moontownMooney

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About moontownMooney

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    M20F

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  1. moontownMooney

    Annual Questions

    Hello All - We are working through our annual at a reputable MSC and have received our recommended repairs list. Things have gone quite smoothly from a major repair perspective; however, there are quite a few $300-$1000 items being recommended, which also add up. It includes some items I'd like to get some more experienced opinions on, as they have given us a bit of concern. We have a 1968 M20F. This is our first annual after ownership of the aircraft, but we had an annual completed by an MSC as part of the pre-buy process a year ago. 1) We have an Aero Trainer tire on the nose gear and the mechanic suggests that these are such poor quality that they are inherently a blowout risk and is recommending replacing. He did not indicate which brand/model of tire and tube he was going to replace with. 2) He is suggesting performance of SB-289A related to aileron links, but when I look up 289A it clearly indicates that it applies to electric gear retract versions of the 66-onward M20F's but we have manual gear retract and the applicable Modal & S/N list says nothing of that. I'm inclined to think we don't need this, per the SB's applicability list, but perhaps this has become a common repair/upgrade for the manual retracts as well and it simply hasn't been reflected in the print of the SB? 3) He is suggesting that the tail linkage (link, bolts, bushing, duct) needs replaced. He indicated that it appears original. He made a comment that this is the/a source of slop in the tail. I'm a little suspicious that he is commenting just based on the linkage appearing "original" and not on actual slop demonstrated in our plane because our pre-buy/annual mechanic (performed at a different, reputable MSC) specifically commented on how tight (i.e., little slop) the tail was relative to most Mooney's of our vintage. With that said, this is a pretty important part of the plane and I don't want to ignore sound advice on the matter. 3) He is suggesting installation of the Lasar oversized bushing and NAS bolt kit for slop in our nose gear. Our pre-buy/annual indicated slop in the nose gear as well (they added shims) so this one seems to follow history to me and I don't have any big concerns, but curious if anyone has any thoughts 5) He is also suggesting the left nose gear door rod ends. This isn't that costly, but I'm also not sure what indication compels it, or what the potential complication or failure mode would be if left unaddressed. My partner and I were encouraged with finding a reasonably convenient MSC that folks recommended, but some aspects of our experience have turned us off a bit. Communication has been less than desirable and the annual is going to stretch past 3 weeks despite no major repairs (does include 500 hr mag inspection). I'm willing to accept these issues (return next year) if the inspection is thorough and accurate and the repairs are quality. However a few of the recommendations (the first three listed above) are giving us some added concern. Thanks in advance for any thoughts/opinions/recommendations...
  2. moontownMooney

    MSC Recommendations

    We have our annual coming up on our 68 M20F. We had an annual done with the prebuy, but that was in TX (SWTA) where we purchased. This will be our first annual after owning the plane and we are trying to decide on a nearby MSC. As far as I'm aware the only MSC's close to Huntsville, AL are Cole and DLK both in Georgia. Does anyone have recommendations between the two. Happy to receive PM's if you have bad reviews you prefer not to leave on the forum. Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  3. moontownMooney

    Fuel Selector Valve

    Sorry, I'm dumb, it's early, your potatoes were seconds... wow... that's not much time! Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  4. moontownMooney

    Fuel Selector Valve

    This is the exact scenario I had in mind... how long did it run? Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  5. moontownMooney

    Fuel Selector Valve

    Anyone have a sense for how long the engine will keep running, when the fuel selector is turned to the off position? Stated differently, if I start to change tanks, how long do I have to turn the selector from one side to the other, before I risk starving the engine? Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  6. moontownMooney

    Performance issue M20J

    I fly an M20F out of a 2200ft grass strip. It is very doable without any exceptional piloting skill other than knowing your limits and abiding by them. Yes surface condition of grass matters, 80 mph over the threshold or you are going around, no you won't be able to take-off max gross on hot day with wet tall grass (We use a nearby executive airport to pick up passengers when we want to depart near gross), but this is still very doable. I'm off the ground by mid-field 1100 ft, or I abort the takeoff (which I have executed on the field). Mooneys will float on landing if you are too fast. Forcing it down before she is ready is a bad idea normally, worse on grass. Use proper landing technique and if you haven't touched down by midfield, go around. Do get some transition training (doesn't have to be from a Mooney pilot. In my opinion a highly experienced CFI with experience in a variety of aircraft is better than a Mooney pilot with limited to no instruction experience). You will want to get the hang of landing at a longer field first where you have plenty of room. Don't head to your shorter strip until you are comfortable with your landings. Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  7. moontownMooney

    Step Retract Bellows M20C

    Cecilia, I'm so sorry for your loss. You all are the kind of people who make the Mooney community so wonderful. I'll pray for your family in this time of grief and also root for a successful transition of the company. Brittain truly holds a special place within GA because of its products and it's people. Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  8. moontownMooney

    Step Retract Bellows M20C

    They are currently stating a 5-10 day turn time. Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  9. moontownMooney

    Step Retract Bellows M20C

    We received our call from Cecilia at Brittain in mid-Nov. I believe our tail number had been on the wait list for around two years (prior owner). Cecilia indicated that there should be no limit in availability of the part, but will take some time (just labor and logistics) to tackle the backlog. You have to send them your current unit for them to incorporate the new part. Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
  10. Hello All - My partner and I purchased our 1968 M20F back in June of this year and the prior owner indicated that the retractable step servo boot had been patched but was in rough shape. He also conveyed that he had been placed on Brittain's backorder list (more than a year ago) for the servo boots for when they started making them again, but he and others indicated it could be quite a while. We recently received communication from Brittain that they were producing and shipping the new parts now and asking if we were still interested. I was wondering if anyone has already recieved their new servo boot and had any reviews on them. Apparently Brittain is insisting you ship the old servo unit to them and they will ship the unit back to you with new components (boot and perhaps others?). Thanks!
  11. moontownMooney

    Vacuum Low Light

    We are only four months into our ownership of a 1968 M20F. Ever since we had purchased the plane, the vacuum "LOW" light would be illuminated when we have the master switch on prior to starting the engine. This had made sense to us as the engine isn't running so there would be no vacuum. The other day, on our first flight after "patching" a substantial leak in the step retract boot (perhaps entirely unrelated), the light did not illuminate when we turned the master switch on. The light will illuminate brightly when pushed to test. Upon close inspection it is apparent that the light is occasionally barely lit, but just barely, when the engine is not running. Thoughts? Is this a concern? There seem to be no other symptoms.
  12. moontownMooney

    Cabin heat - too much of it!

    knute, can you give me any details about the rivet you speak of? I think we've had this exact scenario happen to us in our '68 M20F. See my other post, linked below, with pictures at the bottom.
  13. moontownMooney

    Cabin Heat Won't Shut Off Completely

    I appreciate everyone's advice. Sorry it has been a bit, buy you know... life... So I've been able to get some more pictures and info. A related piece of information is that there was a seal lodged in the vent ducting behind the direction control baffles of the center vent (located in the lower center console, behind the johnson bar for manual gear). It is just visible through the vent in the attached picture. The seal was very soft/pliable and I was able to pull it through the vent with some needle nose pliers and the seal is pictured below with some postage stamps for size reference. My particular in cabin mixing box (pictured below) has the sliding gate valve for the cabin vent actuator and the off-center butterfly valve for the cabin heat actuator. I was able to use an endoscope threaded up the vent ducting into the mixing box to get a picture of the butterfly valve without taking anything apart (two other images). I was also able to remove the scat-hose from the box in the engine cowling to reveal the other side of the butterfly valve. With all that said, it is not clear to me where this seal is supposed to go. I have to imagine it is part of this butterfly valve assembly and was blown through the ducting to where it was lodged. With that said. I can't figure out from the parts manual if this is true, how the seal would have been part of the assembly but able to be blown free in this manner. According to the parts manual the valve seat assembly is part 640212-027, but I can't find any other info on this part number on google. I will say that the amount of hot air coming through the vent when the cabin heat is closed would seem consistent with the butterfly valve closing but a seal being missing. Any thoughts? Is this foam rubber disc part of the cabin heat valve assembly or something else entirely? If I haven't said it elsewhere my M20F is a '68 model. Thanks in advance...
  14. I was flying today and noticed that the air coming out of the lower central vents (fed by the starboard side scoop, shares ducting with cabin heat) was warmer than the air coming in through the roof scoop ceiling vents. I knew that this vent line is shared with the cabin heat so I immediately suspected that the cabin heat was ever so slightly mixing in. I shut the cabin vent push actuator and confirmed that there was a very small amount of quite warm air coming from the same vent. Is this normal? Any thoughts on likely culprit? Just an issue with the baffle controls in the vent line or something more nefarious? Thanks in advance!
  15. moontownMooney

    Anything you wish you would have known?

    I and a good friend are both 150 hr pilots that just got into a 1968 M20F about a month ago. I've flown more in the last month, in my new Mooney, than in the last 10 yrs but all of my prior work was in either Cessnas or Piper low wings. 1) The Mooney loves to fly high. With the stability provided by the PC system and the performance of the aircraft (and ambient temperature comfort) improving with altitude, get it up to 8k or 10k feet for your long flight. It is sooo steady and peaceful. 2) Don't be intimidated by the prop control. there can be a lot of debate on the topic, but it can be as simple as full forward for takeoff, then adjust back to 2600 RPM and leave it there until you are in the pattern preparing to land, and then you put it full forward again in preparation for potential go-around. Aside from that just fly with throttle like you normally would. More varied or sophisticated approaches to engine control settings can wait until you are more comfortable. 3) Being new to aircraft ownership, I'm coming up to speed on how much everything costs, but it still irks me when people give advice along the lines of "you'll want to spend the [several thousand dollars] to get/upgrade [whatever]". With that said, if you don't have an engine monitor, it would be the first thing I would recommend looking at whenever you are prepared to do some upgrades. If you do have one, read that manual too. It is hugely valuable. 4) As others have mentioned, the aircraft calls for 6-8 quarts of oil. In our experience, anything above 6 quickly gets donated to the clouds. 5) Things will feel like they are happening CRAZY fast in the pattern when you first get started, you WILL get more comfortable with it. In the mean time, so long as you get to gear and flaps down and 90mph by somewhere on your base leg, you will be set up just fine for your landing. 5) Landings... I will say up front that my lessons were learned having to figure out how to consistently get the plane into our home airport which is a 2000 ft grass strip. Landing is super easy, but it is quite different than in other aircraft and it can take some getting used to. You cannot pull back into/approaching the stall to bleed off speed and gently plop onto the runway like you can in many Pipers and Cessnas. The Mooney stalls at a shallower pitch attitude, doesn't bleed speed as effectively at high AoA's, will pop up out of ground effect easily, and when it stalls, does so more abruptly. As everyone says, speed is key. You should try to fly your entire final approach at 80mph, until you transition into ground effect. Your base leg should be approximately 90mph. When you are first getting started in the Mooney, if you are going faster than 90 mph as you are starting your base to final turn, you may want to go ahead and plan for a go around. Its not an attitude of "oh I should try to be at 80mph on final" it is "I'm getting to 80mph shortly after turning final or I don't get to land". Compared to other common GA aircraft, I think a smooth Mooney landing is flown with a much more constant pitch attitude and essentially controlled with throttle. On final, if you are low and slow it is easy enough to add power. If you are high, pull throttle all the way back (~7" MP), and slow to 80mph, the aircraft can descend quite quickly at this speed with low power and full flaps. As you approach the glide path you want, add a smidge of power back in, but be prepared to pull power all the way out again as you cross the threshold (assuming you are at reasonable altitude and 80 mph). From that point you essentially fly the plane onto the runway. Don't get the nose more than a few degrees above the horizon, just hold power out, and let it settle through ground effect and gently touch down. My instructor actually had me put grease pen / china marker lines on the windshield to indicate the upper and lower bounds of the horizon in my site picture as I am in ground effect and touching down. The upper line represents the horizon at level attitude and is drawn while sitting on the taxiway. The lower line represents the horizon in a slightly pitch up attitude and is drawn while doing a ~75mph low power descent in landing configuration (obviously you do this exercise to draw the line at a higher altitude). The remarkable thing you will notice is that the resulting two lines are only about 1-1.5 inches apart! This gets back to the point that during the ground effect and touchdown, you cannot play with the plane's attitude very much, you have to just pull power, fly straight and let it settle. If you can do your initial training to land on a MUCH longer runway (~5000 ft or more) it will eliminate the urge to try to force the plane down, and you will learn proper technique more quickly. Also, as others stated, in cruise flight the Mooney is rock-solid stable. It starts to feel a little softer as you slow down to 80mph in the pattern which can feel quite disconcerting at first. I recommend doing some slow flight work at altitude to get more comfortable with this sensation prior to getting into your landing training. You may want to make your patterns just a little bigger than you are used to in the common Cessnas and Pipers due to the performance differences; just gives you more time to get things right (50% further out is probably an upper bound on this). So here is pattern procedure... (a) 17"MP or less once you get to pattern altitude, (b) get partial flaps (1/2, take-off, etc.) and gear down as soon as you are stabilized at altitude and below respective V-speeds, (c) abeam the numbers, 15" MP or less trim for100 mph, (d) upon turning base, 13" MP or less trim for 90 mph, full flaps, (e) upon turning final, pull power all the way out (unless you are low or slow which is less common), trim for 80 mph, add power back in as required to set glide slope. A slight nose down attitude is okay, but only to the extent that you can keep your speed in the 80-85mph range. As you cross the threshold at appropriate altitude and speed, pull power all the way out, pull up to fly level into ground effect, pull up ever so slightly to no more than a few degrees pitch up and let the plane settle to the ground. Sorry this was so long, but I just went through all of this myself in the last few weeks, so the topic is near and dear to me. I will say that after 10 landings I was still struggling, but by 20 landings I felt way more confident and was way more consistent than I had ever been in the Cessnas or Pipers. Best of luck, I'm confident you will love your Mooney!