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Cessna 210 tips

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Well-known member
Nov 26, 2001
Can anyone give me any tips or rules of thumb for getting the C-210 slowed down w/o shock cooling the engine? Like 2 inches per 2 min (example) And how far out to start slowing down when your up? How about for a Baron? Similar?
The inch per minute or inch per 1,000 ft rule works well in any airplane that is susceptible to shock cooling or is turbo-charged.

You are driving an airplane that is flying 3 miles a minute and you want to descend at a nice comfortable 500fpm. Ergo, for every thousand feet above pattern altitude you need six miles. Since this airplane performs best (normally aspirated models) in the 10,000 to 12,000 range, you want to start bugging ATC for descents about 50-60 miles out on the East Coast.

PS. now that you have these two factors. Plan on using the inch per 1000ft method for monitoring your MP. Remember, you are trying to back off MP (make it go lower) but as you descend the value wants to creep up as ambient pressure rises.

Centurians are wonderful steeds. If you haven't found out already - trim, trim, trim. The only time you won't need almost full back trim to land a C-210 is when the back seats and cargo are loaded.

How about say for instance, if I take off from a airport and I'm planning to go 20 nm and for airspace reason or pilot preference I stay at 1000 agl. If I cruise at 25 in (and it will rapidly speed up to cruise) It takes 30 nm just to slow down not to shock how can this be done if I'm only going 20 nm. Maybe I'm overthinking this but the PA-44 and Arrow just don't have this problem!!!
Well a couple of things on that question.

The Centurian isn't the best choice for short hops but she's not so fragile that she's going to break from "just doing it once".

First off, if we're talking a normally aspirated C-210, then you don't have to baby it it that much. The engine is fairly rugged. The turbocharged models I would have a real hard time with short hops - heck I'd probably fly two sides of the triangle (i.e. the long way around) if it was turbo and I'd make sure the engine got a good cooling period once on the ground.

Second, if you are staying low and short duration, the engine is not going to heat up that much and you are staying in a relatively stable and "heavy" airmass. The pressure of the air near the earth is pretty dense and will provide pretty good cooling. I'd be more careful on summer days to watch the CHT and be ready to back the plane off (reduce power) if the number got high enough.
The biggest deal with the shock cooling (and I know Avbug will correct me saying that it is bad for all airplanes at all altitudes) in this airplane is that you change from high altitude to low altitude pretty quickly. Up until the point of descent on a long X-C, the engine has been working hard, first to pull the plane up to altitude with not the best cooling airstream due to the deck angle of the nose and then cruising at a high altitude with all the available HP it can. When you finally decide to descend, you've got a pretty hot engine that you are now tempted to cut the power on because you've got to figure out how to lose altitude and 60 knots of airspeed at the same time. This is the bad news time of shock cooling and that's why we teach our students not to do this.

I admire your desire to take care of an engine. If you are going 20 nm, I'd say that 25 inches is overkill. Doing 165 kts, you'll get there in just about 6-7 minutes. Doing 120 kts, you'll get there in 10 minutes. Why not climb to altitude (and you said you are going low) and then back it off to 18-21 inches and take whatever speed comes your way. The three minutes on that leg ain't going to make much of a difference and you'll be able to get those flaps in without using the gear as a speed brake.

Just my .02
I must be getting tired....forgettign things I wanted to say.

1.) On slowing down the Centuarian - I used to use a common point at my home airport where I thought about actually slowing from 165kts down to 115-120kts. It was exactly 22 miles out and I found this was just about right everywhere. So even though I'm possibly starting my descent 50 miles out, I get serious about slowing the beast down right at the 22 mile mark.

2.) The Arrow and Seminole have a bullet proof Lycoming 360 under the hood, BUT these can still be shock cooled especially when transitioning from higher altitudes to lower ones.

3.) The turbo charged Arrow and Seneca II are a nightmare for shock cooling and turbocharger overheats/meltdowns. If you think a normally aspirated C-210 is tempermental, you ain't seen nothing yet! I operated and babied a Turbo Arrow for a year and a half and I still ended up doing a top overhaul after only 600 hours due to that Rayjay turbocharger on that little Continental IO-360.
You guys have the right idea. In a normally aspirated 210 the issue isn't nearly as critical as in a turbocharged airplane. Even then, if you only ever go to barometric pressure, you're not really using the turbo, and cool down and spin down times aren't relevant, nor is the cooling issue nearly so important.

A 20 mile hop is no big deal in the airplane. Use the power; it's not going to hurt anything. Don't worry about climbing up and then coming back down, or trying to slow it to a crawl right after takeoff.

A general enroute cooling process for power management involves 1-2" per minute or per thousand feet. In a turbine airplane a 3:1 descent works well, but in a turbocharged airplane, plan on a 6:1 descent. That means that you take the amount of altitude to lose in thousands of feet, and multiply that by six. If you're at nine thousand and want to get down to three, that's eighteen miles out you should plan your descent. Ballpark there; consider your speed time, etc.

If it's turbocharged, plan on letting it wind down for five minutes on the ground to cool the turbocharger, otherwise you'll coke the bearings.

The 210 is a great little airplane. Get to know the fuel system really well, from tanks to injectors. Know the fuel flow fluctuation proceedure, and get a good mental image of what's happening with fuel pump bypass back to the header tanks (and be sure you always sump the headers). Be aware of the fuel limitations on the 210's with long range tanks; filling to the filler neck only robs you of somethign like fifteen gallons on each side, even though it looks full. That's two hours less flying than you think you have.

Pay close attention to the powerpack and always check the fluid level before you go. In the event of a gear malfunction, before you go through all the crazy antics that people do, just shut off the master for about ten minutes and wait. Then turn it on and try dropping the gear. Chances are it will do what you want...it's not in the book, but it's good to now.

On that fuel system, don't forget that with the Bendix RSA your fuel flow is measuring pressure drop, not actual fuel flow. Therefore a plugged injector shows a higher fuel flow, even though you're actually flowing less. It could be a partial blockage leading to a hot cylinder and damage, so pay close attention to what's going on. That slightly higher fuel flow will be your only clue.

Have fun!
cessna 210 tips

being that we are on the subject. i fly a ce210, i believe it is a 78' model.

turbo, intercooler, factor oxygen, i forget the model number.
i have a problem with the aircraft let me explan.

the first start of the day, 99% of the time works no problem.

let's say i fly for 1 hour, land, and than 15-20 minutes later, i have trouble starting..
i get mixed answers on how i should be doing the start..

the owner that we bought the a/c from told me to do the following:
use the fuel pump to get the fuel flow needle jumping (mixture rich), than proceed to start with the mixture lean, than advance mixture on start....

many other people tell me to use no fuel pump....

im wondering how others start a warm/semi-warm 210.... i love this a/c it is a great bird, but i hate the thought of killing the battery, and i have a few times..
Some more advise for the turbo 210. The old 1, 2, 3 rule. After landing 1000 RPM for 2 minutes or it'll cost you $3000. Gotta let the turbo spool down with the engine running or it'll spool down with no oil pressure if you are in a huge hurry to shut down the engine.
In all the TC a/c I fly I base my descent & power reduction on ETE, using 2 x thousand's of feet (@ 500'/min) or 3 x thousands (@ ~350'/min) down to ground level to derive the number of minutes to commence descent. I also know what MP I want to be at in the circuit area eg 18" or 23" or whatever.

During descent I maintain cruise MP until I'm the same number of minutes out as the MP is above the pattern MP. At that point I reduce by 1" & then a further 1" every minute. The goal is to keep the number of inches the MP is above the MP I use in the pattern equal to the number of minutes left to descend.

An example:

Cruise at 30", 10,000' AGL, MP in the pattern 23". Start descent 30 mins prior to ETA (for a ~300'/min descent) or 20 mins prior (for a 500'/min descent).Keep MP at 30" during the descent until it's time to reduce power. At 6 mins out, reduce to 29" & keep the MP there as descent continues. At 5 mins out, reduce MP to 28" & keep it there. At 4 mins reduce to 27" etc. At 0 mins out MP should be at 23".

GPS makes it very, very easy if you have ETE to the destination displayed.

Using time instead of distance automatically compensates for head or tailwind effects.

When I was flying into remote areas where time estimates were vital to finding the place, I'd start the descent by reducing power instead. This was to keep IAS during the descent approx. the same as during cruise so that estimates weren't significantly affected.
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