Level Off and Cruise for Multiengine Aircraft

Upon leveling off at cruising altitude, the pilot should allow the airplane to accelerate at climb power until cruising airspeed is achieved, and then cruise power and rpm should be set. To extract the maximum cruise performance from any airplane, the power setting tables provided by the manufacturer should be closely followed. If the cylinder head and oil temperatures are within their normal ranges, the cowl flaps may be closed. When the engine temperatures have stabilized, the mixtures may be leaned per AFM/POH recommendations. The remainder of the Cruise checklist should be completed by this point.

Fuel management in multiengine airplanes is often more complex than in single-engine airplanes. Depending upon system design, the pilot may need to select between main tanks and auxiliary tanks or even employ fuel transfer from one tank to another. In complex fuel systems, limitations are often found restricting the use of some tanks to level flight only or requiring a reserve of fuel in the main tanks for descent and landing. Electric fuel pump operation can vary widely among different models also, particularly during tank switching or fuel transfer. Some fuel pumps are to be on for takeoff and landing; others are to be off. There is simply no substitute for thorough systems and AFM/POH knowledge when operating complex aircraft.