Today, 80% of aircraft malfunctions that occur during flight are related to the human factor. While it’s rare for an engine to fail on the road, such situations still occur. For example, when a liner hits a flock of birds. In this situation, pilots have only one way out: to land at or near the nearby airport. For example, this happened in 2019 with the Airbus A321, which, due to a collision with seagulls, landed in a cornfield near the airport named Zhukovsky.
But what if the engines suddenly stop working, far from the airport and at high altitude? In this case, it all depends on the choice of the pilots. They can maintain their speed but lose altitude or lose speed at the same altitude.
If pilots decide to slow down, they will have to pay attention to altitude. And the distance the liner will travel in this case depends on the flight altitude, the weather and the aerodynamic quality. On average, commercial airplanes fly at an altitude of about 10 km, so in the absence of wind they can fly about 150-200 km without touching the ground.