I am starting my multi-engine flights. FAA CPL requires 10 hours in a complex airplane (with retractable gear, variable pitch prop, flaps). Now it changed, but it was a requirement in 2018. I am going to obtain ME rating anyway, so I decided to fly my complex hours in a multi-engine airplane.
Usually our school use Beechcraft Bonanza (BE-36. v-tail) as a complex airplane and Beechcraft Duchess (BE-76, T-tail) as a multi-engine one. The flight hour price difference is insignificant, and FAA canceled the complex airplane requirement for a checkride. The drawback is that BE-76 engines are only 180hp, which means that it is not a high-performance airplane, so I cannot obtain that endorsement in it.
This airplane is heavier and more powerful, checklists are longer, and the pilot has less time to think. But with two operational engines it behaves very similar to a single-engine one, we just use two levers simultaneously.
There is not so many additional things – just a couple of new levers and instruments, but on practice it increases workload, expecially taking into consideration that everything goes faster.
The takeoff is hilarious. The airplane accelerates very quickly. Takeoff speed is a little higher, and our takeoff distance is longer.
Parking is a little complicated too: the distance between metal pillars are narrow, and it looks a bit scary. Mirrors on the engines help a lot, but it’s better to keep the yellow line as precisely as possible.
Taxiing turns using differential thrust are interesting 🙂
Retractable gear adds the impression of flying boeing, the sound during retraction/extension is unforgettable 🙂
The flight itself is very similar to usual single-engine flight, but there are some more checklist items and instruments. At first I tend to look more at the instruments than outside, especially during maneuvers.
The landing is almost the same, but it is a low-wing airplane, and it is heavier. Another difference is that we always make power-on landing: cutting the engines during the flare can result in a hard landing.
Once more I feel something new and interesting, many things to learn!