New Square Tail Pilot

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    I joined the ranks of MEL pilots yesterday after passing my check ride in my 1957 Cessna 310A. The examiner I wanted to use is based out of Wyoming and I am in Tucson, so it was a long day. I learned a lot about flying and a lot about my airplane in the cross country.

    My examiner’s comments included “You picked about the most difficult light twin to do your training and check ride” and “An old 310 is a hand full to fly”. I don’t know about that as I don’t know any different. Guess I’ll have to try another twin for comparison but, as they say in California, this one sure is bitchen.


    Same thing happened to me. First twin I climbed in to was a I model. I thought all twins were a handful. After 120 hours climbed in a Baron 58 and found out it was ridiculously easy to fly. But who wants to be cramped up in one of those if you’re 6’8. So I’m restoring the I model. Have fun. Where’s Maher?

    Don Oltman

    quote DOltman1:

    Where’s Maher?

    Don Oltman

    Maher’s right here! Just got back from flying my 310. 😀

    First – a big congrats, on the new rating in YOUR classic 310! And no need to try others….not when you have that beauty. Might I suggest you plan on a nice late September trip to NC for the Tuna Tank get together? 😉

    And by the way, when my right engine quit shortly after take off this past January in my 56 310 in Florida, the whole thing was very manageable. And I credit the airplane. Even with 2 on board, baggage, 130 gallons of fuel, it handled very nice with great performance. It may not be the best on one engine, but it sure was good enough for me.

    Again, congrats and enjoy the journey.



    I had engine outs on my first two training flights. The first one was caused by a bit of grunge sticking the poppet valve of the Carb for the left engine, causing it to go super rich and shut down. The aircraft started heading uncontrollably towards the left, so I pulled engines to idle, got it straightened out, and set it back on the runway. It was all instinct, had to explain to the instructor how I’d lost power.

    The second flight had another fuel system issue on climb out. The left engine was still making power in surges, so I told my instructor to figure out the engine while I flew the airplane. As I turned to downwind, it quit completely. He got the airplane cleaned up with the prop feathered. I asked him to take over on final as I’d never landed a big twin before and didn’t think my first attempt should be on a single engine.

    Anyway, got some very real experience in my training right off the bat. I’m very clear on how things should go if faced with that now should it be just me as PIC.


    Congratulations on your checkout.

    I’m finding out the hard way that fuel management, and proper fuel system maintenance is an absolute must in these airplane (see my IO-470D Fuel Pump Servo Problem post in the Maintenance section).

    Even though I have only owned the airplane for 2 months, I have read numerous posts about 310 fuel systems that were set too rich causing the engine to bog down or outright quit. This is the problem I’ve been fighting for the last 3 weeks, that will hopefully be resolved on this coming Tuesday.

    Unfortunately the historical knowledge it takes to properly maintain these antique aircraft is rapidly disappearing. In my case, 2 overhauls on my fuel system were unsuccessful until I got in touch with a different vendor that had the detailed knowledge to repair the parts correctly.

    My sense is that every aircraft type has it quirks and peculiarities, in the Twin Cessna world it appears to be the fuel system, and of course, the gear system rigging.

    Glad to be a part of TTCF, it makes all the difference.



      A 310 hard to fly? You’ve got to be kidding me. Levers forward it goes faster, pull back to slow down. What’s hard about that? The inspector guy wears lace underwear.

      quote JGRIMES:

      A 310 hard to fly? You’ve got to be kidding me. Levers forward it goes faster, pull back to slow down. What’s hard about that? The inspector guy wears lace underwear.

      Thanks, Joe. I needed that!! 😆

      Coming to NC in September?


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