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Comet last won the day on May 4

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About Comet

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  1. The first time I went to Oshkosh was in 2016; I flew the Fisk on Sunday. Weather was optimal, I left my in-laws south of Chicago, decided the weather wasn’t good enough in the morning and tried again in the afternoon. I had to break out twice after the aircraft I was following couldn’t maintain 90kts. Made it in on the third try...exhilarating experience (rock your wings, land on the dot!) Came in with the caravan the last two years. Also marginal conditions, but the decision making is with the leadership; I only have one thing to worry about with flying wing. The camaraderie and training was really worth the extra effort. I don’t necessarily want to take the extra time to arrive on Saturday. My thinking in the future will be if I want to get in for the beginning of the show, I’ll fly the caravan (and have a great time); but if I want to arrive later, I won’t have an issue with Fisk. Has anyone listened to the Fisk controllers when you leave on Wednesday or Thursday? They sound bored to me!
  2. Now that the plane is back from the paint shop, I’ve finally gotten around to the armrests. I got an extra yard of vinyl from Airtex. Removed the armrests and peeled off the old vinyl. Most of the padding foam remained on the aluminum armrest, so I decided to just recover the armrest with the new vinyl using the same contact adhesive that I used on the seats. The contact adhesive has gotten a little gummy over the past few months that made it harder to apply. Final step will be to remove the old trim and replace with new vinyl. That will have to wait until after Oshkosh (and I’ll want to take interior pics for when it’s complete).
  3. Thanks; I’ve used that joke with my wife...she didn’t think it was very funny!
  4. When I did my CPL check ride, when I was doing my pre-flight, the DPE asked about the effect of frost on the wings, which became a discussion on the effect of the poor paint and the added parasite drag. I need to fly it around here to see if I see much difference, it felt a bit faster yesterday, but I didn’t get as high as I usually do.
  5. I’ve always liked the palindrome. Not many people notice it, those that do really like it (there are only 110 palindrome n-numbers in the US). If I have to point it out, people either aren’t excited about it or don’t get it. I wanted something different than the usual schemes; the trick was making it not too weird! I did get a touch up kit, so I’ll look for that video when it comes time...
  6. And the after pics. I don’t have any detailed of the lines, but I can take some if 5ey would be of interest.
  7. Before pics. The manager at Corona said that some people get their plans painted before it needs it. I was not one of those people!
  8. As promised...I picked up my plane from Corona today! When I was looking for paint shops, I requested quotes from across the country (AZ, CA, TX, MO, paint shops in NM!). Some places didn’t respond, one place was more than twice the lowest cost quote, one had a multi-page legal document as their proposal, most were one page. I was also torn between ArtCraft and Corona. Also, Pia Bergqvidt wrote about having her Mooney painted at ArtCraft (and having seen her plane personally, I know it looks great). I liked the Corona quote; which was white with two accent colors. Also, since I recently had some avionics work done and replacing the interior, I was a bit price conscious about having paint done as well (Corona was about 20% less). I decided in early February to go with Corona and scheduled for early May. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to drop it off, so I scheduled a late flight back to ABQ from only took less than an hour. I wanted a paint scheme “different” than other Mooneys. The manager at Corona did show me a recently painted Mooney with a more typical scheme when I dropped mine off, and it did look nice. Anyway, my son and I put together a scheme, I showed it to the manager at Corona, he asked a bunch of questions, and said it wouldn’t be a problem. The quoted down time was 7 weeks. Corona sent me pictures at several points to let me know the progress. Nothing like seeing your airplane without paint! When it got closer, I asked about when I should schedule to come pick it up. They told me that they were behind schedule and to plan on coming out the next week (considering the experience I had with avionics, not so bad), picking it up actually went one day past what I planned (Saturday instead of Friday); but they let me know, so I was able to amuse myself in LA. I picked it up today (about 8 hours ago, but that included flying home). I did a detailed inspection. I only found one piece of tape that was left on (in the nose wheel well). I didn’t find any connections that weren’t attached. No major issues with overspray or orange peel. Initial impressions are that I’m happy with the result. There were a few “while your at its”...mostly design work for the paint scheme, new cam locks and repair to a dent in one wingtip. Of course, I’ll be keeping a close eye on it; I’ll let you know if anything changes. I’ll be at. Oshkosh with the Caravan if you want to look in person. Oh, I almost forgot...when I was leaving, I stopped for gas at the gas island. While there, I got my first compliment on the paint!
  9. I did both the AI and the HSI as part of a larger avionics upgrade. The quote was 10 hrs for the AI and 20 for the HSI. Actual time was 5.3 for the AI and 19.8 for the HSI. I’ll have the vacuum removed at the next annual; step was removed by the previous owner.
  10. I’m picking it up Friday. Dropping it off was fine, and they’ve been sending regular updates and pics. I’ll let you know!
  11. Done with the side panels yet?  Like to see some pictures.  Got my carpet, foam insulations, screws and glue but waiting for the sides before starting.  Gonna paint my plastic trim (now black) and dye the headliner (now grey).

    David Lloyd


    1. Comet


      Not yet, it’s been in the paint shop for 7 weeks.  I’ll pick it up next week and hopefully will get to working on it in July.

    2. David Lloyd

      David Lloyd

      Thanks, looking forward to the updates.

  12. No the seats are not memory foam. The front seats are actually 2 pieces of foam glued together and then glued to the covering. I took the plane to TX las week for the Mooney caravan. Clinic..4+ hrs each way. I found them much better than the old seats (previously, I would have gotten pretty uncomfortable with this length of flight). When I did the co-pilot seat, I compared it to the pilot seat (not done yet) and I felt the new seat was much better. I had my kids and wife try them as well and the consensus was that the new seat was better. The new seat is much firmer and overall more comfortable. As an aside, I have a friend who is a “type P” pilot. His complaint with Mooneys is that it’s hard to cross your legs. I never had a problem...until last week....the new seats do put you a little closer to the panel (and make it a little harder to cross your legs...I’m 6’1”). A few other additions....I found that the new carpet between the seats didn’t fit in my plane; possibly somewhat different than the model they made the template from. I also took the opportunity to replace the fire extinguisher with a better model. I did make a mistake on the pilot side seat; but once it was installed in the.plane, I haven’t been able to see the error (unless I look closely) I think the process is pretty tolerant to minor issues.
  13. x Overall, I’m pretty happy with the final result. I did make some errors in the process, but once I’ve started flying with it, it’s become less noticeable. I only wish I had done it a few years ago! I did get extra vinyl to redo the armrests and trim, but I haven't gotten to them yet.
  14. Now for the fun part! Removal of the old foam and installation of the new. The front seat back is removed by a couple of screws (picture is useful to remember the sequence of washers and spacers. The seat back in my vintage of Mooney had a solid plastic piece held by a bunch of screws. Once this is off, there are a bunch of plastic rivets. Some of these will be needed on the reinstallation, but not all (so you don’t need to be too careful removing them. Once the rivets are off the seat back and bottom, the foam can be ripped off. This leaves a fair amount of foam that still needs to be removed. I experimented with a range of methods to remove the excess foam and glue (including heat gun, mechanical and chemical). The best method I found was chemical, with the best chemical being MEK (I also tried IPA, acetone, and xylenes). I’m a chemist, so I’m comfortable with all of these, but be sure to have proper gloves, safety glasses and ventilation. The process can be repeated for the back seats backs. Once the foam is off of the seat bottoms, take a look at the surface. I had 3 cracks in the aluminum (2 on one, 1 on the other) at the front corner of the seat. I decided to stop-drill these, although, on a 44 year old airplane, I don’t know if it would have gotten worse. The back seat bottom is a stand-alone piece so there is no need to salvage the old one. Once the foam and glue has been removed, it’s time to put the new seats on. For the seat backs, the foam will need to be trimmed. I tried a few different ways of doing it and felt that trimming it to cover the tops and sides was best. If you want the foam to extend to th back, it will work as well. I felt it was best to glue the foam on. I used a 3M 1357 neoprene contact adhesive (available from Aircraft Spruce, among others). Since I took a few sessions to do all 6 seats (4 seat backs and 2 seat bottoms), I just used a disposable brush. Good ventilation, gloves and eye protection required (again). Slather the adhesive on the metal seat and the foam (the foam will suck up the adhesive, use liberally). Take th foam piece and carefully align it to the seat. Once, it’s aligned, place the foam. The working time for this adhesive is pretty short, so you may not be able to reposition it afterwards. Once the glue on the foam has cured, you can put on the covers. For the seat bottoms, it’s a matter of folding the leather over and using those plastic rivets to put it into place. I used an awl to position the leather, but a small screwdriver would work as well. The seat backs are a little trickier. I tried to fold the cover inside-out and fold it over the seat. This didn’t work as well as placing it over the foam and “massaging” it down the seat. This took some time (10-20 min), but it worked well. At the bottom, the seat cover is velcroed into place. Reinstallation of the pieces. The pilot side panel has a pocket. I thought this would be nice, but it has to go behind the gear extension panel, so is less useful than I thought. Installation of the panels is tricky; this is where the awl is most are the pictures for the specific screws and pattern that you’ll need to reinstall everything. Front seats are relatively easy to install, just a reverse of the original process. I chose to put in new cotter pins (the old ones looked pretty beat up). The back seat bottom is pretty easy to put in. The hardest is the back seat backs. I found it easiest to sit in the cargo area while installing them.
  15. Taking out the seats is relatively easy. Take the cotter pins out for the front seats and forward/back to get them off the rails. As an aside, if you don’t already have 3-pt seat belts, this is a good time to install them. For the back seat, I have a ‘74 M20F. The seats are designed to be removed. A pin in the lower-inboard side is pulled out and the seat can be removed. The best discussion of the process is here: The seat back bottom is held in place by a couple of short metal rods; simply pull the rod out of the bracket holding it and the seat will come out. Once the seats are removed, the removal of the side panels and carpets is straightforward. This is a good opportunity to vacuum, clean out old foam, etc. most disgusting part of the process...when I took out the right side panel, I noticed a bunch of insulation. When I took it out, there was a mummified mouse head. After that, I did a close inspection behind all the panels; luckily no other sign of mice (and the one I saw was small and old. Of course, here are some pictures of the process.