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Airplane Flying Handbook
Transition to Multiengine Airplanes
WEIGHT AND BALANCE

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Airplane Flying Handbook

Preface

Table of Contents

Chapter 1,Introduction to Flight Training
Chapter 2,Ground Operations
Chapter 3,Basic Flight Maneuvers
Chapter 4, Slow Flight, Stalls, and Spins
Chapter 5, Takeoff and Departure Climbs
Chapter 6, Ground Reference Maneuvers
Chapter 7, Airport Traffic Patterns
Chapter 8, Approaches and Landings
Chapter 9, Performance Maneuvers
Chapter 10, Night Operations
Chapter 11,Transition to Complex Airplanes
Chapter 12, Transition to Multiengine Airplanes
Chapter 13,Transition to Tailwheel Airplanes
Chapter 14, Transition to Turbo-propeller Powered Airplanes
Chapter 15,Transition to Jet Powered Airplanes
Chapter 16,Emergency Procedures

Glossary

Index

The multiengine pilot must keep in mind that the
accelerate-go distance, as long as it is, has only
brought the airplane, under ideal circumstances, to a
point a mere 50 feet above the takeoff elevation. To
achieve even this meager climb, the pilot had to instantaneously
recognize and react to an unanticipated
engine failure, retract the landing gear, identify and
feather the correct engine, all the while maintaining
precise airspeed control and bank angle as the airspeed
is nursed to VYSE. Assuming flawless airmanship thus
far, the airplane has now arrived at a point little more
than one wingspan above the terrain, assuming it was
absolutely level and without obstructions.

With (for the purpose of illustration) a net 150 f.p.m.
rate of climb at a 90-knot VYSE, it will take approximately
3 minutes to climb an additional 450 feet to reach
500 feet AGL. In doing so, the airplane will have
traveled an additional 5 nautical miles beyond the
original accelerate-go distance, with a climb gradient
of about 1.6 percent. A turn of any consequence, such
as to return to the airport, will seriously degrade the
already marginal climb performance.

Not all multiengine airplanes have published accelerate-
go distances in their AFM/POH, and fewer still
publish climb gradients. When such information is
published, the figures will have been determined under
ideal flight testing conditions. It is unlikely that this
performance will be duplicated in service conditions.

The point of the foregoing is to illustrate the marginal
climb performance of a multiengine airplane that
suffers an engine failure shortly after takeoff, even
under ideal conditions. The prudent multiengine
pilot should pick a point in the takeoff and climb
sequence in advance. If an engine fails before this point,
the takeoff should be rejected, even if airborne, for a
landing on whatever runway or surface lies essentially
ahead. If an engine fails after this point, the pilot should
promptly execute the appropriate engine failure procedure
and continue the climb, assuming the performance
capability exists. As a general recommendation, if the
landing gear has not been selected up, the takeoff
should be rejected, even if airborne.

As a practical matter for planning purposes, the option
of continuing the takeoff probably does not exist unless
the published single-engine rate-of-climb performance
is at least 100 to 200 f.p.m. Thermal turbulence, wind
gusts, engine and propeller wear, or poor technique in
airspeed, bank angle, and rudder control can easily
negate even a 200 f.p.m. rate of climb.

WEIGHT AND BALANCE

The weight and balance concept is no different than
that of a single-engine airplane. The actual execution,
however, is almost invariably more complex due to a
number of new loading areas, including nose and aft
baggage compartments, nacelle lockers, main fuel
tanks, aux fuel tanks, nacelle fuel tanks, and numerous
seating options in a variety of interior configurations.
The flexibility in loading offered by the multiengine
airplane places a responsibility on the pilot to address
weight and balance prior to each flight.

The terms "empty weight, licensed empty weight,
standard empty weight, and basic empty weight" as
they appear on the manufacturer's original weight and
balance documents are sometimes confused by pilots.

In 1975, the General Aviation Manufacturers
Association (GAMA) adopted a standardized format
for AFM/POHs. It was implemented by most
manufacturers in model year 1976. Airplanes whose
manufacturers conform to the GAMA standards utilize
the following terminology for weight and balance:

Standard empty weight + Optional equipment
= Basic empty weight

Standard empty weight is the weight of the standard
airplane, full hydraulic fluid, unusable fuel, and full
oil. Optional equipment includes the weight of all
equipment installed beyond standard. Basic empty
weight is the standard empty weight plus optional
equipment. Note that basic empty weight includes no
usable fuel, but full oil.

Airplanes manufactured prior to the GAMA format
generally utilize the following terminology for weight
and balance, although the exact terms may vary somewhat:

Empty weight + Unusable fuel
= Standard empty weight

Standard empty weight + Optional equipment
= Licensed empty weight

Empty weight is the weight of the standard airplane,
full hydraulic fluid and undrainable oil. Unusable fuel
is the fuel remaining in the airplane not available to
the engines. Standard empty weight is the empty
weight plus unusable fuel. When optional equipment
is added to the standard empty weight, the result is
licensed empty weight. Licensed empty weight,
therefore, includes the standard airplane, optional
equipment, full hydraulic fluid, unusable fuel, and
undrainable oil.

 

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