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About BKlott

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  • Birthday 01/18/1957

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  1. People keep commenting that the Mooney is a fifty year old design. It is actually closer to being a seventy year old design. I think Mooney had the right idea in designing a new composite airframe to try to become competitive in the marketplace. They needed to do that if they were going to remain relevant in the future. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Was it a lack of capital to see the project through? A lack of commitment? Did they not understand what would be required in order to succeed? Was it poor prototype performance or a combination of these factors? Cessna attempted this awhile back with their Cessna NGP (Next Generation Piston) but abandoned the project and purchased the Lancair Columbia line instead. Even though most reports I read stated the Columbia / TTX was a superior aircraft to the Cirrus, that just didn’t work out either. There was a lack of commitment to compete with Cirrus and Textron has effectively ceded the market to Cirrus. With Textron (Beechcraft and Cessna) not interested in competing, Piper and Mooney unable to compete, Cirrus dominates the market. What will become of Cessna single engine production when the demand for trainer 172s evaporates once the demand for Working Pilots is satisfied? Long term success in this market mandates carbon fiber construction, fixed gear, a comfortable, modern cabin and a parachute for safety. Modern designs have shown that the complexities, expenses and risks associated with retractable gear are unnecessary to achieve acceptable cross country performance. Why incur those costs and risks? The parachute has saved lives. When things go really bad you still have one hope left. I don’t think we can underestimate the value that adds. As a heart patient with four stents in my areteries following a nearly fatal heart attack six years ago, I do worry about flying with my Wife and putting her well being at risk if I should have another “event” while flying. One of those chutes would become pretty valuable to have in that instance. I think that the legacy manufacturers can eke out an existence for awhile with part sales and possibly some repair and restoration work if they want to. To succeed in the future, they are going to need to design, build and market a product that is significantly superior to Cirrus. In other words, they are going to have to out Cirrus, Cirrus. Good luck with that.
  2. Excellent points! Additionally, was the engine mount sent out for inspection/repair? What accessories were replaced or overhauled? Was the overhaul done to “new limits” or just to “service limits”?
  3. In my situation if I had two cylinders go bad, my engine would be in the shop for a major overhaul. Keep in mind, I am at 1,300+ hours since major which was done by a quality shop back in 1998. At a certain point it just makes more sense to get it done and done right. I would go with new Lycoming cylinder assemblies. Overhauled cylinders may may have thousands of hours on some of their components. For me, the price differential just isn’t worth the risk. Another thought occurred to me since posting the above. If all four existing cylinders were from the same source, overhauled units by the same entity, having two of them go “beyond repair” in 500 hours would leave me with serious doubts that the remaining two were “fine and dandy”. Barring some unusual circumstances such as the baffles were missing on one side of the engine but not the other, for example, I would be questioning the condition of the other two cylinders as well. Your question about LOP versus ROP operations is a good one. The best advice I’ve read on the subject was that unless you had very good, modern instrumentation, you should not attempt to run LOP.
  4. Field is usually quite busy between flight training, club activity and The Hangar restaurant located on the second floor of the terminal building. The restaurant and location generates a fair amount of traffic. The Dali Museum is walking distance away. The ground crew at the terminal is usually on top of things. The controllers are good too. The approach to Runway 7 is scenic and over buildings. You don’t want to be hot and high. A fun airport to visit!
  5. How big was the “ding” and what caused it? May be something else going on here.
  6. I think that, in some cases, having an airplane in it’s original configuration is important to some buyers. Modifications which alter the appearance on the airplane, even though it improves “performance”, may turn off some buyers who don’t like the modified looks. Take a Globe/Temco Swift, for example. These have been highly modified with numerous changes to engines, instrument panels, cowlings, wing tips, canopy structure and more. Some have been changed from control wheels to sticks. The vast majority of these changes improves the performance of the Swift but for a guy who appreciates classic airplanes and wants his to be original, a modified Swift has been ruined as far as he is concerned. With Mooneys, the speed slope windscreen reduces drag, increases speed and probably reduces noise as well. All good stuff but it does limit access behind the instrument panel and it does alter the appearance of the airplane. Individual tastes may or may not like the altered appearance. Same goes for some of the newer propellor spinners that are showing up on airplanes with constant speed props. In some photos they appear oversized and (in my mind) kind of silly compared to the original spinners. More streamlined? Sure looks that way but I don’t personally like the looks. Other guys probably don’t have a problem with it. When it comes to avionics, paint and interior, “nearly original” is typically not very desirable.
  7. Great videos and, more importantly, great memories for you and your Dad! I was fortunate to get to fly a lot with my Dad. Besides the usual weekend flights, we took our plane to the 50th AirVenture at Oshkosh. The next year we flew to Dayton for the Centennial of Flight, visiting the Air Force Museum, Huffman’s Prairie, a Wright Bicycle Shop and other historical sites. Our last big trip together was to the Swift Fly-in in Creve Coeur, Mo. It was at an old time small airport with a museum on the field packed with vintage airplanes. We had a great time enjoying all the vintage airplanes. There were shorter day trips as well. No matter how many trips we took or how many hundreds of hours we flew together, now that he is gone I sure wish we had done more. What I wouldn’t give to go flying with Dad just one more time...
  8. I flew over to Bartow today to try out their newly re-opened restaurant, Runways at Bartow. The restaurant has been remodeled since the prior restaurant (Nini’s Landings) relocated elsewhere. There are tables, booths and even an elevated eating area inside. I was greeted promptly and told I could sit wherever I wanted. The hostess went with me to my table with menu and utensils in hand. She asked me what I wanted to drink and went to get my drink while I read the menu. She brought my sweet tea (very good sweet tea) and took my order. In deference to the fly-in community, I selected the plain hamburger and fries. After all, how could I give a $100 hamburger PIREP without ordering a burger?! The restaurant was busy, mostly with locals, which was a good sign to me. My food came without any big delay and...get this...the food was actually HOT...delivered fresh, without the seemingly obligatory “let it sit and cool off” period that seems prevalent at other locations. The burger was cooked the way I asked, medium well. It and the fries were both tasty. I would tell you that I cleaned my plate but, it came on a wooden serving board so...I cleaned my board. Another thing that really set the service apart was that my beverage glass never got close to being empty. This is one of my pet peeves about eating out in general. I can’t stand running out of a beverage and not having something to drink while I’m eating. If I eat at home, my glass is never empty so I get annoyed at inattentive restaurants when they don’t keep me “tanked up”. This crew was really on top of things. Servers who weren’t even my server were asking me if I wanted my sweet tea topped off (they said refreshed). I had to keep telling them “no thanks, I’m good”. I had downed two glasses already and was concerned about bladder control on the return trip. What a great experience! I honestly do not believe that I have EVER received better food AND service at any Airport Restaurant in my life. Kidding the Line Crew when I walked back to the plane, I told him “you’re going to need to hire more help”. He looked at me and I said “when the word gets out about that restaurant, you’re going to get busy”. He laughed and said that he has eaten there twice and both times it was delicious. I would encourage you to give it a try.
  9. This topic reminds me of stories my Dad told me about flying in the 1940s. He complained about flying his Cub in the Winter in Pennsylvania. There was always plenty of airflow through the cabin with the gaps in the doors and loose fitting windows. The cabin heat came in through a tube into the cockpit. Dad said that if he took off his glove and stuck one finger (all that would fit) into the tube, the tip of his finger might feel a little bit of warmth. He said that when the Cessna 140 first came out, the fact that the doors closed and sealed tight along with having a cabin heater that actually worked made it a very big improvement over the older light aircraft. Funny how time changes our perspective on things.
  10. The new restaurant at Bartow Airport has announced their Grand Opening for January 22nd. The place is called “Runways at Bartow”. More details are available on their website.
  11. Congrats on your Mooney purchase! I am up the road at Hidden Lake in New Port Richey. Don’t have a Mooney but do have fond memories of my Dad’s 1964 C model. Hidden Lake is a private field but they do I have rental hangars at the North end. Not sure what the hangar waiting list status is here. Fuel is $3.70 per gallon self-serve for hangar tenants. Have a first rate, experienced IA on the field, Karl Stepka, who has maintained my airplane for 10+ years. It is a friendly, low key place but the wind can make it interesting. You can see more at hiddenlakeairport.com
  12. Just another Glider Pilot doing what Glider Pilots do best.
  13. I’m not sure about this, but I believe that there is a special place in Pilot Heaven for guys who love stock Mooneys with curved rear windows and vintage paint schemes..
  14. It has been in service for twenty two years during which it has been subjected to significant temperature variations and vibration. At this point it doesn’t owe you (or anybody) anything. If you are looking to build in reliability and improve flight safety for yourself and your passengers, I would recommend that you replace it. Those nice Teflon hoses on your airplane (I have them on my airplane too) won’t do you much good if your oil cooler fails. Prior to the time that mine blew sending oil all over the place, I had never heard of one failing either, but it does and can happen.
  15. How old is your oil cooler? How many hours on it? The reason I ask is that I had one fail catastrophically during a ground run to check for leaks following an oil change. If yours is not fairly new, I would be inclined to replace it with the engine overhaul.