Blog : Ask the Expert

Why Feather at Shutdown?

It’s going to do it anyway, right? Since the feathering springs and blade counterweights are always trying to move the propeller blades to high pitch – and the extreme of high pitch is the feathered position – and propeller oil pressure is what prevents the springs and counterweights from succeeding in their job, then as…

King Air Crossfeed Basics

My aim in writing this article is not to present anything new but rather to simply review some of the fuel system information that you should have already received. I am sure the fuel system was covered extensively in your initial King Air training course and, if you have been flying King Airs for a…

Power Loss versus Engine Failure

Let’s see a show of hands: How many of you have experienced an honest-to-goodness engine fire in a King Air? As I expected, no hands are up. How about an honest-to-goodness engine failure, such as a main bearing going bad, or the RGB (Reduction Gearbox) uncoupling, or the high-pressure, engine-driven fuel pump failing, or an…

The History of King Air Chip Detector Annunciator Lights

In the early days of the King Air and PT6 engines, back in the ’60s and early ’70s, there was no such thing as chip detectors. The low spot near the bottom of the Reduction Gearbox (RGB) at the front of the engine had a drain plug only. The plug was not fitted with any…

The Amazing History of BB-1

The Amazing History of BB-1

I was fortunate to be employed by the Beech Aircraft Corporation’s Training Center during most of the development and certification process for the most popular King Air of all time, the model 200. I was the first ground and flight instructor for this model and had the privilege of learning directly from the engineers and…

Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should Start a Descent to a Lower Assigned Altitude

At the completion of my instrument instructor checkride back in ancient times, I recall that I asked the experienced FAA Inspector an important question as he was typing up the completion paperwork: “What’s the most important thing I should teach my instrument students?” “Situational awareness,” (SA) was his answer. I have concluded that he nailed…

War Stories: Part Four

I am continuing more of my personal King Air “war stories” for this month’s article. Automatic Unfeathering We all know how worthwhile the wonderful King Air autofeather system is, right? What you may not realize, however, is that numerous King Airs also have an automatic unfeathering system. This first came to light for me when we…

Why Do Some Switches Have White Circles?

In late June 2018, there was a thread on the BeechTalk forum that asked about the white circles around some cockpit switches. It also raised the question of why some switches had red inserts. I was surprised to find that some King Air pilots were not aware of the white circles’ meaning, so I decided…

“War Stories” – Part 3

I am continuing more of my personal King Air “War Stories” for this month’s article. Fuel Transfer and Crossfeed It is exceedingly common for all of us to incorrectly use “Fuel Transfer” and “Fuel Crossfeed” interchangeably. However, the words actually refer to very different things. Correctly, Transfer should always refer to the movement of fuel…