I have finally come up with a nice and accurate way to do reentries. It involves using the Map MFD to aim for the base you want to land at, dropping into the atmosphere at 7 km/s, bleeding off speed at about 40 G, and then flying around for a little while before the temperature cools down from 70 000 C to a tolerable 200 C. Obviously I have activated chicken mode.
However, the most difficult part (surprisingly) is transitioning safely from a flying motion to using the hover engine. What I do is that I try to fly level, dropping the speed down to about ~120 m/s, and then turning on the autopilot to catch me and heading for the landing pad.
But frequently I seem to break the hover engine ... the speed is too high, and the hover doors are ripped off or something.
So my question is ... what are the safe speed limits for the hover engine?