Are you serious?

I had a little time yesterday to get in the air for a short hop around the local area. I was testing a small camera which I attached to the right windscreen to try to record the flight (didn't work). I flew North from my base at Westheimer for a loop around downtown Oklahoma City. Everything was going wonderfully with the flight. Approach after giving me a squawk code said fly on course, which I did. I made the 180 over the city and headed back to OUN. I was quickly handed off to the tower at Westheimer, I was about 15 or so miles from the airport. I made the call and was told shortly thereafter to, slow down. The GTN-650 had me doing about 115 over the ground. So, I pulled the power and added some slowing trim. A few minutes later got another call to slow down. I repeated the process and was now down around 85 knots. Once again came the call and I again complied. Finally, I am in an extended left downwind for 36 literally just above MCA with a pattern full of OU students. I was told I was number three behind a Mooney who was still well South of my location. Finally saw the Mooney at 9:00 and made my base turn. I was so slow at this point that I had to increase power to maintain the proper slope to the runway. Cleared to land, I saw the Mooney on the runway ahead of me and he was told to exit at C1. I landed and made my turn at Bravo, with the admonition to give way to the Mooney taxiing back on Charlie. I have never had to be so slow in the pattern before. Others were being told to do S turns and one was holding over the OU football stadium. It was a very interesting flight. Now if I can just get that camera to work...……………...


  • Don’t be afraid to fire out that “unable” if they are making you uncomfortably slow. They will figure it out.


    1963 Cherokee 180 B.

  • Interesting story, Bill, thanks for sharing it. And good advice, Paul!

    Scott Sherer
    Wright Brothers Master Pilot, FAA Commercial Pilot
    Aviation Director, Piper Owner Society Forum Moderator and Pipers Author.

    Need help? Let me know!

  • Yep, just say that you are at your minimum speed and they’ll have to work around that. We usually don’t have the big picture of what’s going on in the tower, and they usually don’t really know our workload in the cockpit at different points in the pattern. They’re doing their best with what the situation is, and we are doing the same.

    Jim M.
    Based at BUU
    ATC Chicago TRACON

  • I was having fun, wasn't concerned about the speed, just a bit unusual for the airport. As far as my conversations with ATC, I have never been bashful about telling them what I can and cannot do. That said the advice given here is well taken. In this instance, I knew exactly what was going on, there were too many university aviation department students all in the air at the same time. I know the tower people personally and they know me, so it was easier for me to accommodate the "kids" than any other way. It has been quite a while since I posted on this forum and I see lots of new names. For those that don't know, I am celebrating 50 years of GA flying this year. I started in C-150/172 aircraft in 1969 at the SAC base aeroclub where I was stationed. As I stated in another post years ago, I am one of the few who has landed a C-150 in front of a B-52 (the D model with the black underside), now that will get your full attention to your landing and runway clearing (took the highspeed off the runway).

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