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Thread: flying the Beechcraft Bonanza

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2021


    I have done a couple more sessions on the Bonanza. Flying is getting smoother. Landing is getting more predictable and routine. When in the pattern for the landing I don't drop below 35-40% power (stated as percentage in the external view), unless I am above the desired slope. I don't go to full flaps until maybe a mile from the end of the runway. And I don't cut back power until just about the end of the runway.
    I have done a couple of cross-country flights. One was Phoenix, AZ to Wickenburg, around 60 miles. That gave me time to get up to 7 or 8K feet and settle into a cruise. So the flying is looking good!

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Westminster, CO


    I'm glad things are going well for you. Perhaps some of the notes below can help you polish things up a bit.

    I don't go to full flaps until maybe a mile from the end of the runway.
    That's a big pattern. The Bonanza probably doesn't need more than ½ to ¾ mile on final, so the base leg shouldn't be more than about ¾ mile from the runway. Of course on an instrument approach it'll be whatever is depicted in the charts, but learning to fly it is VFR. I'd do the first notch of flaps* late on downwind or just after turning base, then full flaps after turning final.

    For power settings for landing, I'd go through my landing checklist early on downwind, then my mental checklist (GUMPFS) on late downwind, checking Gas, Undercarriage, Mixture (full rich at sea level, less at high fields), Prop (max RPM, all the way forward), Flaps (to what you need at that point), Safety (seats and seat belts, doors and windows, etc.), then again on final, then a quick "three green" check on short final.

    Never think about MOVEMENT of the controls, rather think of changing PRESSURE on the controls, keeping the pressure changes smooth and not hurried.

    When in the pattern for the landing I don't drop below 35-40% power (stated as percentage in the external view), unless I am above the desired slope.
    On downwind I'd carry whatever power is needed to maintain altitude (obviously more once you extend the gear), then abeam the runway on downwind (prop is max now) I'd reduce the throttle to maybe 18" or 19" MP initially, adjusting if needed so as to slow to about 90-95 kts, perhaps adding initial flaps and adjusting throttle as needed, then turn base no more than ¾ mile out (traffic permitting). Turning final I'd add full flaps and slow to about 80 kts (90 mph was the perfect approach speed 'til over the fence, but today it's in knots). When "over the fence" I'd normally bring the power to idle, starting the flare, adding back pressure as needed to make the nose come up gently to a slightly nose high attitude just as I was a couple of feet off of the ground, holding that attitude while looking towards the far end of the runway (don't look too close, it'll throw you off).

    Of course the above is for no wind at an uncontrolled field. You need to make adjustments for any winds, and with a tower they'll usually dictate what you do for a pattern.

    * The flaps on a real Bonanza are not set out in notches, rather the flap switch is a momentary on, so they're moving while you're holding the switch and stop when you release it, either up or down. In real ones for approach (1st notch) flaps I'd extend them to a marking on the flap gauge, which was roughly the amount the left aileron (left because I could see it) deflected down at full rotation of the yoke, which I could find out on the ground, and that's what I used for a short field takeoff, too.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

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