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About BaldEagle

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  1. BaldEagle


    I got my first Mooney ('64 M20E) just after getting my private certificate. M20C/E is seriously good value for money for a first airplane. You can spend significantly more $$$ to go a lot slower...
  2. BaldEagle

    Air conditioning options

    Just curious: what are y'all using to survive the summer in your Mooney? I known there's an STC out there for air conditioning but I'm looking for a more economical solution. It seems some folks have had some success cobbling together a cooler with a bilge pump and heat exchanger, but that doesn't seem practical for trips (having to beg the FBO for ice) but seems like a good solution for flying around the local patch. Any other solutions? Anything available off-the-shelf that would do the job?
  3. Similar spec to the '78 J I just purchased. For comparison: appraisal tool put mine at $115k (I forget which one, might have been AOPA's), lender appraised it at $95k, and I paid $85k (what the seller was asking; I didn't negotiate because it was below market and PPI came back good). It wasn't listed in any of the usual places and had been on the market for a while with the price recently reduced from high 80's. We put another $10k to one side for purchase (sales tax, PPI, flights, hotel, etc. to take an initial look as it was based other end of the country, and later, ferry / delivery costs) and an additional $10k for maintenance float (the first annual is always a nail-biter). I only mention this as it took me 3 times going through the airplane purchase process to finally figure out that the problem isn't with buying the thing, it's all the other costs that hurt, so if you can get something below market that really helps (psychologically, at least). Budget $8k to reseal the tanks; they will start leaking sooner or later if it's been 20 years. Might be a negotiating point, plus whatever is found in the PPI.
  4. BaldEagle

    Coming back in to the fold

    I was in the same situation as you a few months ago. I used to own an M20E (loved that airplane), put a few hundred hours on it, and then fell out of love with aviation after it needed a major overhaul and the A&P ran off with my money, and, as it turned out, had something of a drugs problem. Anyway, fast-forward 12 years and I got the flying bug again and was in the market for another Mooney, but this time I was looking for my "forever" airplane. For me it was defining the mission and setting a budget. $100k got me a J with mid-time engine, but a really good instrument platform, which was my main priority. Aspen, KFC-200 with alt hold / GPSS, GNS430, ADSB-Out and recently re-sealed tanks. This time around I didn't want to spend money on the panel, and as others have pointed out it's always cheaper if the previous owner had made the investment in the panel. For the same price I could have got into a K, but I'm on a budget these days and maintaining a 6 cylinder continental and a turbocharger scared me off. Of course everything in aviation is a compromise. I love my M20J; love it more and more every time I fly it, but if I had the budget I would have been shopping for an Ovation or a Bravo.
  5. BaldEagle

    Today's flight for 2018

    Bought this J in March, but didn't get a chance to go on a trip until a couple of weeks ago due to work commitments. Flew a triangle in the Southwest: San Diego - Las Vegas - Bryce Canyon - Santa Fe, NM - Sedona, AZ - San Diego. Mod. turbulence on each leg, gusty winds and density altitude landings and departures had me worried that the wife would never want to go on another trip. Fortunately she's now hopelessly addicted to airplane ownership and is itching to go on another trip. Neither of us had been to Bryce Canyon before; jaw dropping views, pictures don't do it justice, and we were both very taken with Santa Fe, and will definitely visit again. Landing in Sedona is a blast, and was my first time landing there in 16 years. Fun route as the longest leg is only about 2 hours. Here are a couple of pictures of our 201 parked up at BCE and SEZ.
  6. BaldEagle

    Gear retract issue today - M20J

    I'm currently tied-down at El Cajon Flying Services, south of SAA. Will go shopping for a hangar after my first annual. By the way, we did have an email exchange a few months ago for Mooney transition training: I'm getting back into aviation after a 13-year hiatus and was expecting some 10 hour transition training requirement from the insurance company, but in the end they just wanted a check-out so I did that with the ferry pilot, who was also a CFI (in case you're wondering why you never heard back from me!).
  7. BaldEagle

    Gear retract issue today - M20J

    Just to follow up on this thread, my J does has the airspeed safety switch as opposed to a squat switch. After digesting the POH, I took the airplane up and the gear retracted as normal. I think the issue was with the pilot: hot day, high density altitude, obstacles at the departure end of the runway and bringing the gear up earlier than I normally would to clean up the airframe; airspeed was likely below what the airspeed safety switch is set to (no mention of what that number is in the POH).
  8. Hi all, Departing a high density altitude this morning, 85KIAS bring the gear up and the Gear Down and Gear Unsafe annunciator lights illuminated with an audible alarm sounding. Recycled the gear, and on the second attempt the gear retracted and we continued to our destination without incident. Anyway, I mention it here because I must have north of 1,000 hours retract time in various singles and twins without a single issue until today. I only have about 12 hours on my "new" '78 J, and was under the impression that the gear systems on these flying machines are generally very robust. Anything I should be concerned about? Take it to the shop, or something I can investigate initially myself?
  9. BaldEagle

    Marine battery for GPU

    I have one of these on the way: To power up the avionics without running the engine (to learn my Aspen / GNS430, etc.), is it acceptable to hang a marine battery off this? Spruce, etc., have portable GPUs but they are pricey, and as I only want to power up the avionics I'm guessing I only need something like 12 volt 25 amp power source to feed the panel. Airplane is a '78 J (14 volt system). Airplane is tied down (waiting for a hangar to free up) so no power outlet and a portable solution required.
  10. I used to own an E, and recently purchased a J. Handling characteristics are nearly identical, and just to prove the point I purchased my J with 0 time in type but the insurance company took my E time in lieu of any J time* and only asked for a checkout with a Mooney CFI when I picked it up. (I was expecting 10 hours transition training). * My insurance agent did point out that this was unusual, so I'm guessing the underwriter must know Mooneys.
  11. So I let my CFI-I expire about 12 years ago, and deeply regret it now that my wife is showing an interest in learning to fly. My (our) M20J has toe brakes on the pilot side, so I'm thinking this could be done economically, i.e. in our own airplane. There doesn't seem to be much in the way of recent info on how to get this done however. Anyone been down this road recently? As I understand it (correct me if I'm wrong) I don't have to do the written exams again, but I need to do a practical test with a DPE (or FAA examiner). The DPE / examiner chooses whether the test will be using CFI or CFI-I practical test standards, but in either case both the CFI and CFI-I are re-instated. Alternatively I go and get my MEI, which would also re-instate the CFI/I, but I'm loathed to spend $$$ on a Duchess or similar. At least that's my understanding of options, but any advice / corrections would be gratefully received.
  12. BaldEagle

    Aspen / Autopilot issues

    The avionics shop has determined that the issue is a faulty Aspen EA100, which is being swapped out under warranty. After less than a month of ownership of my "new" J, this has persuaded me to extend the extended warranty...
  13. BaldEagle

    Aspen / Autopilot issues

    Prior to yesterday, pressing HDG and enabling the autopilot I could then twist the heading bug on the Aspen and the autopilot would behave as expected. I've been reading the EA100 documentation and if the A/P AHRS FAIL light is illuminated it will disconnect the autopilot so the symptoms point to the EA100. When I'm at the airport next I'm going to try an AHRS Reset on the Aspen, and pull the panel off and check the cables if it's still not resolved. I just spoke to the previous owner who confirmed that it's still under warrantee so I'm happy (relieved) about that.
  14. BaldEagle

    Aspen / Autopilot issues

    Hi all, So I'm getting familiar with my "new" (1978) J and on my 3rd time flying the thing I'm having autopilot (and / or Aspen) issues. The autopilot is a KFC-200, GPS is a GNS430 and there is an Aspen Evolution Pro. The Aspen appears to be working fine and when pressing buttons on the autopilot (FD, HDG, etc.) the appropriate setting is illuminated on the autopilot annunciator panel but the autopilot will not engage for NAV, ALT, HDG or anything. It behaves in a manner as if I were holding my finger on the CWS button. If I press the GA button I no longer get command bars on the Aspen. Big clue: there is a red light on the panel that is now illuminated labelled, "A/P AHRS FAIL". I am guessing this airplane has an EA100 adapter and it is this that has failed. Anyway, thought I'd reach out here to see if there's anything I can do before taking it to the shop and spending $$$. (On a side note it looks like the previous owner took out an extended warrantee on the Aspen, which hopefully covers all components, so I'm not crying just yet).
  15. Hi all, Thought I'd post a quick intro. I recently started getting back into flying after a 12-year hiatus and took delivery of a '78 M20J yesterday. Insurance wanted a checkout so I did that yesterday. After landing I noticed it required a ridiculous amount of pressure on the toe brakes to bring the thing to a stop. It didn't need all that much toe pressure when doing the run-ups though. I've not looked at the condition of the pads and discs yet, but if they're okay should I get the brake system bled? Master brake cylinder was apparently replaced fairly recently but I can't find reference to that in the logs. I do see an entry showing that the brakes were last bled a little over 2 years ago, and after doing some cursory research on this forum someone did recommend that they should be bled every 2 or 3 years. The aircraft has toe brakes on co-pilot side if that is relevant. The ferry pilot also reported that the left toe brake was a bit more spongy that the right (I didn't notice) and suspected it could be air in the system. So with all that in mind, any recommendations for an A&P at KSEE...? I'm familiar with Crownair but someone who's familiar with Mooneys located on the field would be desirable.