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  1. 28 points
    Hello friends! Hello from Chambersburg, PA - LaQuinta Inn! Near N68. So here's my story ... KPTD-LETUS-ART-SYR-KIGX - initially low to stay VFR out of icing clouds that eventually opened up to unlimited severe clear and I climbed to 16500 to enjoy a nice tail wind - 240-240GS for what was looking like a 2:30 trip. Somewhere in Southern PA (turns out right about HERE) talking to Washington Approach.... After a hand off they remind to maintain 16500 VFR which I confirmed - clearly because I am not in approach traffic for those jets going to Dulles and Reagan. Shortly thereafter my EDM blinked at me a oil pressure in the yellow warning. 28. Huh - that's not what I want - so I turned around to get my POH to see what is the normal range and in that much time by the time I turned back the oil pressure was 23. Uh Oh I have a problem and I looked up the nearest airport. Then in that much time suddenly I lost power. First power went to like half thrust and then to no thrust - but never did the prop stop it was windmilling. And still smooth so I doubt a piston blew. So I immediately turned toward what I found was nearest - N68 - which was something like 12 mi away - and I was at 16500. Actually that is one of the reasons I like to fly high - just in case this ever happened. SO then I told ATC I had an emergency my engine is out and I am heading to N68. They initially told me to maintain at or above 14000. I told them unable (or maybe I wasn't so cool and I said I can't my engine is out). Then I heard them moving other airplanes around. So then they told me airport 7 mi to my 12 o-clock can I see it? I said no I'm high and I can see on the gps it must be under my nose. My plan was to get right over the airport and spiral down. So I got right over the numbers at maybe 12k? And started making turns over the airport looking down at the numbers - 24. I asked ATC for the wind direction. At first I heard it was a severe cross wind but then I asked to confirm and it was as I thought - from having already prepanned my runway at KIGX (ok far away) that it must favor 24 (from the synoptic). Sure enough it did. Phew. Something like 20kts from 26? At 8k the engine turned back on briefly but then I smelled something burning so I killed it. Then I was afraid there would be a fire. SO I tried to get down a little faster. I was not doing best glide because I was high over the airport. I was doing commercial spiral descent. This is a good maneuver. It was really the thing for the day. get right over the numbers and look down at the numbers as you spiral down - even if you are at 12k. I also have a smoke hood that I keep behind the pilot seat and I put it at my ready just in case. The smell of burning was faint but there. Oil pressure was negligible. The EDM is flashing at me. ATC wanted to give me a hand off to Harrisburg approach but I told him I am overloaded right now and flying a glider so could I stay with him please and he said yes. And then I called to CTAF at N68 since I didn't know if it would be busy and the last thing I wanted to do is to dead stick into a ,mid air collision. I told an engine out emergency and coming to 24 - I can't remember the exact words for anything. I was very vert flush with adrenaline at this point but I was still doing all the things as I should. I was watching airspeed, watching my landing point, and talking when needed and managing a possible fire and coming down as fast as reasonable. I opened all the airflow ports into the cabin but not yet the side window since the smell was only mild. AT 3k I decided to not make any more than this one last turn. Last thing I wanted to do was to come up short. Or worse to let myself get slow trying to stretch a glide further than it will stretch. Then I popped out all of my drag - gear, speed brakes and flaps. So at the end of the last turn I was maybe 2k? I pointed right at the threshold and flew over the trees at maybe 100? Thanks to a strong head wind - despite crossing the numbers at maybe 90 and a good long float I still had a reasonably smooth landing and rolled by half the runway and had a proper amount of speed to roll off the runway. Yay! I think I just used up one of my nine lives. Then I got out quick in case it was on fire. But it wasn't. Also as I was rolling I told on air traffic control channel I was safely on the ground and some other pilot relayed that he sent the message to atc. Then soon the airport manager drove up in his truck. He had left for the day to go home but got a call from ATC that someone was coming in dead stick. - me - He was very happy to see me. I was even happier to see him! And I was even happier than that to see me! Then the local fire station brigade showed up. I shook some fire man hands and thanked them for coming. And they said they were happy to see me! Then the air traffic controller from Washington Approach called me on the phone to check up on me. And I said thank you thank you to him! I know my voice was shaky...and no doubt besides being scared I had a big shot of adrenaline..but I was assertive and said and did all the things I was supposed to do. Thank goodness. I had such a big shot of adrenaline that by the time I got out of the airplane I realized my hands were just completely shaking and my voice was shaky. But I did all the things and I stayed on my numbers and decisions and flew that airplane all the way to the stop. What happened? I dunno....I suspect a turbo, or I spoke with Bennett and he suggests it could be a frozen oil cooler valve of some kind. But there is no spilled oil mess. So I don't know. Would that cause an oil burning smell? Either could cause a loss of oil pressure right? I doubt it blew a cylinder since it was never shuddering - just smooth. So on the lucky side - despite being a tiny airport, it is sort of a jumping airport and the manager has his airplane getting its 100 hour tomorrow am and the mechanic will be there and he said he would have him take a look at my airplane first thing. I am doubting that it would be small enough to be fixable on the spot - some kind of parts will be needed I bet. Hopefully not a complete new engine. Oh well - at least I am sitting here safely on a hotel bed typing about how a new engine would be annoying. Even the paint job is still in shape!
  2. 21 points
    The only thing I can think of more dangerous than an engine out emergency in a single is eating Sushi in rural Pennsylvania.
  3. 18 points
    On April 26th my wife and I were traveling to Nassau for a long weekend in the Bahamas. We planned a stop in Daytona Beach for fuel. When we departed Huntsville, AL there was a low pressure to the west pushing a cold front to the east so we had to pass through about 90 miles of light to moderate rain. When we arrived at Daytona Beach the controler took us several miles off shore to enter a right base for 25R. To make sure we had our best glide in case of an engine problem I left the gear up until we started our descent on final. As we started to descend on final I put the gear switch down and started my gear checks. Switch down, manual gear indicator in the floor in the green and and gear down light on is my normal procedure. When I looked at the floor indicator I remarked to my wife that the light must have burned out as it was hard to see the green indicator but it was there and I could see it. When I looked at the annunicator gear light it was off. At this point I knew something was wrong but I didn't know what. I am still at a couple thousand feet so I had time to cycle the gear up and back down and had the same indications. I checked the manual gear cover to be sure it was latched and I pulled the manual gear handle to confirm the gear was down. It is now time for a different plan as I knew I wasn't landing without a gear light since I didn't trust that the gear was locked down even though I was confident the gear was down. I thought I probably had a stuck or broken gear down switch. I have always felt and I teach my complex students that the worse place to diagnose a problem is in the pattern. Close to the ground is no place to deal with the distractions of a gear problem. My call to tower was "Daytona tower, Mooney 49Q has a gear problem and needs to depart the pattern to troubleshoot the issue". He immediately offered an orbit over the speedway and a climb to 1500 feet which I took. In hindsight, maybe not the best spot since I had to stay away from the runways which was a lot more complicated because the autopilot was randomly disconnecting. Lots of distractions during the entire event including the tower asking fuel and souls on board. The tower was great during the entire event but I did have to ask him to standby once since I was feeling overloaded. Flying, troubleshooting and talking was one too many things to do. Things got really quiet after that. After arriving at the speedway and getting the altitude back where it belonged I started troubleshooting the gear issue. At this point I planned to manually put the gear down since I had tried all the electric troubleshooting I could. When I reached to the circuit breaker panel to pull the electric gear breaker I noticed the gear indicator breaker was popped which explained the lack of lights. I pressed the gear indicator breaker back in and put the gear down which promptly tripped the breaker again. Not good. Next plan is to pull the breaker and manually extend the gear. That worked but I still didn't have a gear light. I reset the gear light breaker and the lights came on. I told the tower that I had a gear down indication and I was ready to land. He sent me on a fairly long downwind since he had two jets to land. I didn't realize until later but the controllers were holding the other planes on the ground to give us the runway. During the downwind leg I heard someone asking about the alert aircraft and realized they were talking about us. That was a bit sobering. When we turned final we had two fire trucks and an ambulance on our left. They had four trucks at various places on the right of the runway. Lots of airplanes holding on the parallel taxiway since Emery Riddle does a lot of training here. Ok, this is for real. I made a nice slow descent and as gentle touchdown as I could. The gear stayed locked down and after I made the right turnoff on the taxiway I felt fairly confident that the gear wasn't going to collopse. We had one of the alert trucks and a fire truck follow us for a while. The alert truck followed us to the ramp and the airport authority guy took our statement. End of the incident but I still have a broken airplane and reservations in Nassau. First step is to call Joey Cole and get some advice. He is at lunch and will have to call me back. Daytona Aircraft Services is on the field and were kind enough to put the plane on jacks to check the gear. We performed several gear cycles and no issues were seen. We pulled the gear indicator and confirmed that the gear would lock down even if the gear down indicators wouldn't light. The guys at Daytona Aircraft Services were confident that there were no issues with the gear and that I just had a problem with the gear indicator system. When I spoke with Joey and told him the problem his first question was did I fly through a lot of rain. I said that I had flown through about 45 minutes of moderate rain that morning. Joey said that water can cause issues with the gear indicators and that was probably what happened. At this point I felt comfortable that the gear would come down even if the indicators failed to work. We fueled and loaded up to depart for Nassau. When we arrived in Nassau the gear extended and the lights lit with no issues. When we get home I plan to pull the wiring diagram and check for anything that could cause the breaker to trip. What I did right: 1) Left the pattern to diagnose the problem 2) Managed the flight and got all the help I needed 3) Didn't do anything to make it worse. I was really tempted to cycle the gear instead of getting it on jacks. How much worse would it have been if I had the gear down, put it up and then it wouldn't come down. 4) Landed at a field that had a Mooney service center on the field. What I did wrong: 1) I should have gotten out the checklist instead of doing everything by memory. I would have caught the popped breaker sooner. 2) I should have cancelled my IFR clearance sooner. I didn't need it and it made the controller's and my job harder. I definitely busted my assigned altitude due to distraction. I didn't declare an emergency but I am sure the tower controller did it for me. It will be interesting to see if I hear anything from the FAA about the event.
  4. 16 points
    Holly Beggezuzzz! I'm still shaking.... I will fill in later...but I just had a full loss of power at 16500...and made an immediate emergency landing - luckily on a nice smooth runway...N68. New paint job is still in tact. Also - I'm not dead. Both good things. I'm just shaking - and I'm now at a nearby hotel - Im going out for sushi...and saki!
  5. 16 points
    Very glad to hear you are safely on the ground. I was one of the pilots of the regional jet that flew past your left wing as you came through 15,000 feet. Initially we were heading toward each other, but ATC vectored us out of your way. We could see you on TCAS and then very clearly see you out the window as we got closer. We could hear you talking to ATC. You may have heard me. Eventually we had to change frequencies and focus on our arrival, so I didn’t know the outcome of your flight till tonight. I kept hoping you were OK and I had a feeling you were. The controller was so helpful, and you had all that altitude and a clear sky, with a suitable airport below. I am happy to find you online and know you are safe. Great job tonight! Kate
  6. 15 points
    May 6th Update: One year ago to there very day I found her in the hangar, I can now say the resurrection project is now 100% complete and she is airworthy once again. Thanks to a great IA who was patient along side of me, we were able to get it done in time for the good weather here on the east coast. This was such a rewarding project to bring something so magnificent back to life. Things completed to get her from taking ownership until today: Cylinder #2 was sent out for an IRAN and ended up overhauled. New mag cap, wires, & plugs. New tires, brake pads and rotors. Brake lines were flushed. Propeller overhauled. All AD's complied with. Gear fairings replaced. New W&B completed. All filters replaced. Test ran on the ground for 2 hours. New battery. New ELT. Oil changed and analysis started.
  7. 14 points
    It definitely wasn’t a last minute evasive maneuver, just a normal turn. ATC turned us, pointing out the traffic and saying “I don’t know what he’s doing,” but two seconds later he did know what you were doing, because you declared the emergency. Nope I’m not a Mooney pilot but am a flight instructor who knows someone who just purchased a Mooney. Looked your N-number up to find the airplane owner and a Google search pointed me in this direction. Creepy, yes but not as creepy as seeing your plane descending under us and having that helpless feeling wondering if you made it! I’m in PA for a few more hours sending you a virtual wave!
  8. 10 points
    Forgot to pop in and update everyone here: officially a CFI thanks to this gorgeous M20-E!!
  9. 9 points
    She’s ready to fly!
  10. 9 points
  11. 9 points
    Its like an exam. I'm a professor - I give exams all the time. But I tell my students when they will be. This piloting thing is funny - you study for an exam that you have no idea when it will occur, if it will occur, and as it turns out today, it happened pretty quickly - I went from happy as a clam at 16500 going 240 to a glider in about 60 seconds. That's when the exam began. Today I passed. With some luck too. Keep studying since I don't know what will be the next exam.
  12. 9 points
    There are several Southwest Pilots who are Mooney owners and on this forum. Like any organization, as in the military, personnel are discouraged from making any public remarks or statements of conjecture. Having said so, the Director of Operations issued a letter to all employees stating some worthy facts that don’t seem to be getting circulated in our most esteemed media outlets. The media coverage or lack of coverage tends to insinuate by omission that there could be a lack of proper maintenance, or inspections that resulted in this tragedy .... Here are a few facts, in my own words, as shared by our Director of Operations. Southwest’s maintenance schedule and engine inspection program was already more diligent and comprehensive than what was required by the FAA. Southwest immediately implemented a new series of inspections and performed an evaluation of further measures needed without waiting for the FAA to make a determination. Once the FAA did make their determination, Southwest did not necessarily agree with that determination, in that Southwest felt the requirements did not go far enough.. Southwest has, therefore, implemented a new program even more diligent. So the inspections being performed both before and after this tragedy exceed the old and new requirements issued by the FAA. It is certainly accurate to say, all of us are deeply saddened and affected by this tragedy and the loss of a life. Many of you know I am not a fan of our media, any media. To put it bluntly: The media reports make it sound like airlines don’t know what to do, or won’t do the right thing unless a government bureaucracy is “saving the day” by stepping on their neck. I was greatly pleased to hear these facts and I know many of you who fly Southwest will be comforted to know this before boarding your next flight. See you around the pattern.
  13. 9 points
    I appreciate all of the feedback. Thank you to those who are defending me to others questioning my motives. As a dealer/broker, I get that occasionally. That's the primary reason I don't post here often. I'm not thin skinned. I just don't need the aggravation of being thought of as less of a Mooney lover because I happen to make my living selling them. First, I work for the owner and my desire is to put the most money in his/her/their pocket. That is the case with every airplane. Secondly, I work for a percentage commission, so I have zero incentive to sell this plane for a lesser amount than is possible. So here is more of the story. Then maybe my reasoning may come to better light and the decision to proceed will be justified... The scenario presented above is not all together out of line with reality with the exception of the corrosion on the spar. There is none. But a lot of the other worst case items are there. These are these value determinants and items needing repair (partial list). *Damage History: Not one gear up, but three. Plus an off runway excursion that caused a little damage. *Useful Load: 752#. Actual Number. Just weighed. That puts it about the worst I have seen (maybe THE worst). If you have sold as many Mooneys as I have, you will know that one of the first three questions a buyer has when he or she calls on a plane is 'what is the Useful Load'. The other two are Damage History and Leaking Fuel Tanks. So we got two out of three disqualifiers for most people right up front. *#1 Com inop (it the CNX-80 that is no longer supported by Garmin) *Transponder inop (it is the Apollo remote transponder that I don't believe is supported any more). *HSI inop *Attitude Indicator inop *Paint Poor. A lot of pealing paint *Interior Poor *Fuel Gauges Intermittent That is just a partial list. For those questioning how a plane that just went through annual is a candidate for parting out.... To Don's credit, he did not fly the plane because it did not have insurance on it. It was picked up from a broker in FLA and brought to him to annual. Don told me that the pilot did not mention any of the issues on the plane. I put the aircraft on my policy and flew it home after it was completed and that was when all of the gremlins from a good flight reared their ugly heads. I have a squawk list about 20 items long, most all of which would only be discovered on a flight. I believe 100% that the aircraft is airworthy (in the sense that is is mechanically sound and will fly from point A to point B safely). I flew it and as I mentioned in original post, the engine ran like a top and was/is actually the best part of the plane. But selling a plane like this is a major challenge. I am NOT going to sugarcoat a plane to try to get more than it is worth. In the past, when I ran across a plane like this one, I called another broker that I knew and told him to come pick up the plane and sell it for the owner (after I told the owner that I did not want to market the plane and that the other broker would be beneficial to them). I don't want to lie or embellish a plane to a prospect just to get a sale and with the disclosures I would have to put into this one, I am pretty sure the list of real buyers will be zero to just a few (maybe a guy who is on a C/E/F budget and will overlook the issues to get into a newer / faster plane). I have been doing this a long time, almost 25 years. I believe this plane will sell for something in the 90-100 range AFTER it is all fixed up. If it weren't for the damage and iffy logs, that number would be 110-120. If it weren't for the Useful Load, that number would be 125-135. All the numbers includes paint and interior plus fixing all the broken stuff or replacing it with more modern stuff. We are probably talking about 4-8 months of work and a lot of out of pocket expense to get to that point and in the end, you have a plane that is all prettied up with nice equipment but a 4 time damage / pathetic U/L and the hoped for selling price may be optimistic. I think the engine/prop/cowling has value and is about half of the total 'as is' retail value of the plane (maybe more than half based on the offer I got from a guy that contacted me from this posting). I believe that the control surfaces, seats, autopilot components, speed brakes and what can be scraped up from the panel will get it to full retail equivalent - something around $50K. That will leave the wing and the tail section that are basically going to put it over the top from a value standpoint. And yes, all of this may take a long time to sell. But I was asked to do a job and I'm going to do it to the best of my ability and with the owner's best interest at hand and if I have to work a little longer and harder to get it done, that's what I will do. So, now, if anyone would like an 'airworthy' 262 conversion at something north of $60K (which is what I am shooting for on the part out - looks like I have about $40K already in line), then give me a call before we start pulling parts. Thanks for all the comments. I will keep up with this thread and add info if needed. Jimmy
  14. 8 points
    Hi all! I’m fine - calming down - full story when I get back to the hotel room - right now I’m consuming sushi and saki in a place I never expected to be - but I’ll say yay!!!! A nice landing on a runway. More in an hour or so...
  15. 8 points
    Another Young Eagles rally under the belt for N6744U at the 3rd Annual Wings Over Suwannee festival. This plane has flown over 1,200 kids since Young Eagle's inception in 1992 and I've done about 200 of them myself in the past 2 years.
  16. 7 points
    Late last year I decided to redo my panel in my 1964 Mooney M20C. Although there are two fine places in NJ for Mooney’s I have to keep my plane near palm trees for the winter months. So my choice was to either fly back to Van Nuys or head back to Florida. Florida just seemed like an easier trip from NJ. I researched on mooneyspace about avionics shops in Florida and several people said positive things about Daytona Beach Aircraft Services. They just happened to be a Mooney Service Center and I needed my annual and some other stuff done as well. One stop shopping sounded great to me. I exchanged many emails with John their avionics guy and Jake the person who runs the shop. On a very short notice they said bring it down and although they can’t promise it could get in right away that I could keep it on the ramp out of the NJ cold. Within a week my plane was taken into the hangar and things started happening. I asked Jake for a very specific layout and he and his crew delivered 100% of what I wanted. It was such a great experience I kept adding things for them to do and all was taken care of. I got to see the layout of my panel beforehand via some fancy software. The actual work was done by many in the shop. John who runs the avionics side had Todd their master electrician do the install and most of the wiring. Many others in the shop worked on stuff as well and treated my old Mooney as if it were a late model Jet. I could not believe the respect they gave it. I also could not believe how Jake got the Garmin G5s flush mounted with such limited space. This is not easy to do in an M20C. A lot of custom fabrication took place. The experience of these people is truly noteworthy. All have been in the business for years and been there and done that. I spoke to some of the new hires and although new to the company many have served in the military working on airplanes or came from other reputable shops. The hangar is amazingly clean and well organized. Every part taken off your plane has a place and nothing is cramped on top of each other and mixed up with another planes parts like you see in other shops. I honestly do not know if I have ever seen a shop like this. I worked for many jet operators for almost all my career and none of the Gulfstream places I have seen are this nice. Your plane will be in good hands here and they work on Jets to Cessna 150’s all with the same level of professionalism. They also have an extensive parts department and a large space dedicated to avionics trouble shooting and repair. Your first contact will probably be with Sara who is the go to person in the office. She also does all the logbooks and book keeping. My log write-ups look better than any other shop this plane has been to. All the billing was correct and I feel like I am talking with family when I am in there. Curt the owner and Jake, John, Todd and the rest of the employees are some of the finest around. I was hesitant to have such a large project done without me being present but I can say that with constant updates and pictures always being sent to me that Daytona Aircraft Services should be on your very short list of places to consider. The final work order: Two Garmin G5s, GTN 650, GTR225, GTX345, FlightStream 510, JPI900, landing gear shocks and many other items. Oh and the post work experience has been just as pleasant. Stuff like how to customize the G5s and GTN for my liking and Todd even has been up with me to show me how it all works and to adjust some software settings etc. Not many mechanics will fly in planes they work on. Always seems to be an excuse with other companies. I can’t say enough good things about this place or my experience. Even if you do not have a Mooney, they work on all airplanes big and small, give them a try.
  17. 7 points
    A bit of GOOD news - there was still about 5 qts of oil in the crank case. I had started the flight with 10...but 5 is A LOT more than zero. SO that and the fact that the pressure did not drop below the yellow, and that cylinders stayed cool, and seems the engine itself will survive.
  18. 7 points
    Panel In! Trillian has an upgrade! A G500 TXi and an Aspen Pro Evolution PFD with backup battery. New behind the panel is a is a wx 500 remote stormscope. I looked closely at my backup options including original steam gauges, l3 ESI 500, and aspen pro backup. Chose the aspen backup as it has a two hour battery, synthetic vision, can track two Nav sources, has a dual HSI display which I like and has emergency gps ( it keeps your last gps course so that you can fly it, unlike the others if you actually lose all electrical power, you would lose all gps info). Have to especially thank @donkaye and @Marauder ( I watched your you tube video on your aspen) and all of you that helped on this thread with my decisions along the way, thanks! Still working out issues with the engine monitoring eis system, but the txi display is so incredibly clear, makes every other display including the gtn 750 look like a so so you tube video compared with the latest 4K ultra high def tv in your airplane, love it!
  19. 7 points
    I’d recommend mounting the guns in the wings, just outboard of the fuel tanks. Any closer and you’d have to start thinking about a synchronism mechanism. Load the belts through the inspection doors. Convergence should be set to about 350 yards. Then an it’s just a mafter of finding a bonanza or Cessna to roll in on. oh...... you meant in the cabin....
  20. 7 points
    From my experience (6,000+ hours teaching mostly Mooneys) it should take between 8 and 15 hours depending on how quickly you can recognize slope and manage your airspeed. With the Mooney, between 20 and 30 landings--minimum.
  21. 6 points
    Haven’t had a good flight to post about but this weekend was filled with good flights, friends, and working on planes. Who could ask for more:) Left home Saturday morning for Sacramento to help @thinwing with his annual and enjoy some California sunshine. My white legs had not seen sun since last September! Just under six hours of flight time round trip I put 51.2 gallons in the plane. A terrible head wind on the way there and some fun turbulence on the way back I didn’t make as good of time as I could have. But flying time is still flying time! Oh oh yeah it was the first night I had spend away from my new baby girl. But her mommy made sure I got lots and lots of pictures of them while I was gone. “Dad problems”.... I got to see a famous M20C before I left KSAC. Mr. Painter’s old plane looks like it lives there. Hope the new owner is on here.
  22. 6 points
    This is just another tangent to the great outcome of Erik's flight, the camaraderie shared among not only those who fly but those at ATC watching out for them as well as the people on the ground associated with them. Airport manager who dropped what he was doing to return to the airport. ATC making a follow up phone call to check up on him. A pilot who heard, the situation on the radio and searched online to find that all was well. I remember as a kid living on the Air Force Academy and singing the Air Force Song at the top of my 5-7yo voice. From the 3rd verse: "Here's a toast to the host Of those who love the vastness of the sky, To a friend we send a message of his brother men who fly."
  23. 6 points
    Boy, you guys are tough here on Mooneyspace....
  24. 6 points
    I’m going to do some research on this. Will let you know what I find out.
  25. 6 points
    80 knot headwind? On April 14th I was sitting on the ground at Dickson TN as a cold front moved through, bringing thunderstorm cells and lightning and some serious downpours with it. I knew if I waited a few hours, it would be gone and the only thing between me and my home base of KTRL near Dallas would be light rain, IMC, and very strong headwinds. The forecast was for 40 knot headwinds. I was not looking forward to my 2.5 hour flight turning into 3 hours, but I was willing to accept it as a necessary evil. I filed my IFR flight plan, got my clearance, and took off into the clouds, climbing to my cruising altitude of 8000 feet in mist and light rain. The ground was sort of visible below, but water streaked the windscreen. (I should mention here that I can hear you saying "you dork, why not fly at 4000 feet and take a 20 kt reduction in headwind?" My answer is that my M20A doesn't like to fly that low. It produces > 200 degree differences in EGT between cylinders because of the lousy job Lycoming did designing the intakes, and that sets off my EI engine monitor alarm. I never fly that low.) So upon reaching cruising altitude, trimming everything up, and leaning, I settled in for my 3 hour leg to KSUZ outside of Little Rock. And I started watching my ground speed to see if the 40kt predictions were correct. But instead of seeing something like 105 kts of groundspeed, I was seeing 90, then 80 knots. Then 70 knots. My GPS was telling me it would be 3 and a half hours flying time. I was getting more and more amazed at the hellacious headwinds. Then my Bitchin' Betty voice annunciator interrupted me as she spoke into my headset "Check Engine Analyzer". I quickly glanced at the engine analyzer and noticed that the #3 cylinder was running over 200 degrees richer than the rest. I tweaked the mixture control, but it didn't make much difference. "Check Engine Analyzer" she said again. At this point I looked at the manifold pressure gauge. Wow, 15 inches. The airspeed indicator said 115mph. Ground speed was down to 65mph. Hey wait a minute, I should be seeing a lot higher indicated airspeed and MP at 8000 feet. I quickly concluded there was something wrong with cylinder #3 and that was robbing my engine of power. This was not an 80 knot headwind. This was an engine problem! Many of us learned to fly in a Cessna 152. I still remember how the approach to landing power reduction was drilled into my head by my CFI, Bill Riggins, in 1983: Abeam the numbers, pull carb heat, reduce throttle to 1500 RPM, hold altitude until the airspeed drops inside the white arc, then lower one notch of flaps. Yada yada. When I started transition training in my M20A, my instructors told me I will rarely ever need carb heat during approach to landing. And indeed, in 12 years of flying, I have never needed carb heat. But I remembered someone saying, if you're having difficulty in a carbureted Mooney getting the cylinders to have a more balanced mixture, try adding carb heat. So I did. And I watched the manifold pressure climb. 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. And the airspeed climbed. And the groundspeed climbed. And the #3 cylinder EGT rose. I looked at the outside air temperature gauge. 56 degrees. Couldn't be carb ice. Could it? I turned off the carb heat and watched the engine power slowly begin to drop. 19", 18", 17". OK, carb heat it is. I flew with carb heat on until I popped out of the clouds. At that point, I tested carb heat and found it wasn't needed anymore, and I continued my flight as usual. Greg Ellis reminded me of the graph showing severe carb icing possible from 25 degrees to 60 degrees with humidity levels around 75-100%. I was in probably 100% humidity at 56 degrees OAT, so very much in the danger zone. I'm not used to needing carb heat at cruise power settings, but in IMC in that temperature range, it may be worth thinking about this a lot more frequently in flight. A friend of mine crashed and burned in his Pietenpol in Florida because of carb ice. In Florida. It can happen anywhere if the conditions inside the venturi are suitable for ice formation. In this case it happened fairly slowly, but I suppose it could also be much more abrupt. "Take heed of thine airspeed, lest the ground rise up and smite thee. And take heed of thine dewpoint, lest the carb ice up and smite thee!"

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