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.
I have managed about another 10 hours since my TT trip. All was going well towards my 100 hour target this year but then our wedding took charge and my jobs in the garden, preparing for a Marquee etc took priority.
Because I got absolutely no time to plan it my intended honeymoon around France in G-FOZZ was watered down to a direct flight to Nice where we decided to stay. At the last minute due to lack of time to prepare for my longest flight ever I chickened out and decided to book on Easyjet. The flight on G-FOZZ didnt happen :(
Since my return from honeymoon at the end of July I flew only once in August to take my mum out for her birthday. Since then I have been away on holiday twice more (yes I know, three holidays in six weeks!) and so I have had no time to fly the Bonanza A36.
During this time we took advantage and brought the annualinspection forward a month and so I have not missed too much flying. I cant wait to get going again but now work is interfering. One day I may get to fly.
Owning a plane is an expensive hobby, it feels more expensive if you never actually get to do it!
I had a requirement to attend a meeting in the cityon the 1st of November and decided to take the Bonanza A36. Interestingly I was to fly it at max weight which I dont often do. More interestingly it was with half fuel but four big blokes including myself at 14.5 stone and one guy who was nearer 30 stone.
I chose Stapleford because of the good transport links. On approach to Stapleford I was somewhat aware of the extra load as normally I fly about two thirds full with my whole family of six on board so I carried some extra speed and made the mistake of taking full flap with a 15 knot crosswind going directly across the runway.
For those who have not been into Stapleford, the runway starts with grass and goes down hill. This was also very disconcerting and all in all I made a poor landing, drifting to the very right of the runway. I wasnt happy or proud of that one.
I have to say that I can see why it is always a series of things that contribute to an accident because of all of the different factors that contriubted to my poor landing could easily have made it a very poor one. Luckily I had enough experience to sort it out that day but in hindsight I believe that was mainly because it was my own plane that I fly often and also because the Beech Bonanza A36 is such a stable platform for landing. I know now that I should have gone around that day and tried again to get more sorted out.
I have since practised my crosswind landings (which I had not done for years) and feel much more at ease with what I would do next time given the same circumstances.
The meeting was uneventful and so too was the flight home.