Family Trip to The Four Seasons Las Vegas


Entering left downwind, my ground speed was 100 mph. My airspeed was too slow at 80 mph. I was wrestling a 20 knot tailwind. Plus, it was hot and turbulence was knocking us in every direction.

Flying by instinct, I let my senses convince me that we were moving fast enough based on the sensation of the ground. But, my personal block of sky was moving forward so fast, it was stealing 20 mph from my forward movement.

Speeding up to 100 mph got me comfortably away from my stall speed.

Never trust your instinct to fly. Trust your panel.

Now, my groundspeed was racing across the rocky ground at 120 mph. But, airspeed is more important than groundspeed…The disparity between my ground and air speed took me by surprise. I felt like I was riding a rogue wave across the desert floor – tail was high, nose down.

The rule of power for altitude and pitch for speed was being broken…

Lea-Ann was huddled in the back with Blair.

Lily watched calmly for traffic and obstacles below. I set the plane up to hold 100 mph into my base turn and final. I needed more power and nose down.

Turning base I see that the wind may push me so far out of the rectangular flight pattern that I might have to ask for class Bravo clearance…No time to read the memorized chart in my head. Patience kept my turn light and coordinated. I keep it going all the way into final approach. I added a touch of power to fight the headwind now smacking us in the face.

Full flaps, plane is holding strong. Wind doesn’t stand a chance. The Mooney cuts through it like a knife through avocado.

Check gear down for the third time. Boost pump on, mixture rich, prop all the way in. Trim is good.

I keep the power on for a smooth landing that has my son asking, “are we down!?”

Party time.

We got married in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay. The Four Seasons is part of it, so we stayed there. It offers a much more relaxing atmosphere and superb service for almost the same price as Mandalay. Besides the nostalgia of being there with our kids, the highlights were the wave pool, Shark Reef, Adventure Dome at Circus Circus and La Reve show at Wynn.

But, the biggest highlight was the epiphany my wife and daughter had for the name of our next child! Skyler for a boy. Skylar for a girl.

Either way, it reflects our passion for private aviation and “the champagne lifestyle on a beer budget” that comes with the Mooney! Thanks Zef!

Knowledge Pack