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Showing most liked content on 12/03/2016 in all areas

  1. 10 points
    Sorry but I'm not sure that was unreasonable. I assume you really were not prepared to go buy a tube & tire from ASpruce and you did not have tools to block up the nose gear, remove the wheel, split the rims, lube, inflate and mount the tube.tire, torque the bolts, etc. A business marking up parts from inventory that they have to keep and charging for their time at their shop rate seems reasonable to me. Maybe that A&P was sitting there waiting for you to need emergency service but more likely they pulled him off a job for a regular customer to deal with a transient. Maybe we need a AAA for airplanes. OTOH, I had a flat tire @ KOSH this year. $275 under the circumstances would have been very acceptable. It turns out that KOSH is probably the best possible place to need help. Volunteers towed the plane to their maintenance pen where I was able to tie down over night, I went by A.Spruce hangar and bought a tube and helped Dave Staffeldt install it. We checked out a whole box of tools from the maintenance shop. Dave wouldn't take anything for what I'm sure was more than an hour and there was no charge for the other services. I was more than delighted to put $40 in their tool kitty jar. I think the Michelin Air Stop tube was $80. so it cost me $120. I was still smiling when the Caravan powers to be decreed my handle would be "Breakdown". BICBW
  2. 9 points
    One thing I've learn while getting old is that there are not enough people who have real knowledge and experience and who also are willing to get their hands dirty. When you find one it is a very good idea to appreciate him/her. I have a local A&P/IA, a plumber, a welder, an electrician, an upholsterer, a seamstress... all of whom do not charge enough for what their expertise is really worth,
  3. 9 points
    Hey, Did you hear the one about the pilot who told the shop owner he wasn't entitled to make a profit? Yeah he should sell his parts at the prices Spruces charges him(typical Spruce discount 5%) and he should cover the shipping as well and have it in stock when he shows up. And his labor rate is wrong, what gives him the right to charge more than he pays his guys? If you can't make it at that go ask your land lord for free hangar rent and the public utility for free gas and electricity. Some people shouldn't own airplanes. Clarence
  4. 6 points
    I'm still in shock from reading this statement. Unless they had a team of a six mechanics working eight straight hours with the precision of an Indy pit crew, these are what is known as a "paper annual".
  5. 5 points
    My problem it takes me 2 weeks to rebuild a nose wheel and change said tire and tube. Lol. I had a scalloped tire, unknown tube that always wanted air, and some light damage on my wheel half retaining clip housing. Decided to replace the wheel with a used wheel I found on barnstormers. $125 killer deal. New was $650. Came with a serviceable tire and tube, slap it on No problem right?... Well I better check the bearings... Shot. Ordered new PMA'd races and bearings. Those things are expensive. $55 bearings $30 races. Decided to replace the hardware too. Refinish the wheel assy, cleaned light surface corrosion, used pre-kote treatment. $30. first paint job bubbled in the oven. Re-do. Found a better silver high temp. Looks great. $20 in paint and hardware. $165 Goodyear tire from ASC, $75 Michelin tube. Still need to replace one helicoil for my wheel cover. All in all, it looks about as nice as the refinished jet wheels for work I get from Aviall. The ability show fellow mooney guys my hard work... Priceless. Lol. $275 to get you down the road at F70 is a deal!! -Matt
  6. 3 points
    Well, I just finished up my 5th annual since owning my J. I decided to use a new shop since my other annuals were always done in a day and I felt they were not as thorough as they should or coupld be. After some searching and upon the advice of a couple Mooneyspacers I went with Crownair Aviation in San Diego Montgomery Field (KMYF). I scheduled to drop off my plane on Oct 24th but that got delayed just days prior due to an ongoing problem with my dual mag. After getting that repaired I was able to drop it off on Oct 31st. Crownair was very accommodating and agreed to do the annual even though I missed my drop off window by a week. This led to the annual taking over a month and I finally picked it up on Dec 2nd with a Dec 1st sign off (This was something the shop and I agreed to since the plane wasn't going to be ready until Nov 28th anyways). I want to add that I feel like my plane is in very good condition, not perfect, but I am proactive about maintenance and fix issues as they come up. Within the last year I have IRAN'd the mags, OH'd the prop, repaired a faulty dual mag, repaired a cracked upper cowl, replaced the ignition switch and p-leads, among other minor issues. Point being I don't let things stay broke very long so I felt like the plane was in decent shape going into the annual. The basic inspection was quoted around $2,100. This is double what I usually spend in labor alone in my previous annuals (Not including parts). I was thinking the annual would end up being maybe $3,000 but surely no more than $4,000. I was even prepared to stomach $5k if it came to that. After they did the initial inspection was completed they emailed me a list of 65 tasks, which included the discrepancies. Not all of the discrepancies were mandatory or airworthy. Some were "tires worn out." I felt my tires were still fine and probably could have gone at 6-12 more months before needing replacement but I decided to "throw them a bone" so to speak, and let them replace the mains. And since they were replacing the mains I told them to go ahead and replace the nose tire too. Other issues were discussed and I was given approximate costs, over the phone, on how much other discrepancies would cost to be addressed. I gave approval on certain ones such as replacing the cotter pins in the seat rails with the correct size. I finally got the invoice emailed to me yesterday which came out to a whopping $6,006. I was a little shocked to say the least. Most of the costs were reasonable such as an hour to change each tire but some seemed a bit skewed. Such as .5 hours @ $88 hour to change those 4 said seat rail cotter pins. I've done this before and I can say this takes about 2 minutes to change all 4 cotter pins. I was charged 1.5 hours to change the oil. Something I can personally do in about 30 minutes with the cowl removed and change filters and I'm not a professional A&P by any stretch of the word. Personally I feel the hardest part of changing the oil is removing the cowlings by myself but they come off as part of the inspection so the actual oil and filter change should be easy and quick. I also got charged .25 hours (15 minutes) to take an oil sample. Again, something that takes a couple minutes. Another issue I saw was being charged 1 hour of labor to secure the landing light wiring and fire sleeve from chafing on the exhaust. I brought these billing issues up during the pick up. I was told the smallest increment of time they can bill for is 15 minutes. I was also explained why it could take 30 minutes to change the cotter pins because the mechanic "has to go get the cotter pins, put them in and log it." The logbook entry referencing that task was about 6 words. Now I'm not writing this only to complain as they did address and repair some other issues I was not aware of and I'm glad they did that. The costs on some of those seemed reasonable but the costs on tires seemed excessive. I was billed $160 for a nose wheel that costs $99.50 at Spruce. The mains were also more than Spruce. Had I known this before I would have declined the tires and had my local field mechanic do the work at $70 hr and bought the tires myself. Pros about this shop: Very friendly, professional and complete service Cons: Not providing better estimates on costs to fix discrepancies but this could also partially be my fault. All this being said I wish I had a better idea and more information before choosing this shop which is why I'm writing this. I'm happy with the work they did just not so happy with the billing. Before choosing the shop I asked them what the average annual costs on a J like mine. He would not answer or even give me a ballpark. I wasn't trying to nail him down to a number I just wanted to know what the average Joe Shmoe pays for an average annual on a plane like mine. I even told him I wouldn't expect that to be what mine could cost because I'm aware of the variables. Still wouldn't give me an answer. That should have been a sign right there. Anyways, I hope this helps someone in the future. Any questions feel free to ask. Steve
  7. 3 points
    I have to stick in my 2 cents. Nobody here (at least I hope nobody here) is saying "I'm a better pilot than you because I have an instrument rating". I know a bunch of VFR guys who are much better pilots than I am. All of us who got the rating are proud of the fact that we went to the effort to get it, and know it improved our abilities. If you get your IR, you will be a better pilot than you were before you did. I don't think anyone would argue with the fact that having your IR improves your ability to utilize your plane for trips, but it is a pain to maintain currency, and it may not be worth it to you.
  8. 3 points
    Amen Clarence!!! If paying shop rates and parts markups are too much, either invest how ever many thousands of dollars and time it takes to get your A&P, buy your stock and do the work your self, or sell the airplane. If a 160 dollar tire away from home gets you, there's no way your ready for a broken crank on the road. Just the hanger space rental could hurt your feelings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars on radios and shiny spiny things we really could do without, but when it comes to maintaining a safe reliable aircraft the first question is what's it gonna cost me. There are shops that truly rip people off, for example. A 172 goes back to the same facility 12 hours and 12 months later, 12,000 dollars. True story. But an extra 1000.00 dollars on an annual for a high performance retract is like spending ten bucks more at the grocery store. It's all relative . A 6 grand annual isn't bad, especially at a new shop were they start over on the research. Every time a new facility is used your paying for another look back at all history events. We have picked an expensive hobby that can't be justified for any reason other than it's the most awesome thing ever.
  9. 3 points
    Late entry for 2016 I just found looking through a folder. From back in February. Appropriate as getting ready for the winter here in New England. Love the climb performance in the cool crisp winter air. This was an early morning breakfast run to Nancy's Airfield Cafe at Minute Man Air Field (6B6) with my youngest, Will (10). Great food there and, yes, he finished both plates. (To clarify, the flying pics are departure and landing from home airport (KBVY - Beverly, MA).
  10. 2 points
    The mid-air stats are very interesting. I suppose most are in VMC and in the vicinity of an airport but that would be nice to know. On board traffic info sure looks helpful to me - there is a lot more traffic displayed than spotted. The rarity of engine failure is helpful as we weigh the real risks of single engine instrument, night flying, over water or other inhospitable terrain.
  11. 2 points
    Thanks for boiling down my post to your opinion that I shouldn't own an airplane Clarence. Did you even read my entire post? Not sure if you did or did not but I'll summarize that the reason I posted it was to give someone in my position an idea on what to expect in a similar situation. I didn't find any posts about Crownair Aviation so this was partially a shop review documenting my experience. I didn't bash the shop or speak negatively about their work. I just questioned some of their billing practices, time to complete tasks and stated what I thought about their parts mark ups. Some of us Mooney owners are "frugal" to say the least. Had I known they marked up their tires that much I would have declined it and had my local guy done it and saved some money doing it. A shop owner is absolutely allowed to make a profit. I believe in a free market and not socialism so no issues there. However, as owners we have a right to manage maintenance costs and safety doesn't have to be compromised in the process. I felt I was nickled and dimed on some (not all) of the billing. Being billed for 30 minutes for something that takes 2 is unreasonable to me and it becomes an issue when the bill is higher than I expected. Being billed $22 to take an oil sample also seems unreasonable. That's almost the cost of the test itself. If the bill came out to $3,500 I probably wouldn't even have mentioned it. And I'm not saying I wasn't happy with the work as they found issues with the plane I was not aware of. I just wish I had been given better communication on what the costs were adding up to so it wasn't such a shock when I got the final invoice. I didn't know what certain things were going to cost until they were done. Is this my fault, yes, I'll say it partially is but perhaps the next guy can learn from this. But I guess questioning some billing means I shouldn't own an airplane, right? I guess I should just open up my check book and let them fill in the amount and just smile. Steve
  12. 2 points
    A Mooney will always beat a 182 on speed at the same fuel flow, too. Even my C will outrun a 182, and I do it on 9 gph . . . An R182 may keep up, but it will take 50% more fuel.
  13. 2 points
    I would be really surprised if it only took the A&P 30 minutes to round up the tire and tube, round up the tools, get to the plane or get the plane to him, change the tire and tube, and write up the log entry. $100 is very reasonable labor rate for this task, and seems even more so in $unny California. You are paying him for time spent in your benevolence, not just the time his hand touches a wrench.
  14. 2 points
    Don't forget about the liability and why should he be able to buy insurance so that his kids don't starve when some dumb ass pilot buys the farm and widow includes the mechanic in the suit.
  15. 2 points
    Just bought a RAM iPad mini package mount for $68 bucks at Aircraft Spruce. Works great in portrait or landscape. Better than an older RAM mount I had on co pilot yoke. Does not block instruments. Simple elegant and reasonable price.
  16. 2 points
    You can buy an Ovation if you wanna be fastest from 0-8k feet. You can buy a Bravo or Acclaim if you want to be fastest above 8k. Either way the Mooney is faster. Pick your poison. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. 2 points
    That's exactly why we installed it. Send flight plans, route changes, load arrivals, approaches, directs ... and send them either way! Very helpful reducing work load in flight! Also has a back up AHRS, now we have three ... FS-210, Stratus2, and the G5 ...
  18. 2 points
    I do owner assist annuals. I have accumulated almost all the tools and supplies needed including jacks and tail weight, 5 hp air compressor, kerosene heater. I have quite a lot of experience taking apart everything need for the inspection. Jacking the plane, removing seats, cowling,, inspection plates, wheels, spark plugs, draining oil, removing the oil filter, cleaning the wheel wells and belly, lubing the heim bearings, removing the battery, topping the hydraulic reservoir, and a few more prep tasks I'm leaving out is a pretty full day (4-6 hours, I'm old and I have a life away from the airport). And I'll reverse all those steps after the actual inspection, measuring, adjusting, bearing repacking... is done by Lynn with me playing dental assistant, fetching mirrors, magnets, assorted wrenches, salves and potions. At this point we might find we need a part or two that needs replacing that neither of us has in stock. I might be told I can button up some of the dismantling. After the parts are secured and installed I can add oil, filter, do safety wiring and put the plane back together. Lynn checks the ELT battery date, the AD and SB history (at this point there are zero or very few that apply to a '66E) and logs the work. We've done it in 3 days when I had a trip planned but usually I take closer to 2 weeks. If we punched a clock i/o I'd only log 25-30 hours on task of which <10 are Lynn's. This year we'll replace the JBar block which is original. I want to remove and straighten a gear door, may need painting. do some other touch up painting. I would estimate that the money I save more than pays for the difference in hangar cost for my private T hangar vs. being in one of the community hangars.
  19. 2 points
    that 45 min flight will take longer with all the overhead / security gates / arriving early / boarding time. door-door you will be faster on that train.
  20. 2 points
    A while ago, I had a shop doing an annual and additional work on my Mooney M20F. I was wondering about their prices for parts. They explained me that they add 30 percent to the prices they pay. For that amount of money they keep a lot of parts in stock and have them ready, when you need them. Also they guarantee that the parts are working fine. After that experience, I started buying most of the parts myself, including oil, filter ... and bring them with the plane to a shop. In May, I experienced a vacuum pump failure during flight. I was already enroute to a Mooney shop. My first question after landing was: Do you have the pump available. He had a new one ready on his shelf and installed it immediately. In this situation, I was happy and had no problems to pay more money for the pump as at Spruce. In regard to the annual inspection, my IA gives me a detailed list of discrepancies with information, if it is more or less important to fix those things. The list comes also with information about time to fix it and prices for parts. Then it is up to me to order what I want and there are no surprises in the final bill.
  21. 2 points
    I hope you're kidding, sometimes I have a hard time reading between the lines.
  22. 2 points
    I have had worse. I took my first J to LASAR for its first Annual. "They are the best." That may be true- but they arnt the most reasonable. Double digits... well into double digits. Similar experience. Great people-know their mooneys... but they charge a HEFTY premium for that knowledge and reputation.
  23. 2 points
    I've given three interested pilots, rides in my Mooney. All three of them now are Mooney owners. Not a bad average
  24. 2 points
    My buddy flies a Citation Sovereign for a living. It is based in Tampa but was at the Cessna Service Center at Orlando International and was ready to be picked up. My Mooney was ready to be picked up from the avionics shop at Orlando-Sanford 21 nm north. So we drove a rental to KSFB to pick up my bird then I dropped him off at KMCO. Here is a picture of 88V in front of the Cessna Service Center and a ramp full of Citation Jets. Interior pics of the Sovereign. Golfing legend and fellow aviator gone west, Arnold Palmers Citation.
  25. 2 points
    Also, thank you for helping out all of my endless questions over at pilotsofamerica.com I hope I can return the favor someday!
  26. 2 points
    There are plenty of quality/solid airframes around that have not been updated much, if at all. So long as you go into such a plane knowing that putting $50k into a $60k plane typically results in an $80k plane when it is time to sell, then you won't be disappointed. However, if you wish to build your dream plane (like Bennett) and own/fly it for a long time, then you'll "get" your money out if it in enjoyment over many years. Starting with an un-upgraded plane in this case is great because paying for newer paint or interior that you want to change is silly. Ditto for one with a 430W if you ultimately want a GTN instead. Just figure out what you ultimately want, and how long you might own it. Personally I think the J (and perhaps K) fit a real sweet spot in terms of useful speed and range, low operating cost, and reasonable purchase price. To go measurably faster or carry a lot more at similar speeds requires s LOT more in purchase and/or operating cost. Point bring you might not "outgrow" a Mooney and thus building a great one might be a great long-term decision. Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
  27. 2 points
    I bought a 78J in 2014, I bought it for less than 70K BUT... its avionics and interior were dated, it desperately needed an upgrade. Which I did within a year. Its engine had 1600 hrs, I'm currently at 1950 and God willing I plan on going well past TBO. The first annual and first year maintenance cost was 10K which included new landing pucks, muffler, overhauled gear actuator, all new hoses, new spark plugs, overhauled mags, and new LED lights. Only the muffler and hoses was unexpected. ...so would have it been better to pay more upfront? No Js for sale had modern avionics (GTN xxx, JPI 8xx, etc), so I got the what I wanted, how I wanted it. No Js had LED lights... Owners are reluctant to spend money on maintenance when they aren't flying or selling, so most will need some major investment in the first year. Logs will tell you the story. The more hours I put on the engine, the better deal I got. PPIs help, but there are no guarantees. Rule of thumb is you need 10% cash in reserve for 1st year maintenance....I would use 15% if plane is less than 100K.
  28. 2 points
    True to Mooney Speed, this little guy arrived a few weeks early on my birthday. He is doing well.
  29. 2 points
    We don't have a "don't like" button, but that's pretty lame. A guy wants to fly an airplane and be safe as he can and you call him what? Screw this macho crap.
  30. 2 points
    +1, and also: -you like working on it -you have friends at your airport and like helping them work on their airplanes -you have a fridge at your hangar and you like just relaxing on a nice evening with a beer There are a lot of things to enjoy about being an airplane owner, but financially justifying the expense isn't one of them. (24 year airplane owner)
  31. 2 points
    As one that has owned 14 airplanes in my flying career and had a $25k annual on an airplane that had an extensive ($10k) pre-buy by the guru of that aircraft type and had the annual done by the same individual - listen to Andy. I see a lot of fantasy and justification by the OP that will be quite eye opening once the reality and expense of aircraft ownership sets in. Ownership is more expensive than renting in 99% of cases and the OP is not the 1% exception. You own for pride of ownership, immediate and absolute availability of the airplane, known maintenance and condition or to fly an airplane that isn't readily available on the rental line. YOU DO NOT OWN AN AIRPLANE TO SAVE MONEY OVER RENTING !!!
  32. 2 points
    In the Mooney, there would have been plenty of time to leisurely fly a normal pattern as you would have easily outrun the storm at a normal cruise speed
  33. 1 point
    The first flight in my K 252, a Bo was within 5 miles, same altitude, from Memphis to San Marcos. We landed within 5 minutes of each other. Same altitude, same speed, same track. I burned 40 gal, he burned 52 gal.
  34. 1 point
    That all depends on the shop/A&P; I'd say. there are those that think $5000.00 is perfectly reasonable for an annual, as this thread has exposed. And others that don't. my biggest issue in the past has been being billed $110.00 / hr shop rates by a "reputable shop", then picking up my plane only to find multiple issues... like spark plugs only hand tightened, and a condition lever rod bent, so that the prop cable would stick after engine mount shimming. Needless to say- my plane will never go to that place again. I honestly hope that my aircraft was an anomaly at an otherwise reputable shop. there are those that would rather have a big shop take care of their plane, or a famous MSC that does lots of business and are happy to throw money that direction. Personally, I like having a local A&P that I know, and trust. An A&P that has met my wife and kids, and can put their faces to my plane.... not just another "mooney in a string of mooney's.".... But I'm lucky to have found that kind of a person, and to have access to their skill set.
  35. 1 point
    And I do 175 or more on 13.... QED Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  36. 1 point
    Hi Bob, When I talked with Hartzell at Osh, I asked about the viability of repairing a crack like yours as I was looking at buying a spinner on EBay and was advised it's not repairable. I hope there's some warranty consideration given for yours. David
  37. 1 point
    I think I'll skip it. It's another sunny beautiful day here. Not likely to fly though. Today is all about Christmas decorating.
  38. 1 point
    Those high speed trains have always amazed me. That's a lot of mass to get going that fast. Saw a program on TV about this new hyper loop. Looks promising and a top speed of 620 mph? Amazing! http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35361093
  39. 1 point
    What they didn't tell you is they can NC items (no charge), my MSC does it with small items like your cotter pins (removal,installed) should be part of the inspection process.
  40. 1 point
    That's pretty much it. Is that a high speed train? That is a bit longer than I would have guessed. Google says 2.5 hours by train. I'm keeping my airplane! But sometimes weather or what not does not permit. Or like now, I don't have my plane with me in Europe. Byron - sure your car can go 160TAS - but you aren't allowed to.... and even if you were - it aint pretty - ever driven in Germany? I once rented a car and I was so exited to drive around at 110 miles per hour. And I did! But yikes - I don't think I will rent a car again - too scary! You go from crazy crazy fast passing in the left lane at 40-50-60mph faster than the lories on your right - and then now and then a real speed demon - a porche or whetever comes up behind you so fast you are waiting for the sonic boom to catch up. Then bam - you come up on stopped traffic so fast you need to be really quick with your reactions to stop safely. Then several miles of stand still traffic. Then back up to 110mph. So average speed on the autobahn is no where near unlimited and you get to where you going frazzled (but fun to do once!).
  41. 1 point
    This is true, I find my driver is always insisting on doing the driving. Damn cheek of it.
  42. 1 point
    Unlike this post... I tried to use Crownair for my pre-buy inspection because everyone recommends that one should use a Mooney Service Center for the pre-purchase inspection and they had several glowing recommendations on MooneySpace when I researched them. Crownair cancelled on me at the last minute because they were too busy and reneged on my face to face conversation that I had with their service manager to do the inspection because how busy they were. I scheduled the inspection three weeks out and they cancelled on me the day before..... They should've known how busy they were that far out. I have a feeling that Crownair is a great shop but they are more focused on high end airplanes and are more concerned with warranty work on the newer Mooney's. After that experience, Crownair will not be getting any of my future business even though they apologized on the phone and suggested that they would be available to support any future maintenance that I would need...
  43. 1 point
    Here is a DG with heading bug, non-autopilot. You would think it would be less than one that has an autopilot pick-up. I'm doing instrument training as well and I think the heading bug is a big help. It might be worth the extra expense if you will be flying approaches in the soup. http://www.chiefaircraft.com/rca-11d-7.html
  44. 1 point
    Most mooney guys love to show their planes. Someone in the area would probably be glad to take you up. Heck, let me know if you're ever traveling up I75 in Georgia. Edit-- gsxrpilot types faster than me.
  45. 1 point
    As stated, any mooney will meet your needs. BUT some models offer turbos if you need them. I have a C model which is perfect for me and my wife. Our kids are older so the back seats don't get used much.
  46. 1 point
  47. 1 point
    Yes, I saw that infamous ditch and his crippled plane sitting there awaiting the engine tear-down. I had taken one of my three boys there for a Young Eagles event back before I started flying again and before I got my Mooney of course. While the organizer was showing the kids some planes, I looked over and saw Bob's E. I couldn't look at any other plane on the field at that point. I remember saying to myself "THAT is exactly what I'm looking for!". Then, because I was lurking on MooneySpace I sadly discovered why it was there. The taxiways are still in bad shape but the runway was repaved and is nice. Funny that I ended up with a '66E.
  48. 1 point
    Wow. That looks awesome. Love it. As for Will, he obviously does not get fed reguarly.
  49. 1 point
    It's even got enough resolution to read the Lycoming part number. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  50. 1 point
    Completed our Thanksgiving trip from Florida to Montana and back today. We flew 3140 NM in 25.6 hours of flight time. I burned 249 gal of fuel for a 9.7 gal/hr average. 54J-KPBF-KHUT-KAIA-1S3-KHLN (1585 NM) and KHLN-KAIA-KHUT-KPBF-54J (1555 NM) As always seems to be the case, we had headwinds going both directions so ended with a 122kt/GS average.