| Home | Privacy | Contact |

Airplane Flying Handbook
Transition to Multiengine Airplanes

| First | Previous | Next | Last |

Airplane Flying Handbook


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



Although the foregoing problems only dealt with
weight, the balance portion of weight and balance
is equally vital. The flight characteristics of the
multiengine airplane will vary significantly with
shifts of the center of gravity (CG) within the
approved envelope.

At forward CGs, the airplane will be more stable, with
a slightly higher stalling speed, a slightly slower
cruising speed, and favorable stall characteristics.
At aft CGs, the airplane will be less stable, with a
slightly lower stalling speed, a slightly faster cruising
speed, and less desirable stall characteristics. Forward
CG limits are usually determined in certification by
elevator/stabilator authority in the landing roundout.
Aft CG limits are determined by the minimum
acceptable longitudinal stability. It is contrary to the
airplane's operating limitations and the Code of
Federal Regulations (CFR) to exceed any weight
and balance parameter.

Some multiengine airplanes may require ballast to
remain within CG limits under certain loading conditions.
Several models require ballast in the aft baggage
compartment with only a student and instructor on
board to avoid exceeding the forward CG limit.
When passengers are seated in the aft-most seats of
some models, ballast or baggage may be required in
the nose baggage compartment to avoid exceeding
the aft CG limit. The pilot must direct the seating of
passengers and placement of baggage and cargo to
achieve a center of gravity within the approved
envelope. Most multiengine airplanes have general
loading recommendations in the weight and balance
section of the AFM/POH. When ballast is added, it
must be securely tied down and it must not exceed
the maximum allowable floor loading.

Some airplanes make use of a special weight and
balance plotter. It consists of several movable parts
that can be adjusted over a plotting board on which
the CG envelope is printed. The reverse side of the
typical plotter contains general loading recommendations
for the particular airplane. A pencil line plot
can be made directly on the CG envelope imprinted
on the working side of the plotting board. This plot
can easily be erased and recalculated anew for each
flight. This plotter is to be used only for the make
and model airplane for which it was designed.

Good habits learned with single-engine airplanes are
directly applicable to multiengine airplanes for preflight
and engine start. Upon placing the airplane in
motion to taxi, the new multiengine pilot will notice

several differences, however. The most obvious is
the increased wingspan and the need for even
greater vigilance while taxiing in close quarters.
Ground handling may seem somewhat ponderous
and the multiengine airplane will not be as nimble
as the typical two- or four-place single-engine airplane.
As always, use care not to ride the brakes by keeping
engine power to a minimum. One ground handling
advantage of the multiengine airplane over single engine
airplanes is the differential power capability.
Turning with an assist from differential power minimizes
both the need for brakes during turns and the
turning radius.

The pilot should be aware, however, that making a
sharp turn assisted by brakes and differential power
can cause the airplane to pivot about a stationary
inboard wheel and landing gear. This is abuse for
which the airplane was not designed and should be
guarded against.

Unless otherwise directed by the AFM/POH, all
ground operations should be conducted with the cowl
flaps fully open. The use of strobe lights is normally
deferred until taxiing onto the active runway.


With the "before takeoff" checklist complete and
air traffic control (ATC) clearance received, the airplane
should be taxied into position on the runway
centerline. If departing from an airport without an
operating control tower, a careful check for
approaching aircraft should be made along with a
radio advisory on the appropriate frequency. Sharp
turns onto the runway combined with a rolling
takeoff are not a good operating practice and may
be prohibited by the AFM/POH due to the possibility
of "unporting" a fuel tank pickup. (The takeoff itself
may be prohibited by the AFM/POH under any circumstances
below certain fuel levels.) The flight controls
should be positioned for a crosswind, if present.
Exterior lights such as landing and taxi lights, and
wingtip strobes should be illuminated immediately
prior to initiating the takeoff roll, day or night. If
holding in takeoff position for any length of time,
particularly at night, the pilot should activate all
exterior lights upon taxiing into position.

Takeoff power should be set as recommended in the
AFM/POH. With normally aspirated (non-turbocharged)
engines, this will be full throttle. Full
throttle is also used in most turbocharged engines.
There are some turbocharged engines, however,
that require the pilot to set a specific power setting,
usually just below red line manifold pressure. This
yields takeoff power with less than full throttle travel.