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chrixxer last won the day on April 23

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About chrixxer

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    PPL+IR, Complex, High Performance
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  1. 1969 M20F. Current configuration: GNS430W GPSS linked to S-Tec 30 autopilot Linked to FS-450 fuel totalizer Linked to a GI106A CDI head Receives traffic from the FreeFlight RANGR FDL-978-XVR ADS-B In/Out system Cross-fills a GPSmap 496 (not long for this panel, though might replace with something like an Aera 660, with the same footprint) EDM-700 (currently being swapped for an EDM-730 through the trade-in program, and will live on as backup engine instruments) KX-155 NAV/COM (display failing, thinking GNC-255 eventually) GTX-327 transponder PMA450 audio panel Planned configuration (assuming STC/AML update to include the M20): Dynon SkyView HDX replacing the steam six pack, with its own engine monitor and autopilot (replacing the S-Tec) Some backup on the right panel (probably the D10 or D100), next to the EDM-730 From scanning eBay auctions, it looks like I can probably flip the GNS430W for about $7,000. I'm leery of the long-term lifespan of that circa-1998 tech and Garmin's ability and willingness to continue to support it. They've already dropped support completely for the earliest 430/530 units. I kinda want to get out while it still has some significant value. I really like the GTN-650, but I'm a cheap bastard (less so than I used to be, but still). What I like about the IFD-440 is, it's a slide-in replacement for the -430W. No avionics shop rewiring, etc. It's also WiFi and Bluetooth enabled already, so I wouldn't need something like the FS-210 to import flight plans from ForeFlight into the panel GPS, etc. Also, I kinda like having knobs and buttons. The F isn't as tossable as the E in turbulence, but it can still be a nightmare tapping in changes on my iPad, even with it sturdily yoke-mounted right in front of me. What I'm less thrilled about: Avidyne doesn't, AFAIK, have the same track record as Garmin. How long will they support the IFD-440? If I buy it now and it needs a screen replacement in 5 years, will I be SOL? (Probably not; they seem to be able to fully support the Entegra stack in the 2004 Cirrus SR22 I fly.) Database updates? Etc. There's no AHRS in the -440 (the FS-210 adds AHRS). Though, with synthetic vision coming on the SkyView HDX, that's really not as big of a deal as it was with a vacuum-powered AI and no terrain information in the panel, in my old E. I don't know that the -440 will talk to everything I already have, though I suspect it will. So my options right now, as I see them, are: (a) Buy the -440 ($10K?), sell the 430 ($7K?), come out $3K down, but have a new unit with warranty and probably better long-term outlook. Or, (b) keep the -430, have an FS-210 installed (My regular shop is quoting $1700 all in)... (I already have GPS and ADS-B weather and traffic coming into the iPad over WiFi through the FreeFlight.)
  2. chrixxer

    '67 or '68?

    Someone I know is looking at a Mooney M20F. The FAA says it's a 1967 model, with an airworthiness date of 10/23/1967, but the serial number starts with 68.
  3. chrixxer

    S-tec 30 altitude hold oscillating

    3RM's servo was pulled yesterday at Marana (S-Tec authorized service center and a shop I trust, even if it is ~350 nm from home). They tested the whole S-Tec 30 system and found high start voltage on the pitch servo, which was causing it to pitch hard up and climb at like 1000 fpm to like 300' above the specified altitude, then dive-bomb back down, rinse, repeat. Happens due to worn brushes on the motor, apparently. Frustrating, in that it was intermittent; most of the time it worked perfectly. Flew like 1300nm in one day, and it was rock solid until the very last (100 nm) leg... I'm told now there's two tiers of S-Tec service, $500(ish) and $1300(ish). Edit: And it was doing the +/- 600' (?!) oscillation even when trimmed perfectly (I took video to make sure I wasn't imagining things).
  4. chrixxer

    When do you put the gear down?

    Clearance is issued by TRACON. Typically it's tower that's instructing "best speed," etc, significantly later. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. chrixxer

    When do you put the gear down?

    So yesterday was fun. Flying into LAS on a visual approach, ATC had me restricted to 5000' (~3000' AGL) until 3 miles from the field. I'd slowed to "Cessna speed" (19.5 squared) and was able to dump in gear and flaps and slip down the base leg ... Was asked (instructed, whatever) to maintain a higher speed so brought it down at 120 mph, which still gave me plenty of time to get her slowed down enough for a textbook landing at the touchdown bars on 19R. Exited Sierra. No drama. Glad I had a few dozen approaches and landings in her before I tried going into a Bravo, though!
  6. chrixxer

    When do you put the gear down?

    FAR 91.123(b): “Except in an emergency, no person may operate an aircraft contrary to an ATC instruction” (emphasis added).
  7. Scenario: Flying into a busy Bravo, where GA isn't shunted to "other" runways. Tower typically instructs "maximum possible speed" on approach, but then you're carrying too much energy "over the fence," and won't be able to get down to Vle (120 mph) or land without floating. (Not like an Arrow, where you can just chop and drop, and have a Vle just below cruise...) My usual practice is to drop to 19.5/1950 a couple of miles before the IAF, which gets me down to Vle in time to dump gear and 50% flaps for a nice stabilized ~500 fpm descent, but that means the whole approach is flown at about 100 mph. The alternative is to pitch it over "clean" at 19.5/1950 and hit 500 fpm at roughly cruise speed, but then you've got to get down to Vle at some point ... and "maximum possible" speed would be leaving at cruise settings and tickling Vno the whole way down, but talk about having way too much energy to bleed off before the touchdown point! Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  8. chrixxer

    IFD 440 integration with handheld?

    I have a Stratus 2S and ForeFlight, looking for something panel-mounted and ship powered and not stuck to a window (unit or antenna). Eventually I'll have an EFIS or PFD with SV, but was kinda hoping the Aera 660 could do SV on its own. My current setup is: Garmin GNS430W, with GPSS tied to S-Tec 30 autopilot, receiving traffic from the FreeFlight, and exporting its flight plan information to the 496. A Garmin GPSmap 496 in an AirGizmos mount. I'm not a huge fan of the 496 (I'm not paying for weather or XM radio for it), but the 660 has enough cool features in the same footprint that I was kinda considering it, especially if it had SV capability. A FreeFlight RANGR FDL-978-XVR ADS-B In/Out system that talks to ForeFlight over WiFi and puts traffic on the GNS430W. I'm toying with the idea of either putting in a FS-210 or ditching the 430W for an IFD440 (which, as I understand it, will connect to the FreeFlight WiFi network to which the iPad is also connected, and interoperate that way). I like the idea of a supported, modern GPS system with the low installation overhead of the IFD/GNS swap, as much as I'd prefer a GTN650 (or 750, dreaming...). (The rest of the panel is a KX-155 with a failing display, a GTX-327, and a PMA450. The 496 is under the tach/MP gauges.) Eventually, I'm swapping the engine monitor (EDM-700) and fuel totalizer (FS-450) for either an EDM-900 or something built into, e.g., the SkyView HDX. (Other route is an Aspen 1000 Pro.) Just looking at inexpensive updates I can do now with a minimum of panel reworking, until the "next phase" is (a) available and (b) in my budget. If the Aera 660 is as "cool" as it seems to be, and will talk to the IFD-440, I may still be interested even without AHRS / SV. (I don't have room for a 550, and even if I did, a whole new GPS install defeats the purpose of looking at the "slide in replacement" 440.)
  9. chrixxer

    IFD 440 integration with handheld?

    Will the IFD440 cross-fill a flight plan into the GPSmap 496? (Have a GNS430W currently talking to a GPSmap 496.) What about integration with the Aera 660? Debating if I want to keep a second screen where the 496 is ... It is kind of nice to have terrain up on one, and synthetic vision would be nice to have, too, while I'm waiting on a SkyView HDX STC/PMA... Edit: Looks like synthetic vision requires an external AHRS source (GTX345, GDL-39, or FS-210?), potentially less interested now ... (Working on getting a Stratux AHRS talking to ForeFlight on the iPad, while using the FreeFlight for GPS / traffic / weather...)
  10. What are the dimensions of the M20F's cargo area (assuming rear seat backs are in their full upright position)? Trying to get a soft dog crate ordered before a Pilots n' Paws mission this weekend, and I'm not at the plane... TIA!
  11. chrixxer

    Sellers remorse

    In fairness, the market largely dictates what that stuff is 'worth,' not the purchase / installation price. That said, a big selling point for 3RM, for me, was how much stuff I wouldn't have to have touched. Having started down that road with 4BE, I was intimately familiar with how expensive and how much of a PITA it is to fly your bird out somewhere to have avionics work done, or the tanks stripped and resealed, or an interior redone, or how much it sucks being down for a week with a flat tire, or ... People don't factor in opportunity costs, but they should. If you have a $55,000 Mooney and put in a $25,000 autopilot, you don't now have a $80,000 Mooney, but the value is definitely increased over a plane with no autopilot, or an old unsupported AP. But if we're talking the $15,000 difference between an S-Tec 30 with altitude hold and an S-Tec 55x install with approach capture and altitude pre-select (and VSI climb), to me, it's not worth another $15K on top of the plane's price. The 55x is better, but not $15K better than the very functional 30. If I'm deciding between two planes, the 55x would be a factor, but not a deciding one; worth a premium, but not a $15K premium.
  12. When it comes to flying, there's nothing like having your own bird, always at your disposal. When it comes time to pay for things, there's nothing like having someone to split it with... Personally, I'd want an F over a C. I used to have an E, which was a smidge more fun to fly, but the F is way more practical; actually usable rear seat, an extra 12 gallons of range (and "tabs" that are almost as much as the E was, full fuel), more usable load, bigger cargo area... But again, when it's "all yours," that changes the calculus somewhat.
  13. So no one here has ever replaced the quadrant "placards"? Those alone would make a huge difference in how the panel looks (and the light glaring through the spider-cracks is kinda distracting at night...).
  14. This 1969 M20F has some placards (for lack of a better term) that have seriously seen better days, and frankly look awful. Especially the "flaps" control placard, and the placard below the throttle quadrant. Is there a source for easy replacement? (Is that checklist next to the CDIs required? It's redundant to, and less detailed than, the owner's manual-sourced checklists I have on ForeFlight and on paper, and I never reference them.) They appear to be backlit, if that changes anything? Also, the KI-209 looks great during the day, but at night is very cloudy. Can the lens be economically replaced? (At some point the KX-155 - which has a display in the beginning phases of failure - is getting replaced with a GNC255, the GI-106 will go to the Garmin radio, and the GNS430W (or IFD440, whatever) will be talking to an HSI in some form of glass panel... So I don't want to spend too much, for equipment that has a lifespan of about another year... But in that year, I'd prefer the panel look as nice as possible. ) Finally, anyone have any experience with NuLites (including non-LED NuLites) or equivalent, for steam gauge illumination? (There are LEDs under the glareshield, but I find they're too bright on the lowest setting, so I don't use them much.)
  15. What I've been doing, and it seems to work well enough so far, is to pull back to 19.5/1950 a couple of miles from the IAF. This gets me almost down to Vle (120 mph, '69 F) / Vfe (125 mph, electric flaps). Then I can relatively easily get slowed down to where I can pop the "lower speed brakes" (landing gear). Gear down, it's relatively easy to fly a nice stabilized approach at about 100 mph, which sets me up nicely for final with minimal excess energy to bleed off. I've been criticized (by a Cirrus pilot, natch) for not keeping speed in to the FAF, but, whatever. It costs me a couple of minutes, max. This worked well the other night going into KIZA (ATC assigned 6,000' cruise altitude, cross RZS at 6,000', and then a fairly short, tight approach getting down to a field at 672' MSL.) To be on that approach, you can't just push it over from cruise without seriously pulling power; tickling the top of Vno, I'd have less than 6 minutes to drop 4160' (>717 fpm), not the most uncomfortable, but now you're carrying a ton of speed ... Pulling power early and coming down at ~90 knots "costs" me 4 minutes but means a lot less work trying to get everything slow and stable at the end of the approach. <Shrug> (No speed brakes required. )