Ben E.

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Everything posted by Ben E.

  1. Selling Tips

    I agree with all this, but I can tell you as a prospective buyer, I want to see scans of all the log books. It gives a good idea of recurring issues, shows the extent of damage history (or supports the owner's claim that there is none), time since last recurring maintenance (e.g., magnetos), etc. Scans of the last overhaul documents are also very helpful because it tells you exactly what was done.
  2. Flying the east coast

    Just to add to this part of the topic, I've done this flight several times in the past year and I always ask for (and have received) clearance into the bravo. I tell ATC when requesting clearance into the bravo for the initial portion of the flight southbound over the Hudson that I want to also fly up the East River and transition over the park back to the Hudson. They say they will work on the East River but clear me into the Bravo to proceed southbound to the VZ bridge. Shortly after my 180 at the VZ bridge they will clear me for the East River and tell me to fly over Governor's Island and transition at my discretion. Then I fly until the Queensboro bridge and make a left. Then turn right back up the east bank of the Hudson. ATC always gives me 1500' and is very good about calling out the helicopters and other fixed wing traffic, including planes in the VFR corridor. In my opinion this is the safer way to do this flight. Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  3. Location

    There's a small bug I've noticed for a while. Location on the user info that appears next to a user's post is missing a colon. I've added it to my location to look right. I have attached a screenshot.
  4. I'm looking at a J that had a Western Skyways major overhaul to factory new limits in 2010. The compressions had dropped to the low 70s by 67 hours SMOH. Around 120 hours SMOH, the #2 lifter collapsed and overhauled lifters were installed. The compressions were back to the mid 70s by 250 hours SMOH, but fluctuated between low and mid 70s thereafter. In 2015 there is an entry that says "R&R all 4 cylinders for repair . . . completed initial break in runs per Lycoming SI1427B, no leaks noted." The last two annuals had high compressions. I asked the owner what happened to cause the R&R on the cylinders and lifters and he said "It was a bad break in. So I hired someone to break it in after the cylinders were redone." I believe this is only responsive to the cylinders because the lifter issued happened before he owned it. I've asked for detailed work orders for all work. In the meantime, I know there are some guys here that know a lot about these things. What do you think happened and do you think it's something that should make me question the quality of the overhaul and the engine?
  5. I'll let the more experienced guys comment on the possible corrosion but thought I'd say please be careful. That looks like a brown recluse in the first picture. My uncle has been bitten twice and after seeing the scars that remain I wouldn't mess around with them. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  6. Where to Find a Mooney for Sale

    They're all good sites. You'll see some cross posting and sometimes a plane will only be on one of the sites. So you should really check all of the sites. In any case it doesn't cost you anything to use the sites or inquire about a plane. Don't forgot to check out, which typically has the most listings. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  7. New 4 seat Mooney from retooled M10?

    I know that's the general consensus, but they used to compete at that level. Planes used to cost a lot less, even when compared to income levels. And I think if they don't learn to compete at that level again soon then they will all go out of business. That's the great thing about modern industrial automation and 3D printing. You can take solutions developed for other industries and adapt them without much work to something like airplane building. I think this will be even more viable in five years or so. There's been amazing advances in what can be done cheaply.
  8. Ovation Speeds

    Based on some searches it seems like you have to run the Ovation at lower power settings if you want to make TBO. What would you guys say is the highest power setting and resultant TAS you can use in the Ovation and still hope to make TBO? I'm trying to figure out the practical speed advantage of the Ovation over the J...
  9. New 4 seat Mooney from retooled M10?

    I think the best thing for Mooney and general aviation is to go back to its roots and build an affordable plane. Sure, people want the latest and greatest, but few people can afford to buy $800k+ planes. In another ten years at the rate of price increases we are seeing we will be looking at planes that cost a minimum of $1.5MM. This is not sustainable and will destroy general aviation. They should take a tried and true airframe like the M20J and build them through automation like a 21st century Ford factory. Have CNC machines make all the parts so they're 100% identical to reduce the labor need to get everything fitting together. The only thing I would add is a chute, which I don't care to have, but would make a lot of your modern day overly cautious types (e.g., wives) get on board. If you really think about it, the materials that go into an airplane are relatively inexpensive. The labor of building them by hand is relatively expensive. Of course certified parts like engines and modern avionics jack up the cost, but if you vertically integrate and hopefully get a relaxed regulatory environment then you can cut those down substantially. I'd buy a new M20J that cost $250,000 new and that flew a good 160kts TAS over a new $800k Cirrus that had a few more bells and whistles that didn't add to the true aviation experience any day. And if that was the price then I think a lot more people would be buying planes.
  10. Ovation Speeds

    Thanks for all the replies guys. Please excuse me if the question sounds silly. I only have about 2 hours in complex planes and engine management wasn't stressed. Yes, I do mean make it to TBO without a top OH. So it seems that it's not reduced a reduced power setting that allows the engine to make TBO--based on the attached power settings table from the POH you guys seem to be running at 75% power when possible based on altitude, otherwise 65%. Rather, LOP operations seem to be the common theme. When you guys say if you run the engine hard you may be looking at a new set of cylinders, are you talking about ROP operations, or is it something else? Also, shouldn't operating at ROP provide more fuel that will cool the cylinders down?
  11. Rocket Engineering

    Hypothetical question here. I'm not too familiar with how mods, STCs, and all that stuff works. If Rocket Engineering (knock on wood) were to go out of business, how would that practically affect Mooney Rocket and Missile owners? Would their repair shop be able to make all necessary future repairs without having to rely on Rocket Engineering for parts or approvals?
  12. Rocket Engineering

    Thanks guys. I'm really tempted by the Rocket, because it would work well with my mission. I know Rocket Engineering is doing well. I just wanted to make sure that if something did happen and the STC wasn't transferred to someone for some reason, that I wouldn't be grounded indefinitely if something happened with one of the modified parts.
  13. Buying a Used Mooney M20R

    Are there actually states that charge an annual use tax? I've only ever seen the one time use tax for sales of things purchased outside the state.
  14. Buying a Used Mooney M20R

    To add to the "for what it's worth department," use tax is what you have to think about generally. States charge this when they can't collect sales tax. I fly out of NJ now, but will not base my plane there when I get my own because they charge a use tax that's 6.875%. New York is actually the tax friendly state in this case surprisingly and exempts general aviation planes from the use tax. In general, use taxation is based on where the plane is kept, not where the owner lives. One of my best friends is a NJ state tax attorney and used to work in tax policy for NJ treasury. He says the state sends inspectors to the airports to check tail numbers against the tax records. Apparently that's common in other states as well. My understanding is that after approximately 2 years for most states, you can move the plane to another state without paying the use tax. Keep in mind, if you transfer the plane from a corporation/LLC to yourself individually for some reason in the future then this would be a taxable transaction. Here's a good overview of these issues:
  15. M20J Valuation

    There's been a lot of talk in the "selling aircraft" section lately about people looking for Mooneys that can't find one that fits their needs and/or budget. I just started looking again and have felt a similar frustration. Some people have commented that the market doesn't really pick up until closer to summer, which I hope is the case. I think for me it's that I'm a bit picky on what I want and that plane just hasn't hit the market while I've been looking. When the right plane comes around, I want to make sure I'm coming up with an accurate valuation. I'm willing to spend the money as long as it's a fair price. We have VREF, but I'm not sure how accurate that is and in any case, it doesn't take into account everything that affects valuation. With that in mind, I was hoping you guys could tell me how you would appraise the following hypothetical plane, which has the things I'm looking for: * 1990 M20J (or any of the early round window models with a gross weight of 2900lbs or eligible for the upgrade to 2900lbs) * total time less than 3000 hours and flown regularly * engine overhauled in the last 10 years with new cylinders by a reputable shop with less than 1000 hours SMOH and good compressions. Also, an engine that previously reached TBO (or pretty close to it) without needing a top overhaul or other major engine work. * two blade prop, overhauled in the last 10 years * functioning autopilot with altitude hold and approach coupling (I've test flown two planes that didn't have a properly functioning autopilot despite the owner's claims before I showed up) * resealed tanks or bladders * Garmin 430W or better * GPSS * everything in the plane works as intended * no outstanding airworthiness issues * no corrosion * no major nonairworthiness related maintenance needed * paint within the last 10 years or so and in good condition * leather interior in good condition * no major damage in the last 10 years, and if there has been any major damage, then properly repaired at a reputable shop and nothing more serious than a gear up landing and/or prop strike I'm curious what you guys think.
  16. M20J Valuation

    Don't get me wrong, I think it's a great autopilot. I'm just saying if I'm spending buku money on top of the line IFR avionics, I'm going to go with an autopilot that can couple an approach.
  17. M20J Valuation

    Isn't that the truth.
  18. M20J Valuation

    Definitely. The GPSS is relatively cheap, so I'm sure he wouldn't skimp there. I'm curious why he went with the Stec-30 instead of something a few thousand more with much better performance. I mean overpriced in that it doesn't fit the price range that just about anyone would be in for a late 70s J, and there are newer, cheaper planes that show up on the market with similar avionics. Having said all that, I do love looking at the pictures and fantasizing.
  19. M20J Valuation

    Well I definitely appreciate that!
  20. M20J Valuation

    You're late to the show my friend. See Rmag's post. There are a lot of late 70s M20Js that have all my wants except the '90s airframe, no need to focus on this one.
  21. M20J Valuation

    Lol, I knew someone would say something like this when I saw that post. This hits a lot more points that I had indicated. I'm not looking for something crazy. As per my original post, I want a '90s plane with a 430W (common), functioning autopilot (common), and an engine, paint, and interior that were tended to sometime from Bush's second term to now (and with regard to the latter two, I'm even more flexible). Really what I wanted though, was advice on valuation for such a plane. Also, no disrespect to the owner, but that plane is overpriced. Having said that, I wish him the best of luck, it's a beautiful plane. Now, if that 1996 J with the G600 was still for sale at $150k then I'd seriously consider it.
  22. M20J Valuation

    Definitely, and I appreciate all the input guys. I'm hearing different positions from people here, which is great. I'm trying to think through those positions and find the balance point of this collective wisdom that makes sense for me and what I'm looking for. And I look forward to properly joining the Mooney community.
  23. M20J Valuation

    I want/need a WAAS GPS so I can fly RNAV approaches to lower minimums, it can interface with an ADS-B out transponder, and because the non WAAS versions of the 430 are no longer supported. I don't think it's unreasonable to want a GPS that was manufactured in the last 20 years if you're willing to spend six figures on a plane. You said it yourself, get the avionics right before purchase. That's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to get as many other expensive things before I get the plane as well. I don't think that's unreasonable. I get the point that several people have made that these types of planes are rarer. That's why I have to be willing to take more time and spend more money to find the right plane. To use your car analogy, most early 1990s cars can be had for a few thousand dollars. But if you're willing to spend a few thousand more you can find the same year and model that has been repainted, had the interior reupholstered, have less miles on the engine, had a rebuilt transmission, etc. If you're willing to pay 150,000 quid for a plane that I described, then I will definitely reach out to you if I'm ever selling in the future VREF for a 1990 M20J with 2500TT, 500SMOH, KFC150 (I'd settle for a KAP 150, century 2000, Stec 55x/60-2, or something else without a flight director), GTN653 (they don't even value a 430W, which I would accept), and GPSS is $130,100. I know of a '90J with Aspen, two axis autopilot, newish paint and interior, and a recent overhaul from a great shop that actually sold for $125k and needed about $10k in work. I saw a 1996 M20J that recently sold with a Garmin G600, 530W, 430W and great engine , paint and interior, that was asking $150k. (beautiful plane by the way: I'm just trying to figure out what a realistic valuation is.
  24. M20J Valuation

    Yes, if I have owned the plane for 10 years, then I would expect to not be able to sell the plane for what I purchased it for, unless I had tended to those issues. If I buy this "unicorn" for $130k now, then in 10 years if I hadn't overhauled the engine (and let's assume it was still 600SMOH for pricing equivalency and the same total airframe time) and had not overhauled the prop, and I had let the paint go dull and get nicks everywhere then I would not expect to get $130k for it when I sold it. If someone offered me $110k for that plane then I'd probably take it. When engines, paint, avionics and all the other high priced items age, depreciate, and deteriorate then they should reduce the value of the plane. This 10 year benchmark isn't set in stone but it makes sense for a 1990s bird. A nicely maintained plane probably shouldn't have paint, interiors and avionics that are 27 years old. I'm not saying that a plane with 27 year old everything can't be well maintained and a good plane, it's just not the plane I'm looking for and it shouldn't be priced the same as a 27 year old plane with 10 year old or younger everything. I'm not trying to get the latter plane for the price of the former plane. I'm willing to pay for it. Regarding the 200 hours vs 50, I don't get your point. I want a plane that was flown regularly unless I'm paying a low end price, which is not what I'm looking to do. Keep in mind that I'm talking about a 1990s plane. My point is that if we say 75 hours a year on average is regular, then after 26 years it would reach 2000 hours and be overhauled. Since we are on year 27 right now for a 1990, that would be a recent overhaul and fit my criteria. If the plane was flown on average 100 hours, then the plane would have been overhauled 7 years ago. If the plane was only flown 50 hours a year, then it would be 1350 SNEW and I'm not looking to pay a lot for a 27 year old engine that will need an overhaul soon. These are just personal preferences. I want a nice plane, not just a good plane.
  25. M20J Valuation

    And while I'm ranting here ... Buyers also don't like when a seller tells us no damage history, tanks don't leak, autopilot works great, paint and interior like new and you fly 1000 miles to see the plane and the rudder is mangled from a taxiing incident they forgot about, there are fuel stains under the wings, NAV and HDG modes don't work on the autopilot, the paint is a 6 at best and the interior is falling apart, and they're not willing to budge on the price.