Thursday, December 29, 2016

The big Cessnas

My friend bought a C414 Chancellor.  I've been curious about this plane because all my C400 series time thus far has been in the 421C.  The 414 is an older cousin and this particular model is well equipped.  It's got the RAM IV engines and shows very well.  My friend is not yet multi rated and getting that done through the holidays has taken longer than he expected, so the plane has sat.  He asked me to take it up for a run to give her a little exercise.

She appears to be good overall shape and we spent a good hour at least on the ground checking everything out.  I'm not super familiar with the breed so I went though the POH and checklists in excruciating detail.  Running the aux pump and hopping outside to ensure I could hear it running, identifying and sampling every fuel drain, reading up on the fuel system, etc.  It's a complicated old beast, even more so than the KingAir.

She took off like a rocket though and climbed like crazy.  It's very smooth on the controls and just feels rock solid.  The 414 is noticeably louder than the 421.  The 421 has geared props and settles in at 1900 RPM which keeps things nice and quiet.  The 414 engines are not geared and I was surprised by how loud the plane is, especially on takeoff.  The right engine tach generator failed in flight and so  it was hard to sync the props with no prop RPM indication on one side.  Also the fuel flows were way out of balance.  When both engines were showing the same fuel flow there was more than a two inch split on the mixture knobs.  He's getting these things sorted and we'll go fly it again.  Seems like the one huge downside of these old pressurized turbocharged piston twins is that you're always chasing gremlins, doubly so if you let them sit too long...   cool bird though!