I'm officially slow but loving it ...

R.L.Mauzy

Pre-takeoff checklist
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R.L.Mauzy
So I've been keeping this close to my chest so to speak until I had everything finalized, but as of today I'm a fully checked-out part owner in a Sundowner. I purchased into an existing partnership a few weeks ago on the Sundowner and this weekend I finally had a chance to go out with a CFI and go through everything and now I'm good to go to fly my own plane (well 1/5th mine) and I am absolutely giddy. Now I just need to take my first passenger (the wife) and go for my very first hundred dollar hamburger. And now I don't have to pay through the nose just to beat up the pattern I can actually go places ... seriously sooooooo excited!


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Did I mention how excited I am .... lol
 
I used to rent a Sundowner years ago until there was an accident during a landing; a student had a purpoising incident. It cruised a bit slower than a 160 hp Skyhawk, though I believe the difference in speed would diminish with altitude on x-country flights (loses some drag while maintaining more lift). But it had a very comfortable cockpit, for both front and backseat passengers. It was also very stable once trimmed properly. An autopilot would almost be a waste lol. All in all, I really miss flying it.

Keep us posted on your ownership experience.
 
Outstanding! Congratulations!

These are great planes. I love mine, so I’m sure you’re going to have a terrific time with your bird. Have you joined Beech Aero Club yet? If not, you should!
 
Outstanding! Congratulations!

These are great planes. I love mine, so I’m sure you’re going to have a terrific time with your bird. Have you joined Beech Aero Club yet? If not, you should!

I have not joined it yet but am looking and considering it ...

I was kinda shocked a bit by just how nice this fly's and the feeling of quality. It also lands really really well once you get the hang of it. I am definitely hoping for a long and happy relationship with it lol.
 
An IFR GPS, a second NAV/COM, a real DME, AND an ADF! And even a kitchen timer!

You're equipped for just about any possible IFR scenario in that thing.


And a basic wing leveler (century 1)... so guess whats on my agenda for later this year or early next year ...
 
Congrats and good luck!!

I flew our Sundowner for nine years and my bride and I traveled everywhere. Flight planned for 110 knots, loved the room, and the plane was an easy keeper.
 
I have not joined it yet but am looking and considering it ...

Lots of knowledgeable people, resources for parts and shops, maintenance videos, etc. It’s well worth it.

I was kinda shocked a bit by just how nice this fly's and the feeling of quality. It also lands really really well once you get the hang of it. I am definitely hoping for a long and happy relationship with it lol.

Yep! The BAC folks explain that the much-older Bonanza design was merely the prototype for the Musketeer/ Sundowner / Sierra family. :biggrin:

As long as you’re at the correct speed they land quite nicely. The more I fly mine the better I like it.
 
Another shameless plug for BAC:

If you haven't already got one, you need to order a copy of The Fabulous Flight Of the Three Musketeers, by Gene Nora Jessen. https://www.amazon.com/Fabulous-Flight-Three-Musketeers-rollicking/dp/1439231516 "Trading upon the airplane's name, Beech Aircraft Corp. devised in 1962 a 3-airplane, 90-day, 48-state introductory tour - which unintentionally became an extended service test."

Gene Nora flew one of the three planes, N2303Z, known as "Threezie," on that promotional tour. That plane is now owned by the BAC and is on display in the Beech museum in Tullahoma, TN.
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So I've been keeping this close to my chest so to speak until I had everything finalized, but as of today I'm a fully checked-out part owner in a Sundowner. I purchased into an existing partnership a few weeks ago on the Sundowner and this weekend I finally had a chance to go out with a CFI and go through everything and now I'm good to go to fly my own plane (well 1/5th mine) and I am absolutely giddy. Now I just need to take my first passenger (the wife) and go for my very first hundred dollar hamburger. And now I don't have to pay through the nose just to beat up the pattern I can actually go places ... seriously sooooooo excited!


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Did I mention how excited I am .... lol
Congrats!

20% is better than renting!
 
One of the most underrated fixed gear singles. I’m surprised more flight schools don’t use them with the spacious cockpit and 2 doors.
 
Congrats! May the giddiness never diminish!
 
Congratulations. As mentioned already, BAC is your friend for all things Musketeer Sundowner Sierra. Already “saved my bacon” multiple times when I had a maintenance or operational question. I’ll see you over there!

student had a purpoising incident.
This is really important for Musketeer/Sundowner/Sierra types. They have shock discs like a Mooney.

The bounces don’t get better on their own… first and maybe second bounce is free, third bounce will cost you dearly.
If you bounce the landing, open the throttle and go-around, don’t try to save it. unless you’ve got 10k+feet runway to blip the throttle and attempt to land a second time.
 
A friend of mine has one and we went up a couple of times. It is definitely harder to land then a cherokee. I imagine it has to do with the landing gear having those rubber pucks. Also to me it had a crazy nose down attitude while flying and even worse while landing with full flaps out. It was really bizarre. Seemed to fly really slow...like really slow. That was my observations with the plane.
 
One of the most underrated fixed gear singles. I’m surprised more flight schools don’t use them with the spacious cockpit and 2 doors.

They demand good airspeed control on final, which not every student can bring, and the porpoise mode is somewhat intimidating/scary when it happens. A blip of power fixes it, but if you're already behind the plane, you might just be along for the ride.

We had one on our flightline and it made a grown man cry when he had a bad day and pogo'ed down our runway. He stopped training after that, and no amount of cajoling would bring him back to the field.
 
They demand good airspeed control on final,....

Exactly. My Mouse wants to be between 75 and 80 mph over the fence with full flaps. Faster than 80mph and she'll bounce like a rubber ball; slower than 75mph and she'll bounce like a brick. Inside that 5mph window, the landing is graceful. Keeping a little power on, just a whisper above idle, and landing with the stall horn blaring makes for a nice touchdown.

It's not forgiving the way a Cherokee is. The first few times I landed a Cherokee, after training in and flying a Tecnam LSA, I felt like I had an autoland system. It's really hard to make a bad landing in a Cherokee; fast, slow, flaps, no flaps, whatever - it lands just fine.

@R.L.Mauzy , on landing, be sure you raise the flaps before you apply the brakes. If you're still rolling at 60mph or so with full flaps, the brakes will lock up easily and you'll flat-spot a tire. This is contrary to all the advice about not touching controls during the rollout, but get into the habit of raising the flaps immediately after the plane is on the runway.
 
Oh that’ll be plenty fast enough! I traveled our great country in my 47 Cessna 140 at 90kts… iv since upgraded but more for seats and useful load- the speed is nice but I made it from Michigan to Idaho twice, and Florida once. It was great…
 
Exactly. My Mouse wants to be between 75 and 80 mph over the fence with full flaps. Faster than 80mph and she'll bounce like a rubber ball; slower than 75mph and she'll bounce like a brick. Inside that 5mph window, the landing is graceful. Keeping a little power on, just a whisper above idle, and landing with the stall horn blaring makes for a nice touchdown.

It's not forgiving the way a Cherokee is. The first few times I landed a Cherokee, after training in and flying a Tecnam LSA, I felt like I had an autoland system. It's really hard to make a bad landing in a Cherokee; fast, slow, flaps, no flaps, whatever - it lands just fine.

@R.L.Mauzy , on landing, be sure you raise the flaps before you apply the brakes. If you're still rolling at 60mph or so with full flaps, the brakes will lock up easily and you'll flat-spot a tire. This is contrary to all the advice about not touching controls during the rollout, but get into the habit of raising the flaps immediately after the plane is on the runway.

I fortunately got a good lesson on that before I went with a CFI and didnt have any real problems with it. I agree with the spped thing ... this ones really happy right at 80. I had a very small bounce or hop on the first one (landing) and none since. I even had to do an unexpected short and fast approach (tower requested it and I liked the challenge) and spanked it in smooth ... a bunch of float but smooth lol. I noticed its very very responsive to throttle, had one approach where the wind pushed us left as we come over the threshold and I just eased power in to do a go-around and it is such a non-event. I really am impressed with how it flies and handles. So far I think the only thing I need to get used to and be very aware of is if I ever have a problem is the glide ratio leaves a bit to be desired but I dont have enough experience to say its good or bad but its certainly a lot shorter/faster than a 172 when your coming down power off ...




Oh that’ll be plenty fast enough! I traveled our great country in my 47 Cessna 140 at 90kts… iv since upgraded but more for seats and useful load- the speed is nice but I made it from Michigan to Idaho twice, and Florida once. It was great…

I haven't really flown anything "fast" so to be completely honest I 'm perfectly happy with its speed. In fact the fastest I've flown a plane so far is in this sundowner when I was practicing emergency descents ... POH calls for something like 150 knots. I hit 140 and really felt fast coming down lol. The simple truth is I will happily trade a few knots for how comfortable this plane is and how easy it is to get in and out of and how nice it flies...

Now, if someone has a trick for getting out of it gracefully I'm all ears .. lol
 
They demand good airspeed control on final, which not every student can bring, and the porpoise mode is somewhat intimidating/scary when it happens. A blip of power fixes it, but if you're already behind the plane, you might just be along for the ride.

We had one on our flightline and it made a grown man cry when he had a bad day and pogo'ed down our runway. He stopped training after that, and no amount of cajoling would bring him back to the field.

Exact same scenario with the woman that purpoised the one I used to fly. She hasn’t flown since.

Sundowners are not difficult to fly or land, but they’re not the greatest trainers (barring IFR training, they’re fantastic for that). The landing gear can’t take quite the abuse that a Skyhawk or a Cherokee can.
 
Keeping a little power on, just a whisper above idle, and landing with the stall horn blaring makes for a nice touchdown.

Yes keeping a bit of power made it easier to grease the landings. :D Though when it came time to do some simulated engine-out landings on a BFR, both myself and the landing gear were in for a rough time.


Edit: Here’s a video of the very Sundowner I used to fly (I’m not the uploader).
 
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I fortunately got a good lesson on that before I went with a CFI and didnt have any real problems with it. I agree with the spped thing ... this ones really happy right at 80. I had a very small bounce or hop on the first one (landing) and none since. I even had to do an unexpected short and fast approach (tower requested it and I liked the challenge) and spanked it in smooth ... a bunch of float but smooth lol. I noticed its very very responsive to throttle, had one approach where the wind pushed us left as we come over the threshold and I just eased power in to do a go-around and it is such a non-event. I really am impressed with how it flies and handles. So far I think the only thing I need to get used to and be very aware of is if I ever have a problem is the glide ratio leaves a bit to be desired but I dont have enough experience to say its good or bad but its certainly a lot shorter/faster than a 172 when your coming down power off ...






I haven't really flown anything "fast" so to be completely honest I 'm perfectly happy with its speed. In fact the fastest I've flown a plane so far is in this sundowner when I was practicing emergency descents ... POH calls for something like 150 knots. I hit 140 and really felt fast coming down lol. The simple truth is I will happily trade a few knots for how comfortable this plane is and how easy it is to get in and out of and how nice it flies...

Now, if someone has a trick for getting out of it gracefully I'm all ears .. lol

Yea the low wings are a bit tricky in and out. Traditional Cessna and similiar have it better for in and out. But I’ll take the momentary gymnastics for the overall comfort, stability, and far better visibility in my Mooney now given the choice… and I’m sure ours are similar in all those reguards…

And really for most trips even flying w someone in a fast plane ya won’t be but a few mins apart… I thought I’d blow by my buddies a few weeks ago- they had a 10 min jump on me and 100nm later I pulled into the pattern behind em…
 
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You will love your Sundowner. They are Beech quality - built like a tank - low wing / 2 doors and a Lycoming O-360. What a great combination.

I wish I had mine back and will probably buy one again some day.
 
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