I was approached by a member of the Buttonville Flying Club to be a safety pilot for him so that he may do some approaches to keep his IFR currency. This was to be done in the owners aircraft, a 1980 Beechcraft Baron 55.

This was my first time in a Baron and the only other twin I have to compare it to is the Seminole. My first thoughts:

– The Barons wingspan seemed to be a lot smaller at 11.53m (versus the Seminoles’ 11.77m)

– This particular aircraft had the throttle quadrant set up, from left to right, as: Prop, Throttle, Mixture.. Contrasting to the more “standard” of: Throttle, Prop, Mixture.

– A lot more room, both head and leg. (6 person seating, versus 4 person of the seminole)

– Blue line of 100KIAS versus the semonoles 88KIAS.

– A lot more toys, such as a storm scope, radar, Traffic Advisory Service (using the Avidyne EX-500), and a working autopilot.

The “Cockpit”

After a quick runup, we departed 33 for Brantford airport. Followed the shoreline to about the Skybridge then headed direct to Brantford. The approach we were going to do was the GNSS 29 to minimums. I kept a sharp eye out for traffic while the pilot donned on his hood and did his thing.

I’m always amazed had how well these approaches work sometimes.

Our next stop was to shoot an ILS approach into Kitchener/Waterloo. That wasn’t going to be possible as the ceiling (broken) was approx at 2800′ ASL. We would need to climb up to 3000′ to do the ILS approach. Instead we decided to head back to Buttonville.

Approaching Kitchener Airport

The Baron would haul ass. I was keeping an eye on the ground speed and I saw it peak out at about 180KTs (about 330km/h).

All in all the flight was a great experience, and I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again. The last time I acted as a safety pilot, was for Mark over a year ago. It’s rare that I get to fly from the right seat, and it’s even rarer to just be a passenger.

In other news… studying the G1000 is coming along nicely. Hopefully I can get checked out next week.

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6 thoughts on “Safety Pilot

  1. Hey, I’m a commercial student at 170hrs and I was curious if you’re going to take your flight test in a dual or a single? I’m going to wait to get the dual until after the commercial license and then get the instrument on the dual.

  2. From the first picture, it seems that this particular Baron has control column on the left seat only. Is that correct ?

  3. I think the control column can be switched from the left seat to right seat. But no dual control.

  4. Hey Kyle,
    I’m probably going to take my test in a single. There really is no need to do it in a twin.
    I am going to do all my training for IFR in a single (save $$), then do my ifr ride in the twin, in order to get my Type 1 IFR rating.
    Thanks for visiting the site. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  5. PlasticPilot,
    You are correct.. The control column is left seat only. However you can flip it over to the right seat in flight.
    As well, you can add another yoke to make it dual controls. You just need to buy it.

  6. I finally joined the multi club… now to get my x-country done, then I’ll have my commercial… Have you done your written test yet?

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