Chapter 12—Transition to Multiengine Airplanes
Table of Contents
Terms and Definitions
Operation of Systems
Flight Director / Autopilot
Alternator / Generator
Nose Baggage Compartment
Anti-Icing / Deicing
Performance and Limitations
Weight and Balance
Normal and Crosswind Takeoff and Climb
Level Off and Cruise
Normal Approach and Landing
Crosswind Approach and Landing
Short-Field Takeoff and Climb
Short-Field Approach and Landing
Engine Failure After Lift-Off
Engine Failure During Flight
Engine Inoperative Approach Landing
Engine Inoperative Flight Principles
Power-Off Stalls (Approach and Landing)
Power-On Stalls (Takeoff and Departure)
Engine Inoperative—Loss of Directional Control Demonstration
Multiengine Training Considerations
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This chapter is devoted to the factors associated with the operation of small multiengine airplanes. For the purpose of this handbook, a “small” multiengine airplane is a reciprocating or turbopropeller-powered airplane with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 12,500 pounds or less. This discussion assumes a conventional design with two engines—one mounted on each wing. Reciprocating engines are assumed unless otherwise noted. The term “light-twin,” although not formally defined in the regulations, is used herein as a small multiengine airplane with a maximum certificated takeoff weight of 6,000 pounds or less.
There are several unique characteristics of multiengine airplanes that make them worthy of a separate class rating. Knowledge of these factors and proficient flight skills are a key to safe flight in these airplanes. This chapter deals extensively with the numerous aspects of one engine inoperative (OEI) flight. However, pilots are strongly cautioned not to place undue emphasis on mastery of OEI flight as the sole key to flying multiengine airplanes safely. The inoperative engine information that follows is extensive only because this chapter emphasizes the differences between flying multiengine airplanes as contrasted to single-engine airplanes.
The modern, well-equipped multiengine airplane can be remarkably capable under many circumstances. But, as with single-engine airplanes, it must be flown prudently by a current and competent pilot to achieve the highest possible level of safety.
This chapter contains information and guidance on the performance of certain maneuvers and procedures in small multiengine airplanes for the purposes of flight training and pilot certification testing. The final authority on the operation of a particular make and model airplane, however, is the airplane manufacturer. Both the flight instructor and the student should be aware that if any of the guidance in this handbook conflicts with the airplane manufacturer’s recommended procedures and guidance as contained in the FAA- approved Airplane Flight Manual and/or Pilot’s Operating Handbook (AFM/POH), it is the airplane manufacturer’s guidance and procedures that take precedence.
The basic difference between operating a multiengine airplane and a single-engine airplane is the potential problem involving an engine failure. The penalties for loss of an engine are twofold: performance and control. The most obvious problem is the loss of 50 percent of power, which reduces climb performance 80 to 90 percent, sometimes even more. The other is the control problem caused by the remaining thrust, which is now asymmetrical. Attention to both these factors is crucial to safe OEI flight. The performance and systems redundancy of a multiengine airplane is a safety advantage only to a trained and proficient pilot.
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
Pilots of single-engine airplanes are already familiar with many performance “V” speeds and their definitions. Twin-engine airplanes have several additional V speeds unique to OEI operation. These speeds are differentiated by the notation “SE”, for single engine. A review of some key V speeds and several new V speeds unique to twin-engine airplanes follows.
Under the small airplane certification regulations currently in effect, the flight test pilot must be able to (1) stop the turn that results when the critical engine is suddenly made inoperative within 20° of the original heading, using maximum rudder deflection and a maximum of 5° bank, and (2) thereafter, maintain straight flight with not more than a 5° bank. There is no requirement in this determination that the airplane be capable of climbing at this airspeed. VMC only addresses directional control. Further discussion of VMC as determined during airplane certification and demonstrated in pilot training follows in minimum control airspeed (VMC) demonstration. [Figure 12-1]
Figure 12-1. Airspeed indicator markings for a multiengine airplane.
Unless otherwise noted, when V speeds are given in the AFM/POH, they apply to sea level, standard day conditions at maximum takeoff weight. Performance speeds vary with aircraft weight, configuration, and atmospheric conditions. The speeds may be stated in statute miles per hour (m.p.h.) or knots (kts), and they may be given as calibrated airspeeds (CAS) or indicated airspeeds (IAS). As a general rule, the newer AFM/POHs show V speeds in knots indicated airspeed (KIAS). Some V speeds are also stated in knots calibrated airspeed (KCAS) to meet certain regulatory requirements. Whenever available, pilots should operate the airplane from published indicated airspeeds.
With regard to climb performance, the multiengine airplane, particularly in the takeoff or landing configuration, may be considered to be a single-engine airplane with its powerplant divided into two units. There is nothing in 14 CFR part 23 that requires a multiengine airplane to maintain altitude while in the takeoff or landing configuration with one engine inoperative. In fact, many twins are not required to do this in any configuration, even at sea level.
The current 14 CFR part 23 single-engine climb performance requirements for reciprocating engine- powered multiengine airplanes are as follows.
Rate of climb is the altitude gain per unit of time, while climb gradient is the actual measure of altitude gained per 100 feet of horizontal travel, expressed as a percentage. An altitude gain of 1.5 feet per 100 feet of travel (or 15 feet per 1,000, or 150 feet per 10,000) is a climb gradient of 1.5 percent.
There is a dramatic performance loss associated with the loss of an engine, particularly just after takeoff. Any airplane’s climb performance is a function of thrust horsepower which is in excess of that required for level flight. In a hypothetical twin with each engine producing 200 thrust horsepower, assume that the total level-flight thrust horsepower required is 175. In this situation, the airplane would ordinarily have a reserve of 225 thrust horsepower available for climb. Loss of one engine would leave only 25 (200 minus 175) thrust horsepower available for climb, a drastic reduction. Sea level rate-of-climb performance losses of at least 80 to 90 percent, even under ideal circumstances, are typical for multiengine airplanes in OEI flight.
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