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Mooney technique.

I was a little surprised by Mr. Pleisse's comments in your December issue regarding my Learning Experience "Getting Down." He obviously misunderstood the scenario. Further, if he is a Mooney pilot, it is he who needs to go back and review the POH.

For the record, the issue had nothing to do with "blazing into towered airspace." Over the tower, my speed was about 100 knots, the aircraft's recommended downwind speed. The first real issue is I was 1000 feet higher than a standard pattern altitude when the tower turned me to base. The second issue is I was turned to base at midfield, leaving me with about 3000 feet of runway to work with. Even with gear and flaps down at idle power, that altitude quickly translates to airspeed when descending if you can't create more drag. That's where slipping comes m.

Standard base leg airspeed for the aircraft is 80 knots; final is flown to arrive at the runway end at 71 knots. If you are not on-speed at the runway end, the aircraft will not land.

Slipping is a very useful and approved technique for a Mooney. Mr. Pleisse is probably confusing something he heard about slipping Mooneys but never verified. The POH warns against prolonged slipping if you have less than eight gallons of fuel in the tank being used. I had more than eight gallons in the tank. If I had it to do all over again, I would probably not have tried to make the landing and, if I could have gotten in a word, would have told the tower I was going around as soon as they told me to turn base. Also, I failed to mention the tower and I were working with an eight-knot tailwind.

Tower controllers are long suffering and do a tremendous job under very difficult circumstances. Trying to manage commercial traffic with two-thirds of your runways closed while mixing large and small aircraft together has got to be extremely stressful.

Charles D'Ambrosia

Via e-mail

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Title Annotation:UNICOM
Author:D'Ambrosia, Charles
Publication:Aviation Safety
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2010
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