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Piloting, Owning and Operating a Beech Bonanza A36 - www.gotoair.com

This is the story of owning and operating a 1993 Beech Bonanza A36 in the UK and some of its adventures and flights. I have owned this plane for over six years now.

Monday, April 04, 2005


The flight back from Berlin

Once the plane was ready I arranged for my friend who is an air traffic controller and very competent pilot to come along to fly the bonanza back. In addition, Paul from Aradian Aviation came along to check out the purchase and my father in law and plenty of bags so we were going to be heavily laden on the way back and like any light GA plane you have to keep an eye on your weight and balance. Despite a history of weight and balance problem which people associate with all Bonanzas it was only the V35 (V Tail Bonanza) that was really easy to put of of CofG. The staright tail A36 Beech Bonanza with its longer fuselage has cleared up this unwanted trait and now a Bonanza is no more critical than any other small plane and for a six seater it is exceptional easy to keep in balance. Heavier passengers should not sit in the rear two seats during take off and landing but it is easy to swap seats if required during flight due to the club seating arrangement.

We arrived in Berlin on 26th of August and took delivery of the Bonanza and my friend test flew it around Berlin to familiarise himself with it.

The next day it was an early start, breakfast and back to the historic Berlin Templehof airfield built by Adolf Hitler to hold parades and show off the might of the Nazi war machine. Despite its history it is a very impressive sight.

The plane hand-over had been completed the night before by the Beechcraft dealer and we were fueled and ready to go but there was one problem that we didnt expect in July. Awful weather. After an hour of pouring over weather reports in the Templehof breifing room it was clearl that we were going to have a low cloud base enroute of about 2000ft and worsening weather as we got towards the Holland coastline with England.

We decided to set off and make headway towards the UK with plans for various diversions. It became apparent after about 2 hours and when we had got near to Eindhoven that a plan to divert there possibly would become a reality and after a very bumpy half an hour it couldnt come soon enough for me.

After an approach to Eindhoven we attempted to find a reasonably priced hotel but that wasnt to be as there happened to be a huge Jazz festival on that night but once we were established in the city centre hotel that was at least twice as expensive as I would of liked I then took everyone out for a well earned meal and we had a good look around the festival.

The next day after a taxi ride to the airport we were back in the impressive weather room pouring over satellite charts that were showing the weather front just moving through our position which explained our zero visibility on the runway and gave us some hope for later in the morning.

A couple of hours later we were on our way to Blackpool (a 2 hour flight) in glorious sunshine and huge visibility. Weather is crazy, thats for certain.

The flight back to Blackpool was uneventful and Beech Bonanza N345SF was locked in the hangar at its new home at Pool Aviation.

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