2nd flight with dual instruction in the Rocket, and from the start I feel much more in control. I still fumble for the right lever once in a while, but now I know what it is that I'm trying to accomplish, and generally how to get there. After a few landings and take offs (no touch and goes in a Bonanza) at Majors in Greenville, we climb to 5,500 feet, and away from the airfield, I pull back the power for a simulated emergency landing.
Plummeting is an appropriate word for what happens next. I pulled up the nose to slow down to best glide (105 kts), and we slowed down like landing in a sandtrap. Then, I had to push the nose waaaayyyy down to stay at 105kts. Loosing altitude at around 1,000 ft/min, twice as fast as a Sundowner, I thought I'd better find a suitable field fast. One was about about 2 miles off my right wing, so I made a 90 degree right turn.
By the time I was over the field, we were down to 2,000 ft AGL. I kept the downwind tight, and turned 180 degrees to final, but I was so close I couldn't get all the way round in time. I came in on final with just enough distance to make my field, then down came the gear. ooppsss! Another 500 ft/min to add to the already scary descent rate, and I realized I would not make it!
With a windshield full of wire fencing and shrubs, I added power to climb again, and pulled up the gear. We would have survived, but the airplane would have been badly damaged by landing 1 field short.
Lessons? A Bonanza doesn't glide, it plummets. It doubly-plummets with the wheels down. It loses a lot of altitude in a turn. So try and go straight, and if you must turn, make it tight and fast. Get over your field and stay there in a spiral, because if you leave to set up a normal square pattern, you probably won't make it back. And keep some speed in hand in case you need to pull up over an obstacle on the ground.
Ups and Downs of Flying - It's not just about the takeoffs and landings! Kathy McCullough Kathy and I became friends 18 years ago, when we were both flying the Boeing 747 at Nort...
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