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5 Answers

Emergency Descent Procedure in a Twin

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General Aviation

Can someone explain an emergency descent procedure in a twin?

Thanks.

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5 Answers

  1. Best Answer


    Paul on Aug 21, 2010

    The adjective “twin” covers a whole range of aicraft and the descent procedures vary wildly from a Seminole to a Challenger.  I’m going to assume that you most likely are looking more along the lines of a Seminole answer so here is a sample emergency descent procedure for a Piper Seminole (twin engine aircraft):

    “In the event an emergency descent becomes necessary, CLOSE the throttles and move the propeller controls full FORWARD.  Adjust the mixture control as necessary to attain smooth operation.  Extend the landing gear at 140 KIAS and maintain this airspeed.”

    Be aware: in most twin engine piston airplanes if you bring the throttles to idle at altitude, you most likely just bought yourself two new engines as that kind of rapid power reduction will most likely crack cylinders instantly.  So I wouldn’t go out practicing this manuever.  Leave this manuever for the sim.I stand corrected. A good pilot is always learning

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  2. Arne Oeverland on Aug 22, 2010

    As with anything there is allway more than one way to fly and airplane. What Paul said is the way I was trained and what I teach. Drop the gear, props forward, and nose the airplane forward diving at the maximum gear extended speed.
    Another method I hear being used is keeping the gear retracted and dive the airplane close to it’s Vne. You’ll be way over your Va, so keep that in mind when recovering from the dive and also should you encounter turbulence.
    Regardless, Do S-turns on the way down to allow for visual scanning for other traffic that may be below you.
    If your in the practice area announce your position and intentions on the advisory frequency if there is one.

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  3. Felix on Aug 22, 2010

    Thanks for the explanations.

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  4. Brian on Aug 22, 2010

    “Be aware: in most twin engine piston airplanes if you bring the throttles to idle at altitude, you most likely just bought yourself two new engines as that kind of rapid power reduction will most likely crack cylinders instantly. ”

    We did them regularly for many years in both the Cessna Crusader (turbo IO-520’s) and Piper Seminole (IO-360’s). All our cylinders survived. The school was based out of NH, so it wasn’t uncommon to perform this in -20C.

    I’m sorry to start problems, but this shock cooling myth needs to be stomped ASAP.

    Here: “If shock cooling were a definite hazard, your engine should fall apart when you bring the mixture into idle cutoff at the end of a flight. CHTs fall at a rate of 100°F/min or more in the first seconds of shutdown—triple the rate that starts the typical “shock cooling” annunciator blinking.”
    Check out the article: Shock Cooling: Myth or Reality?

    “Do S-turns on the way down to allow for visual scanning for other traffic that may be below you.”

    Keep in mind that this will slow your rate of descent. Turning descents are faster than straight and level because descent rate is based on the difference between power and drag and drag is increased in a turn.

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  5. Brian on Aug 25, 2010

    “I stand corrected. A good pilot is always learning”

    +1 vote for respect and hi Paul.

    ~Brian

    PS How can we edit our posts, or is this administrative only at this point? Thank you.

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