The Cessna Caravan is a lovely, capable and efficient plane. In addition to the POH, here are Shpadoinkle Air’s procedures for flying it in order to ensure we maximize income and safety.
- Cruise Configuration – as long as you are in level flight, use full throttle and adjust RPM as needed to maximize speed. The Caravan costs peanuts to run, your main focus should be to minimize time in transit.
- Descent – When able, descend at full throttle as close to Vne as you can get. Generally you will not exceed your never exceed speed at 300fpm descent rate, but reduce throttle if you are unable to maintain a 300fpm descent rate at full throttle.
- Mid-runway takeoffs: As a rule of thumb, the Caravan requires 2000ft of runway for takeoff. Use your judgement.
- Cruise altitudes: 3000ft below 50nm, 8000ft below 100nm, 12000ft below 150, 20000ft below 500, 25000ft above 500
- Refueling: Minimum reserve fuel upon landing in the Caravan is 25 gallons, and rule of thumb is 3 mpg, so for a 50nm flight you need at least 50/3=17+25=42 gallons in the tanks. It is more efficient to minimize refueling frequency so generally refueling to 300 gallons will allow all seats to be fuelled, however keep an eye out for additional cargo as well as large individuals to prevent needing to defuel the aircraft
- Engine failure – is a complete myth. Glide at 95 knots, land at the nearest safe place and pretend it never happened.