King Air Pilot

King Air Tips, Techniques and Travel Blog

What’s the difference between a Pratt&Whitney -61 and -52 engine?

Written By: Doug Carmody - Jun• 24•15

The -61 and -52 are identical engines with one exception. The max ITT on the -52 is higher than the -61 by 20 degrees (820 vs 800). This gives the ability for setting more aggressive power settings, realizing slightly better higher altitude climb and cruise performance with the -52. Also, if the customer’s airplane is equipped with any avionics package including Pro Line 21 avionics, the -52 can be installed. The -61 is good for all avionics except Pro Line 21.

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Listen to Doug on the Laura Ingraham show

Written By: Doug Carmody - Mar• 27•15

(Push the play button on the player above)


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Centex Aerospace chooses Executive Flight Training for pilot training

Written By: Doug Carmody - Mar• 04•15


Centex Modifications of Waco, Texas, has named Executive Flight Training of Beaufort, South Carolina, as an authorized BE200 type rating training center for all King Air 200/250 aircraft models for which Centex provides The HALO 250 IGW Conversion upgrades.

Executive Flight Training will be able to teach pilots how to get the most from their new upgrades with instruction specifically oriented towards the proper operation of all Centex upgraded aircraft, according to Centex officials.

Instruction will be available for Centex HALO 250 IGW Conversion upgraded King Air 200 and 250 aircraft models.

According to David Rogers, Centax’s Chief of Sales, “The HALO 250 Increased Gross Weight Conversion we provide our customers give them the capability to fly farther, faster and safer with the HALO 250 Conversion. More payload means more passengers, baggage, fuel, or a combination of these three. The 920 pound increase equates to an additional hour and a half of flight time, or, five more passengers plus baggage. The conversion also provides an increase in the maximum operating Mach number, Mmo from 0.52 to 0.58 Mach. This allows faster cruise speeds at high altitudes and faster descents, and is a real benefit for airplanes with -52 and -61 engines. Plus, five new safety systems raises the King Air to a new level of safety.”

He noted that Executive Flight Training will be demonstrating techniques to show “customers how to best operate their aircraft to realize these performance increases and improved efficiencies.”

“We’ve been training King Air pilots for 23 years now,” stated Doug Carmody, Executive Flight Training’s Owner. “We know these airplanes very well and have seen the advantages that the increased gross weight brings to the King Air 200. We’ll now be teaching pilots of these Centex upgraded models how to operate their airplanes to get the most from their upgrades.”

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Blackhawk Modifications Names Executive Flight Training as Authorized Pilot Training Center

Written By: Doug Carmody - Feb• 26•15

February 23, 2015 – Blackhawk Modifications of Waco, Texas has named Executive Flight Training of Beaufort, South Carolina as an authorized pilot training center for all twin-engine aircraft models for which Blackhawk provides higher performance, new PT6A engine upgrades. Executive Flight Training will be able to teach pilots how to get the most from their new PT6A engine upgrades with instruction specifically oriented towards the proper operation of all Blackhawk upgraded aircraft. Instruction will be available for Blackhawk upgraded King Air 90, King Air 200, Piper Cheyenne and Cessna Conquest I aircraft models.

“We currently have over 500 customers operating Blackhawk upgraded aircraft,” said Bob Kromer, Blackhawk’s Senior VP of Sales, Marketing and Customer Support. “The new PT6A engines we provide our customers give them the capability to extract more horsepower at climb and cruise altitudes, resulting in superior single and multi-engine climb performance, higher available cruise speeds and capability to routinely cruise at higher, more fuel-efficient altitudes. We are pleased that Executive Flight Training will be demonstrating techniques to show our customers how to best operate their aircraft to realize these performance increases and improved efficiencies. Add to that the fact Executive’s flight training is “insurance approved” means most of our customers will also be able to fulfill any recurrent or initial training requirements to keep themselves proficient and their passengers safe.”

“We’ve been training King Air, Cheyenne and Conquest I pilots for 23 years now,” stated Doug Carmody, Executive Flight Training’s Owner. “We know these airplanes very well and have seen the advantages that new, more capable PT6A engines provided by Blackhawk make available. We’ll now be teaching pilots of these Blackhawk upgraded models how to operate their engines and airplanes to get the most from their upgrades. I know they will be thrilled with the knowledge and resulting performance increases they will enjoy. Plus, we are confident they will be getting some of the best overall instruction possible for increased confidence, proficiency and safety.”

Executive Flight Training

Executive Flight Training, based in Beaufort, South Carolina, offers insurance approved, personalized, one-on- one training in all models of the King Air, Piper Cheyenne and Cessna Conquest. Training is available using an on-site full-motion simulator at the Beaufort, South Carolina location or at a customer’s preferred location. For further information on Executive Flight Training, contact Doug Carmody. Doug can be reached at (843) 521 – 9412 or or on Executive Flight Training’s website, at

Blackhawk Modifications, Inc.

Based in Waco, Texas, the Blackhawk Modifications provides new engine installations and STC paperwork for all models of King Air 90 and 200, Cessna Conquest, Piper Cheyenne I, II, IIXL, and Cessna Caravan models 208 and 208B. Blackhawk’s contributions to the upgrade industry continue to be new PT6A engines, components, associated hardware and STC paperwork. To date, the company has completed engine upgrades on more than 500 aircraft over the 15 years it has been in business. For more information, contact Bob Kromer, Senior VP Sales, Marketing and Customer Support At Blackhawk Modifications, Inc. Bob can be reached at 254-755-6711 or via email

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King Air 200 engine shutdown

Written By: Doug Carmody - Dec• 11•14

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Icing review

Written By: Doug Carmody - Dec• 10•14

Don’t forget! Open at plus 5°c when in visible moisture.

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King Air Pilot Wanted

Written By: Doug Carmody - Oct• 23•14

Help! I need a good King Air contract pilot in the NY/PA area for a regular gig. E90 to be based in that area would also need some general oversight and management functions. Current and former students (only) email me.

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Written By: Doug Carmody - Oct• 17•14

Bet you didn't know

On the new G1000 update, Pilots now have the flexibility to quickly build user-defined holding patterns. These holds may be created over an existing fix in the navigation database or over a user-defined waypoint. Unpublished holds or those assigned by air traffic control are easily created and displayed on the multi-function display (MFD), further simplifying the process of flying a holding pattern.

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What is sulfidation?

Written By: Doug Carmody - Oct• 16•14

Jet fuel contains sulfur. When it is burned at high temperatures it creates a gas called sodium sulfate. This gas mixes with the engine’s intake air. The intake air is contaminated with pollution, salt, soot and other nasty particles. This corrosive mix is what eats away at the compressor turbine blades. This process is called sulfidation.  As a pilot, mechanic or owner, it is in your best interest to stop this attack. The turbine blade manufactures have done their part. They create cobalt or nickel based turbine blades to withstand high operating temperatures. They coat the turbine blades with aluminide and silicone aluminide. All of this is an attempt to battle sulfidation.  So what can you do as a pilot? You could avoid flying in salt air near the ocean, deviate around industrial areas and avoid flying near cities. Obviously, you need more practical solutions. Pratt & Whitney recommends frequent engine washes especially if you operate within high salt environments such as near the coastline. Be sure to install intake and exhaust covers when you park the airplane overnight or longer. Only buy clean, filtered fuel. Make sure your fuel nozzles are operating efficiently.  These procedures help avoid contamination of the gas path of the engine. You may want to consider more frequent borescope inspections. Although this may increase short term maintenance expenses, it will pay off in the long run. Remember, if sulfidation reaches the base metal on the turbine blades, there is no stopping it.

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Awkward new ATC Policy at TZR and other airports with approaches in only one direction

Written By: Doug Carmody - Aug• 13•14

I agree!

Subject: Awkward new ATC Policy at TZR and other airports with approaches in only one direction


I want to bring to your attention a logical but hopefully unintended result of the FAA’s recent prohibition on opposite direction operations at controlled airports.

You’ve read about the prohibition and may have experienced it. Several months ago, I believe citing loss of separation in a few cases, the FAA handed down a blanket edict that controllers may no longer authorize us to land on a runway opposite the one officially in use. Even at 02:00 LCL with calm winds and clear and a million weather, unless TWR cuts a new ATIS and changes the airport around, you’re not landing on 5 just because you’re coming from CHA.

While perhaps such over-reaction is relatively benign in most cases, at certain airports and under certain conditions, this new policy seems to have the potential to reduce safety rather than enhancing it. I am writing because Columbus Bolton Field, TZR, where I know many of us go frequently, is one of those airports. Here’s the deal.

While approaching Bolton this morning in a Citation, the weather was 1000 BKN, 5 miles and haze. Winds were out of the southwest at about 12 gusting to 18 or so–not bad, but clearly too much for a downwind landing. Although there was no other traffic to or from the field at the moment, TZR was officially and properly using Runway 22 due to the winds.

Since I was coming from the South West, with reported ceiling and visibility well above the published circling minima, I requested the ILS RWY 4, CIRCLE 22. I was politely told that when 22 is in use, CMH Approach considers the ILS 4 to be an “Opposite Direction Operation”, prohibited by recent FAA rules.

“OK”, you may say, “Circling isn’t my favorite exercise anyway.” I wholeheartedly agree, which is why, as my highly trained fingers began flying toward the keyboard, I immediately and without hesitation keyed up the mic and requested the RNAV RWY 22 approach.

Apparently one of the first rules for sounding really cool on the radio is to request only approaches that actually exist. Unfortunately, upon even momentary reflection, it turns out the ONLY published approaches of any kind at TZR are to Runway 4.

As the reality of this situation began to set in, I was sure there must be a solution I was missing. Some code word or secret procedure I had slept through during the two full days of instrument school I took back in 1981. It simply couldn’t be that anytime the weather is less than basic VFR, any towered airport without a published approach to the wind-favored runway is de-facto, closed.

So having already tried MY idea (simply ‘willing’ an approach into existence out of thin air) I demurred next to the local expertise of the approach controller. With hat now metaphorically in hand, I simply asked, what was the plan was for getting me down in the legally circle-able but nominally IFR weather?

To my surprise, the President of the United States, responding to my inquiry by and through the Secretary of Transportation, the Administrator of the FAA and subsequent layers of bureaucratic efficiency, told me straight out “If you can’t get in on the visual, you’ll have to go somewhere else”.

Fortunately, as sometimes happens in aviation, at that very moment, the clouds magically parted ever so slightly wider than the wingspan of a Citation. Having previously come into possession of both decent ground contact and reported visibility greater than the required mile, I now had the remaining pre-requisite to request the much under appreciated Contact Approach. Thankfully, this controller was old enough to know what that meant, and a few minutes later, we were sitting comfortably on the ground–with a re-usable airplane no less. I knew there was an old trick or two hiding back there somewhere.

But since that kind of luck is never guaranteed, I decided to search for a more reliable solution for the future. After landing, I called the TWR controller on the phone. He was very forthcoming, and offered the following:

1. This issue is being discussed at various levels of the FAA for a solution.

2. Approach had in fact called and asked TWR to turn the airport around to accommodate my request (as they told me they had), but due to the winds being stronger than the limits for downwind operations, he was unable to do so. That was clearly right, of course, and if he had turned the airport, I would not have been able to land anyway due to tail winds.

3. The Tower controller also said he understood that when requested by a pilot for reasons of “Operational Necessity”, Approach is “supposed” to approve the circle. He said operational necessity (from the Controllers Manual) includes factors of wind, runway gradient, FMS capability and I think one other factor that I missed.

4. In a subsequent call to CMH Operations, a very helpful individual looked into the issue separately, called me back within 5 minutes, but with a more restrictive interpretation. He said that there is a big regional push from FAA not to authorize ANY opposite direction operations, specifically to include the published circling approach at TZR and other airports through the region. He also said that a pilot request of Operational Necessity won’t do it. Only in a declared emergency “or instance of significant weather” (which he didn’t further define), would the circle be allowed.

I think the “take away” here is that the issue is in flux, and until the FAA gets it sorted out, at Columbus and presumably other places throughout the country, you may not be able to count on getting a circling approach when the procedure itself is aligned with an opposite direction runway. This means even though you may have a relatively mild sounding 1,000 OVC and 5 miles at a towered airport served by an ILS, if the winds happen to be wrong, you may not even be allowed to try. As always, be prepared with both fuel and information to go elsewhere if you can’t work something out quickly and amicably with ATC.

While we’re on the subject of diversions, and I know I’m lecturing to the choir here, but my long standing practice is to look at both a road map AND the weather map when choosing an alternate. I like to find out where my passengers are going on the ground and if I can’t comfortably get them to the right airport, I can at least usually put them on the right side of the river/mountain/swamp/city/Gulf of Mexico or other impediment while still insisting on a safe and legal alternate. I also like to call ahead and give the rental car people at the alternate a “conditional” heads up before take off, or even the night before, when diversion looks like it may be more likely. I just tell them what I’m doing and they almost always say they’d rather cancel a car at no charge than try to hustle one up at the last minute in case we do have to land there.

Of course safety always trumps convenience, so do what you need to. I just find that diverting is much more pleasant and stress free, both in the decision and in the execution, if I know the PAX won’t have to sit and look at ME for 30 minutes while some strange FBO tries to get the hay bales unloaded from the loaner truck.

Thanks for reading this far. Apparently hotel rooms bring out unnecessary verbosity. Let me know if any of you have experiences or issues to add, but please keep Harbrace corrections to yourselves.


Don C Stansberry, III, ATP/JD
Big South Fork Aero, Inc
258 Woodland Place
Huntsville, TN 37756

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