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Airspeed on Downwind Poll


Downwind airspeed in Mooney  

111 members have voted

  1. 1. What’s your airspeed on downwind?

    • 70KIAS
      0
    • 80KIAS
      5
    • 90KIAS
      38
    • 100KIAS
      40
    • 110KIAS
      7
    • 120KIAS
      11
    • 130KIAS
      0
    • 140KIAS
      1
    • I don’t know or don’t use a specific speed
      9
    • I only do straight ins or have a hangar queen
      0


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I know it’s been discussed to death but I’d love to see some numbers on what’s the favorite pattern entry speed.

If you use different speeds just round to whatever is the closest representation.

In the discussion, specify your model, what speed you use on downwind, and why.

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If no one in the pattern.  It starts at cruise speed 135 knots.  Then gets to gear speed top of white arc by inline with the runway threshold.   usually requires me to go up hill a tad to slow down.  before throwing out the bottom speed brakes.   Then u turn to land.

Edited by Yetti
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For me it’s always been 120KIAS. It’s the aerodynamic sweet spot for the M20J. The handling on the controls is superb, it’s just at or below maneuvering speed (maybe make a sharp move to avoid birds), it will provide a little extra stretch while slowing to beat glide, the viability over the front is good, it’s below gear extension speed, it keeps things out of the yellow arc in terms of vibration, fuel flow is minimal at about 6-7gph, and I can very consistently get to it with an easy to remember setting of “22 squared.” I actually set for that power setting rather than that specific speed of 120 but the result is in that range give or take about 5 knots.

It’s difficult to follow a slow plane in the pattern so I try to leave a lot of distance. I would sooner step out a wider pattern or do a 360 than fly it slower. Helps keep me from forgetting to put the wheels down. Anything below 110 is with the wheels down always.

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Somewhere between 120 and 100 knots. I usually don't pay much attention to the ASI, preferring to keep my eyes outside the cockpit once in the pattern. So I fly whatever speed looks right based on that view.

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I set power at approach speed, 120 kts, and then drop the gear about 6 miles out. That means I am slowing when I enter downwind. I am to be abeam the numbers at 90-100 and then pitch for 90 on the downslope of the downwind.

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I usually fly tight patterns. I will slow to gear speed before I turn downwind. I always put my gear down when I turn down wind or mid field if I'm entering on the downwind. I put all the flaps down as soon as I'm in the white arc. I reduce power as low as I can go when I turn base. And then glide to the numbers. Unless some foreign national decides to fly a five mile final....

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In my place, VFR pattern speed depends if it's behind a slow school C152 or a fast private PC12 

The size of the pattern however, is way bigger behind C152 than PC12 :lol:

Edited by Ibra
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I’m a J model and like to get the gear down early before things get busy, and I prefer to be in the white arc whenever I drop gear as I believe it’s less stressful on the mechanisms, so that’s why I’m at 100 kts or so entering downwind.

‘Like others have said descending 100 ft or so below altitude and then a little climb at low power really bleeds the speed off

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I descend power on, and speed typically builds to ~160 mphi in my C, aiming for TPA 3-4 miles from the field. Then I start slowing down, intending to enter the pattern slowing through 100 mph with Takeoff Flaps. Downwind and base are a comfortable 90 mph, dropping the gear abeam my intended point of landing. Roll wings level on final at 85 mph, slowing to 75 mph minus 5 mph per 300 lb. below gross for that landing. Throttle to idle when I know the field is made, glide in and land.

Had a couple good night landings recently, at my new home field with VASI lights [I'm getting spoiled--VASIs and GPS approached at both ends, parallel taxiway, 5000', fuel, 24-hour "facilities," but the FBO is only open during City Business hours]. The second one I managed to keep 2 white & 2 red until they passed behind my wing. But on Approach, I kept speed around 105 mph [90 knots], slowing on short final to ~90 mph. Faster than I wanted to be, but it works too.

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Turning downwind, right after I reduce power that will result in less than 120 MPH indicated, I put my hand on the gear switch and keep it there until the speed decreases and the switch is moved.  Gear locked, flaps 1, turn base, flaps 2.  So, speed is usually constantly bleeding off on downwind.  Pick a pattern and stick with it, really helps out on shorter runways, especially at night.

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Empty pattern: Decelerate to gear speed before abeam touchdown point (i.e. midfield) so that the gear can be dropped when desired.

Full pattern: Decelerate a bit earlier to a good speed to match other traffic prior to joining downwind.

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I don't pay much attention to the ASI entering the downwind. Habit has me at mid field downwind irregardless of entry to be at 120 mph indicated, pulling up a tad like Yetti if needed to get the gear down in the E, I might glance at the tach. Down to 100 mph by threshold down wind, two pumps of flaps, 90 mph base, 3 pumps on final bows the nose down,...

I do plan to be at pattern level 1/2 mile out and slowing depending on traffic.


Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk

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Target procedure...  O3 powered O1...
 

90kias

T/O flaps and gear deployed

trimmed and level

16” MP

2700 rpm

initial power setting based on OAT and GW...

Expecting a nice uniform, full flaps, 180° uniform, shallow turn...

The only thing that has changed since TT... is the George Perry 180...

:)

Best regards,

-a-

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somewhere between 120 and 100 until i'm lined up with the runway.

try to keep it above the clean 60deg bank stall speed.  

also tend to make a rounded turn to final unless asked for a square.

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I remember my 1st flight in my E, we were at 4500agl, CFI told me to descend to TPA and start slowing her down to 120, we were 5+ miles out, I finally asked him to pick one, speed or altitude you ain’t getting both

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1 minute ago, RLCarter said:

I remember my 1st flight in my E, we were at 4500agl, CFI told me to descend to TPA and start slowing her down to 120, we were 5+ miles out, I finally asked him to pick one, speed or altitude you ain’t getting both

Yep, I tell people that I can go down or slow down, but not both. Always have to prove it to new CFI/CFIIs . . . .

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Follow Don Kaye’s advice - 100 mph (~90 knots) down wind with proper configuration - for my ‘66 C.  U shaped turns to final for me...
 

-Don

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1 hour ago, RLCarter said:

I remember my 1st flight in my E, we were at 4500agl, CFI told me to descend to TPA and start slowing her down to 120, we were 5+ miles out, I finally asked him to pick one, speed or altitude you ain’t getting both

 

1 hour ago, Hank said:

Yep, I tell people that I can go down or slow down, but not both. Always have to prove it to new CFI/CFIIs . . . .

Not exactly on a stabilized approach, but it can be done (at least in the short bodies). Pull power to idle, get to gear speed, drop the gear, and put in a full slip, you come down like an elevator. In my transition training we found ourselves very high entering a downwind. The tower extended us out but about 4 miles from the field we were still 4,000 AGL when the tower called our base and cleared us to land. I asked my CFI if I should ask to extend a little further. His response was "No, you can get down there." I followed his instructions, pulled power back, turned base letting the nose drop to keep the wing unloaded, turned final about 3,000 AGL on a 4 mile final, dropped the gear and slipped it all the way down to short final. 

It was not ideal, but nice to have my CFI show me what could be done with the plane.

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8 hours ago, 201er said:

For me it’s always been 120KIAS. It’s the aerodynamic sweet spot for the M20J.

Works best for me too. Followed by gear down just before base then full flap in the descent through 100 kts while performing the U turn. Roll out on final at 80 kts with the last item on the checklist (gear down) out of the way and slowed to 70 kts on short final.

If I am approaching the field from an appropriate direction, have the wind information and there is no other aircraft in the pattern then it's a straight in approach.

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I only “enter a pattern” once in a blue moon. 
Where I live atc loves to dive bomb me into the airports, and I seldom if ever fly vfr so I don’t even really know how to answer that question.
I prefer to be around or ideally 90knots at 3 miles away from touch down. 
this almost always allows me the last 1000’ descent without picking up speed. 

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38 minutes ago, Schllc said:

I only “enter a pattern” once in a blue moon. 
Where I live atc loves to dive bomb me into the airports, and I seldom if ever fly vfr so I don’t even really know how to answer that question.
I prefer to be around or ideally 90knots at 3 miles away from touch down. 
this almost always allows me the last 1000’ descent without picking up speed. 

You need to get out more Southern Comfort.

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Like @Schllc I am typically given the "dive bomb" vectored approach by ATC into the Class C airport I fly out of, followed by "maintain maximum forward airspeed until 5 DME from the runway" (there is a lot of airline, corporate jet and Military traffic operating here).  The few times I fly VFR I use 120 KIAS on downwind.

Edited by whiskytango
wrong attribution
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As long as I'm down to 90-100 by the time I turn base, I'm good.  Flying into a busy non-towered airport, it's pretty much whatever speed fits into the current traffic on downwind.  I've entered the pattern and flown downwind anywhere between 90 and 130 KIAS. 

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