adventure, aircraft, ATR 72, aviation, CPL, Currency, Dublin, engine failure, Fixed-wing aircraft, flight, flight training, Garmin G1000, IPad, Kalmar, London, medical, MEIR, Stockholm, Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden, Swedish Airforce, Travel, Turbine engine failure
I’m into day 3 of the course, and we’ve really hit the ground running. We should have the 6 hour multi-engine (ME) course completed by the tomorrow(Saturday), so just four days. Once completed, I believe, it’s on to the sim to begin the Instrument and commercial training.
From Wednesdays chat with Henrik, we know that we’re going to mix up the training a bit to make best use of the sim when the weather is unfit to fly. Normally, more of the sim hours are completed towards the start of course, but we are going to save more of them for the inevitable unflyable days. So, it there should be a good mix of the aircraft thrown in.
Anyway back to the ME course. It’s been pretty much go go go, but oddly without any major stress. Maybe the coolness of the instructors, is rubbing off me.
Funnily enough, one of the main purposes of the ME course, is to learn how to fly the aircraft on a single engine. It makes perfect sense though, because until you have an engine failure they fly pretty much the same.
The major problem associated with the loss of an engine on a ME aircraft, is the sudden imbalance between the thrust provided to each wing. For instance, if you lost your right engine, the left engine tries to pull the the left wing around to the nose, and the whole aircraft yaws to the right. Now that the left wing is moving faster than the right wing, the left wing creates more lift(aided by the running engine giving more airflow over the wing) and the aircraft also banks to right.
Anyway, without any intervention the aircraft would quickly begin to flip over and nose dive towards the ground. Thankfully, you can prevent this unpleasant scenario, by using a boot full of left rudder, to cancel out that initial yaw.
By a boot full of rudder, I mean your leg begging to go numb after about 10 seconds. Thankfully though, there’s a rudder trim to cancel out those forces. Trick is though, to remember you’ve trimmed out the rudder once the instructor gives you your “failed” engine back, or when you reduce power to descend, or worse, when cutting power during the flare to land.
So, the shit’s just got real and you’ve had an engine failure, you’ve given the rudder everything you’ve got to keep the aircraft on a forward heading. Unfortunately, that’s not all you need to do. When the engine quits, it turns into a windmill, with the airflow turning the prop. This isn’t free energy and causes massive drag on the aircraft. To combat this, we need to shut the engine down so that we can feather(align with the airflow) the propeller blades. There’s other reason of course such a fire etc.
So, the trick to this is as such, don’t shut down the working engine!! This is easily done in the heat of the moment, but if you stay calm and follow the SOP, you can’t go wrong.
This is what we’ve been rehearsing and rehearsing the last two days, involving engine failures in all scenarios, initially away from the airport in the cruise before bringing it back into the circuit to practice during landing, take-off and go around phases. Naturally enough, the latter two are the most critical times to have a failure, because you’re low to the ground at a high power setting and you’re trying climb.
During these few hours, we also managed to practice some low approaches, regular go-arounds, a few steep turns, and generally familiarize ourselves with the airplane.
And below some more weeeee!!! A quick video of a low pass over the runway, about 185kph, at 20ft. You might use this if your unsure of your gear position and you want someone on the ground to get a close look. Or, for fun. 🙂
All went pretty well until this morning, we noticed a slight bit of white smoke coming from the left engine during start-up, but since everything was running perfectly, it wasn’t black smoke and it ceased straight after start-up, we decided to continue. However, during the flight, we got a caution annunciation for Low Cooling Fluid. We consulted the checklist, which advised that, if all engine indications are normal to continue. Although all indications were normal, the smoking on start-up was reason enough, so we returned to Kalmar to get it checked out.
We brought the aircraft to the mechanic, who topped the cooling fluid up. After a discussion and no evidence of anything wrong. We tried again, this time however as we took off, the tower reported black smoke, so we returned for an immediate landing and back to the mechanic. I suspect there was a small internal leak, that got a lot worse when we went to take-off power on the final circuit.
These engines are one of the older, first generation of diesel engines, which have been known to give a lot of problems. They were dew to be upgraded next month to a different type, so it maybe isn’t such an issue for the guys here, but I guess it show’s just how expensive these machines can be to run. Thankfully, the newer productions appear to be more reliable.
Anyway, onto the spare for now. Lets not try to break this one, since it’s the only one left.
Lastly, cool aircraft reg Tommy.