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 made my worst landing ever in the Bonanza A36 at Exeter to attend a football game. I learned a bit about how much crosswind the Bonanza can handle and also how much crosswind I didn't want to handle again!
We I set off to Exeter the weather was great, if a little windy at this end and after a FL100 jaunt we descended into Exeter on the ILS and as we got down to 2000ft it became apparent that the forecast decrease in the crosswind had not materialised. I ended up on finals with a 1 mile wind check of 18kt directly across the bows. The Bonanza recommended crosswind limit is 17 knots. I thought I would give it a go because it was a long runway. I applied my best crosswind technique and managed to position myself over the runway about 30ft up and drifting one way then the next. I finally chopped the power and slammed the sturdy rears onto the tarmac with a thud. This was not my finest piloting hour. The landing was utterly crap!
After landing we got a windcheck at gusting 23kt's so I guess in fact we were substantially exceeding the recommended limits.
The match was great and the return flight was uneventful but I learned from this that the recommended limits are just that. If a skilled test pilot suggests that then I should knock an amount off it and make that my limit. I also learned that I didn't enjoy that landing.
The landing fee was an outrageous £51.03 including non existent handling. The only thing they handled was the bill! That said they were very pleasant.
I recently purchased a Zaon XRX passive traffic monitor box
to use in the Bonanza. Having owned a previous version of this companies products that was totally rubbish I was very nervous of what I would find and waited much longer to buy one than I would have as they have been out for at least three years I think.
I was however pleasantly surprised at how effective this box is. Whilst you do get the odd false positive (twice from behind a contact appeared on the device and collided with me but I never felt the bump!) but the box regularly spotted planes that it took me a little while to make eye contact with. In fact sometimes I couldnt see them when the Zaon could.
They do say on their website that accuracy from behind is most troublesome in some planes and I would suspect that the Bonanza A36 is a candidate for causing trouble having no rear window. I do eventually intend to fit a full glass cockpit and proper TCAS but in the meantime I strongly recommend this device. They are tiny and dont cost that much and just could save your life.
I went to Welshpool in the Bonanza on Saturday after filing an IFR flight plan to Cambridge went "missing" in the system. I had not been to Welshpool previously having overflown loads of times. What a nice little place with very pleasant people. We will be going again!
While we were there I got the chance to take advantage of the nice nature of the airfield manager (who let me do a free circuit) and my passengers camera to get loads of shots of me taking off and landing in the Bonanza A36. I have always wanted to get some in flight pics like this for my office wall.
As you can see my spot landing was nice. Take a look at the full album here