Easy on the brakes, please..!

We’ve had yet another tire blowout in a DA42 on a runway after landing… and because the other main tire (a pretty new one) also ended up with a flat spot, both main tires had to be replaced – don’t be that guy!

This is a gentle reminder that the DA42 brakes are very effective, and need to be applied gently.

After touchdown, apply aerodynamic breaking first (once the nose wheel is on the ground, hold the stick back) while gently breaking until you’re at or below 50 KTS – only then should the brakes be applied with a little bit more force.

Max breaking upon short field landing practice should generally be simulated (you announce it, but brake normally), unless of course it actually is a short field (though it’s generally not recommended to land on runways less than 3,000′ in the Twin Stars).

If TWR assigns you a certain exit that you cannot comfortably make with three wheels on the ground then just say that it will be the next one.

Please be advised that costs caused by unnecessary tire abuse will have to be billed back to the PIC – two new tires + work ain’t cheap..!

DA42 Fuel & Oil

As a gentle reminder,

  • Fuel: If an FBO asks you if you want Jet-A Negative or – the slightly more expensive – Positive, you should always ask for Jet-A Negative.
    • Positive means that anti-freeze is added to to the fuel, which is unnecessary in a light twin unless you fly at -40°C or even colder flight levels – which is extremely unlikely, even in the deepest winter
    • At some FBOs only pre-mixed positive is available – in those situations, if you do need fuel then of course that is what you can order
  • Oil: When you measure oil, before the necessary second oil dip for the reading you must screw the oil dip all the way back in (and of course wipe the dip stick!)
    • Yes, it’ll cost you valuable milliseconds – but you will get a correct reading. Not screwing it back in will show too low an oil level, which typically results in subsequently overfilling the oil tank, which is not economical and can easily lead to unnecessary MX to figure out where oil drippings are coming from
    • If you end up adding oil from a bottle you found in the nose compartment, please note that that bottle is already paid for, and don’t log it again as ‘Oil used’ in the post-flight form (as that will assume you grabbed a bottle from the oil room).

Thank you very much for your continued business!

Twin Star gearbox oil level inspection

The gearbox oil level of the CD-135 engines of our Twin Stars is inspected through a small round glass at the prop end of the engine.
We have newer gearboxes on both DA42s: the oil level does not need to be at the top of the glass, but the level is correct when the oil covers (at least) half of the inspection window:

So if you see it at just about half, you’re good to fly!

OIL TEMP on departure

All engine instruments need to be in the green prior to departure. On cooler days – or on the first flight of a day – in can take several minutes all the way into the runup phase before the oil temperature is in the green.

With the Twin Star, insufficient oil temperature can also lead to the ECU TEST buttons having no effect during runup.

Please be patient, and wait that extra minute or so before proceeding with the runup so that you have a safe flight – treat any aircraft engine like your life depends on it!

ESP

3WF is equipped with Garmin’s Electronic Stability and Protection safety system which is activated by default every time you turn on the avionics.

For any and all training flights with the intention to practice flight maneuvers please make sure to deactivate ESP (see the Pre-/Postflight section at the top of the Before You Fly 3WF… page) so as to avoid ending up in a fight with the Autopilot.
The feature will turn itself back on for the next flight, so don’t worry if you forget to re-activate it.

If you intend to fly X/C without maneuver practice there is no action item; ESP will simply be automatically ready to assist should the need arise.

For more information about ESP see chapter 8.10 in the G3X Touch Pilot’s Guide.

AOPA Pilot Passport

You are encouraged to participate in AOPA’s recurring Pilot Passport program – have fun, expand your experience, and earn badges by exploring the airports in WA and beyond!

However, please do not take unnecessary risks by flying into airports with potentially insufficient runway length (a runway may be long enough to land, but takeoff distances usually require more runway), especially in combination with obstacles like trees or sharp rising terrain near the airport.

As for the surface, this is also a gentle reminder of Renter/Student Ops Manual regulation 5.6 – Runway Requirements – and 5.6E in particular: “Operations into any field other than paved surfaces (soft, gravel, sand, grass, etc.) are prohibited unless prior approval is obtained from the Director of Operations, Chief or Assistant Chief Flight Instructor.

Soft fields can hide a number of hazards like

  • potholes or rocks in the grass,
  • gravel causing very expensive prop damage
  • mud is the last thing you want to get stuck in during landing or trying to get out of on takeoff.

    These are all unnecessary problems, and therefore all soft-field exercises should be simulated on paved taxiways and runways .

Soft-field landing in our Twin Stars are not allowed at all; it’s not part of multi-engine training anyway.

Thank you for your understanding and helping keep our planes in the condition you wish to find them when you want to go fly!

Drinks in the cockpit

Two inflight engine shut downs in early 2020 have prompted Airbus and EASA to order changes to how liquids are consumed (or not) on the flight deck. A drink spilled on the center console of a Delta flight required a diversion, and an Asiana flight diverted after a similar spill. 

Hydration is important, especially on X/C flights – but needless to say, spilled drinks into or onto any cockpit components can lead to both inflight issues, major clean-up/MX costs, and aircraft downtimes.

Please be mindful only bring travel mugs or other containers that can be fully closed, and make sure passengers of yours do the same.

Non-carbonated water is still the best way stay hydrated on any flight.