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  1. 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.
  2. 28 points
  3. 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
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 23 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 22 points
    My 17 year old son did this today in our 172. I could not be more proud.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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.
  16. 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....
  17. 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
  18. 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).
  19. 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....
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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.
  24. 16 points
    Strange thing happened on my flight from NJ to FL today. One moment it was bright and sunny and the next it went dark and I had to put my panel lights on! 7.5 hours nonstop to Lakeland. Almost 1000nm. Took it slow and only burned 65 gallons. No fuel stop. A bit of weather dodging. Fun fun. If you think flying 7.5 nonstop through an eclipse on 65 gallons makes us MOONiacs, then please vote for our photo: http://lasar.com/contest/?contest=photo-detail&photo_id=1863
  25. 16 points
    My outstanding IA with his world class craftsmanship and experience did a phenomenal job giving our 68' M20C a new lease on life. Firewall repairs, new relays, cables, wires, zero time engine/prop, mount overhauled, power-flow exhaust upgrade, replaced old CBs, new digital tach, painted/repairs to the baffling and the battery box, fabricated new breather tubes, all new hoses, replaced every clamp, fitting, bolts, nuts, cotterpins, the list went on and on. Because once you're there, you might as well fix it right. I thought the group might like to see the results. Next we will restore the landing gear and finally get a long overdue shiny new paint job. I'm thinking of doing it like the new Aclaim or Ovation Ultra since I've got all the 201 mods and that way from a distance it will look like the new planes :-) The 1.5 hour test flight went really well and the engine is breaking in nicely after just one long out and back cross country at exactly 75% power. First oil change coming up soon at 10 hours and then the next at 25 hours after that. Having put over 1300 hours on her over the past six years, our family hopes to keep flying her for the next 50+ years.

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