hughVFR

FSX-MS
Doing circuits in the Mooney Bravo

6 posts in this topic

Hi, 

  I'm practicing circuits in the Mooney Bravo in FSX.  I so far haven't found anyone speak to this, but in general, does one do circuits with the gear down or if not, when is the place to deploy them back (i.e early on downwind, later on downwind, on base, on final?). So far, I've been bringing the gear up for upwind and crosswind legs then bringing the gear down mid-way through the downwind leg. It helps a little for getting the speed down so I can deploy the flaps.  So far, all the check lists I've looked at for the Mooney Bravo only mention gear down on final (good to check obviously).  I've been following along in the e-Book Microsoft Flight Simulator X for Pilots Real World Training and once you get to Chapter 14, you're using the Mooney, so I thought I'd try to get more practice in the circuit before moving too far on.

Hopefully I'm not asking a dreadfully stupid question.

Thanks in advance.

-Hugh, student of the Flight Sim

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No such thing as a stupid question......just stupid answers!:happy:   Flying circuits is good practice.  I would pull the gear up after you can confirm a positive climb rate just after takeoff.  In a small GA aircraft, like the Mooney, I would drop the gear at least 1-1 1/2 miles out on final approach to the runway.

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Hi Hugh,

Welcome aboard - as Charlie mentioned - airliners and jets pull the gear up when they have a positive rate of climb established - slower GA planes - once you no longer have any useable runway left is a good practice - just in case you need to set it down again... For me turning base to final can be a bit busy - if I'm flying patterns - I drop them right around midfield downwind as you mentioned - with a double check when turning final... If on an instrument approach - I have them down when the glideslope needle starts to move so they are fully down when I intercept... This aids creating a stable approach while on the glideslope... Obviously some of this can be left to personal preference...

Regards,

Scott

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Take a look at the diagrams in this link:

http://www.ppl-flight-training.com/circuits-briefing.html

Note the acronyms, there are loads of acronyms to help pilots and lots of variations of them too and you can even invent your own if you like, for example, when flying gliders I use CB-SIFT-CBE prior to take off (which is canopy, brakes - straps, instruments, flaps, trim - controls, ballast, eventualities) and I use HASSLE before aerobatics (which is height, airframe, straps, security, lookout, eventualities). I use these even on aeroplanes which don't need them all, for example, many gliders don't have flaps, but I still use the CB-SIFT-CBE one on those and for the flaps bit I just say 'not fitted'. This is a good habit to get into, i.e. using an acronym which includes gear even on fixed gear aeroplanes is sensible, since it means you won't have to change your memory acronyms when switching types. Just say 'down and welded' on a fixed gear type and for 'raising' them on a fixed gear type, I literally still do the motion even though it does nothing on that actual aeroplane, as it means you won't ever forget to do it.

There is a good reason why they have the gear up after take off and down on the downwind legs on those diagrams, the gear should come up as soon as practical and before you make the first turn so you are not trying to do too many things at once and the aircraft is clean before you make that first turn so it accelerates a bit quicker, the gear should come down whilst you are not busy making the last two turns as it helps to get the speed stable early and means you don't rush stuff and forget the gear. Get into the habit of looking down for the gear indicator on final too as a last check, it will prevent a lot of heartache one day I can guarantee and will allow you plenty of time to get the power on if there is a problem with the gear, so you can go around.

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What I learned when I got my complex endorsement and have always taught my students.  When there is no longer runway available or prior to turning crosswind retract the gear.  Then abeam your planned touchdown point gear down flaps first notch before landing checklist (GUMPS - Gas, Undercarriage, Mixture, Props, Seatbelt).  Then on base GUMP (Gear down, Undercarriage down, Make sure the gears down, Put the flippin gear down).  And one last check on final RBG (Red - Mixture, Blue - Props, Green -Gear).

There are a couple decent reasons to pull the gear up rather than let the hanging. Obviously you exponentially increase the odds of landing gear up.  But he positives I think outweigh that one glaring negative.  You decrease drag in case something does happen, and two you are ingraining your mind not to become complacent into thinking the gear is down all the time.  By retracting the gear every pattern you are actively thinking about that variable.

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Thanks for all the replies.  I suspected that the approach in circuits should be gear up on takeoff, then down on downwind abeam landing point but wanted to be sure.

-Hugh

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