Help with Duchess


New Member
Hi guys i booked my first
hr dual [multi] in the Duchess 76 and im wondering about few things

Are the engines primed BEFORE starting as per checklist in airplane or prime as they are crancked as per POH?

How are rudders and elevators checked for freedom and correct mov.[pre take-off] when i cant see the tail from inside the plane?

What is the prefered approach in crosswind:
one wing low all the way
crab and one wing low on the flare

Compare to a C-172 how heavy are the controls?

What are the major chalenges or differences that a C-172 driver with few hrs in comlex is going to find flying this airplane?
Tnx a lot for help
Prime the engines before you start them, and if more is needed you can prime'em again during the start sequence.
For the elevators, it is a good question; now not too many airplanes have those surfaces visible from the cockpit, as for the vertical surfaces, except for the c.152/172 and a few more, you just don't see them.
What I used to do on the Dutchess was during the preflight, stand in the doorway and move the controls looking directly at the surfaces; you can also sit down, push on the right rudder w/ your left foot (or the left rudder w/ your right foot if you are to sit on the left seat) and look back. The check done during the engine run-up for the controls, I would use it for freedom of movement.
For the landing in cross-wind, I prefer the cross-control on very short final, during the power reduction; but this is just my personal preference, other pilots would do otherwise, and that would be correct too.
Now I think the controls are very responsive, and i do not find them heavy at all, as opposed to other twin of the same "class", I mean the same t/o weight, light twins.
The major difference that you will find after a few hours of training, is that you have 2 engines; and that you spend most of your time on 1 engine again...
Learning how to fly a twin should be redefined: How to fly a twin on 1 engine.
Have fun during your training, and if you have any questions, your instructor will be more than happy to answer them; after all, he is getting paid for it.
Never flown a Duchess myself, but I can give you some help, seeing as how it's a fairly standard twin trainer.

Generally, the engines are primed before start via the electric fuel pumps.

As for the flight controls...You check the controls the same as you would in a plane where you can see the tail. You'll do a full box check, and you're mostly looking to see if anything sticks, binds, etc. You know the drill.

For crosswind landings, my method of choice in a twin is the kick-out method. I started using this flying Seminoles due to the heavier controls, and since then I've started doing it in all aircraft.

Can't help you with the control feel...Though I'd expect heavier than a Cessna. The Piper was built, and felt, like a truck.

For the most part, I don't think you'll have much of a problem flying a twin. Your big issue for the first or second flight is staying ahead of the plane, but it's really not THAT fast, so don't let your brain tell you otherwise. Another thing to be wary on is that flying a counter-rotating twin can make you very lazy with rudder usage. Make sure you stay on those rudders when you need to, and I'm sure you'll do just fine.

EDIT: Looks like say_speed beat me to the "submit" button. Ah well...I stick by what I said.

EDIT: Looks like say_speed beat me to the "submit" button. Ah well...I stick by what I said.

[/ QUOTE ]

Hey man, you sound just like my wife now...
She complains about that too, you 2 probably know each other!
I got my multiengine rating on the Duchess 76, and I've since started my instrument on it. I'd assume my advice goes for any multi plane...just DON'T get behind the plane and you will be fine. Your first few flights will generally feel very busy (i.e. more precise power adjustments/single engine ops/more complex systems) but you will gradually get to know the plane. Just learn the systems, understand single engine aerodynamics, and know your speeds and you will be fine. Have lots of fun!....and remember, don't let your first few flights deter you. I almost stopped training because I thought I was a sh** pilot when I started in the Duchess, and now I have lots of instructors commend me on my flying skills. If you have any other questions feel free to email me....
BTW my pic is when I got my ME rating :)
Tnx for offer i may use it for some practical info,at your loc what is the minimun dual time needed to rent the airplane?
To be quite honost, I have yet to fly the Duchess solo; when I take passengers up I go up in the Cessnas...just saves me money. However, I am aware that we have MANY timebuilders at my school so I'm assuming that any holder of a multi-engine rating can fly the Duchess (granted they must be checked out in the aircraft)...but DON'T hold me on this, as I know there are many insurance issues etc. I fly out of Ari-Ben Aviator in Fort Pierce, Florida; you should either go to the forum dedicated to my flight school here or go to their website/call them directly.

Do the controls check from the right seat and lean out the door as you are doing it to look at the elevator.....just make sure that there is also normal movement on the left yoke as well.
Jetman, I instruct in the Duchess.

Priming-I don't know where you live, however here in Florida, it is rare that priming is required. Colder climates will require it. In fact boost pumps are optional as well (on start up). When you prime the cylinders, you are priming #1,2 and 4. (#3 carries the manifold pressure line). A solenoid is activated, squirting fuel into the intake valve chamber, not directly into the cylinders. Therefore, if you were to crank and prime, the fuel would be properly atomized (sp?). If you were to prime then crank, the fuel would pool around the valve first, then be sucked into the engine. Our MX department suggests that we crank, then prime, if at all.

To see the tail, open the door, look out, and move the controls.

Approach-Crab until short final, then cross the controls.

The handling characteristics of the Duchess- I find it to be very smooth, predictable, and stable. On occasion, the tail will yaw back and forth a bit during light turb. On landing, the Duchess has tremendous elevator authority. Other t-tails I have flown drop the nose. The Duchess nose touches down as softly as the pilot allows. X-wind landings are a breeze in the Be-76.

Challenges-dont forget your GUMPS!!!!! Initially, power settings and coordination are tasks to be delt with, but soon become second nature. I see a lot of people rush through SE emergency procedures, often being abrubt with the controls. Take your time and do it systematically. Bigger mistakes can be made be being careless.
Just a word of encouragement. The Duchess is an absolute BABY! Truely a joy to fly. I have always liked Beech products. I got my ME rating in the Duchess. It is light as a feather on the controls and goes where you point it. You dont have to wrestle with it like you do a Seminole. Landings are a breeze because of the trailing-link landing gear on it. And it has great all-around visibility. Have fun, and dont worry too much. You will catch on quickly.
Tnx all very much for input,first booking was cancelled airplane u/s
and i did not have a chance yet to fly .
My Q about priming had more to do with what a read on the POH [prime while crancking] as to what im use to do in the 172[ prime before crancking] i understand that priming systems are different and yes some times i done BOTH ////
Here in Ontario in the cold of winter i have started the 172 without preheat[ mags OFF\\\ pull prop,turn engine over few turns] then prime before crancking ,Start and continue priming while cranking and engine starts to run smooth

keeping in mind that there is the risk of fuel pooling and catching fire
If engine floods, then Mixture ICO throttle fully open and start

Thanks for all the other info i may be asking more Qs soon

Take care//////////