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.
Yesterday I took the kids and granddad to Fairford for the Military Air Tattoo for the day. We flew out from Blackpool and I wasnt sure if you could actually fly into Fairford on the day so instead we flew into Kemble.
I have been self teaching weather which I have to say is skimpily covered in the PPL and I have begun to understand the types of conditions to expect when flying through frontal weather. Yesterday we were forecast to be flying towards a warm front and I expected a lowering cloudbase and wet showery weather and that is exactly what we got.
It is remarkably reassuring to find that the weather you expect is actually visible when you expect it. I was better prepared to deal with the conditions and in fact the flight was a relative non-event on the day so long as you didn't want to see much. The Bonanza A36 is a great machine for this type of IMC work and I fly pretty much everywhere on autopilot. I know many people will say I am not a proper pilot but I do sometimes turn it off and fly an approach but I feel that for the type of flying I do it is most important for me to be fully prepared and familiar with the equipment in the Bonanza so I use it all the time. My current area of practice is to get better with the Garmin 430's and I have been watching a series of videos from the FAA website that has helped me in this quest. My Bonanza A36 has two Garmin 430's fitted.
Thankfully the weather at Fairford was a bit better with a 3500ft cloudbase I think and the displays were excellent.
I felt I need to post my favourite picture of the day.
The return journey was much the same as the outgoing but as the front had moved north the cloudbases lowered as we approached Blackpool but again flying the plan worked out fine. The only slight difference on the way back was mild turbulence whereas the outbound journey was completely still. It is amazing how a few hundred foot change of altitude can change the level of turbulence or remove it completely. In this case I was able to position the Bonanza up or down just small amounts and stop the turbulence. I guess this is something to do with the slope of the front but I am not fully sorted on that bit yet.
I really enjoy flying IMC in the Bonanza A36. In fact in my flights this year it seems I rarely get to see anything out of the window. Perhaps I will have to start logging when I fly VFR instead of IMC time!