Blog : Ask the Expert

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…

Ask the Expert; “War Stories” – Part 2

Based on feedback from last month’s article in which I related some interesting personal experiences – “War Stories” – I am continuing with additional tales this month. I hope you find them enlightening and enjoyable. Split Flaps in an A90 In the early 1980s my company, Flight Review, Inc., received a call from a fellow…

Ask the Expert: “War Stories”

The dictionary definition of War Story is “… an account or anecdote concerning one’s personal experiences, especially in military combat …” The stories presented in this article surely come from my personal experience but I am thankful that they do not originate from military combat. Instead, they come from events in my 46 years of…

Ask the Expert: Pressurization Basics

I keep observing a disturbing lack of knowledge and understanding of an aircraft’s pressurization system. Let me try to set the record straight … or at least straighten it out a little bit. I will use the numbers associated with a member of the King Air B200-series. However, what I write, with minor modifications, will…

Ask the Expert: King Air “Gotchas”

This article originally appeared in the September 2013 issue of this magazine. Some questions that I have recently received lead me to believe it is time for a repeat. Additionally, I have added a comment about the Shock Link in the nose wheel steering mechanism. I am often asked by pilots transitioning into a King…