Section VII -- Operating Instructions for the P-51
- PRELIMINARY CHECK
- Obtain flight clearance.
- Check outside of airplane carefully. Remove pitot cover.
- Check service of ship and status of it on Form 1A carefully.
- Make sure chocks are in place.
- ENTER COCKPIT
- Adjust seat and rudders for height and length.
- Check ignition switch OFF.
- Set parking brake.
- Check bomb and gun safety switches are OFF.
- See that landing gear control handle is in the DOWN position. On the P-51D, there is NO
ARENS control to prevent accidental raising of gear on the ground.
- Unlock controls and check for freedom of movement. Control lock is located at the base
and just forward of the stick. Pull the plunger on the left side of the lock to unlock
- Fasten safety belt and shoulder straps.
- Set altimeter to correct barometric pressure.
- Oil and coolant shutters to full OPEN position as soon as batter cart is plugged in.
- Set trim tabs. Rudder 5° Right, Elevator 2° to 3° Nose UP (with 25 gallons or less in
fuselage tank). Elevator 1° to 3° Nose DOWN (fuselage tank full). Aileron 0° for
- Release hydraulic pressure with wing flaps and flap handle to UP position.
- Close canopy (bubble) as follows:
- Push in on axle of crank on right side of cockpit to engage clutch.
- Disengage pin on crank handle from the holes on the face of the clutch housing by
pulling crank knob inboard gently.
- Turn crank counterclockwise, holding knob inboard to close canopy.
WARNING - If red indicators show through openings on each side of the forward end of
the enclosure, the emergency release is unlocked and unsafe for flight.
- STARTING AND WARM-UP
- Ignition switch OFF.
- Have prop pulled through if it has been idle more than 2 hours.
- Generator and battery switch ON, unless battery cart is being used, then battery switch
- Throttle 1 inch open.
- Mixture control in IDLE CUT-OFF.
- Propeller control in INCREASED RPM.
- Supercharger switch in AUTOMATIC.
- Carburetor air control in RAM AIR.
- Turn ignition switch to BOTH.
- Fuel shut-off valve ON and fuel selector valve to Fuselage tank (if full), or Left Main
tank if Fuselage tank not serviced.
- Fuel booster pump on NORMAL and check for 8-12 pounds of fuel pressure.
- Prime engine 3 to 4 shots when cold. 1 to 2 when warm.
- See that prop is clear.
- Lift guard on starter switch on pilot's switch panel and press switch to START. Caution
in use of starter not to overheat.
- As engine starts, move mixture control to AUTO RICH. If engine does not fire, after
several turns, continue priming.
WARNING: When engine is not firing, mixture control
should be in IDLE CUT-OFF.
- Warm engine at approximately 1300 RPM. Check for constant oil pressure. If no oil
pressure or low pressure after 30 seconds, shut off engine.
- Check all instruments for proper readings.
- Check hydraulic system operation by lowering and raising flaps. Loading 800-850 pounds
and unloading at 1050-1100 pounds.
- Check communication equipment for proper operation.
- Uncage all gyro instruments.
- Check both LEFT and RIGHT MAIN and FUSELAGE fuel systems by rotating fuel selector valve
with booster pump switch in EMERGENCY. Check for 14-19 lbs/sq. in. If drop tanks are
installed, check fuel flow by rotating fuel selector control.
- TAXIING INSTRUCTIONS
- Check wing flaps UP.
- Have wheel chocks pulled.
- Steer a zigzag course.
- Taxi with stick slightly aft of neutral. This will lock the tail wheel. In the locked
position the tail wheel may be turned 6 degrees to the right or left by use of the rudder
pedals. For sharp turns, push stick forward of the neutral position to allow the tail
wheel full swiveling action. Use brakes as little as possible.
- Always taxi with the WING FLAPS UP and the OIL AND COOLANT SHUTTERS in the open
- BEFORE TAKE-OFF (Run-Up)
- At 2000 RPM, check the following:
Check the instruments for the following limitations:
||3.75 to 4.25 inches HG.
||800-1100 lbs/sq. inch.
||not to exceed 50 amps.
Check mags at 2300 RPM. Maximum drop 100 RPM.
At 2300 check propeller - 300 RPM maximum drop - and return to full INCREASE RPM.
Oil and coolant shutters AUTOMATIC.
Wing flaps 20 ° if desired.
Mixture AUTO RICH.
Propeller in full INCREASE RPM.
Fuel booster pump on EMERGENCY, check for 14-19 lbs/sq. in.
Generator switch ON.
USE OF POWER
||70-80 lbs/sq. in.
||90 lbs/sq. in.
||70 deg C
- 80 deg
||90 deg C
||100 deg C
- 110 deg
||121 deg C
||12-16 lbs/sq. in.
||19 lbs/sq. in.
- Mixture AUTO RICH.
- Oil and coolant shutters AUTOMATIC.
- Fuel selector to fullest tank. NOTE: Never land on droppable wing tanks.
- Booster pump switch to NORMAL position.
- RPM increased to 2600.
- Normal gear procedure:
- Retard throttle to check landing gear warning light (17"-22" M.P.).
- IAS 170 or below. Put landing gear handle in DOWN position.
- Allow time for gear to extend.
- Retard throttle to check warning lights. If light does NOT come ON at previously noted
position of throttle, gear is DOWN and LOCKED.
- Lower flaps as desired. Full flap speed 165 or below.
EMERGENCY WING FLAP OPERATION
- Raise flaps.
- Booster pump OFF.
- Oil and coolant shutters OPEN.
- Run engine to 1500 RPM, set mixture control to IDLE CUT-OFF and move throttle fully
- Turn ignition switch OFF after propeller stops turning.
- Fuel shut-off valve OFF.
- Turn all switches OFF.
- Lock controls.
EMERGENCY LANDING GEAR EXTENSION PROCEDURE
- There is NO emergency wing flap operation provided on the P-51D as the hand pump has
been eliminated. On all earlier models of the P-51, emergency operation is as follows:
- Put flap selector to desired position and operate the hand pump until it siezes. Flaps
will be in desired position and will stay there until another selection is made.
ALTERNATE PROCEDURE FOR OPERATING OIL AND COOLANT SHUTTERS ON THE P-51D
- If normal extension fails, recheck landing gear warning light by retarding throttle
until landing gear warning light comes on.
- At an IAS of 170, put gear handle in down position and yaw plane. Recheck landing gear
warning light by retarding throttle blow 20" M.P.
- If the landing gear warning light is still ON, indicating gear not down and locked, pull
fairing door emergency release knob and yaw the plane again to lock gear.
- Then again retard throttle to check warning light.
NOTE: The warning light does NOT
indicate the position of the tail wheel. If there is any doubt as to whether or not the
tail wheel is down, dive the airplane a short distance and pull out with enough
acceleration to down the tail wheel. REMEMBER - THE ONLY CHECK AVAILABLE FOR THE MAIN GEAR
IS THE WARNING LIGHT. USE IT!
- If AUTOMATIC operation of oil and coolant shutters fail due to thermostat or AUTOMATIC
- Check circuit breaker. If it has popped out, push it back in. If it won't stay in, hold
it in and
- Hold switch in manual OPEN (or CLOSED) long enough to open (or close) shutters,
(approximately 15-20 seconds).
WARNING: DO NOT HOLD CIRCUIT BREAKER IN TOO LONG AS
IT MAY START AN ELECTRICAL FIRE.
The above is an ALTERNATE procedure ONLY. If the electric motors are
burned out, there is NO EMERGENCY PROCEDURE.
When the drop tanks are installed, the gear may not retract or extend properly due to
aerodynamic forces causing a suction between the drop tanks and the fairings on the
landing gear; to break this suction it is necessary to yaw the airplane from side to side.
- The cockpit enclosure may be released as a unit in an emergency. The Emergency Release
handle is located on the right forward side of the cockpit. To release the canopy, pull
the handle all the way back. Remember: Duck you hear as you pull the handle to avoid a
- To bail out, either of two procedures may be followed:
- Release canopy, roll airplane over on its back and drop out.
- Release canopy, climb out of cockpit, lower yourself onto the wing and roll off.