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About SkyTrekker

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  • Location
    : KACT - Waco, TX
  • Reg #
  • Model
    1970 M20E

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  1. Thanks for the offer, Jesse. But the equipment has already been ordered. I’m curious, though, about what you said about the HSI and indicator. Will my Century NSD-360A not do the job?
  2. @EricJ, thanks for the input. I'd love to add a G5 to my setup, but glass is going to have to wait for round two, unless my HSI fails or needs an overhaul before then. I don't have an autopilot, either (other than the PC wing leveler, which works flawlessly). AP is going to have to be in round two as well.
  3. @McMooney. Dang, just when I thought it was unanimous to remove the DME. I do think I'll end up removing it. A few less instrument connections, shed a couple pounds of weight, simplify the panel. Vs probably using it a handful of times ever. Spoke to the shop today. Equipment is getting ordered over the next couple of days. Dropping her off for the upgrade at the end of July. I tell you, though, with an IFD540, G2, AV-20, and PMA450B going into my mostly original panel, it's probably going to take me a year to get proficient with everything!
  4. Thanks @Vno and @Ragsf15e. I'm getting the same guidance from other sources, too. I'm planning to retire the DME.
  5. Wasn't aware of that offer, thanks for pointing it out. Will have to consider that.
  6. Got it. That makes good sense. Probably not going to be able to swing an extra $5k for the IFD550 OR the NGT9000 right now. So yes, you should sell me your SkyTrax. I guess I'll make do with my Stratus ADS-B in for now and figure out the rest during the "final" upgrade, whenever that happens.
  7. Appreciate all of the thoughtful input, here. Thanks! @carusoam, Good point. I'll revisit what I'm comfortable with as my backup in the case of an AI failure. @Bob_Belville, Checked out the CYA 100 and watched a video. Looks like a god solution. @gsxrpilot, re: "With the IFD540's new software, the Stratus is no longer needed", can you elaborate? Since I'm planning going with the bundled AXP322, wouldn't I still need the Stratus to see ADS-B traffic in Foreflight? I'll look again at the NGT9000, but since I'm already getting the ADS-B out capability "for free" with the bundled AXP322, spending $5k on that to replace the Stratus for ADS-B in (which is working well) is a stretch for me. Could be I'm missing something here, though. @Vno, I'd originally thought to pull the DME, but I read about those few approaches that still use DME distance fixes. Decided to keep it in place until I complete my IFR rating. Or are you suggesting that managing that without a DME instrument is a non-issue (assuming I encounter one from time to time)? Maybe I'm being over-concerned. Thanks again for the comments...very helpful. -Sia
  8. I hadn't realized that there were persistent issues reported about the AoA indicator on the AV-20. After reading around, it seems that there is a total of zero people reporting that it works as expected/hoped. So I'm rethinking that piece and will probably remove it from the upgrade lineup. I use Foreflight with a Stratus 2S in the cockpit, so in the event of a primary AI failure, I have a backup in Foreflight. Any opinions on whether to locate the PMA450 in the position of the current audio panel vs. over the IFD? I'm guessing there is little if any impact of installing it in one position vs. the other.
  9. I have a panel upgrade scheduled for August, and am looking for input on layout. The main drivers for an upgrade at this time are 1) ADS-B out compliance, and 2) I'm currently working on my instrument rating and want to utilize RNAV approaches. I'd wanted to do just one panel upgrade, replacing steam gauges with glass and installing an autopilot at the same time, but my situation is that I have to put off the final upgrades until a later time. Since I'm planning on a second significant panel change at some point in the future, I want to minimize moves and changes during this round. Upgrade elements: IFD540 - Prefer Avydine's relatively open approach to integration compatibility. AXP322 - IFD integration; Remote mount. PMA450B - Could have left this for round two, but want Bluetooth integration with the Ipad and phone, as well as audio alerts from the IFD and AV-20. Insight G2 - Engine has 250 hours SMOH. Want to maximize engine health/SMOH, and run LOP if spread allows. Will also appreciate the improved fuel consumption tracking and range estimation. AV-20S - Backup AI to mitigate primary failure. AoA and G-Meter for more awareness of performance envelopes. Here is an image of how I'm planning to organize the new gear. Have also considered locating the PMA450 above the IFD. Any input on this layout and/or my overall thinking? Hoping to tap into the collective brain power of MS!
  10. I used Turo a couple of times during a vacation to Napa and San Francisco the summer before last. Rented a Tesla Model S to drive through the wine country for a couple of days. Rented a nicely equipped VW something in San Francisco for an afternoon during the same trip. It all worked very well. Nice vehicles, and pleasant, professional owners. That said, it is a roll of the dice, and like has been mentioned, like AriBnB. I'm sure a person will encounter lemons from time to time. Of both the car and person variety :-).
  11. I've always chosen the Wifi-only iPad models, and use a Stratus for GPS in the cockpit. But for the backup GPS reasons discussed here and elsewhere, when I replaced my iPad Mini 3 with a Mini 5 a couple of weeks ago (my fourth iPad Mini), I went with the cellular option. The 5 is so much more responsive than the 3, especially with various map layers turned on in Foreflight. Big difference! Now I guess it is time to shop for the best pencil/stylus option for use the cockpit with Foreflight.
  12. I did the pre-buy for my E at Don's. Obviously Don is uber-knowledgeable, and he surfaced all of the relevant issues quickly and completely. I was very happy with that experience. I took it to SWTA for my first annual, and had a great experience working with JD and Laura. It is currently at SWTA again for my second annual. I've been super pleased with the level of service the JD and team have provided, and it is clear to me that SWTA is a top-notch shop with high standards and MSC-level Mooney know-how. I really enjoy the peace of mind that comes with doing annuals (and major Mooney-specific work) at MSCs. I expect to continue the practice.
  13. FWIW, I found one of the many "cost of ownership" type spreadsheets out there about three years ago, when I started thinking about airplane ownership. Started mucking around with it and for my target flying scenario, came up with about $15K per year for expenses, including around 75 hours of flying per year. The number includes hangar fees, insurance, fuel, annuals/inspections, and oil changes. The number does not include any purchase costs. This is for a 1970 M20E. I'm about two years into it now, and that is right about what it is costing me, at roughly that number of flight hours per year. That figure does not include discretionary costs I've chosen to take on like an electric tug, new interior, Stratus, iPad mount, gopros, headsets, etc. Worth noting that hangar fees are some of the most widely ranging base costs of airplane ownership, with a range of next to nothing to several hundred dollars per month.