MU-2, Pilot Perspective

bart

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Finally, after 4 months, have been hired to fly an MU-2 for a 135 operation. It is the Marquise model.

What has been your experience with this plane? I am going to Smyrna, TN for my training in two weeks and want some perspective on it.

I have been instructing with some part 91 king air, turbo commander and DHC-6 on the side.
 

bigD

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If you don't get much response here, go check out the rec.aviation.piloting and rec.aviation.owning newsgroups, and you'll find a frequent poster there named Mike Rapoport. He's a private MU-2 owner and could tell you all about it.

All I know about the plane is how loud is is on the ground!
 

SIGman

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Never flown one personally, but have a friend who has. His favorite plane in the entire world, I think.

Very impressive load carrying ability, short/unimproved runway capability, efficient, ugly, etc. Out perform a kingair in *most* any departmant.

A little bit of a handfull to fly. That is, the MU2 doesn't fly itself, you have to work for it. (Even the Autopilot is never gets to relax)

Thats about all I know.

Have fun,
D
 

bobbysamd

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MU-2

Quite a bit of lore about the MU-2.

I recall how there were a number of accidents when they first came out. The plane is hot and slick - handles more jetlike than proplike - and pilots who were not used to jets would get into trouble.

I'm reaching into the recesses of my memory, but doesn't the airplane have full-span flaps and spoilers? I may be wrong about that.

There were some ADs issued for the MU-2 - once again, sorry, can't remember specfics.

I guess beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, but I thought MU-2s were cool - maybe ahead of their time in a lot of ways.

Have fun with your training.
 

SeaBass

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To me, the airplane was more out to kill you than anything else...it was the Japanese's way of getting even with us for Hiroshima. What other airplanes do you have to push the nose over right after takeoff?? Every landing is more or less a controlled crash...I would think that if you excelled at being an MU-2 driver...you should be able to wear atlest 16 stripes instead of 4 on each shoulder. The cool thing is that little baby can scoot along in the flight levels and get you to where you are going in a hurry! I guess I didn't have enough time in the airplane to feel like I wasn't going to kill myself everytime I buckled myself in...

Have fun with your new toy!!!

SeaBass
 

cj610

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MU-2

I've got a few hudred hours in the MU-2. I heard a figure that one in every three MU-2's ever built, have had an accident. I'm not telling you this to scare you but to make sure your at your best every time you get into the machine. Make sure when you first go up, it is w/ an experienced MU-2 pilot. Do lots of slow flight maneuvers and single engine work. Keep an eye on the ball and use those rudder peddals. Adjust your rudder trim first/Pitch trim second. It is a good and safe plane for the properly trained pilot. Have fun!

cj610

If you figure out how to get soft landings every time(in the MU-2), write back and tell me your secret.
 

328dude

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Well first off, your training your going to get at Reese Howell's ground school is the best. This is all this guy does. I did the ground school but not in TN. He came to OK to give it to us. As for the airplane, watch yourself. You will learn real quick that the key to this airplane is not to get it slow. I managed well over 1000 hours in this thing (J,L,N,Marquise) flying checks in this beast and had a few incidents (Losing prop over Texes) to name a few. This airplane requires alot of respect. However, it was the most fun I ever had in my life. It's fast, noisy, stinks and girls thought it was sexy. Rudder is the key with single engine. If you do tank one of takeoff, its weird but using the spoilorons to correct is a big No No. Don't even touch the yoke. Reach down and hold the spoiler trim down for 3 seconds, then 5 turns of the rudder wheel and these both should be accomplished in 7 seconds. Reese calls it the .357 rule and it's what will save your arse. The gear cycles very slow and with the doors opening and all that drag, that's what gets people in trouble if they are slow. Pick up as much speed as you can on takeoff. If you lose one and your heavy, pull the other one back and hope for this best.
Look, Its a great airplane and you will have a blast, but get some serious training and hours under your belt before this company your flying for cuts you loose. It's built like a brick ^$%# house, and flys like a truck so don't get nervous when you see the wings flexing like crazy with 90 gals in each tip. Hopefully this company your going into has tip tank dumps in case of a engine failure. If not, advise them to get them.
Congrats on your job man. It's the best fun you will have.
Private message me if you have any specific questions. Reese is a good guy and one hell of a stick in this thing. You will learn alot and get scared alot. LOL.

Have fun.
 

skydash

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MU2

Well.....it's not the monster everyone thinks it is. You will have no problems in the plane IF you.....
1) Pay attention to the instructor regarding the aerodynamics of the plane(they ain't like anything else you've flown before or will ever fly again)
2)FLY IT BY THE NUMBERS!!!! There isn't much room for error in that beast.
I used to fly a J model with a guy named Ralph Sark who was the only person to ever survive a runaway trim in a mu2. He had over 6000 hrs. in one(which should qualify him for some sort of Presidential recognition). The 2 most important things he told me about the airplane is what I just told you....with the emphasis being on #2! Good luck!!
 

Smoove Ride

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i've never flown an mu-2, but i have a friend who has lot's of time in one. ....he told me that if you ever wanted to own one, just by a large plot of land and sooner or later one would fall into it! :D -sr.
 

Mitsipilot

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Hey 328dude,

Are you the guy that lost a blade over Texas and had to put her down in Corsicana. If you are, great job.
 

Mickey

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I loved flying the MU-2. If you you don't have ANR headsets get some or do the mod to add ANR to yours. Forget almost everything about flying those other turbo-props. They are very different aircraft than the MU-2. A lot of pilots have gotten into trouble because they had thousands of hours in those other turbo-props and primacy is hard to overcome.

Learn the MU-2 from the instuctor. Don't get slow. Practice slow flight with the instructor. Be ahead of the aircraft. Fly your approaches smoothly. This is not a good aircraft to hunt and peck on the approach with. It uses spoilers to turn with and these become less effective and sluggish as you slow down. Make sure the fuelers know how to fuel an MU-2 so you don't come out to find your plane on it's side. Keep the fuel ballanced in flight.

Once again, I loved flying it. The bad lore comes from people who never flew them. If you jump into the MU-2 and try to fly it like a King Air you will create more bad lore for the MU-2. Always be ready for an engine out at the worst time as you should when flying any twin. Here again, the spoilers aren't your friend but, airspeed and rudder are.

Enjoy
 

jetdriven

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to the MU2 drivers:
how do you lose an engine at V1 (100kts), feather the prop, and accelerate to the blueline airspeed (151kts) without retracting the flaps or gear?? There appears to be a very large window where you are completely screwed in the event of engine failure.
 

falcon20

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As I recall blue line with flaps 20 was 120, this is why you never touched the flaps or gear if you lost a motor(Flaps LIFT , GEAR DRAG when raised, doors take 17 seconds to fully cycle). Like any airplane fly it first(in refernece to losing a motor on T/o) but you better neutralize the yoke quickley with the spoileron trim, also dont forget to turn off the bleed air(I believe it was 125 fpm detriment if left on) . The MU2 training at Reese's is excellent and the aircraft will fly on one motor after t/o if you fly it the way it was meant to be flown. The main reason for all of the early incidents was the lack of training and also pilots flying it as if it were a piston twin(MIX<PROPS<THROT<GEAR>FLAPS?VER IDENT KILL)Its been a few years but PM if you have any questions
 

DC9stick

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I did a search of MU-2 vs. King Air accidents on the NTSB site:
Here are the relative #'s. U S only

King Air total fleet as of 1/1/80 1920
King Air Accidents: 224 Fatal 75 Fatal = 33%
% of fleet involved in accidents: 11
% of fleet involved in fatal accidents: 4

Mu-2 Total fleet as of 1/1/80 442
MU-2 Accidents: 72 Fatal 35 Fatal = 48%
% of fleet involved in accidents: 16
% of fleet involved in fatal accidents: 8

the MU-2 fleet is only 23% af the King Air fleet yet had 47% of the combined fatal accidents.

I used the King Air because it's the most popular turboprop in the class. Feel free to corect my math. Which would I rather fly.
Training is paramount, use extreme caution in ice, study the NTSB accident reports to learn how pilots bust their A$$.
Good Luck
 

DC9stick

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There's been a lot said about the MU-2 saftey record including my post above. It's an airplane pilots either love or hate. Here's the scoop compared to most of the other turboprops. this data was found by searching registration data and the NTSB accident site.
All data from 1983 to present due to database limitations.

M/M Total A/C Accidents Fatal % of fleet
in fatal Acc.

Cessna 425 203 19 7 3.4
Cessna 441 264 26 11 4.1
Aero 690/680T
Commander 460 25 10 2.1
Piper PA-31T 543 48 20 3.6
Piper PA-42 131 7 3 2.3
King Air (all) 2112 267 75 3.5
Mitsubishi 484 77 35 7.2

As can be seen the Turbo Commanders are the safest and the MU-2 is almost twice as bad as the second to last. This only takes into account total #'s and not flight hours. A large # of these accidents are CFIT or loss of control and the MU-2 also leads in these areas. The MU-2 is not in and of it's self unsafe it is just unforgiving of any complacency or lack of proficiency or judgement by it's pilot.
 

sweptwingz

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Don't let them scare you too badly....

I ran an MU-2L (long body / freight mod) for a Part 135 auto parts on
demand in the Great Lakes and Canada. It is a fantastic airplane, but
you MUST know it's quirks....it does not suffer fools lightly.
The "Mits" is a trim hungry beast, any change in power or configuration
usually requires a complete retrim. It is nowhere as near a dynamically
stable as a King Air. Fly it by the numbers, and remember to use a
checklist EVERY TIME you take off. Forget the take off flaps and you
will rapidly become familiar with that seldom mentioned V speed, "Vcr"
(That's "Accelerate / Car'" because that's what you for all purposes are,
a 140 knot automobile, that will shoot off the runway's end.)
Hard IMC single pilot with an inoperative autopilot was a "no go"
at my company due to the Mits's lack of stability. Know the autopilot,
and learn it's quirks well, as uncommanded pitch downs have killed more
than a few pilots. Good headsets are a MUST. The Garrett TPE-331s
are world renowned for the MU-2 salute....that's a ramp lineman with
his hands mashed tight against his ears.
Now for the good stuff: It hauls bootie, sips gas, rides great in
turbulance due to the high wing loading, will carry a whale of ice if
you keep it scooting, has huge flaps that will allow incredible short
field operations, is built like a tank, and seldom breaks.

In summary, it's a neat machine...just stay current and play by the rules
and you'll do fine! I loved the MU-2.
 

FRDOG

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Don't land it hard with full tanks cause you'll f up the spar.....you can tell the ones that have been landed hard and the ones that are cherrys by how the wing oilcans when you move the tank up and down
-dog
 

328dude

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Actually, the MU can be taken off without flaps. Not that you would want to for all seriousness, but if your fooling around and empty, its fun. *Only long runways though*

Performance wise, it can be put into 2000 foot strips and taken out of. (not to heavy). a arse chewing resulted after CP found out. Fun stuff. LOL

The cabin dump comes in handy for Mountain Dew farts. Or, you can pull the door seal breaker. Not recommended. Ears will hurt with the later.

Spinning tip tank fuel gauges are very common. Wip out the calculator and keep mental notes of your fuel. Don't trust the gauges.

Some MU-2's have a breaker panel in the back of the plane. Really sucks if you pop one and your full of crap and don't have anyone to crawl back there.

Make sure the line service guys put your tow link back togehter. You will do this atleast once.

Backing up with beta is fun.

Vmc is very violant with no flaps. Screaming is optional.

Rolls like a dream and high speeds. Make sure someone shows you how. Never had the guts to do it myself though.

If you have the emergency hatch on either the captains or FO;s seat window, DO NOT GO OUT HEAD FIRST!!!!!!!!. You will break your arse.

One of the biggest pain is putting extra seats in the back. Screwing around with those pegs and sliding them is a royal pain in the arse.

So many memories and good times with this thing.
Wish I would have stayed.

Anybody else have any memories?
 

bart

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Thanks Everyone!

Thanks for all the informative and entertaining posts. Have now flown 4 Part 91 legs and start indoc training on the 21st and MU-2 School with Reese on the 3rd of March. I have 1 landing under my belt... the most challenging I have ever made (with a 4 knot wind down the runway).

I can say that learning this plane will be a challenge and it has my respect. I can also see that I am going to love flying it. I have a great Captain working with me and he has already shared some great insights into the aircraft with me. Thanks for all the stories and I look forward to sharing mine with you.

Frank Bell
 

skyking328

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Reece Howell training = Safe MU2 pilot

Sir you are very lucky to get trained by Mr Howell. I used to fly the MU2 out of Smyrna TN. I logged a little over 2000 hours in that airplane and flew it all over the country. Reece is a great instructor. Listen to what he has to say and use some good common sense and you will get lots of enjoyment out of the airplane. Just be careful in icing conditions. Dont get slow or fly around with a high pitch attitude. The autopilots have a bad reputation. I used to turn mine off for all approaches and when I encountered moderate or greater icing conditions. As Reece will show you, TRIM is the key to flying the airplane especially if you loose an engine. Good luck and fly safe!!! :)

PS: Before takeoff always check 5 to stay alive - 3 trims, flaps, and condition levers.

Take care
:p
 
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