Originally Posted by Doug Eves
I never did quite understand why anyone would want to be turning (sometimes steep and possibly heavy) close to the ground. ie. Base to Final....especially when there is lots of opportunity to adjust speed , with wings level, on final. Just seems totally unnecessary. One beautiful day I was standing around the Sarnia airport watching an aircraft on base that appeared too slow to me. As I watched him turn final and die , I decided right then and there not to do the same. I encourage all of you to keep some extra speed for that turn because you never know when it could be your "turn"
Assuming you're qualified, go up in your RV at altitude and replicate base to final turns at lower and lower airspeed and you'll see how hard you have to work and how out of whack you really have to be to produce a stall/spin/spiral departure during a normal turn. Do you actually have spin experience? Many pilots who lack comfort level and experience in this area are often overly concerned about stalling and operating near their perceived "edge of the flight envelope". This causes them to fly with excessive speed in the pattern and on final. Your mind would have to be fatally absent or distracted to allow yourself to get anywhere near this condition even at moderate bank angles in the pattern. It's nothing to fear. The fact that you're thinking about energy management each time you make this turn means you're engaged. But as others have mentioned, there is no need for excess energy. Speed is not life. Proper energy management and paying attention is life.