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.
Well I have always fancied the Isle of Wight in the Bonanza but never quite got there but today we made it after one hour fifteen minutes of flying time from Blackpool. I would like to say it was a great day for flying but the visibility was absolutely awful but the Bonanza A36 is a great machine for this sort of stuff.
I parked it at 5000ft and with a bit of careful routing we stayed there all the way and it was dead smooth and so long as you didn't want to see much it was perfect conditions. Apparently Blackpool was fog bound during the day but thankfully it cleared enough for us to make it back in.
The Bonanza A36 is a great load lugger with 2 adults, 4 kids, a double buggy, two picnic bags, several changes of clothes and easily slipping in and out of the Isle of Wight's grass strip which is just a walk from the beech. We are so lucky to be able to do this I think.
We didn't see much of the island apart from the beach where we basked in the globally warmed unseasonable sunshine and the kids had a great time.
If I was an MP you could vote for me and my aviation friendly policy. Personally I would vote for a bit more aviation pollution to help crank up UK temperatures just a couple more degrees then think about all the flying that will be saved by people not having to go to Spain for their holidays. A novel way to cut pollution you see!
We have had a great response to the G-FOZZ Bonanza A36 group meeting and I am pleased to say that we have welcomed two new members to the group and this means that we are full. G-FOZZ will always remain a very limited group so there is plenty of availability for the members so if you fancy joining the group let me know and I can keep you on file for the future. For the forseeable future however you have missed your chance I am afraid.
Recently like most people I have been scrambling around to find out what I should be doing about Mode S for the Bonanza. Obviously by now for an IFR plane like the A36 it should be done and dusted but like many people I felt it would be better to ignore it and hope it went away but it didn't.
I have now narrowed down the company to fit a Mode S transponder to G-FOZZ. It is going to be done at Tatenhill Aviation. We are just firming up a date but it is likely to be in May.
They have told me that currently there is very little loss to only having the Mode C in UK airspace as only London TMA is Mode S at the moment. Apparently in France and Germany there is more Mode S Airspace and details can be found on Euro Control Website. Apparently it changes often as they add more airspace before it all becomes Modes S next March.
It really annoys me that in the US you get full traffic service but in Europe our governments do not have the foresight to enable this feature. If it saved just one life it would be worth everyone paying out loads of cash to have them fitted but unfortunately it wont. It makes me really angry. What could have been a great safety benefit especially for light aviation has been skipped over.