Aircraft Turbine Engine Shutdown

On turbine engines that have a thrust reverser, retarding the aircraft throttle to idle or power lever to OFF cuts the fuel supply to the engine and shuts down the engine. On engines equipped with thrust reversers, this is accomplished by means of a separate fuel shutoff lever or switch. When an engine has been operated at high power levels for extended periods of time, a cool down time should be allowed before shut down. It is recommended the engine be operated at below a low power setting, preferably at idle for a period of 5 minutes to prevent possible seizure of the rotors. This applies, in particular, to prolonged operation at high rpm on the ground, such as during engine trimming. The turbine case and the turbine wheels operate at approximately the same temperature when the engine is running. However, the turbine wheels are relatively massive, compared with the case, and are not cooled so readily. The turbine case is exposed to cooling air from both inside and outside the engine. Consequently, the case and the wheels lose their residual heat at different rates after the engine has been shut down. The case, cooling faster, tends to shrink upon the wheels, that are still rotating. Under extreme conditions, the turbine blades may squeal or seize; thus a cooling period is required if the engine has been operating at prolonged high speed. Should the turbine wheels seize, no harm normally results, provided no attempt is made to turn the engine over until it has cooled sufficiently to free the wheels. In spite of this, every effort should be made to avoid seizure.

To ensure that fuel remains in the lines and that the engine driven fuel pumps are not starved for fuel that lubricates the pumps, the aircraft fuel boost pump must be turned off after, not before, the throttle or the fuel shutoff lever is placed in the OFF position.

Generally, an engine should not be shut down by the fuel shutoff lever until after the aircraft throttle has been retarded to idle. Because the fuel shutoff valve is located on the fuel control discharge, a shutdown from high thrust settings results in high fuel pressures within the control that can harm the fuel system parts.

When an accurate reading of the oil level in the oil tank is needed following an engine shutdown, the engine should be operated and shut down with the oil check taking place within not more than 30 minutes after shutdown. Check the engine manuals for the specific procedure.