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Common mistakes

during MEP training

The biggest and most common mistake is failing to perform the required procedures
properly (traffic pattern and engine failures). It is extremely important for the students
to realize the importance of good ground preparation. Flying a multi-engine airplane
consumes a lot more concentration than a single-engine. Learning all the procedures
involved significantly reduces workload and allows the student to make progress more
quickly. Students should be able to repeat the traffic pattern and engine failure
procedures from memory without any mistakes before attempting to do the same in
the air. It is worth pointing out that in the air there are a lot more distractions than when
repeating the procedures on the ground while sitting comfortably in a chair with zero
distractions. That is why it is recommended that the students reach a level at which
they can repeat the procedures while performing other tasks like cooking, cleaning
etc. at the same time.

Taxing with power. Accelerating and braking are two things that cancel each other
out and this should never be practiced. Before braking power should be reduced.

Poor departure briefing. Proper briefing ensures that there will be no misunderstanding
once in the air. Example of a good departure briefing can be found in the FLIGHT PREP
folder on Bartolini Air computers.

Not memorizing the memory checklist. Items marked with a black bar should be
memorized and performed from memory.

Not taking the full runway. Full runway length should be utilized on takeoff. This means
taxiing to the edge of the threshold and making a tight turn to line up on the runway
heading.

Not applying full brakes when using full stop takeoff method. Brakes should be applied
firmly to avoid any movement of the airplane when performing a full stop takeoff.

Not saying the required call outs.

Failing to adjust pitch after changing the configuration of the airplane. Extending or
retracting gear or flaps always has an effect on the pitch of the airplane. It is very
common for students to fail to adjust the pitch especially when retracting the flaps on
the climb.

Climbing with a very high airspeed. Vy should be maintained when in a climb.


Remember to always trim the plane.

Not trimming the airplane properly. This causes difficulties in maintaining the required
altitude. Improper trim adds to the workload and as a result causes fatigue and
reduces the rate of students progress.

Making big power changes on descents. Extra attention should be paid to power
management during descents. Especially when the airplane is in the landing
configuration. Due to the big amounts of drag the idle power will produce

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approximately 1500 fpm descent rate. Unaware pilot usually tries to reduce the
descent rate by pulling on the controls and in effect causes the airspeed to bleed
quickly. The pilot will then have to apply a lot of power in order to restore the proper
airspeed. Subsequently he or she will build to much airspeed and reduce the power
to idle again to correct for that. This cycle often continues throughout the entire
descent to land. This can be avoided by paying close attention to the manifold
pressure gauge. During the majority of approaches the manifold setting of 17-20
inches will produce the correct descend path.

Rounding out too high reduces the airspeed and produces nose high attitude too
soon, resulting in an increase in angle of attack which can lead to the airplane stalling
too high. The rate of descent should be close to zero when the wheels of the airplane
are about 1 foot above the runway.

High round out

Correct round out

Increasing the manifold before the RPM. When establishing a climb the propellers
should be used to set the desired RPM first and then using the throttles the manifold
should be set. During descents or when leveling off the opposite takes place. First the
manifold is set followed by the RPM. The propellers stay ahead of the throttles in all
scenarios hence the phrase prop on top.

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Not applying proper wind correction. Properly executed crosswind landing utilizes the
crab into the wind during the final approach and a side slip during touch down. During
round out the rudder is used to align the airplanes longitudinal axis with the runway
centerline and the ailerons should bank the airplane into the wind to counteract the
drift. This cross-controlled attitude will result in the upwind main gear touching down
first, the downwind main gear will touchdown second and the nose gear will touch
the ground last.

Not maintaining directional control after engine failure. In certain configurations it


might take full rudder deflection to maintain directional control. If full rudder deflection
is not enough it means that Vmc has been reached and the airspeed must be
increased. It takes a lot of force to keep the rudder pressed for a longer time and legs
can get tired but it is very important not to let that happen. Not using the heading or
altitude bugs

Not establishing zero side slip condition reduces performance of the airplane. With
one engine inoperative the proper way to fly when straight and level is to bank 3
towards the operative engine (raise the dead engine) and maintain ball deflection
into the operative engine.

Less common mistakes

Faililng to abort the takeoff when experiencing failures on the runway.

Faililng to abort the takeoff when experiencing failures when airborne with sufficient
runway.

Takeoff and landing with brakes. The brakes should never be used during take-off and
touchdown.

Not verbalizing the checklists. Checklist should be read out loud. This eliminates any
confusion between the student and instructor. It also helps the student avoid mistakes
when executing checklists.

Not finishing the checklists with checklist complete.