircraft's systems, as well as the ability to quickly assess the situation and make critical decisions. The procedure typically includes a series of steps to be followed in a specific sequence, aimed at maximizing the chances of a safe outcome.

Key Components of Engine Failure Procedure

The engine failure procedure consists of several key components that pilots must be familiar with. These components help guide pilots through the steps necessary to safely handle an engine failure. Let's take a closer look at some of these components:

1. Immediate Actions

As soon as an engine failure occurs, pilots must take immediate actions to maintain control of the aircraft. These actions typically involve:

Identifying the failed engine
Verifying the failure through engine instruments
Applying appropriate control inputs to maintain the aircraft's attitude and heading

By promptly addressing these immediate actions, pilots can prevent the aircraft from entering a hazardous state and buy valuable time to execute the subsequent steps of the EFP.

2. Memory Items

Memory items refer to the critical steps that pilots are expected to memorize and execute without referring to any checklists or manuals. These steps are typically simple and easy to recall, ensuring a rapid response in the event of an engine failure. Memory items may include actions such as:

Confirming the failed engine's condition
Selecting the appropriate fuel control switch
Activating the fire suppression system, if necessary

By relying on memory items, pilots can quickly initiate key procedures while simultaneously preparing to consult the appropriate checklists for further guidance.

3. Engine Shutdown and Restart Procedures

The engine failure procedure also encompasses specific steps for shutting down the failed engine and, if possible, attempting a restart. These procedures may involve actions such as:

Throttling back the failed engine
Cutting off fuel to the failed engine
Following the prescribed restart checklist, if applicable

Engine shutdown and restart procedures are crucial for reducing drag, restoring balance, and restoring the aircraft's performance to the greatest extent possible.

Executing Engine Failure Procedure (EFP)

Executing the engine failure procedure requires a calm and methodical approach. Pilots must follow the established sequence of steps to ensure a systematic and effective response to the engine failure. Let's explore the general process of executing the EFP:

1. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate

Upon experiencing an engine failure, pilots should first focus on aviating the aircraft, maintaining control, and ensuring its stability. This involves using the flight controls to adjust the aircraft's attitude and heading, as well as managing the throttle settings of the remaining engine(s) to compensate for the loss of power. Once the aircraft is under control, pilots should then navigate to the nearest suitable airport or landing site while communicating their situation to air traffic control.

2. Immediate Actions and Memory Items

Following the aviate-navigate-communicate principle, pilots should perform the immediate actions and memory items as outlined in the aircraft's operating procedures. By carrying out these critical steps from memory, pilots can swiftly address the most pressing concerns and stabilize the aircraft's condition.

It's important to note that the specific immediate actions and memory items may vary depending on the type of aircraft and its engine configuration. Pilots must be familiar with the procedures outlined in their aircraft's manuals and undergo regular training to ensure proficiency.

3. Consult Checklists

After completing the immediate actions and memory items, pilots should consult the appropriate checklists for further guidance. Checklists provide detailed instructions and additional steps to be followed, ensuring that no critical actions are overlooked. Pilots should carefully follow the checklist instructions, cross-checking with the aircraft's instruments and systems to verify the accuracy of their responses.

During this phase, pilots may also communicate with air traffic control, informing them of their intentions, updating them on the situation, and requesting any necessary assistance or emergency services.

4. Land at the Nearest Suitable Airport

Once the aircraft is stabilized and the appropriate checklists have been followed, pilots should continue to the nearest suitable airport or landing site for a safe landing. The choice of landing site may depend on factors such as proximity, runway length, and emergency services availability. Pilots must consider these factors and make informed decisions to ensure the best possible outcome.

Throughout the landing phase, pilots should maintain constant communication with air traffic control, providing updates on their status and intentions. This allows air traffic control to coordinate with ground services and ensure a safe landing and post-landing response.


Engine failure is a serious emergency that requires swift and decisive action from pilots. The engine failure procedure (EFP) provides pilots with a systematic and reliable approach to handle such situations, ensuring the safety of the aircraft and its occupants. By understanding the key components of EFP and executing the procedure with precision, pilots can effectively manage engine failures and minimize the potential risks associated with them. Continuous training, proficiency checks, and adherence to standard operating procedures are essential in maintaining the highest level of safety in aviation.

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