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-   -   Flying the MU2 - facts please. (https://www.pprune.org/tech-log/255300-flying-mu2-facts-please.html)

Centaurus 7th Dec 2006 10:51

Flying the MU2 - facts please.
 
Friend of mine has bought an MU2. He has been given advice that you should not retract the gear after take off until at least 200agl as the gear doors cause significant drag and if an engine should fail just as the gear comes up controllability and climb rate is a problem until the gear doors are closed. Sounds like a myth to me.

Another instructor said that if an engine failure occurs below 150 knots during the take off climb it is better to deliberately crash land ahead rather than risk loss of control below 150 knots on initial climb-out. Surely this must be another myth as the aircraft would not be certified under these speed conditions.

Any Pprune advice on a recommended website dealing with MU2 flight ops would be appreciated. There certainly seems to be no shortage of personal opinions on the operation of this type and it would be nice to read facts.

742 7th Dec 2006 11:08

It has been my experience that aircraft that are "different" from the general herd are victims of a large number of myths (as you aptly put it), some of which are strange and some of which are dangerous.

Your friend's insurance company should have a list of training facilities and/or instructors that they are comfortable with. I would go that route and ignore all of the bar and Internet talk.

con-pilot 7th Dec 2006 21:32


Originally Posted by Centaurus (Post 3006788)
Friend of mine has bought an MU2. He has been given advice that you should not retract the gear after take off until at least 200agl as the gear doors cause significant drag and if an engine should fail just as the gear comes up controllability and climb rate is a problem until the gear doors are closed. Sounds like a myth to me.
Another instructor said that if an engine failure occurs below 150 knots during the take off climb it is better to deliberately crash land ahead rather than risk loss of control below 150 knots on initial climb-out. Surely this must be another myth as the aircraft would not be certified under these speed conditions.
Any Pprune advice on a recommended website dealing with MU2 flight ops would be appreciated. There certainly seems to be no shortage of personal opinions on the operation of this type and it would be nice to read facts.

One piece of advice, advice that will save your friend's life and the lives of his passengers.

GET GOOD PROPER TRAINING! Find the best MU-2 school in the world and go to it and keep going to it for as long as he owns the the airplane.

The MU-2 is a killer of inexperienced pilots, actually it does a pretty good job of killing experienced pilots as well.

I have nearly 800 hours in MU-2s and count myself lucky. However, I did attend Flight Safety for initial and recurrency training.

Now, about gear retraction, yes the gear doors opening will add drag, however, using the wheel (remember the MU-2 has spoilers only for roll) to keep the wings level will add much more drag. Use rudder and aileron trim to keep the wings level.

It has been a long time, but I do believe that single engine climb speed is around 150kts. Now the MU-2 will come off the runway at around 110 kts. So if one loses an engine just after takeoff you will need to accelerate at least 40kts to 150 before you can start a climb. If you do not have the space to accelerate or you are coming off a hot/high airport,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,well, good luck.

My best advice is to get rid of the blasted thing.

captjns 8th Dec 2006 12:08


Originally Posted by con-pilot (Post 3007729)
It has been a long time, but I do believe that single engine climb speed is around 150kts. Now the MU-2 will come off the runway at around 110 kts. So if one loses an engine just after takeoff you will need to accelerate at least 40kts to 150 before you can start a climb. If you do not have the space to accelerate or you are coming off a hot/high airport,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,well, good luck.

My best advice is to get rid of the blasted thing.

My recollection of the rice rocket was... after lift off get the speed up to 140 - 150 kts for single engine purposes. The gear comes up pretty quickly as I recall. But an initial shallow climb just after lift off to get the speed was most essential. The long coupled versions took just a bit more time to get to that magic single engine climb speed, but the extra length of the long fuselage gave better single engine stability. It's been almost 20 years since I've flown the saki super star.

Belgique 8th Dec 2006 13:55

MU-2 SFAR is Pending
 
Suggest you examine this link and take a good look at the FAA's MU2 SFAR NPRM that's about to become law in the States in early 2007.

The NPRM comments on the MU2's SFAR are illuminating.

OverRun 8th Dec 2006 19:37

Thanks Belique for the FAA link.
FAA Proposes SFAR for MU-2
The FAA is proposing a Special Federal Aviation Regulation (SFAR) applicable to the Mitsubishi MU-2B series airplane that would create new pilot training, experience and operating requirements. Following an increased accident and incident rate in the MU-2B series airplane, the FAA conducted a safety evaluation and found that changes in the training and operating requirements for that airplane are needed. These proposed regulations would mandate additional operating requirements and improve pilot training for the MU-2B series airplane. The proposed rule would also apply to persons who provide pilot training for the MU-2B.

I knew the Western Australian BASI investigator, Don, who paid for increasing the understanding about this plane with his life. RIP.

skiingman 9th Dec 2006 06:33

The FAA proposed rule mentions that:

The FAA type certificated the MU–2B
airplane in November 1965; the type
certification basis was Civil Aviation
Regulation (CAR) 10, which required
compliance with a combination of CAR
3 standards and special conditions. CAR
3 standards did not require a cockpit
checklist for the MU–2B, nor was the
airplane required to demonstrate the
ability to complete the takeoff climb
with one engine inoperable.
But it doesn't make any comments about whether or not the MU-2 does meet the required OEI climb gradients in the modern FARs. It seems likely that it does, but does anyone know for sure? It would seem pretty crazy to fly a type that can't climb with an engine failure. Thats like flying a single engine airplane with twice the risk.

Centaurus 9th Dec 2006 10:41

Thanks for the info so far. I have forwarded it to the MU2 owner. In other pertinent info on MU2 handling characteristics would be greatly appreciated.

gearpins 9th Dec 2006 14:55

donno about the MU2 my friend, but it is standard procedure on the airbus during wind shear not to change config including gear because gear doors have to open the bay then stow the wheels and close again. this whole process creates quite a bit of drag at a very critical segment of flight:)

extreme P 9th Dec 2006 20:17

http://www.avcanada.ca/forums2/viewt...&highlight=mu2

Rather long but a good read.

con-pilot 9th Dec 2006 20:49

While this information is a little late seeing your friend has already purchased an MU-2, hopefully this will enforce my recommend of getting the best training available.

I have researched the NTSB data base for 2005 and 2006 for fatal accidents involving turbo-prop aircraft the same class as the MU-2.

So far this year, 2006, there have been seven (7) fatal accidents in the United States involving cabin-class turbo-prop aircraft.

One King Air 200, loss of control on landing.

One Swearinger SA 226, loss of control while IMC.

Two (2) Turbo Commanders.

A Turbo Commander disappeared from radar after departing Anchorage, Alaska. The aircraft disappeared from radar thirteen (13) miles west of Anchorage. No wreckage or bodies have been found. The aircraft is assumed crashed and all persons on board dead.

A Turbo Commander suffered and in-flight breakup while at cruise altitude of FL 28.0. This aircraft was being operated under an “Experimental Category” certificate. The aircraft was fitted with experimental five (5) bladed propellers and had slipper fuel tanks mounted to the underside of the wings. There were level three (3) thunderstorms in the area.

Three (3) MU-2s.

A MU-2 crashed after losing an engine after takeoff. Aircraft rolled inverted and crashed on the airport.

A MU-2 suffered an in-flight breakup on decent while in IMC. There was no convective weather activity in the area.

A MU-2 suffered an in-flight breakup while at cruise altitude. There were level five (5) and six (6) thunderstorms in the area.

In 2005 there were three (3) fatal accidents in the United States and Canada involving cabin-class turbo-prop aircraft. All three (3) were MU-2s.

A MU-2 suffered CFIT (Controlled Flight Into Terrain) short of the runway while on an ILS approach. Reported weather was light winds, visibility 2.5 miles with rain and mist, tower visibility was 4 miles, ceiling was variable between 600 to 1,200 feet with broken clouds.

A MU-2 suffered CFIT on a clear VMC night. The pilot was sixty two (62) miles from his departure airport when he requested to return to the departure airport. When asked by ATC he reported that he had no aircraft problems, however, he needed to return to “have something checked out”. After the aircraft was cleared for the visual approach the aircraft over flew the runway at a low altitude and low airspeed. After flying past the airport the aircraft impacted a 62,000 pound earthmover sitting in a flat level field.

A MU-2 crashed shortly after takeoff due to loss of control. Aircraft rolled inverted and impacted the ground just off the airport property.

In the last two years there have been ten (10) fatal accidents involving cabin-class turbo-prop aircraft in the United States and Canada, six (6) were MU-2s.

Rather sobering. Train, train and train some more and do not ever get behind the airplane.

Centaurus 10th Dec 2006 06:10

Gearpins.

but it is standard procedure on the airbus during wind shear not to change config including gear because gear doors have to open the bay then stow the wheels and close again
Is that so? I think you will find that excess gear door drag is not the reason at all but more like the danger of the aircraft hitting the ground during a very low go-around so the gear is left down until you are no longer in windshear danger and the flaps are left down because retraction will cause loss of lift and the stalling speed goes up. Once the aircraft is out of critical windshear danger normal climb out procedures apply while the aircraft accelerates.

extreme P 10th Dec 2006 06:20

Your Cathay interview will confirm that the gear doors do indeed add extra drag... ;)

Centaurus 10th Dec 2006 07:05


Cathay interview will confirm that the gear doors do indeed add extra drag
Surely this is aircraft type dependant? Retraction of the landing gear on the 737 series makes no discernable difference in drag. Certainly while reference to the B737 series FCOM, and QRH advises the landing gear and flap positions should not be changed until clear of windshear, there is no explanation that could be construed that landing gear retraction drag is a significant factor in the recommended procedure.

The Cathay interview process may indeed include that gear door position may add extra drag but I believe that the main danger in a low level windshear escape manoeuvre is that the wheels may hit the runway in the go-around because of low airspeed - hence the Boeing advice of don't pull the wheels up until clear of windshear.

extreme P 10th Dec 2006 07:13

Obviously a type with no "belly" gear doors will not add much drag. Either way, don't raise the gear.

Centaurus 10th Dec 2006 08:08

Extreme P. Thanks again for the MU2 info you sent. Excellent material and passed on.

Mac the Knife 10th Dec 2006 10:02

http://aviationnow.com/avnow/news/ch...s/mu2_0206.xml

For what it's worth - I'm only a sawbones :(

Centaurus 10th Dec 2006 11:07

Mac. Thanks for that - an aeroplane with an interesting background.

Ag2A320 10th Dec 2006 18:55

IMHO,
After 13 yrs of Ownership and 1200 Hrs PIC on the Mits, the aircraft has the potential to hurt you but which aircraft doesnt, I was taught to fly it like a jet by the numbers and not by feel, which was a hard transition after flying Ag for years, A mitsi does everything as advertised unlike some other twin turboprops and is a steady 300KT performer, that will get in and out of 2500ft at gross climb to FL 250 and fly 1000nm. I would pick the MU-2 over any legacy turbine twin - Kingair 90,100,200, Gulfstream AC 1000, Conquest I,II or Piper Cheyenne all adaptations of existing slower piston designs. I've flown most , loved the Kingair 200, and Cheyenne 400LS, but for value for the money one can't beat an MU-2 (short or long body).

The B/CA article highlights the rumours but uses alot of fact to debunk the B/S and armchair flying by pilots that have never set foot in a Mits. Some pilots have flown it and hated, everybody is entitled to their opinions, but i tell those that i have encountered that they have probably flown one that wasnt properly rigged. plus it takes up to 100hrs PIC to start to feel comfortable with the aircraft, well it took me that long ; A PROPERLY RIGGED MU-2 IS A DREAM TO FLY! ; in fact will fly an ILS single engine fully config'd handsoff - no autopilot set the trims and leave it alone all one needs to do is adjust the FF to stay on the glide; POORLY rigged and incorrectly trimmed ,it is a handfull and and has the potential to be downright vicious; the flaps and flight idle fuel flow MUST be set correctly; a 1 degree spilt in the flaps at 20 will cause all a pretty nasty roll during retraction from flaps 5 to 0 and WILL kill you if something goes wrong. As an A&P/IA, I always tripple check any work on the flaps & engines: some mechanics and pilots, dont want to take the time to correctly rig them as it can take up to 10hrs to set the flaps and flight idle properly. I have been scared sh--less in mitsis, mostly ferrying aircraft bought from other freight operators, ramp queens and the odd sales demo with a pilot new to the MU-2 whose standard multi technique resurfaced even after a indepth brief of the differences between the MU-2 and rest of GA Light twins.

I was lucky enough train with an operator that understood the need to have a proper training syallabus and brought Mr. Reece Howell of Howell Enterprises, Smyrna TN :-www.mu2b.com to supervise the ground school and provided a fair and frank picture of the aircraft. we were required to review all the accidents back to 1967, read the FAA Special Certificate Reviews on the MU-2's and watch the icing video and the clear picture is that the largest factor is the Pilot, which is true for many other aircraft. The Mits served me well honing my IFR skills , i went from the left seat of a mits to right seat of a 727 and subsequently transitioned to other large jets and have found the need for pitch awareness,proper use of trim (all axis)and the inclusion of the IVSI in visual approaches very simliar between most Jets and the Mu-2;( the A-320 family being the exception as the FPV & Autotrim makes it so easy its almost a no brainer) I still maintain currency in my short body and believe that to safely fly a mits,one must fly a min of 50hrs a year. I have flown most of the much maligned GA aircraft:- V-Tail Bonanzas, Aerostars 700s ,Mitsi's, and Lears 24,25 and loved them all and hold them in high regard. inspite of the names- Doctor Killer, Tokyo Whore, Twin Honda, FearJet and Lawn Dart.

I recently went to Simcom(prefered FlightSafety & Reece) and found it not out of line with my "airline routine" of sim, however the instructor started to annoy me by day two, as being an A&P, I was more verse with the systems than he was, and while i feel there is a need for proper formalized training, it however must also be tailored to the Candidates experience; never had this problem with Reece Howell, i guess it was a clash of personalities; i objected to an Engine out with a NTS failure on liftoff as it is an unrecoverable senario and a waste of precious sim time.

As for the need of headsets ALL GARRETTS idle at 76%, however the Garrett is a quieter engine than a PT-6 at operating speeds of 96-100% and during flyover, the PT-6 seems a marked difference to linemen and other pilots cause its turning at 56% at idle.

The Gear retraction takes 17 seconds and will in an engine out scenario cost about 200 FPM as it retracts.

Mitsubishi originally published Airline Style Performance charts with Engineout charts at flaps 5 and 20 as well as TORA/TODA charts, however the FAA made them remove it as it 1) didnt conform to the GAMA standard and 2) was not "approved data "only demonstrated data. Under certain conditions the aircraft will NOT climb on one engine but this it true for all Aircraft in the Category (KINGAIR,MERLIN & TURBOCOMMANDER) - types certified also under CAR 3

I Fly the Mits same as the A-320, with the autopilot engaged most of the time so it allows me the time to manage the aircraft. I hand fly for proficiency when weather and other factors permit. In 1200 hrs on the Mits, have had a FCU failure in cruise( DAY IMC), oil line failure(hairline crack) on prop governor which led to an engine overspeed (Night IMC, overwater) and a bunch of other eye openers yet i'm not ready to sell the blasted thing and actually still enjoy flying it.

Ignition Override 11th Dec 2006 07:19

Con-Pilot:
Very interesting info.

Aside from the MU-2, you reminded us of a (SW) Metro fatal accident. That might be the one described recently in Flying Magazine (?), whereby the solo pilot suffered a major, if not total electrical failure after takeoff. The switches to reset the generators etc could not be reached easily from the left seat, if at all. How was the plane certified for single-pilot operation? Could such a certificate be a nice, legitimate target for a lawsuit?

The company decide to then hire pilots for the right seat. Corporate leadership at its finest-only after the dead body (bodies) is recovered and buried.


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