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When do you drop the landing gear?

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Interesting to read that Heathrow is trialling aircraft selecting gear down much later in the approach because of the significant improvement in noise pollution.

So when do you select gear and why?

How to best fly a tight turn to a landing?

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The reason for a tight turn would be a hill in the way.

Example include Elba, Albenga, Calvi, Oban. Or even Shoreham if turning onto 20 before the hill (which most don’t do).

It seems that a good safe way to do a tight turn is to unload the wings, by trading height for a reduced G. This lowers Vs. So accelerate downwards (a constant VS is not enough) through the turn.

Also the lowest speed gives the tightest turn radius, for a given G, but one might get turbulence due to the hill…

How often do you have to hold?

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The other day I ended up having to hold for 30 minutes at the end of a 4-hour flight from Gloucester to Carcassonne. (For the purists, only one of those in the screenshot is an actual NDB-based hold, the others are a radar-vectored “hold” and the actual approach).

It got me thinking: how often do people end up actually holding in a real-world flight (i.e. not for training)?

Previously to this trip, the nearest I have had to a hold was being asked to orbit once at the IAF at my home field.

On this occasion, on arrival I was told I was number 2 to a D reg light aircraft. However, number 1 had self-initiated a hold ahead of me as he hadn’t been cleared past a specific waypoint by the overworked approach controller. Once he was cleared onwards, I was instructed to hold once and expect an approach to RW10 then circle-to-land RW28. Unfortunately for me, a Ryanair rocked up just then and obviously got precedence. But even he had to hold again as the D-reg was going so slowly that he (the Ryanair) couldn’t make the approach from such a late clearance so he had to shoot the entire RNAV approach again. So I ended up being vectored in a big oval before flying an NDB hold to allow the Ryanair to C-T-L, then finally the RNAV approach.

My wife did get a chance, while we were holding at 5500’, to take a photo of the Ryanair on its approach below us:

@flyer59 Thanks for the offer! I/we might take you up on the offer of an drive to Split airport if we decide to leave the plane there, but most likely we'll fly to Athens on Sunday.
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True. I got that in the US CPL checkride. The DPE showed me with fully fine and fully coarse. The difference is huge - of the order of 1/3 more glide distance.
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TBM_driver that's a fair point of view - 22 fatal accidents for the Mooney fleet and 4 for the BE36 fleet due to engine failures in the last ten years, also 5 serious injury accidents for the Moone...
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Thanks for sharing, these trip reports are what I enjoy most about this forum!