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- Complex Aeroplane
To teach how to take off, fly the circuit and land safely in a predetermined touchdown zone under existing traffic, runway and weather conditions.
As well as having more complex systems, multi-engine aeroplanes tend to operate at higher airspeeds and heavier weights. These factors impose greater demands upon a pilot's ability to control the aeroplane and adapt quickly to changing conditions.
Essential Background Knowledge
Review existing runway conditions and requirements:
- density altitude
- crosswind limitations
- the accelerate/stop distance
Review considerations for takeoff:
- aeroplane configuration
- take-off safety briefing
- rejected takeoff
- recommended take-off speed
- engine failure below VMC
- one engine inoperative climb performance
- take-off and climb profiles
- power reduction for cruise climb
Review traffic pattern:
- approach profiles
- approach speeds
- aeroplane configuration
- overshoot procedures from various configurations
Advice to Instructors
During pre-flight planning, the student should compute the weight and balance, the one engine inoperative rate of climb and the one engine inoperative service ceiling for the existing conditions. Density altitude should be considered at this time as well. Often the density altitude of an airport is above the one engine inoperative service ceiling of the aeroplane, making a one engine inoperative climb impossible.
Accelerate/stop distances should be computed if graphs are available for the aeroplane. If no graphs are available, a general rule can be used. Normally these distances are approximately double the take-off distance.
Prior to the takeoff, the pilot should have a plan of action to be used in the event of an actual engine failure or other emergency during the takeoff and initial climb. On dual flights the student and instructor must be very clear on the actions to be taken by either pilot in the event of an actual emergency.
For students being trained for positions that involve crew concepts, the use of a crew-concept take-off briefing should be considered.
Time between take-off speed and reaching VYSE should be kept as short as possible. This is a critical period for multi-engine aeroplanes. The takeoff should be rejected if an engine failure occurs during this phase of flight.
The majority of multi-engine aeroplanes will not accelerate to VYSE on one engine after the takeoff. The ability to climb in this configuration, even at VYSE, is drastically reduced. The 50% loss in power can result in an 80-100% loss in climb performance. For this reason, engine failures must not be simulated immediately following the takeoff. Engine failures should be demonstrated and practised only at an operationally safe altitude.
Full-stop landings are preferable to touch-and-go operations. The limited time available during a touch-and-go landing is not sufficient to complete all the actions necessary to prepare for a safe takeoff and may lead to the inadvertent selection of such items as gear “UP”. Several accidents have occurred when students have been rushed during touch-and-go operations.
Due to the higher weights, airspeeds and engine power, multi-engine aeroplanes can be more difficult to control during the take-off and landing phases than single-engine aeroplanes. Therefore, ensure that the aeroplane is trimmed at all times.
When the student becomes proficient at normal operations, introduce crosswind takeoffs and landings. Performance takeoffs and landings are not required on the flight test, but students should be exposed to them at some point in the training.
Instruction and Student Practice
At the beginning of the take-off roll, ensure that the student monitors:
- engines for even response, smoothness, absence of abnormal conditions
- gauges for abnormal readings.
Consult the POH for the recommended take-off speed. In the event that the POH does not specify a speed, the takeoff should be achieved at or above VMC.
After the takeoff, accelerate the aeroplane to the best rate of climb speed (VY) as quickly as possible, and climb at VY until a safe manoeuvring altitude is reached.
Landing gear should not be retracted until a positive rate of climb is attained and a gear-down landing is no longer possible on the runway. In order to prevent damage to the tires, wheel assemblies and the landing gear compartment, brakes should be applied before retraction of the landing gear.
After the landing gear is retracted the aeroplane should be accelerated to the cruise-climb speed and power can then be reduced to the cruise-climb setting.
Conduct the remaining post take-off checks when it is safe to do so.
With the higher airspeeds and more complex systems of a multi-engine aeroplane, close supervision is required to ensure the student is conforming to circuit procedures.
Conduct the pre-landing checks early on the downwind leg. The desired touchdown zone should be identified at this time to allow for proper approach planning.
Flaps may be extended on base leg or on final approach to control airspeed and descent rate to touchdown. However, flaps should be fully extended only when the possibility of an overshoot no longer exists.
Stabilize the aeroplane early on final approach. Approach speed on final should not be less than VYSE until the landing is assured.
Landing within the pre-determined touchdown zone and on the centreline is critical in multi-engine aeroplanes. Overshoot if the approach is not proceeding as planned.
Balked approaches should be demonstrated and practised from various positions and configurations on the approach.
Do not retract the flaps or carry out post-landing checks until the aeroplane is clear of the runway and stopped.