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  1. 54 points
    My A/C failed on the Lancair and I found it to be the A/C drive unit shaft. After much searching I was given the name of a machine shop in a small town called Athens, WI, just west of Wausau. I was told the shop was owned by a Mennonite with exceptional machining skills and very fair pricing. During the work process the owner indicated a fascination in the fact I built my own plane and after talking about it with his kids, he mentioned they were excited as well and commented how much they desired to ride in a small airplane someday. I told him I would pick up the shaft when completed by flying my Mooney over to his local airport (3 hour drive, 35 minute flight) and would gladly give his kids an airplane ride. He had the shaft done in one day (Wednesday), and I had him make me a new pulley as well, which he completed this morning. Looking at weather, I asked if this evening would work to fly his kids and he stated that it did. He asked if a couple neighbor kids could get a ride too, and I said yes. I arrived at a local airport and had a greeting party waiting for me. The politeness (and curiosity) of everyone was simply amazing. I did two flights, with 3 kids each flight, flying over their houses and their small little town. On each flight the oldest boy in the front seat got to fly the plane for 5-10 minutes. Upon completing the second flight, I asked mom and dad if they wanted to go and they insisted I should get home before dark and they had flown before, but were amazingly grateful the kids were able to fly. Then one of the younger girls walked up and gave me a plate of some awesome brownies she made this afternoon for "their pilot". As I flew home I thought about the impact the flights had on these truly humble kids, who clearly live a lifestyle of a much more simple means (and I say that more out of respect and admiration than anything). Sometimes we get LUCKY, sharing what we love with others and then getting the rewarding, yet humble feeling I experienced during my flight home. Pretty COOL. Tom
  2. 33 points
    Yes, the pilot is here. Yes, I recently purchased the aircraft. I flew from Pensacola on Friday and landed at W75 with about 10 gallons remaining. I filled up Saturday morning (54 gallons on board) and was planning to continue to New England. I checked the fuel during preflight as usual and I saw no water. I looked at the windsock as I finished my preflight and it was about 5 knots with a slight crosswind, but favoring 19. My plan was to back taxi and use the full length of 19. I looked at the windsock again as I was about to taxi and it was limp. I don't have a voice recorder so I'm paraphrasing from what I remember. During taxi, Unicom asked me my direction of travel. I said north. Unicom said that the winds were light and variable, not favoring a particular runway, and that no traffic was known to be inbound. He said I could use 01 if I wanted to be closer to course. At this point I was at the one taxi intersection with 01/19 and he said I could take off from there or back taxi and 180. This is where I made my first mistake. The taxiway intersection is not in the middle of the field. It is closer to the approach end of 01. But if you look at the taxiway diagram it is a short runway and the intersection cuts off a significant amount. I allowed this distraction to alter my plan and I elected to takeoff runway 01 from the intersection without fully considering the decision. There are trees not far past the end of the runway. I don't normally climb at Vx, but as I saw the trees I pulled for Vx and made my second mistake. I over-rotated and entered a power on stall. As I was barely over the treetops while I was attempting to correct, but the sight of the trees right beneath me tempered my forward pitch correction and I re-stalled. I lost lift on the left wing, rolling left. I did not have enough control to really pick a spot at that point, but I had enough rudder to keep the nose between the trees. Or I didn't and it was luck. I honestly can't say. It happened pretty fast by that point. I am a Navy pilot and TOPGUN graduate. I have my ATP and CFII. I completed my BFR in a 182 just a couple of weeks before I bought the Mooney. I am meticulous about safety and planning. I used to preach to students about the three things a pilot can never use: fuel in the truck, runway behind you and altitude above you. I frequently talk about complacency as a major cause for accidents, not just in aviation. I want to be clear, I am not attempting to place any blame on the Unicom. However, I allowed that brief conversation to distract me from my very solid plan and change to a very poor one. The left wing sheared off from the tree on the left side. The right wing entered the house with the fuselage and was leaking fuel. Debris from the structure prevented me from being able to open the door enough for escape. Neighbors called 911 and told us to stay put, but fuel was leaking and I wanted us out. A man who happened to be at the airport and getting ready to fly saw everything from my intersection takeoff to stall. He jumped in his truck and found us. He took charge of the group at the house, got the power to the house secured, apparently there was house wiring on or around us, climbed into the house and started pulling debris away so we could get out. This man subsequently held out gear, picked us up from the hospital after we were released, took us to his home and then brought us to a hotel. I am forever in his debt. The footwell crushed around my legs, but I was able to pull them out on my own only with minor abrasions. My plexiglas windshield was shattered and I have some lacerations on my head and bruising on my right arm. My wife was in the back seat next to our 13 month old son, who was in his car seat. My wife has a fair amount of bruising and soreness. My son has minor rash from his car seat restraints. Fortunately the home was unoccupied. We are very fortunate.
  3. 28 points
    And in case you're wondering... Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
  4. 27 points
    I started the day as a VFR pilot and ended the day as an Instrument rated pilot. Today was IFR check ride day. I have to say that this journey has probably been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I am proud of myself, and yet keenly aware of missing my Mom and Dad who would have been beaming. I was raised with no limits. They taught me that I would do anything I put my mind to. I want to thank those of you who have taught me, supported me, challenged me and loved me through all this. I decided to take a sunset flight as a treat after the ride. Life is so good. #IFRMooneyGirl
  5. 27 points
  6. 27 points
    After lurking these forums and bugging many members for two years I finally got my first plane back home. My wife and I were super happy after the trip, it's a lot of fun to really be crusing across the ground and having the capability of a real cross country Thanks for all the help, especially from MB65E!
  7. 26 points
    Logged my 250th flight hour and passed my IR checkride. Woohoo!
  8. 26 points
    I was the pilot. My passenger was a 2016 graduate of the same university/fraternity. If I’d had a chute I would have pulled it (we were ~1800’ AGL descending into KBUR when we lost the engine). My primary concern was my passenger and those on the ground. I looked for the darkest side street I could find (10pm in Glendale on a Friday night, the major roads were clogged with traffic). I just flew her until I couldn’t. In maneuvering to avoid an apartment building I (think I) stall/spinned her into a tree. That Mooney fuselage protected us very well. She wasn’t perfect, but she was solid. I’ve had her 4 months and flown her 65 hours (she was down for ~10 weeks getting avionics work done, which I knew when I bought her would be required), everything from pattern practice at Chino to 12K IFR trips to Utah and Arizona. Two A&Ps have worked on her. I’ll advise when I know more about what happened last night. All I do know is, as far as I know I kept in control of the plane as much as possible, and whatever skill I have as a pilot was heavily augmented by luck (no damage to property on the ground, no injuries). Now I’m sore, stiff, exhausted, and bowing out for at least a little while. I do believe I’ll have another Mooney someday though.
  9. 25 points
    I just got the news. My son Nathan just passed his private check ride. I've already got my insurance agent working to add him to my policy and find out what hoops he'll have to go through before he can fly the family plane. He wants to go all the way to professional pilot. I think he'll help make sure my M20E gets enough time in the air. Too bad the engine wasn't rated for 201 HP. Flying is more fun if you have someone to share it with.
  10. 24 points
    We need to publicly acknowledge, and let Mike Elliott, the Mooney Summit folks, and the Bill Gilliland Foundation folks know that we appreciate them. Their efforts to reduce the heartache and pain associated with the loss of life in Mooney accidents is unbelievably generous, and I suspect greatly appreciated by the families of the victims.
  11. 24 points
    I don't think I've said it before, but I really want to just thank everyone in this group. You have all been a fantastic inspiration and sort of like family. I know some of us get in heated debates, whether it's about tires, LOP, or whatever but all-in-all, this forum has been an immense part of my ownership experience. Many of you have made contact with me via PMs, Facebook, texting and calling and many of you have been an immense help to rectifying problems, offering services, ideas, and sending me unwanted items I've had since joining the Mooney family. Being a young owner I really don't have the excess funds to chip in with the multitude of flying groups I'm in, but MooneySpace and the Mooney Caravan/foundation are two I am happy to at least donate a few dollars to even remotely try and pay back how much of a resource it's been to me. I hope to one day be able to spill some knowledge I've learned to newer members. This forum is invaluable and its member's nothing short of a family. Again, just wanted again to give warm-hearted thanks to you guys. And let's all keep the discussions civil because I might have more questions on tires soon
  12. 23 points
    Today was a great day for me. Long post. Feel free to drink heavily as you read, or eat sugar cookies. It started off as a Pilots and Paws rescue flight for a one-eyed cat named Gio. Since I was headed up to the Bay Area, I thought I would contact my 96 year old pen pal/friend William Mason [Army Air Corps Flight Instructor at Rankin Field with my Dad, and brother to uber famous Sammy Mason] who flew out of Petaluma to see if we could meet up for a burger at the 29er Diner. I did all my flight planning with Foreflight, Skyvector, and the NOAA site for weather... severe clear except for smoke in vicinity of departure airport, Santa Maria, CA. I filed the flight plan online and got an email that it was received by flight service [she thinks "What a rock star I am for using all this wonderful technology"] When I left the house this morning it looked like dusk instead of dawn due to the smoke. I could see that San Luis Obispo was clear, so I thought, at most, I would be in the smoke [IFR] for a few minutes. Opening the hangar door I could see a fine layer of ash all over my Kennon cover. As I loaded up the plane I looked out and saw the tiniest of tiny suns trying to burn through the smoke. I got my taxi clearance and asked tower for my IFR clearance to Petaluma. The next bit of news was not so happy "6619U I have no IFR flight plan for you in the system." Drat! I mentioned that I had even gotten an email confirmation. Hmmm. I let the lovely tower folks [really they are, no sarcasm there] know when I was done taxiing I would figure it out. Figure it out I did. Guess who filed the plan for a WEEK from today? Me, yup me. Duh. Luckily I had the routing, so no worries, got it put into the system. Now on the the obstacle departure procedure and up to the Bay Area. The smoke was maybe 1000 above ground level... maybe. I was in the smoke, I mean in the smoke. Could not see anything, nothing. "Okay sister, this is what you are trained for, instrument scan, track the course, you can do this. Probably won't be but a minute or two." Yeah---no. Just under thirty minutes later I come out of the smoke right over the Paso Robles airport. I knew that my tracking was not the best while in the smoke. I was disappointed that I sort of got flustered. I was able to just regain my composure and soldier on. Hecky darn, that was stressful. I flew up the coast and the day was spectacular. ATC was super helpful and I was able to navigate well with my lowly 2-VORs, DME, Garmin 396 and Ipad mini. I asked for the Bay Tour [as did about a hundred others] and was grinning ear to ear flying over the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the bay. I headed off to Petaluma and landed safely. The next few hours were spent with Bill and his daughter. We got to catch up, talk about aviation and some of his glory days. Bill owned a Stearman for many many years. When it was time to leave I made sure to check the date and time on my flight plan and hit "File"--- voila it went through. I did get vectored in a way from ATC that reminded me of an old high school cheer "lean to the left, lean to the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight" On the way home I was at 9000, and got a beautiful and enduring view of the sunset off my right side. I knew that the smoke would be formidable on the approach into the Central Coast. I descended down from 9000 to 8000, then down to 5000. Under the smoke it was black as night. I requested a precision approach from ATC. I thought it best to fly the ILS approach I had practiced many times that took me right to runway 12. Between the black of night, and the ash build up on the windscreen, and the general haziness from the smoke, the approach was challenging. My needles were centered DEAD-ON the whole time. I did have a little bit of an optical illusion just above the aim point. It was hard for me to tell how high I was above the runway to begin the flare. I should have maybe looked out the left window, but I didn't. Landing was rock star-- which is so wonderful. All in all I had an hour of actual. I am grateful to have had wonderful instructors,and of course have the best airplane in the world. Merry Christmas everyone. I am snug as a bug, under my heated blanket with Mooney at my feet. Life is good.
  13. 23 points
    After a 15 year hiatus from flying I jumped back into it with both feet. 2 months ago I purchased my M20F and since my timing is always impeccable I have been trying to get through my BFR and transition time while dealing with the spring weather patterns and my work schedule. I finished up on Sunday April 30 flying around in unsettled skies with rain and even a few ice crystals thrown in. The only upside was that afterwards I had a new scratch in my log book letting me know that I was now on my own. Yesterday the weather and work patterns intersected again and I headed out to the airport. After a careful preflight I was sitting out on the run up area talking myself through all of the checklists and getting ready to go when a thought occurred to me. I said to myself "Holy crap you are alone in this thing. Don't do anything on this flight that will make the news." I flew around in my Mooney for 2 wonderful hours with no particular direction other than whimsy with just me to keep myself company. The flight was uneventful and memorable at the same time. I hope I never get to the point in my flying where I lose the feeling of awe while cruising around alone in the sky.
  14. 22 points
    My 17 year old son did this today in our 172. I could not be more proud.
  15. 22 points
    During the Mooney Summit V meeting in Panama City Beach, Mike Elliott was awarded the 2017 FAA safety team representative of the year for his outstanding and continuous support of aviation safety by the FAA administrations Alabama Northwest Florida Flight Standards District Office. A big congrats goes to Mike and all the effort he puts into making the Mooney Summit meeting not only entertaining and fun but placing great emphasis on putting safety first on all our Mooney pilots.
  16. 22 points
    It was long overdue, but I finally got my instrument rating yesterday. I had a flight scheduled for this morning for business. Without the rating, the flight would have been scrapped and I would have spent 8+ hours in the car today. With the rating, off we go. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. 21 points
    Sorry but I can’t mirror your comments about MooneySpace. Its worth the effort you’re willing to put in. I spend lots of time digging out info which I post in hopes of helping people who I’ve never met. I have supplied manuals and part thereof to anyone who needs them. In return, I read posts of technical problems in an effort to further my knowledge, because I still have lots to learn. Clarence
  18. 21 points
    August 2016 I was delivering my Mooney M20c to my mechanic, Bobby Norman, at the Parr airport (42I) in Zanesville Ohio. I had interaction with Bobby years ago, and he came highly recommended by a number of local Mooney owners. I had thought the field was about 2300 feet (wrong, more on that later) so coming in over the trees I pulled the power to idle, put it in a forward slip and came down. 75mph over the numbers, flared and BANG!. Hardest landing I'd ever done in anything. At the top of the bounce I had a choice, and decided to ride it out. I was uncomfortable trying to go around at a short strip in that predicament. The aircraft bounced a couple more times and stopped, and I taxied back. I had struck the prop in that landing, quite badly. The prop was bent asymmetrically, and the craskshaft busted. I hit hard enough that the force went through the gear into the Johnson bar, wrecking the mechanism that holds it in place (Bobby only figured that part out when he started taxiing. He said it was quite exciting). It took 9 months for the tear down, prop repair, and everything else. The engine repairs were done by a very reputable shop, and the aircraft is now back in service. I just did the first oil change after the teardown. I would have overhauled the engine at this juncture, but it only had 700 hours, and I didn't have the money. What I did wrong: The first thing is entirely insidious. I should have checked the length of the field, since it is now a very comfortable 3k feet. Why didn't I? Because the last time I was there it was 2300 feet! Hardest thing in the world is to override personal experience, but sometimes we really have to. Of course, the other big thing was pulling the power over the trees. Once I got into the runway environment the aircraft didn't have the energy to overcome the sink. Why pull power? Normally in this situation I maintain 12-13" manifold pressure, and use a forward slip. Indeed, most of my landings done this way are well within 2K feet. So why did I change? Worry about a field that I thought (incorrectly) was short. Even if it was 2300, I could have landed the Mooney in it just following my normal procedures. Talk about rubbing salt in the wound. What I did right: riding it out and letting it settle turned out to be the perfect move. I had an asymmetric prop, a badly damaged engine, and I was at a somewhat short and very narrow strip surrounded by hills and mountains. I don't know what would have happened had I put in the power, but it wouldn't have been good. Sometimes its just better not to add extra energy to a bad situation. Perhaps if you don't you'll prang the airplane, but if you do you get to be the one pranged. I recall a fatal TBM accident nearly identical to mine, the aircraft landed hard and struck the prop. The only difference is that guy put in the power at the top of the bounce, and now he's dead. I can't put into words what this did to me. If you noticed me gone for an extended period, its because I couldn't show my face after this. I think one thing might give you an idea, today is the first day I'm thinking I'll actually stick with this aviation thing. I've sort of been on the fence thinking about bailing for the last year. With any luck this will help someone not make the mistake I did. At least it had one silver lining. Hopefully I'll never say I landed worse.
  19. 21 points
    Purchased this 67F model just over 2 months ago. Could not be happier! Have a few trips planned in the near future. We are based in Winchester VA OKV. This board is such a wealth of good information. I hope to be able to contribute.
  20. 21 points
    It flew today... Unfortunately I'm in Kenya but @bucko and @"Chocks" were able to fly it to KELA to finish the tank job that started this entire saga. Here's a few pics.
  21. 21 points
    Has anyone else done something so stupid in an airplane that you reflect upon your ignorance and shake your head? Anything that you have done that you are ashamed of? Anything that blind confidence and that little voice that should be telling you "NO"! Was silent? I did. To this day I think back and just shake my head. Me a Certified Safety Professional doing the unthinkable. What was it? When was it? Where was it? Why "out" yourself now? Why not just leave it buried in the past as a bullet dodged?. As a life lesson learned. The great thread discussing "how you got into a Mooney" made me think back 15 years ago. A 40 year old pilot with <100 hours total time decided he needed a Mooney. He found one and after giving his wife an ultimatum of "I am buying an airplane you can either get on board or do what you need to do"...(Really?...Wow. That shows the mission desire was strong). This to a woman that had hung around with me for nearly 20 years and had provided two beautiful children... So, plane was located in Ocala, FL. A 1966 Mooney that the owner was looking to sell after owning for nearly 35 years...He even mailed photos (snail mail only way back then)...Photos in his attached hanger to his home. A price was agreed upon if it "checked out". Check out consisted of a flight around the pattern and a $700 annual. The location was Brunswick, GA. A one way ticket was purchased by the idiot author. Kind of like Cortez burning his soldiers ships...Only way home was "victory"(purchase)... It is December 2002 and the broker picks me up at the airport. The plane arrives the next day flown by a "rental pilot". He and I went up. I had ZERO TIME IN TYPE. I had read a lot about Vintage Mooney's. I showed "the pilot" what the disconnect was for the PC. "I thought it just flew heavy on controls"...Nope, that is the P.C. Swung my first J-Bar on several landings. (Didn't notice that the DG (the olde revolving mini gauge was out of commission. Whiskey compass was leaking too. No worries, I had a automobile Garmin GPS (Really?) Annual did not show what logs did that the accessories were original to 1966. The 1970's overhaul was really an AD for the CamShaft to be inspected...I was to impressed by the recovered seats...The Touch-Up paint job (on original scheme), the speed slope windshield and cowl closure mod to know what was REALLY important. The panel? Shotgun with no engine monitor. No shoulder belts. Original six pack engine gauges. The plane had been flow a total of 15 hours in last 15 years. The definition of a hanger queen... The annual (with an extra cost oil change) completed and "no discrepancies found" resulted in the deal being done. Even got a free seafood dinner from the broker...Next morning the transfer of funds was delayed and I didn't launch until 11AM. I taxied out and run-up showed a mag drop that was not acceptable. Taxied back to ramp and shut down. Was told that it just needs a good hard run-up. So I did...and all was well...(Right). Launched into a headwind (due to a frontal boundary that stretched from Gulf to Canada) and climbed....and climbed...and climbed. Broken up to 10000. So 10000 was where I leveled off. My groundspeed? 105knots. Flew northwest and a solid layer developed. ( I was NOT instrument rated) and had zero clue what weather was ahead. Got North of Atlanta and found an opening. No idea (beyond auto GPS) where I was as I was high above cloud layer. Fuel getting low...Break in clouds. Dive down through and "there is an airport". SEVERE crosswind on landing. Fueled plane. Checked weather. Launched. Again climb up to 10000. Pushed up to 10500. Saw a Learjet Go across from East to west at my altitude...Gulp. It is December. Gettting back to Iowa is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. It is getting dark. I get another opening with Evansville, IN and Kentucky showing on GPS. I let down. I see a wall of snow to the north. I look to my right and there are the runway lights for Evansville. I contact tower using sectional for freq and make an uneventful landing. The FBO was fantastic asking me if I need fuel? Yes. Do I plan to spend the night? YES! Do I need a ride to a motel? Yes. Would I like to drive through McDonald's and get some food? Yes? What time would you like me to pick you up tomorrow? 7:30? See you then. The front went through and the Mooney flew like a Mooney over blue skies for remainder of flight. So many stupid things that could/should have killed me on that ignorant "Get there itis" half assed, under trained/equipped maiden voyage in a plane that had NOT BEEN FLOWN...Much less flown for the first time by a Mooney driver. Would insurance have paid off for my poor wife when I angered in? Getting Mooney Specific training and a PreBuy by a Mooney Saavy entity...Walking away...Reviewing logs. Knowing how to review logs. Not being an overconfident idiot. It was not my time to die. Never Again. Fly Safe.
  22. 20 points
    Plane is finished! Excited to see it in person! Picking up Thursday or Friday!
  23. 20 points
    My wife and I headed out from the U.P. Of Michigan for Spruce Creek (just south of Daytona Beach) Florida yesterday, late due to fog at my home airport, destined for KMNV, Madisonville / Monroe County Airport in Tennessee for a fuel stop. This was the first flight after my left main tire on my Mooney Rocket had a new tube installed from a flat found and described in another thread. A new policy instilled in me by my IVPT instructor is to test the brakes as part of pre-landing checklist (which would come to haunt me on landing). Upon touch down, with a reasonable crosswind, I could hear light tire squeal which got progressively louder and the plane was a handful to keep on the runway as we slowed. My immediate thought was another freaking flat and I was wing low on the left side. I could NOT taxi at all once stopped so had the runway shut down. I shut down the engine and before we were out of the plane several locals ran out to see what was wrong. I gave my wife my handheld radio to monitor CTAF for traffic and then inspected the plane; a flat on the left main. After some research, while Cale from the FBO ran back for a jack, tools, and a dolly, it was determined the brake was locked. With the help of a bunch of locals we got the left tire on the dolly and, with help lifting the wing to reduce weight on this pretty questionable dolly, we got the plane pulled over to the ramp. The FBO's mechanic was on vacation in Texas and they had a part time guy on call. I told them get me some tools and I'll gladly pay whatever your FBO would charge but I was really needing to get this apart to see what I was dealing with. By the time I had the tire off (minutes) Cale found a serviceable used tire and tube. I got the tire off the rim and the serviceable one installed on the rim. Cale is a young man working on his A&P so helped where he could but I mostly did the repair. I installed the tire and when checking the brake found I couldn't compress the puck into the caliper. Cale got me a C clamp and it STILL wouldn't compress. I noticed as I worked the clamp the cup was turning so knew the cup wasn't seized to the caliper. I jumped into the plane and checked the left brake......looked fine. I then checked the parking brake knob and it was out about 1/2"????? I pushed it in and checked the caliper; the clamp had fallen off (brake had released) and the cup slid right in! I am pretty sure the park brake knob had not gotten pulled by mistake and I rarely use it (for sure didn't during any time that day). The knob pulls really easy so it may have been bumped. Not sure why I was lucky enough to only lock the left brake with a partial parking brake engagement but everything checked out after my repair and the subsequent take off there and landing in Spruce Creek were totally uneventful. The bill from the FBO: $50!!!! We dropped a $50 tip to Cale and the same to his boss. Service and hospitality like this needs to be rewarded! In the end it felt like a NASCAR pit stop as we were only delayed a little over an hour. Tom
  24. 20 points
    I needed something to go over the expresso bar in the house. Saw something similar to this on the internet and decided to drag out the raspberry pi and some LEDs and make one for myself. I used PHP to grab the current metar every 15 minutes and updates the LED colors via Python. Used LED string individually addressable RGB lights. its about 30x20 inches. I used a digital sectional of LA and added an inset of the Bay area since I fly up to WVI pretty often. The code turned out to be the easy part. Glueing and splicing all those dang LEDs was why it sat on the living room floor for a month. Finally pinched myself in the ass and finished it up today. it shows green/blue/purple/red for the flight conditions.
  25. 20 points
    Just to let you know, there's a couple of us Mooney folks here in Santa Rosa. We have all had a horrific week in Sonoma County. The unthinkable happened in the early hours of Monday evening as a firestorm sped from Calistoga over the mountain into the heart of northern Santa Rosa. My wife and I were awakened by a neighbor for an immediate evacuation with a firestorm raging on the hill just above our neighborhood. The smoke, flames, explosions, severe wind and the roar were unbelievable and what I would describe as evil. My wife was injured trying to wake an elderly neighbor and required an ER visit but our hospital seemed to be on fire as did all of Santa Rosa. We left with the clothes on our back and our cat. We were certain we would lose our house. As we became refugees our day was filled with anxiety as we grasped the reality of losing "our stuff." Remembering that I had webcams it was late morning when I saw that, unbelievably, our home had been somehow spared. We actually felt guilty about that as so many of our friends narrowly escaped with just their lives in Fountain Grove, Coffey Park, and Larkfield/Wikiup where we live. One of our Mooney brothers, M20D6607U, lost his home as did many members of his family. So many families had multiple members in these neighborhoods. You would think when something like this happens you could stay with relatives but when every family member loses their home it creates a real dilemma. I am helping to run an evacuation and disaster relief distribution center and I connected with Ron personally today, getting him and his family some relief supplies, loading him up with everything I could from sleeping bags to Gatorade to toothbrushes and socks. He also knows and is helping several other families who lost their homes and we are supplying them as well. I know he's going to be upset with me for telling you all this but I thought it would be great if you left him some words of encouragement. I'm not sure when he'll see this but at some point I'll tell him what I did unless he busts me sooner. He's a great guy with a heart of gold. All of our Mooneys are safe. The airport was about 2 miles from the fire and has been a base for Cal Fire, National Guard, and several GA relief efforts as have the smaller airports near us like Healdsburg, Cloverdale, and Petaluma. There is a sizable TFR overhead of which a small chunk was left open for KSTS in case you're flying in here. When faced with the possibility of losing your home and everything in it, you often wonder what you would take with you. When the evacuation is immediate and dangerous there is no time or decision making. You leave it all. We snuck in past the barricades the second day as the fires were still raging next to us, expecting our home to be destroyed. My wife and I looked around and wondered what we'd pack into our van. All we took were our important papers, old video tape of our daughters, and a couple extra changes of clothing. We left everything else. The night before, when we were convinced we lost everything, we let it all go. It was just stuff at that point. We had each other, our friends, and we were safe. What we used to think was so important now made us feel embarrassed. The new sofa we took so long to find, the perfect giant HDTV, the piano, and on and on and on. It was just stuff. It wasn't important anymore and it seemed a hinderance. On this second trip in all we brought out was a laundry basket with very few things. The van was empty as we headed back to the shelter and we walked away from our home with no regrets. Lean-of-peak vs. rich-of-peak didn't matter anymore (hahaha). Neither did politics, sports, or any other argument or opinion. It all seems so petty now. I drive through the burn area on my way to work every day. There's no way around it. The familiar landmarks that defined my neighborhood are gone, obliterated. I'm hoping that visible scar on our community will be a constant reminder to not get caught up in the "stuff" trap again. Family and friendships are what's important. Giving to others and serving your community, being generous and grateful and all that good stuff, that's what's important. -Scott
  26. 20 points
    I have had a few people ask me and yes, I plan to keep flying GA. My wife is very forgiving and understanding. Plus she really enjoys flying and was super excited to have a plane of our own as we had talked about it for years. Right now I will let the insurance settle out and get everything sorted. We also discussed that from now on I will conduct a full brief with her on the plan just as if she was my co-pilot or wingman on a military flight. That way she will know if I'm doing something different and make me justify it. This is our way to mitigate this type of issue from happening again.
  27. 20 points
    Last thing he needs is a lecture from you , Respectfully , if we treat people this way , don't expect others to be so forth-coming in the future....
  28. 20 points
    I was called a couple months ago by a teacher friend who was hosting a "Project Based Learning Program" with the theme being "Aviation" for her 8th graders. She wanted to know if she could culminate the program with a visit to my hangar and share some details about my newly completed project. I said sure and also offered to come in one day for a classroom session as well. I visited her school last week and spoke with the two classes conducting the program (28 kids per class). Today they visited my airport via school bus, with each class spending about 45 minutes of the field trip in my hangar. I let every kid sit in the plane and reviewed flight control functions (they got to operate the joysticks while watching the reaction out on the aircraft), engine control levers, and I let them play with my touch screen Garmin G3X's. They loved the "Apple" type technology on the touch screens, squeezing the zoom features of the maps in and out. On my way in this morning, I stopped by to see Ivan, the manager of our local Fed-Ex air operations support company, CSA Air, hoping he could provide his Piper Cub for viewing by the kids while they were there (to contrast composite construction, Steve's Mooney made with aluminum, and fabric construction of the cub). Unfortunately, it was in the local FBO for it's annual, but after some discussion I invited him over to offer a short "Career Talk" near the end of each visit. He has over 30 pilots on staff, and 28 Cessna Caravans, as well as running the main repair facility for most planes north of Milwaukee. His presentation went over great, as he has flown for the majors, worked as an A&P / IA, flown cargo and managed several aviation organizations. We especially encouraged the girls that this opportunity is NOT gender specific, with each of us citing examples of successful woman we personally know in aviation. To finish each session, we pulled the plane out, with the teacher and I selecting the 3 most engaged students of each session to sit in the plane, and I did an engine start (jet engines sound SOOOOO COOL when they spool up). As the bus was leaving with the kids, Ivan and I pondered if we may have planted the aviation bug in one or two of those kids today. Clearly that was our ulterior motive! Tom Note; That would be my gray and aging mug in the second picture, Ivan can be seen through the back window in the coed shot.
  29. 19 points
    She's never been in a GA aircraft, and today was her birthday, so i obliged! Just a short 1hr flight out of KFFZ up north and around some local lakes and mountains. She had a blast!
  30. 19 points
    This simple mod must be good for at least 30 KNOTS, maybe more.
  31. 19 points
    So I finally did it! I am now the proud owner of a 1982 Mooney 201. After renting and club memberships for almost 30 years I finally own my own plane. Now I only have to share with my kids. I haven't flown a Mooney in over 10 years, but it was just like riding a bike. I had a local CFI go up with me for the first couple landings to make sure I didn't do something stupid, but instead I had some of the nicest landing ever. Who say's Mooneys are hard to land. Here's to a long and happy future together.
  32. 19 points
    Installed the finished cowling today. Propeller balance tomorrow with final work on Friday to have it ready for a test flight and customer pickup on Saturday. I have to say that I like it. Here's a couple of before and after photos.
  33. 18 points
    I am the excited, proud new owner of N803RM, the 1969 Mooney M20F lovingly cared for by another MooneySpace'r for the past 11 years. A lot of you probably remember my "E of dubious provenance," and her ignominious end. I'm not going to slam that plane; if I'd been more experienced, she may not have ended the way she did. (I believe the Swiss Cheese model played out in that situation. I do think there were problems with the plane, but looking back - and as fully discussed with the FAA - there were things I could have done differently.) This is different. My "E" was a project. This F is turnkey. She needs nothing. ADS-B, WAAS, freshly sealed tanks, AP... she's equipped. Gorgeous inside and out. Purrs. Picked her up in Yosemite this morning, flew her to PRB for the 53(!) Mooney fly-in, then brought her home. Got a hangar for her at Torrance (KTOA). If anyone's on the field tomorrow, stop by, 1300-1900... (PM me for details)
  34. 18 points
    We flew our 252 from Germany to the southern most tip of South America and back again between September 17 and March 18. This was our route: Many may have heard about our trip via fb, but anyway, maybe there are members here who haven't and are interested in a report. I've written continuously on a European GA forum, here is the link: https://www.euroga.org/forums/trips-airports/9174-to-the-end-of-the-world-and-back-the-whole-story#post_176978 (I hope it's OK to post a link to another forum here)
  35. 18 points
    Being an airline pilot kind like being pregnant. Everybody congratulates you for your accomplishment but nobody ever contemplated how many times you had to get screwed to get there.
  36. 18 points
    After the little Mag issue of the last couple of days, it was time to go fly and see Mom & Dad for an early Christmas. I like the long cross country flights and today would be a perfect opportunity to set a new personal best non-stop distance. I'd be solo, carrying max fuel, colder than standard temps and a stiff tailwind. For a long flight, you gotta start early. All loaded, fueled, filed, and ready to launch. Starting point Smithville, TX 84R. I know you guys are sick of looking at my panel, but just imagine having to stare at it for hours on end The Blue Ridge Parkway at the southern end of the Smoky Mountains. I know it's all wind... but gotta love the numbers. 230 over the ground on 179 TAS at 61% power and 9.4 gph. Finally bedded down after a long successful flight. Roxboro, NC KTDK 84R - TDF Direct 1140 miles 4:53, 56 gal used 20 gal remaining. And that's how I like to use my Mooney.
  37. 18 points
    Hello folks, After much planning and some shopping around I bought a nice 74 Executive a week and a half ago. We bought it from a gentleman in Colorado Springs and flew it hope to Dayton over two days taking the opportunity to do some sight seeing along the way. It was like a mini vacation and we started to get to know the airplane. It is pretty amazing. When I was doing my research I was looking at speed numbers, weights, fuel capacity, range and things like that. Now that I am starting to plan and execute flights the capability of this plane is just fantastic. I just transitioned from a Cessna 175 which was a pretty good traveler but this Mooney is great! It feels good that my research paid off. I have a fully IFR outfitted traveling machine that makes good time and uses relatively little fuel to do it. I'm excited! Gerbil
  38. 18 points
    Had an interesting bit of IFR flying today in actual. Coming to Butler, KBTP, the AWOS was reporting 800 overcast. The GPS runway 26 approach (which the wind was favoring) was good down to 600-1. Great. I shoot the approach and can't see a break in the clouds down at 600. I hold the altitude till the end and go missed. On the missed, I listen to the AWOS and now it's reporting 400. Approach asks me to say my intentions so with the wind being only about 4kts down 26, I said I'll try the ILS going the other way. The ILS is good to 300-1. With 400 overcast, that should be ok as well. I shoot the approach and down to the DA, I've got nothing. I figured even if it's slightly below minimums, if I could just make out the rails, I could get an extra hundred. Neither the ground nor the runway lights, I go missed again. Now the AWOS reports 200 overcast! ATC asks my intentions and I said I'll fly the published missed and hold till the weather improves. After about 15 minutes of holding, I was getting pretty tired so I figured I'll give it another shot and go somewhere else and take a break before coming back if it doesn't work out. It was reporting 400 so I had a shot. I fly the approach and as I cross the FAF, the AWOS goes back too reporting 200! I thought of cancelling the approach but figured, heck, I can use the practice so why not? I fly the approach right on the ball. I broke out at about 400ft, just a little above minimums and spotted the runway. Something was odd though, the runway lights were not on. I didn't need them this time because I broke out, but they could have made it work last time. I clicked the mic a bunch of times and then they came on! Doh! For some reason, it just didn't occur to me to activate the runway lights in daytime. Usually if I fly an ILS, it's either at a towered airport or at night and I know to click for lights. Butler is uncontrolled and it just didn't dawn on me to turn them on in day time. Nothing unsafe, I held to minimums and went missed the other times but dang those lights might have helped. On a 2 hour flight, I ended up spending an entire hour shooting 3 approaches to minimums and holding. I ended up being more exhausted from that last hour than I was from the other 4 hours of xcountry flying all day. I can fly to Florida on a nice day and be less worked than an hour of hard IFR. Instead of picking up my passenger and going right away, I took an hour break and got food before getting back in the plane. So two things I learned were give the mic a bunch of clicks when shooting an approach and the weather can go up and down quickly in screwy ways. The only way to know if you can really make it in or not is to give it a try (as long as you can honestly hold to minimums and go no further unless you have it).
  39. 18 points
    So not a flight but a text from my daughter at 14:00 today. "So It would appear im a doctor". She has passed finals. One seriously proud Dad here. Had to share.
  40. 18 points
    Today (and everyday) we remember, and thank the men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Whether on land, by sea or in the air, we honor all for your sacrifice, so that we may continue to enjoy our freedom. Freedom is not free. Let's not forget.
  41. 18 points
    Finally, pictures! My wife and kids were dying to see it, so we drive over to DVT. It was an adventure just getting through the to the ramp. DVT is very definitely run by a government bureaucracy. They all wanted to go for a ride, but I can't really fly it yet. I mean, I could legally, but if something went wrong... So, I just gave them a ride to the fuel pumps lol. Surprisingly, my kids said the backseat felt pretty roomy! We'll see how they feel after a couple hours back there...
  42. 18 points
    When I lived in Denver my neighbors across the street told me their father (wife's) used to own a Mooney. She said he loved his plane. He had lost his medical from heart problems about 10 years prior and hadn't flown sense. He came to visit one day and they interoduced him to me and said I had a Mooney. I asked him if he wanted to go for a ride and he gladly accepted. The next morning we met at the airport and after preflighting the plane I showed him the door and asked if he wanted the left seat! His eyes got big as saucers and he jumped right in. I said "why don't you fly me to Leadville?" And handed him a sectional. He said Ok, put on my headsets like he had flown yesterday and started it right up. He flew the plane expertly including all the radio calls. When we got to Leadville he got the certificate, we got some lunch in town and he flew me back. He was a crotchety old guy and my neighbor said that he was never happy, but for the rest of his stay she couldn't pry the smile off of his face. He died one month later of the heart condition that grounded him. So, the only thing better than giving someone their first Mooney ride is giving someone their last Mooney ride.
  43. 17 points
    After months of searching for my dream Mooney and then a two month annual and upgrade at Don Maxwell’s shop in Longview, my 67 Mooney M20 F is finally in her new home in Santa Monica, Ca. Such a great day! A life long dream come true. Thanks to Alan Basinger for taking such great care of 68 Mike as her previous owner and to Don Maxwell for his expert service. Also thanks to Full Throttle Aviation for the Ferry flight services from Texas to California. Most importantly thanks to my family and to my love Shannon for being so supportive of my aviation passion. Shannon gave me a huge hug and said this plane is the only mistress I will accept in your life and I expect you to enjoy her fully. I look forward to meeting more Mooniacs in the years to come and to learning from other members on the Mooney Space forum. 3C2C1D70-CE6B-4DBF-AE0A-573F70C4456D.mov
  44. 17 points
    In the mid 70's I found a derelict 66 Super sitting in Fall River, MA. Flat tires, tired paint bad interior but good engine and prop. I bought it and ferried back to Strawberry Plains, TN. At that time I had lots more energy than now so it didn't take too long to bring it up to date. Interior, new paint, Rajay, New top of the line avionics. Called radios then, Collins Microline. Hard to imagine all the kids spent many hours in the back seat. Although I really liked it, other things got in the way and I sold her. Years later I was in a small town in Louisiana and she was sitting unloved again. Flat tires and all. I bought it and went through the whole process again. This time somewhat slower. Later a I met a gentleman who spent lots of time going to the mountains of Mexico and because of the turbocharger he convinced me he could not live without my little jewel. Lots of money helped too. Sooo for many years I have bemoaned and missed her. Now I am much older and much slower. Periodically I go to the faa website and pull up the present owner which for many years has been the man I sold to. I sent him inquiries over the years but nothing in return. a couple weeks ago I went to that same old website and lo and behold it had changed hands. I contacted the present owner who turned out to be an extremely nice FBO who said "sure I will sell it but you better come look first". I had seen her derelict a couple times before but nothing I couldn't ferry. This time she is beyond that point so I plan to pull it apart and use a trailer. So is it an old love affair or just plain stupidity? JerryP
  45. 17 points
    I think its sad that this thread has focused on the basic pilot skills , that I have no doubt , that the pilot possesses , and is WAY more qualified than myself , or most of the pilots on this site.... This is not about runway length , aircraft performance , weather conditions , etc etc ..... You are focusing on things that will never help you as far as this accident is concerned , This is about a breakdown in the decision process , and that's where you should concern yourselves.... It happens to all of us , and we usually get away with it....... If you want to learn anything from this accident , its about what interruption , or distraction caused a qualified (well qualified) pilot to make the wrong decision and almost lose his and his passengers lives..... Its time to listen , not to judge....
  46. 17 points
    I shared the story here because I wanted other people to learn and I didn't want to hide anything. That is they way we do mishap reporting in the Navy. I gave the exact same information to the NTSB duty officer and the FAA inspector at the scene after I was out of the hospital. I showed the FAA inspector all of my flight planning, take off performance data, weight and balance, etc.
  47. 17 points
    Wife, kids, and I flew from Deer Valley to Stinson field. We stopped in Pecos, TX. She ran beautifully. 8.3-8.5 gph, 20" 2500rpm 9500'. TAS about 150mph average. 30.9 gallons from KDVT-KPEQ, 3:48 flight time. I haven't fueled in San Antonio yet to see exactly what I used KPEQ-KSSF. I nearly had to divert from KPEQ due to weather. We were VFR over the top of a layer for about an hour. FSS was advising me that PEQ was reporting broken at 4700', but they didn't know for sure what the sky coverage was. I had an alternate planned to Marfa, TX which was clear all the way up. As I got close to PEQ, I found there were a lot of holes. Winds were 20g28, but right down the runway. Carried a little extra speed on final and made a pretty good landing. We landed there (great little FBO!) and waited about an hour for the clouds to blow out. Flight to SSF was almost uneventful, except the battery on my Stratus died about 40nm out. Fortunately I still remember how to use actual charts and navigate by VORs. Of course, I had my 430W programmed in, but I thought it was good practice to fly it by 'paper' so I did. Winds at SSF were also pretty high, but again, right down the runway. SSF had my rental car pulled out on the ramp, AC running. Very friendly and helpful folks! So far, it's been a great trip and I was happy to not have been surprised by anything. The weather was pretty much as I expected, I had a good diversion worked out well in advance, and FSS was great.
  48. 17 points
    At our last annual we had to do some tank work which means the old wing walk had to come off. I’ve done this a couple of times and have made some handy discoveries I thought I would pass on hoping it will be of some help. I’m going to include pictures, hopefully in the right order. Before you begin this project order the wing walk paint. I’ve always used Randolf but I’ve learned a trick. Don't thin it out. When my can arrives I turn it upside down for a week or two. It will come in a plastic bag so just leave it in the bag in case it leaks, which mine has never done. The grit at the bottom of the can is hard to deal with and this method, though slower, really pays off. Leave it upside down until the grit has shifted to what is now the top of the can. You can feel the change in the can when it does but it takes a while. That’s why you order the wing walk first and do the next part later. Patience will pay off later. I start by using aluminum foil tape I get at Home Depot. Not sure why this works so well for this project but it does. The tape needs to have clean edges, not dented or damaged. I carefully place the tape outside the existing wing walk and make sure I use ample plastic to catch any drips. I’m also careful to press down the edges of the tape making sure there are no wrinkles. You want a good clean seal on the edge of the tape. Now that I have the wing walk area masked off it’s time for the stripper. I use Citristrip. One small bottle is all you will need. Using a disposable brush I apply a thick coat all over the old wing walk. The trick to this step is that you do not want the stripper drying out. After a thick coat is applied I cover it with Saran Wrap and carefully press it down over the goop. Then I double check that none of it is, or will, drip off the boundaries of the aluminum tape onto any paint I want to keep. Now is when you walk away and leave it overnight. The next day use a plastic spatula to scrape it all off being careful to not drip it on any paint you want to keep. You’ll be amazed at how well it works and there’s no fumes. I dump mine into a small box and throw it out. Using damp paper towels I carefully wash off the residue being certain not to create any runoff. Once I know it’s clean I use a solvent on it just to be sure. If you want to use Alodine and AlumaPrep now is the time. I take off the tape and clean it again paying careful attention to the edges of the tape. Hopefully you’ll get a nice clean stripped line like I do every time. I’ve never had any stripper get under the aluminum tape. Now it’s time to re-tape the area just like before and prep it for wing walk. I place the tape just barely over the paint line so I’m sure I get clean coverage. Here’s where turning the can pays off. Open the can and start chopping up the grit blob with the paint stir stick. This process is so much faster when the blob is at the top of the can opposed to all the grit being stuck to the bottom. Keep chopping and stirring. Wearing a work apron and safety glasses would be smart in case some of it jumps out of the can. Chop and stir, chop and stir. I apply the wing walk using a 4” foam roller and a disposable tray. The roller works much better than the brush which is the recommended method. Pour a little less than half of the wing walk into the tray. The trick is to keep it moving and mixed since the grit likes to settle fast. Apply evenly and watch for streaks. I apply two full coats and wait about 30-45 minutes between applications. After the second coat has dried for 30-45 minutes I remove the tape and plastic masking. Now is the time to be patient again. The last time I did this we waited for 3-4 days to be sure it was hardened and then we went flying. In the hot Redding sun a passenger turned his heal on the wing walk and it must not have hardened enough and created a small divot. Your results may vary but this time I am waiting a week to ten days before using it. I do not have pictures of the full process but I have enough it should make sense. -Sven
  49. 17 points
    Just a bit of a milestone. On July 7th, 2016 I met my CFI at the airport and we made three trips around the pattern before I dropped him off at the base of the tower and taxied to the end of runway 26R before taking off into the air all alone, my first Solo Flight! It is hard to believe that a year has passed. Since that first solo flight a year ago so much has happened. I had 15.6 hours of flight at the time, I have flown another 124 hours since then. I passed my Check-ride on Oct 15, 2016 and received my PPL. I made my first actual long distance cross country to Arizona and took my dad on a short flight. I bought a Mooney! I made another 197 landings, flew over 7,800 nautical miles, landed in a total of 5 different states at a total of 28 different airports. It is still like a dream that I have my pilot's license and I have my own plane. I still get a rush every time I push the throttle in and start rolling down the runway. I hope that feeling never goes away. I can't wait to see what the next year brings.
  50. 17 points
    Super excited.. just brought home "ZB" and couldn't be happier.. I was lucky enough to have a friend of the mechanic who was performing the annual in February . He put me in touch with the owner who was thinking of selling, and we started chatting. Once he was ready to sell, he gave me the green light and I was on the next plane out to pick it up. It is a fantastic example of a M20J, and the best part was coming home to my wife and daughter there to greet me on the ramp.