While in Hungary to do the FI(A) training, I decided to take the opportunity to ask for a short flight in the Piper PA-44 Seminole they had at the flight school. They were happy to let me give it a try, and the price was acceptable - so up we went!
This is slightly more complex than I’m used to
I’m used to simple Cessna 172s, and the Diamond Super Dimona (which actually has a constant speed propeller), so the Piper PA-44 (Seminole) is considerably more complex than what I usually fly. Not only are there two engines (that’s a 100% increase), there are also two constant speed propellers and a retractable landing gear. And a fully manual mechanical flaps lever (which I have used before in an old Cessna 172).
We had a thorough briefing before we started, and I learned a lot about the dangers of multi engine airplanes close to the ground (you don’t want to lose one of the engines on take-off). Listening to experienced pilots share their knowledge and experience is both fascinating, interesting, and very useful. I believe talking with and listening to more experienced pilots are a vital part of being a safe pilot.
Let’s go flying
Starting up was not too different from starting up the airplanes back home, except that it had to be done twice. Taxi however was very different! To turn we used differential thrust, not differential braking. That was a new experience, and surprisingly easy.
Run-up was also similar to what I’m used to, just times two. The take-off roll was a bit longer than I’m used to, but once we were off the ground - things started to feel a bit more familiar again (except the landing gear). I got a bit (a lot) help with the thrust and propeller setting, the rest was just like I’m used to. After all, the wings are just wings - and both the ailerons, the rudder, and the elevator work the exact same way here as on a smaller Cessna.
The view without the big fan (propeller) in front of you was a lot better, but the view to the side was much worse with both the engine and the propeller in the way.
A short flight and a couple landings
We did a very short flight along the Danube, a couple turns, and then we went back to do a touch and go before coming back for a full stop. Without a doubt, my two best landings in a multi engine ever😆
And that was it, I now have both single engine and multi engine numbers in my logbook! And I got to try something new, which is always fun. I’m so glad I didn’t waste this opportunity, and just went for it. Trying new airplanes is fun, and I also enjoy collecting them in my logbook (who doesn’t).
I hope 2023 will bring me even more new and interesting airplanes in the logbook!