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Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/07/2019 in all areas

  1. 14 points
    The Mooney has been relocated to her new home in the Denver area. I'm very fortunate to have found a hangar at BJC. It's a Porta-Port T hangar that's designed to hold a King Air. Needless to say, I don't have to watch the wingtips, pushing her into the hangar. I'd hoped to leave early on Saturday and fly straight through from Austin to Denver. But there were a few little things we were trying to sort out on the plane before leaving SWTA, JD and his crew. I also wanted to update my Avidyne IFD540 to the latest software version. So after all that stuff, I didn't actually get away until about 3:30pm. By that time, the usual line of storms had formed right across my path. I've always believed the best weather backup I have with my Mooney is speed, altitude and range. So while a couple of other friends canceled a flight to Denver in a Sundowner, (Beech Cherokee), I went ahead and launched. This isn't a perfect depiction of the weather at the time I was crossing those storms. And I actually couldn't see the gap through them due to haze, an overcast, and multiple layers. But a combination of ATC, and ADS-B weather on the IFD540 and ForeFlight gave me confidence to venture through. I was at FL220 and could see the ground the whole time. Here's the IFD540 as I'm most of the way through the gap. Just a word about the IFD540 and the new software update. I did the update myself and it went through perfectly. On the long list of new features is better integration with ForeFlight. I like using ForeFlight for logging, and filing flight plans. I also just like the interface. I also really like having traffic and weather displayed on the iPad. It's a large screen and the pinch/zoom is nice as well. Previously the IFD540 would "talk" to ForeFlight but only for transfer of flight plans. With the new update, it also shares all ADS-B data with ForeFlight as well. The weather depiction is amazing and no need for a Stratus to keep charged or stuck to the window. It also now depicts Cloud Tops. On ForeFlight, just choose your altitude with a slider and see any clouds in your path that reach higher. Similarly there is an Icing depiction. As I was descending into Raton for fuel, right at 16,000 there was a little patch of clouds directly in my path. The temperature was -1C. It was a small cloud, but I thought I probably should ask for a deviation instead of going through it. After getting the deviation approved, I brought up the Icing depiction on ForeFlight. Sure enough, moving the slider to 16,000 ft brought up a blue patch of ice right in my path. Needless to say, I'm very happy with the upgrade. No stratus and yet I had full ADS-B traffic and weather shared from the panel to ForeFlight on my iPad. There was a minor hiccup with the upgrade. It wipes out a number of settings. I took pictures of all the settings pages with my phone before starting the upgrade and good thing I did. One of the pages it wiped out was the transponder configuration page. As I took off, IFR out of Smithville, ATC asked me to reset my transponder. Thats when I noticed it was indicating standby so I pushed Alt, and it immediately reverted to Standby. I canceled IFR and fussed around with it and then headed back to Smithville. On the ground I was able to boot into maintenance mode and find the transponder page. It was all blank. So copying the picture on my phone, I input all the parameters for the remote transponder. That solved it and I took off again, this time everything working. I'm having one other issue with the Mooney, but that will be another post. Speaking of speed and range, here's the obligatory picture of going FAST while just sipping the GAS. The KFC150 is holding altitude as best it can in some light turbulence.
  2. 13 points
    First, I apologize in advance for the length of this post. Here's a teaser image to entice you to read on: There is just no brief way of telling this story and I think it is one worth sharing. Like so many others on this forum, I gleefully took delivery on my new to me "forever ours" Mooney last fall, a '95 Bravo. Since then, I have been diligent about learning all I can about proper maintenance and monitoring of the condition of the engine and other components. Once all of the more urgent issues were addressed (overhaul of the exhaust system and turbo, new cylinder, TKS troubleshooting) the time finally came for installation of a JPI EDM 830 and a trip over water to the Bahamas. The planning for both started months ago (selecting and ordering life vests, a PLB, stobes, planning our day trips, learning about eAPIS and customs documents, applying for a Customs sticker and FCC radio license, etc). About two weeks before my wife and I were planning to depart, I purchased the EDM 830 and dropped the plane off at my local IA / A&P's shop for installation and an oil change. The day before we left, I picked up the plane, test flew it around the pattern, and I discovered that one of the CHT and EGT probes were swapped which was quickly remedied. The mechanic also informed me at that time that the MP sensor was defective out of the box and JPI would send another one. I would have to return for its installation later - no big deal. I then flew the plane again back to my home base in the neighboring town without incident. Our plan was to leave the next morning and to fly from KHBG via HEVVN intersection to KFXE, a flight that we could easily make in about 3 hours 45 minutes. That night, my wife commented that she had intended to ask her parents to bring our snorkel gear home from their condo in Gulf Shores Alabama but that she forgot. She begged me to make a stop the next morning on the way down to FL to pick them up and I agreed. Again, no big deal, Gulf Shores is on the way and we have a car stationed at the airport KJKA. The next morning, after a thorough pre-flight (oil level at 8 quarts), we took off for our 28 minute flight to KJKA. Here is the flight log from Flight Aware: The flight was smooth and uneventful until about the last 4 minutes, right about the time you see the turn due south to set up for landing. During my descent, partly because my JPI 830 was brand new, I was somewhat fixated on it during this flight so I was literally looking at it when I noticed a jump in the TIT to about 1675 degrees. Here is the graph from SavvyAnalysis from that timeframe (minus the MP because of the faulty sensor): At the time, I advanced the mixture to bring the TIT down and refocused on setting up for a safe landing. I kept an eye on the JPI and I did not see anything else of concern. BTW, I had mine mounted right beside my Aspen 1000 pro at the sacrifice of the stock VSI: We exited the airplane, and I was shocked to see oil all over the place! No, there was absolutely none on the windshield, though. Needless to say, I called my AI. To his credit, he immediately hopped into his own plane (a Mooney) and flew down with tools to investigate. This is what we discovered: The right magneto was loose...literally. Again, to my AI's credit, he inspected everything very thoroughly, apologized profusely, and re-installed the mag while cleaning up copious amounts of oil. It took 5 quarts to bring the level back to 8 quarts so I narrowly missed the teardown requirement! We test flew the aircraft without incident. After a long discussion with my wife, we agreed that we would continue on the next morning to Apalachacola then Ft. Lauderdale, monitoring closely along the way. We did so without further incident. We overnighted at Banyan and continued to Governors Harbor the next day: It truly was a trip of a lifetime! I have asked myself many times what I could have done differently and what lessons there are in this experience. So far this is what I have arrived at: 1. It is not prudent to take a trip away from home base right after maintenance. 2. The more post-maintenance inspection the better. 3. When the monitor shows an anomaly, take it very seriously. 4. Give the person who made an error an opportunity to make it right. 5. Distraction is a dangerous thing (I'll elaborate on this on in a subsequent post). I hope that this PIREP elicits some good discussion around MIF (Maintenance Induced Failure) and that additional lessons will be brought forth. I truly appreciate this forum and I hope to meet some of you at Oshkosh this year (my first year to participate in the caravan!). Fly Safe, Alex
  3. 13 points
    I was on a flight as a passenger last night that didn't make it's destination either. SEA to IAH but diverted because of that storm over Houston. With a full career of almost full time travel for business, and millions of miles flown, I've had countless diversions and disruptions for weather. But last night was the first time weather has gotten in the way and IMPROVED my travel plans. ATC gave us a hold and told us to expect at least an hour in the hold. We didn't have the fuel for that so diverted to Austin. My original itinerary was SEA to AUS connecting in IAH. So on account of the weather I got a non-stop from SEA to AUS and home an hour earlier than scheduled.
  4. 12 points
    Just thought I'd use this thread to share updates on a cross country flight I'm taking in the Mooney for the next ten days with my wife. Hope to share any useful information and just share the adventure. Follow along if you'd like or don't :). The ultimate destination is up in the air, initially it was going to be Mt + Rushmore + Yellowstone from Niagara Falls, NY, but with the weather patterns being what they are, I kinda tossed the plan due to Yellowstone being a mix of snow and rain for the next week. Day 1: 5/16 evening KIAG > I48 (fuel stop for cheaper CB fuel) > KOSU (Columbus, Ohio) [approx 2hr 30min, some headwind] The flight started off with a bit of an issue with an electrical smell that came and went. My strobes weren't working properly on landing (only have about 5% intensity). I talked to maintenance at KOSU when I landed and they think it might be the strobe box. Luckily, I had scheduled an oil change at KOSU (since I plan to fly for about 30-40 hours on this adventure) so they were at least expecting me for something. The bonus is they put me in a hangar and some nasty thunderstorms came through a few hours after landing. They switched out my Whelen power box (they somehow had one in stock) and my strobes were back up working for the next day and leg of flight and no strange electrical smells, so I think I smelled my strobe power box hitting the fan. Day 2: 5/17 In Columbus, OH - I had a fun day and ate lunch at Brassica (very delicious spot for fast casual food) and spent the evening at the Sonic Temple Music Festival celebrating my birthday and seeing System of a Down live for the first time. Saw Avatar perform too and they were very good live. The festival was lots of fun and my wife experienced mosh pits breaking out around her for the first time. I'm glad she put up with it :D. Day 3: 5/18 KOSU > KVLA (CB fuel stop) > KCPS (St Louis) [approx 3hr 15m due to 30+kt headwinds) Cruised over VFR at 10,500 to KVLA since I didn't want to deal with rerouting and let my wife learn to fly a bit in cruise (she did great with holding heading and learning turns on the way). Lots of buildups and a large wall of t-storms in front, but they should pass quite nicely through the night and leave some nice stable air in their path. KVLA was a nice small airport with avgas at $4.10 and a stocked fridge with a little pilot-accessible door. It was very quaint with rocking chairs up front and had a courtesy car parked, probably with keys somewhere--but since it was a quick fuel stop, we didn't bother looking for them. I had my wife pretend she was helping fuel the plane as a photo op (hint: she actually wasn't). KCPS seemed nice when we landed. They waive the ramp fee with 15 gallons of expensive avgas (but they were kind to make an exception and waive ours with a top off and we took about 10). Overnight parking is $15 and they charge a $7.50 security fee on top of it. They had a rental car on the field which we rented for the day. We did a little flyby of the city before we landed (our first time in St Louis): We got to St. Louis fairly late, but had an awesome day, which we started by eating a well deserved lunch+dinner at Pappy's Smokehouse (full slab of ribs with added brisket + two sides pictured): After our dinner, we spent about 3 hours playing at the City Museum, which we thought to be one of the most unique places we've ever ventured in. If you've never been, imagine a maze that you can climb through, slide through and even crawl into old airplane cockpits that are housed on the 8th floor. It brought us back to feeling like we were children (in a good playful sort of way) and we both enjoyed our time there. We capped off the night with an ice cream cone at Jeni's in St. Louis. Tomorrow, we think we will fly from KCPS>KHOT to check out the Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas for a few hours before continuing on to Austin, TX (maybe the same day). We've been to a few cities in TX before, but never Austin so we are excited to check it out. Recommendations are welcome! The rest of the days we don't really have a solid plan and truly are winging this adventure, I do know it would be neat to fly the Mooney to Catalina Island on the west coast so ultimately hoping to make it that far west. Any suggestions, comments, etc. are welcome! If any Mooniacs want to meet up along the way, we are totally open to it!
  5. 12 points
    Put it in a cargo plane. I'll see myself out...
  6. 10 points
    I was going back and forth about whether to put in a skyBeacon and rely upon my old Narco transponder or bite the bullet and put in something from this century. Aircraft Spruce had a special for the GTX 335, GAE12, and GA35 plus a wiring harness. I asked my AP/IA (still getting to know the new one since moving to KFUL) if he had supervised any owner installs. He asked if I had done any electrical work on planes. I told him I had removed old avionics, made and run RG400 for the radios, replaced the ignition switch, starter solenoid, voltage regulator, and random stuff like bulbs. In theory this would be an easy install, just mount the tray, run the wires, and hook up power and ground. His response was, ok, let's do it. I reached out to @Aerodon to see if he could be Spruce's deal. I had bought a SL-40 and EDM-830 from him about 18 months prior. He gave me a price, I placed the order, and reserved my rebate just in time, five days before they ran out. I started pulling seats, interior panels, and the right side of the instrument panel to get ready for when the box showed up. There was more than once when I had the thing all apart that I thought, "Man, I have to remember how to put it all back together." First snag was when I found that the space above the #1 radio between it and the audio panel where I was going to put the transponder was not quite tall enough and required moving the radios down. I couldn't move the audio panel up because of the bars behind the panel. Other than it taking a lot more time than I thought the installation went smooth. My AP/IA put in the doubler for the GA35, it was going in place of the old loran antenna that had been installed with some jagged holes cut (not drilled) through the skin with no doubler sometime many years ago. The transponder check was perfect, it passed the ADS-B checkflight and I submitted the rebate on Saturday. All total I think I had about 21-22 hours in the install. The avionics guy that did the transponder check said most of the shops around here are charging 14 hours for a simple install that isn't connecting to a bunch of other things so I think I came out okay with the time I put in. If you want to read "the rest of the story" you can do that here, https://intothesky.us/2019/05/25/gtx335-installed-2020-compliant-and-preventative-maintenance/ I also had my AP/IA replace all the control cables. I couldn't find where the throttle and mixture had ever been done in the logs and the prop cable was done back in 1990. The new ones are smooth as butter. A few pictures, more pictures if you go to the blog post.
  7. 10 points
    I got a little right seat DC3 Time today. It was only about fifteen minutes on the controls. But I will never forget it. I wasn’t expecting the seat time. I was allowed to sit in the jump seat for take off. Once he climbed out and turned West over a lake that is about 35 miles long, the copilot got up and pointed at his seat since I didn’t have a headset. He climbed out and I climbed in, buckled up and put on the headset. The pilot gave me the controls and I finished the climb out while following the winding lake. At the end of it, I did a slow turn 180 and followed the lake back to the airport and descended to pattern altitude where the pilot took it back and landed.It was not nearly as heavy on the controls as I thought it would be, but I didn’t make any hard maneuvers. It felt like I was just hanging at the windscreen since there was no nose to see.A great day!
  8. 10 points
    Formation practice today with @adverseyaw near Bremerton (KPWT)
  9. 10 points
    Flew down to SBA to work on my commercial but when we went out to the plane it started pouring and we could hear thunder, so we did ground school instead. This was the flight down. There was a huge thunderstorm building NE of SBA. When I took off for home I asked to stay as far West as possible to avoid the storm and the controller said “that’s exactly my plan.” They did an awesome job and I had an uneventful flight home...and I got the plane washed!
  10. 10 points
    I was bored today and it was raining all day. Decided to turn mine into a warbird to pay homage to what my grandpa was doing 75 years ago. I should dig out his logbook and see what boring training route across Canada he and his crew were flying on this day. I suppose I could yank the modern maple leaf within the circle and make it more historically accurate by replacing it with a solid red dot. He actually flew this exact Anson on countless CATP flights. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. 9 points
    Special thanks to @Cody Stallings at Stallings Aircraft Propeller. He was gracious enough to let me borrow his big boy degaussing toy to fix my mag compass issue. For three years I've never had a proper reading magnetic compass. Which we all rarely look at them, but going for my IFR checkride here shortly, the mag compass becomes primary when you do the 'no gyro' approach and 30 degrees off heading is not technically legal. I switched the old whiskey compass out to this PAI-700 thinking it was a compass issue but then I learned about Mooney's wise decision to mount a magnetic compass to a steel tube. Over the years as people used vacuums or welded new gussets onto the engine mounts to kill an AD, the frame became magnetized. As you can see in my first picture, the aircraft is pointed due East but is indicating 055. Even with the compass correction balls and that Mu-Metal stuff, it never read accurately Following Mooney SB M20-150A for degaussing procedures, my IA and I took about 10 swipes with a degaussing coil to knock down the error to about 10 degrees and the internal compensators were able to correct off that. My home airport had a compass rose and all cardinal directions are true within 3 degrees Time for a new compass correction card and time to call the DPE. And thanks again to Stallings Aircraft Propeller. When the time comes to send my 3-blade Hartzell out, I know where it's going.
  12. 9 points
    Had my Mooney waxed last week. I guess that is called MOONSCAPING.
  13. 8 points
    I think the best reason to pay cash for an airplane, is so that on the occasion when the wife looks at the monthly bills... there's no mention of an airplane.
  14. 8 points
    Y'all need to use the MS search function. This is a thread repeated every year or so around here. All the sidewalk superintendent and armchair quarterback opines have been expressed here. More. Than. Once. What I know is that I've been flying Mooneys for 50 years. They are fun to fly. They're strong. They're fast and economical. Having seen both more than once, I like it better when the factory is open than when it is closed. If I was 36 (or 46 or 56) instead of 76 and my accountant told me I needed to spend the money I'd be calling Lee Drumheller and @mike_elliott and getting in the line which is several months out the last I heard. But what do I know, I've never owned a Toyota.
  15. 8 points
    Other times amazing things happen! Landed in Cape Girardeau MO on the way to Jewell and this flew over my daughter and I and did an overhead break while i was coming over the numbers. Said he is going to do the fly over at Indy. I offered to trade stright across for my AVG flight bag, couldnt get the deal done. 20190523_160525.mp4
  16. 8 points
    Wife wants me to take the mother in law and fam for a flight. So after running some numbers I said I could take 480lbs max. She kept asking if that includes me or not. I was trying to explain useful load, fuel, pilot weight, etc. but it wasn’t coming through. So I said don’t worry about any of that, the plane isn’t going anywhere without fuel or me so that leaves 480lbs for useless load Therefore useless load is how much the plane can take after the useful load has been accounted for.
  17. 8 points
    Day 9: Back home: last update for this trip! KDTC > KFFT (Fulton, MO) 2.4hrs 6am IFR departure to get the hell out of Dodge City, KS. Quick fuel stop in Fulton, cheapest gas of the whole trip at $3.60/gallon. FBO had keypad access. No crew car, but no biggie. Not hungry yet. KFFT > KIWH (Wabash, IN): 1.9hrs Beautiful small town airport. Fueled up at $4.10/gallon and then went in. They had a huge truck as a crew car they let use to get into town and we went to a little restaurant called the "Broken Egg" and had a great tenderloin sandwich. Love those small town airports you discover on long trips. KIWH > KIAG (home base - Niagara Falls, NY): 2hrs Some thunderstorms formed off the front, but we were able to depart and pick up an IFR clearance find an opening to get through. Great groundspeeds on the way over and we were home by 4pm. Not bad for making it across the entire country from California starting from yesterday. What would have been a 20+ hour drive out of Dodge City, KS only too about 6.5 hours of Mooney time.
  18. 8 points
    Day 8: The start of an epic journey back First leg: KUDD (Palm Springs, CA) > KPGA (approx 2.55 hrs with Grand Canyon fly over) Transiting the grand canyon was fairly easy. The important thing is to have the sectional (zoom in on Foreflight and it appears). I plugged in a few waypoints that are in the GPS as well: VPGCF VPGCC to follow the dragon corridor north. Going northbound you need to be at 11,500 and southbound at 10,500 (or above, etc). There was one point where I had to descend lower to remain VFR, but ATC said going down to 10k was ok at that one particular point I was at. All in all, a fairly easy flight if you are vigilant to avoid the no fly-areas. ATC did ask me if I was familiar and quizzed me on what route I planned to take, but seemed satisfy when I told them I was taking the dragon route to transition. The airport in Page, AZ was wonderful. Beautiful views on the ground too. Inexpensive full service gas and courtesy vans to grab lunch. So much activity and 3 FBOs. I went to Classic Aviation. So many Mooney's parked on the ramp. I made friends with a gentleman with a Rocket who was heading back to Missouri at Page: He offered my wife and I a free room in his resort for the night in Missouri. The original plan for today was to fly there, but we ended up in Dodge City, Kansas due to the storms. I also saw another plane with sort of a similar color scheme parked on the ramp. Does this belong to anyone here? We went into town and got some crepes at a place called Crepe Canyon and then shot up to 13,500ft for our next leg. Initially, I didn't think I'd go a direct route over Colorado, but I spoke with a weather briefer this morning at 6am who seemed SOOO excited for the weather I had for this and gave me some suggestions for passes in Colorado. I kept evaluating as the day went on and it seemed doable, so I shot out for Wolf Creek Pass after Page, AZ. Second leg: KPGZ > KTAD (Trinidad, CO) (2.5 hours) At one point, I was up at 14,500. Highest I've taken the Mooney. Crossing the peaks was intense, but going eastbound it wasn't so bad. Had a killer tailwind, the bumps were manageable and I just felt very fortunate to find such a nice day to do this. Trinidad, CO was an amazing airport thanks to the man who works there who has been there since 1989. He was so hospitable. Came out to fuel the plane, even offered us some of his own snacks like a banana. Fuel price was 3.85 a gallon, the cheapest I've had so far on this entire trip. Unfortunately, there was no crew car and the town was 14 miles away, so no food here, but we really enjoyed a small rest break. Third leg: KTAD > KDDC (Dodge City, KS) (1.4hrs) Went up to 11,500 due to turbulence. I guess I was used to the high altitude flying by now. It was still very bumpy for the first 30 minutes of the leg. Almost moreso than it was for the entire flight over the big mountains. We landed Dodge City, KS to take the crew car for dinner and were going to continue east, but at this point a huge line of massive thunderstorms procured our path, so we called it a day. The airport was really nice. No overnight fees, they let us an old Buick overnight (their crew car) for free. The plan is to hopefully make it home tomorrow.
  19. 8 points
    Short update: Day 7: 5/22 KTCS > KDVT (Phoenix, AZ) (3.5hours) Finally got a 6am departure in and flew to Phoenix. Climbing out of TCS was smooth, but I hit a downdraft of a 500fpm near some high terrain and had to fly south. That was a little disconcerting, my CHTs just kept going up and I couldn't climb. Aside from that short part in the beginning, the flight to Phoenix was fairly smooth, although the headwinds were still strong. Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix is a busy-busy-busy GA/student training center. I've never quite experienced something like that. The airport is also a bit confusing if you don't know what to do, like myself. I chose the self-serve pump which has fuel at more than a dollar cheaper than Cutler, the FBO. It's all self-serve. I figured I'd just park it at the ramp next to the self-serve pumps, but it turns out that's for hangar tenants. After you fill up, you're supposed to call ground and taxi back next to terminal building. The yellow tie down spots right across from the Terminal building are free overnight transient parking provided by the city of Phoenix (sweet!). Getting the aircraft secured took some time because of the confusion. There's a neat little breakfast diner on site. We had some friends meet us there who were coincidentally in town from work and afterward went to the Dessert Botanical Gardens and had a nice time walking around. In the evening, I checked out Scottsdale with these friends and had a nice evening/dinner. At this point in the trip, my wife was getting a little worn down from all the travel. She chose to ride in the Mooney backseat, rather than front for the next leg and I think it definitely eased it up a bit. Day 8: 5/23 KDVT > KUDD (Palm Springs, CA - or Bermuda Dunes, CA Airport more GA friendly) (2hr) A nice short IFR flight, no crazy headwinds and just generally pleasant and relaxed. We had a car waiting for us on the field and they met us on the ramp. Everyone at the airport was super nice. Our first stop was at one of the top rated spots on Yelp to eat in the entire country. It's only a ten minute drive from the airport. Their sandwich did not disappoint at all: It's called TKB. I highly recommend it. Pictured above half(!) of their hot "Sadda-Mizer" sandwich. It is delicious. We are staying at a nice little resort inside Palm Springs, CA and just lounging it before starting our journey back east tomorrow (not going to go to Catalina/further west due to time constraints). It's definitely a beautiful little town and we're glad we are here. The plan tomorrow is to fly North, transit over the grand canyon following the special rules procedures and through Colorado up to North Dakota, basically doing something like this: KUDD VPGCF VPGCG KPGA HVE KRAP If anyone has experience/advice with this route - do advise. I have never flown over Colorado before, but this route seems to keep all the terrain below 10,000ft. I plan to stay at 11.5-12, maybe up to 13 at times. The winds seem to be around 30knots at 12,000ft tomorrow, unless further northwest, which they then do peak up to about 40knots at 12K. If you've followed along so far on the journey - thank you!
  20. 8 points
    Got to take a trip to bring the kids to visit their 94 year old great grandmother and her 3 x 90+ year old great aunties (who all live in the same senior apartment complex together). We were gonna go to DC for a couple of days, but my oldest daughter really wanted to see the Statue of Liberty, so we headed north, flew the Hudson corridor, and made a trip to NY instead.
  21. 8 points
    Lobstah run! Belfast Maine, with my oldest son - brought the folding bikes and had a great time. Brought home lobsters and blueberry soda. There's one shot where the sky is looking like the scene from Dr Seuss' Lorax when he went away. And also you see there is still snow in the mtns and apparently skiing near Mt Washington?! NH. And for those who like Ben Stiller and his new tv show - there's Danemora prison - which is close enough to where we live here that we were told to lock our doors during that prison break.
  22. 8 points
    Flew to Sunriver S21 for Mother’s Day brunch. Preflighting to leave they had a herd of elk running back and forth over the runway. Shareena is loving the Tangos. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  23. 8 points
    Currently in the process of installing a Garmin G3X in my '65 M20C, along with some other upgrades. Take a look at my cad drawing that is to scale. N5866Q Panel.pdf
  24. 8 points
    Shout out and special thank you to @Cody Stallings for some great advice today. Mooneyspace is blessed to have him and I know where I will be sending my prop for service in the near future !
  25. 7 points
    Here is the latest update of my 252 Encore. I put the deposit on the equipment in late-late 2018 to take advantage of Garmin's holiday promotions. Because I have a factory 252 Encore, my vacuum was completely removed (primary and backup) for this upgrade as my speed brakes are electric and I am on the 28v electrical system with dual alternators. What I installed: G500 TXi, G5 backup, WX-500, EDM 930 to replace all my primary insturments, and CiES fuel senders. With the update, I was able to gain almost 50lbs by replacing the round gauges with glass - now up to 1110 #UL. I already had the GTN 750, FS 510, GMA 35c, and GTX 345. I'd still like to remove the KX155 with something more modern but that'll have to wait until next time. I had a big pause the first week of April when Garmin announced their G3X Certified. I was on the webinars and on the phone with my avionics shop for like two days, literally the week my bird was going down for install of the TXi. What I quickly realized, even though I could have changed over to the G3X, was that the G3X is limited to what can talk to it. My KFC 150 would not, my remote audio panel would not, and a couple of other things like a stormscope or radar. I priced a GFC 500 install but I had a hard-time replacing a perfectly working autopilot to save about 4AMU on the display with the labor about 14AMU just for KFC extraction and GFC install + equipment. I decided to stick with my TXi install and they even gave me a pretty big credit on the SVT enablement which brought the price much closer to the G3X. I had the panel made independently of the install shop and got to play around with the designs until I got what I wanted. They custom matched powder for my panel and laser eteched the plackards. It is a tight fit behind the panel but I love the design and layout. Super happy. I also went with the GCU 485 Dedicated PDF Controller. I fly a lot of IFR and don't want to be rolling a single knob in IMC in busy airspace on the TXi. So far the controller has proved very quick with changes to direct my KFC 150. The only thing that does not have a function is the IAS - right now it is just a bug on the TXi. I am hoping for a slide-in Aerocruze to be an option if/when my KFC 150 goes awry and should give me the IAS function. Right now, I think the KFC flies as good, if not better with the TXi controlling it. Altitude capture, VS, GPSS, HDG, Approach, ILS all works easier with one interface and no knob turning. A couple of not-seen additions were enabling the Telligence™ Voice Command that was apart of the remote audio panel. I thought this was a gimmic at best, but I use this in every phase of flight: "Tune to Clearance", "Tune to Weather" (ATIS or ASOS), "Tune to Ground", "Tune to Tower", "Tune to nearest Approach". It is very helpful. If there are multiple frequencies, it will show me on the 750 and let me select. The other thing that was enabled was the VNav guideance. This function is awesome. I don't get the benefit of my legacy KFC doing the actuall step-down VNav like the Garmin autopilots, but I hit two buttons to do that: VS-engage + ALT-arm and it will do the same thing. Automatically loading the crossing altitudes for STARs and or approaches is great situational awareness. I did not think this feature (built-into the GTN) was that big of a deal until it was enabled for the G500 displays. I am now having a fire-sale of all my existing equipment. Check that out here.
  26. 7 points
    I think its unrealistic suggest the Pilot owner can double check the work done or especially the work not done after an annual inspection. Its much more sensible IMO for the pilot/owner to take a more active role during maintenance. After all, owners already have a huge advantage to do so, they're responsible for the maintenance of their aircraft per 91.403, 405, 407 and 409. Its rental pilots that really have to have a lot of blind faith that the owner and maintenance personnel are doing all that's required. But for owners to best understand what's going on with the aircraft maintenance of their aircraft I don't think there is any better way that participating and learning through owner assisted annuals. Take part and learn what's going on and be sure the Mooney 100 hrs inspection checklist is being used as a minimum along with the current Service manual section on inspections and servicing, supplemented by Mooney Service instructions/bulletins. If you're still want to take a greater role, enroll in your local community college's A&P program. If you're fortunate enough to have access too. That's exactly how I got into aircraft maintenance. But I can tell you from my own personal experience that getting the required training to fix an airplane is far more rigorous than any pilot license, which is all we need to break them. But for me, A&P school was a lot of fun, (at night after my daily day job). But you don't have to become an A&P to actively participate in your aircraft maintenance. You can also take advantage of SavvyAviation's contracted maintenance oversight to provide second opinions and get good unbiased advice.
  27. 7 points
    OK, so it wasn't today's flight, but rather Thursday. You'll have to forgive me for that as I've been a bit busy and preoccupied. First up is a picture of my house... I always wanted to live on a private island, but this wasn't quite what I had in mind! ... and here is a picture of our factory. And last... our downtown area. OK, it's not flying related, but this was the result of our day 1 preparation efforts. There are about 5,000 sandbags in this picture. By the end of the week, the team I led filled and placed around 8,000 bags to keep all the homes and businesses dry.
  28. 7 points
    Yesterday I was finished installing the GTX 335 and with new control cables I took her up for the ADS-B check flight. The new cables were so smooth, and the transponder passed with no issues. It was nice to be flying again. Now to get back to putting some hours on the plane. https://intothesky.us/2019/05/25/gtx335-installed-2020-compliant-and-preventative-maintenance/
  29. 7 points
    List of airports: KIAG 4I3 KOSU KVLA KCPS KHOT KEDC 27R KPEQ KTCS KDVT KUDD KPGA KTAD KDDC KFFT KIWH KIAG Routing wasn't direct for all these places, due to mountains, grand canyon flyover, some IFR routing, etc, but that will give you an idea of how we went. Some of the shorter stops were due to getting some cheaper fuel before landing at a place with expensive fuel. I think total flight time was about 30 hours. I can also post total cost of fuel for the trip once all the pending charges are posted for anyone curious. As far as the high altitude short legs, I wouldn't say it felt like we were climbing most of the trip. It may sound like getting up to 13,000 takes a while, but when you start at 6,000 already it's not all that bad. There were only a few higher altitude legs toward the end (KPEQ>KTCS, KUDD>PGA>KTAD), otherwise I was cruising between 6-9k which is typically where I cruise with the G.
  30. 7 points
    My new ride has a LED landing light in the standard position and also in the hole vacated by the oil cooler relocation. That one has a cracked landing light lens. Both lenses appear to have been made by Mod Works many years back from an old green windshield. Went by Ace Hardware and got a piece of 1/8" thick plexiglass scrap and a 6x24 piece of sheet metal. I gently curved the sheet metal to match the curvature of the old lens. I marked the plexiglass with a Sharpie for two lenses, one left and a mirror image for right. I then used tin snips to cut away the excess material. Don't get carried away, cracks will run 1/2". Then I used a HF belt sander (80 grit) to remove more material. Work slowly and the last sanding remove the black sharpie marks. Smooth the edge with sandpaper, remove the plastic protection from each side of the plexiglass while the oven is heating to 400 degrees. Lay the sheet metal form on a pizza pan and a piece of parchment paper over the form and the new lens on top. Put in the oven and turn on the light. In just a couple minutes the plexiglass will sag down to lay on the curved form. Give it another minute and remove. Cool. Match up to each appropriate lens and use a dull twist drill and high speed and almost no pressure to drill the full size mounting holes. Use a larger twist drill between your thumb and finger to carefully break the sharp edges on the holes. Install. Hour and a half including the log entry.
  31. 7 points
    I don’t have a C model, but I’m a fan of oxygen and a pulse oximeter. You’re basically giving yourself more options - topping clouds, higher cruising altitude (smoother air and more tailwinds) and depending on your physiology, it may have a huge effect on your fatigue. I personally think pilots underestimate the effect of prolonged mild hypoxia on their performance. If it’s a new plane, you’re probably going to be a lot “fresher” after cruising for 3 hours on oxygen than without. Most accidents are caused by pilot error, so oxygen is a cheap way to reduce your chance of making errors. I see hypoxic people almost every day. I have yet to meet someone who performs better with an SpO2 < 88%. But that’s just my opinion. I’m sure others will have their own.
  32. 7 points
    every time I see something in the store for sale without a price I assume it's free.
  33. 7 points
    There's no reason not to fully modernize the avionics on a C model, assuming one wants to keep it a while and use it as a serious traveling machine. I redid my panel completely upon buying my C almost 5 years ago, and I will make a couple more upgrades this year. After substantial upgrades, the fixed costs remain essentially the same, and it is the still the cheapest Mooney to operate and far cheaper than other certified aircraft of equal capability. Like the rest of the Mooneys, the Cs are very capable IFR platforms at their core and thus realize the full benefit of modern avionics. And some of the upgrades make the routine operational costs cheaper (e.g. taking out the vac).
  34. 7 points
    This is what I meant. I'm paying an avionics shop to know how to run wires, solder joints and know what connectors to use, and to sign my log book. But I chose the components and their arrangement in the panel. @steingar is correct that there is a lot to know about a lot of boxes. But I'm just not confident there is any avionics shop out there that knows all that data either. They're too busy running wires and doing installs to read all the marketing material, user guides, etc. And the manufacturer reps are obviously biased. In fact I've found avionics shops to be biased towards what is easiest to install and what has the best margin for them. But since I'm the guy who's gonna spend all the hours with my nose just inches from this panel, I want it to be right and no one has more of a vested interest in that than me.
  35. 7 points
    True. But that requires building a relationship with the shop before handing over the plane. I took my 252 to three different avionics shops before settling on one. I also got opinions from my AI with whom I have a great relationship built over years and trust explicitly. It was pretty obvious that the shop I settled on thought the same way I did about the work that needed to be done. Obviously shit happens. But my Mooney doesn't go into any shop without a very clear understanding of the expectations, business practices, and agreements in writing about how it will all go down. I did have one situation where my plane was in the shop and the owner and I came to a disagreement over the way forward. I showed up at the shop, paid the bill to that point, and took possession of the plane. I reinstalled pieces that were disassembled, and flew the plane out. The shop owner told me the plane was not airworthy and couldn't be moved. I said I wasn't asking for his opinion and flew the plane away to another shop. That was a couple of years ago. It was a good lesson to learn. Keep control of the situation. Check in often. Show up and inspect the progress. And at the end of the day, I'm PIC and I'm the owner. I determine if I can fly the plane or not.
  36. 7 points
    OMG! I feel for you. But let me second what @LANCECASPER said. No one should ever go into any shop for an upgrade without knowing as much or more than the shop knows. In this day and age with everything available on the Internet, there is no reason not to know. And when spending $20 to $100 AMU's, it's worth the time to educate ones self. Back in 2014 I knew nothing about Mooneys much less what went in a Mooney panel. Today, I know as much or more about the options for Mooney panels than any avionics shop in the country. And everyone can have the same information for free. When I take my Mooney in for avionics upgrades, I call the shots and say what will be done. And when an avionics shop disagrees with me, I find another shop. After all, I know better than they do. It's the only way to operate in this business.
  37. 7 points
    Was doing just that this weekend as well. Took my son to Miami of Ohio where he will start grad school in August. Beautiful campus. Miami University airport KOXD, just 1.5 miles from his new apartment. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  38. 7 points
    On the other hand, you don't find great M20C's for sale in every city. So when you find a good one, it's worth going to get it. Here are my suggestions... Use the MooneySpace map to see who from MooneySpace here is close to KRST. Reach out to them to see if they'd go by and look at it for you. This is just to have someone other than the seller tell you about the plane. Assuming you still want the plane after this... Negotiate a purchase price pending a pre-buy inspection and arrange to have the guys at OasisAero do the pre-buy. At this point, buy a plane ticket to Minnesota and go look at it yourself and talk with Oasis. Arrange to be there the day Oasis gets the plane. Assuming all is still go... Leave the plane with Oasis and go home. Await the results of the pre-buy... Also start arranging for a CFI to fly the plane home with you from KRST. Assuming a successful pre-buy inspection, wire the funds to the seller, call the CFI and go get the plane. In my opinion, flying the plane is much less important than the pre-buy inspection. You might also send the details/link to the plane you're interested in, so one of us here on the forum to help you evaluate it and make an informed decision. There is a lot of experience on this forum and several who have bought and sold a lot of Mooneys.
  39. 7 points
    Thanks John, This year, @Seth is at the helm and promises to have a fabulous Mooney Summit VII. I am sure he will be emailing everyone shortly where we are with everything. Everyone is working towards getting a larger venue In PCB to accommodate more people, as we have a huge wait list again. @Hank is soliciting raffle and silent auction donations to help fund our charity. Unlike COPA, we are not owned by Mooney and have to grovel for funding, and one of the reasons we have been successful is we do not charge for the event, but ask everyone to donate what they feel the value is. Some have really impressed us with their valuation, while just a few have taken advantage of the generous ones. Moving the venue would not be voted for by @rocketman, as he donates 17 condos for use by SME's and those of his choosing, along with his 2 beach houses. FIgure in the rent for these and we would have an additional 10K in costs. I wonder how the Cirrus's will handle avoiding landing in Lake Ponchatrain for their convention?
  40. 7 points
    Nicely done Ted... For your first post to this forum, you’ve elected to call out a member who suggested that you didn’t respond to his messages in a thread that is a year old. Take a moment to think about the optics of such a post. You’ve 100% positive eBay feedback. Leave it at that. Many of us would be interested in learning about your services. I have two KX165s and keep a third INOP radio as a parts source. I still consider these to be excellent radios but the lack of replacement displays is a problem. What exactly does your repair entail?
  41. 6 points
    I have enjoyed reading the armchair CEO thoughts of this thread and would like to pose the following question: How many of you would buy a new Ultra Acclaim or Ovation today if it had BRS and only added 35K to the current list price? If the answer exceeds 30 "purchase orders", Ill go plead the case, no guarantees, just I will make a point of presenting the existing fleets' recommendation. Now I know a lot of you will say you couldnt afford it, needs a GW increase, hate the new paint scheme, it only has 2 doors, etc, but lets keep it on topic of a BRS makes it now a viable to you purchase. As a data point, 2 of the last 3 people I trained in the new Ultra's were in their early 30;s, not necessarily the old, 2 income no kids stereotype presented. All of the new Ultra owners were exposed to the Cirrus experience also.
  42. 6 points
    Do a search for "low voltage" on this and any web forum, and invariably you get recommendations to check the voltage regulator, battery, alternator or generator. Today, I found that this is not necessarily the case, and I bet a lot of expensive parts have been replaced when it turns out it could be something as simple as the master switch! (Note: My plane is an 1961 M20B which incorporates a slightly different schematic than subsequent C and later models....so my experiences may or may not hold to your plane) For quite a while, I have been watching my voltage on my JPI EDM900 slowly drop voltage. At first, the JPI indicated 13 volts with the engine off, but recently, I have seen 12, 11, and now 10.1. Running showed similar voltages. Each time we adjusted the Plane Power voltage regulator to compensate to a higher voltage, but little increase was seen when running leading us to believe that one of those expensive units listed above were at fault. What is funny is that the alternator failure light never came on when the engine is spinning and seemed to act normally. When we turned the VR adjustment all the way to minimum (fully clock-wise) the warning light did indeed light up indicating a low voltage, and went out when turned fully counter-clockwise to maximum. Funny thing is that the JPI indicated lower than normal voltage no matter where the VR adjustment was set. So, I pulled out my trusty $10 volt meter and measured the bus voltage. With the engine off, the voltage was sure enough 10.1 volts. However, placing the voltmeter directly on the battery terminals, I found the battery voltage at 12.6 volts! So what's up with that?! Somewhere in the power line the voltage was dropping 2.5 volts. Three minutes of searching, the culprit was found to be the master switch. 12.6 volts was on the battery side of the switch, and 10.1 volts on the bus side. Dirty contacts in the switch. Replaced the switch. Now voltage is 12.6 volts on both sides of the switch. JPI indicates 12.6 volts. Everything is fine. I will have to check the schematic for the 1961 M20B, but I believe that the charging circuit is exclusively on the battery side of the master switch and was probably always working just fine. However, the JPI could not see the actual charging voltage because of the voltage drop across the master switch. Lesson learned is that we should be checking the charging of the alternator at the BATTERY, and not to rely on the instruments inside the cockpit for diagnostics.
  43. 6 points
    No brainer to add the BRS as an option. Parachutes sell airplanes. The issue Mooney has isn't solely the BRS. It's the useful load of the airplane. Add 100 lbs, not big deal by itself. Look at an airplane with less than 900 lbs of useful load competing in a market with an 800 lb gorilla in the market, Mooney is in a bad spot. I loved my Mooney. I love my Beech. I wouldn't consider buying a new piston airplane right now other than a Cirrus. If I were running Mooney, #1 objective is to increase the useful load to 1400+ lbs. #2 is to add a parachute option. Without #1, #2 doesn't do much. There's only so much opportunity in selling "Fastest piston" where the block times in the real world aren't significantly different. Replace steel with aluminum? More use of composites? There are trade offs here and I'm no where near smart enough to figure out how to do it, but it needs to be done for Mooney to thrive.
  44. 6 points
    This was taken early on, we had 1 more Mooney’s arrive afterwards for a total of 11 Mooney’s. We also had several aircraft (other brands) parked down by the FBO. We had a great time and glad everyone came out. Brain
  45. 6 points
    You probably missed the big announcement (because there wasn't any) about the recent change to your FIS-B (ADS-B) radar depiction. Read more about this in my avwxtraining blog here.
  46. 6 points
    Thanks for the very clever "cheat sheet". I have forwarded this on to our manual publisher/editor. Would you mind if we adopted your work in future publications? I have asked him to review the current PMA8000BT manual (there have been some changes since 2014) to find these incorrectly embedded buttons and place them in the correct paragraphs. If you have specifics, I know he would very much appreciate your help. Please feel free to call me anytime, I'm at 865-988-9800. While engineering is what we do best, we try really hard to put out quality documents but it's not as easy as one would think. Sincerely, Mark
  47. 6 points
    That's awesome and please do call if you're ever visiting Buffalo, NY or Niagara Falls, NY which is where I am based. Always happy to help out with whatever. Today was a long day of flying. Day 4 5/19: KCPS (St Louis) > KHOT (Hot Springs, Arkansas) (2.55hrs) - Pretty turbulent flight with lots of headwinds. Although, given the weather coming, esp with the 55knot winds over the Rockies, I guess we probably shouldn't even call the bumpiness we experienced turbulence. We started at 4,000 and 40 minutes in couldn't take much more of it and went up to 6,000 to trade comfort for headwinds. Fairly smooth at 6 and a nice flight over. KHOT was a nice little airport with a crew car and it's only 10 minutes to the National Park from the field. We took the crew car into town and walked around the bathhouse museum part of the National Park. After the museum, we walked over to touch the hot springs on display and had a quick lunch at the brewery inside the National Park (apparently the only brewery inside a National Park). They brew their beers + root beer with the water from the hot springs, which was pretty cool. I don't drink, so I didn't try the beer, but the root beer was tasty and the sandwich and salad were both good. We were able to accomplish this all in 2 hours and then run back to the airport to fly our next leg: KHOT > KEDC (Austin, TX) (2.75hrs): Landed right as the sun set. Didn't have reservations for anything. Oops. Decided to try Turo for the first time (it's like Airbnb for cars) and found a Porsche Boxster for about $80 for a day. Decided to give it a try. Never driven a Porsche before. The logistics were a little messy. Took the crewcar to the guys house (about a 15 minute drive from the airport) to pick up the car and wife then drove the crew car back. Get to drive a cool car though so it's worth it. It's fast and sits low just like the Mooney. Wife even commented that it feels similar to a Mooney. We got to our hotel (we booked all of our lodging on credit card points for this trip. when that runs out, we will start airbnbing/couchsurfing/hosteling/staying with friends) pretty late and neither of us really felt too up for experiencing Austin music nightlife after a full day of traveling. Just taking it easy to catch up on a few things in A/C comfort (it's hot!). We will adventure around Austin a bit tomorrow. Not sure yet what the plan will be moving forward. Looks like weather might be challenging with some of the lows and fronts. Not sure if continuing on to cross the rockies will make the most sense given some of the time constraints and need to be back by Memorial Day, but will dig deeper into some of the systems and think about what may work. (lot of hot sun beating down on the flight to Texas at 4,500ft)
  48. 6 points
    This is a very touching video made in the plane that I flew. The pilot came for a World War II glider pilot reunion and this video was created. After the event, he was flown home and he died the next day. It was definitely a bucket list flight.
  49. 6 points
    for 700 more you can have the pma450B. and the install cost is gonna make that 700 a lot less different. Includes a charger, and is generally the best audio panel available right now.
  50. 6 points
    (c) Except as provided in §91.157, no person may operate an aircraft beneath the ceiling under VFR within the lateral boundaries of controlled airspace designated to the surface for an airport when the ceiling is less than 1,000 feet. You’re misunderstanding pattern altitude as regulatory, it’s not. In the controller’s eyes the field was VFR. Your ability to maintain cloud clearances is not her problem, it’s yours. The FAR/AIM suggests VFR pilots modify pattern altitude to maintain cloud clearances.

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