Learning Experiences

October 2009 Issue

Getting Down

After some 3000 hours of flight timeónot including military flight experienceógathered over a 50-year period, I recently had occasion to fly into the Portland (Ore.) International Airport (PDX) several times over a short time span. The Mooney 201 I bought new in 1989 was my chosen aircraft. At the time, PDX was undergoing major runway renovations, with Runways 10L/28R closed for all operations and 21 closed to landings. On an earlier flight, I was directed onto the right downwind for Runway 3 and to start my descent from 2000 feet after crossing over the tower. Even with idle power, full flaps and gear down, it takes a little while to slow down a Mooney and descend. On that flight, I extended my downwind past the end of the runway before turning base. All worked well.

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