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About BaldEagle

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  1. I finally got one of those boxes from JPI and pulled the engine data for the last 6 months. These are the most recent two flights: I need to replace the CHT probe on cylinder 2, yes? Anything else I should check first? Bad ground, cable? Airplane needs to go into the shop soon anyway to address a couple of other minor squawks, but I thought I'd reach out here first, as I like an excuse to pull the cowling off and poke around. I did notice in the logbooks that the previous owner had replaced a CHT probe recently and I think it was for the same cylinder (I need to double check), which is why I'm thinking possible grounding or other issue.
  2. Thanks for the heads-up. I just checked eligibility and it turns out that Savvy breakdown assistance is included in my existing policy. Good timing too as I'm off on a trip in a few days...
  3. BaldEagle

    Mooney search starting...

    Hi there, I'm in a similar situation: I also didn't fly for 12 - 13 years and started flying again last year. I got my BFR and went shopping for a J model. Prior to my hiatus I used to own an E model. Great performance for the $$, but limited utility once I got my instrument ticket due to the outdated panel. Usual advice about what your flying mission is obviously applies (that was my first airplane purchase and I didn't know what I was doing). By the way, if shopping for an older model if you find one with an alternator conversion that's a bonus. I was left stranded once when the generator failed. The E had about 1,400 hours on the engine when I got it and I was only able to put 280 hours on it before it needed an overhaul. Mike Busch has a persuasive argument for buying an airplane with a run-out engine vs mid time / high time; I'd recommend looking it up on Youtube. One other thing I learned with airplane purchase no. 3, is the tremendous value in being able to 'interview' the seller, which helped put me in a comfort zone with the purchase. Anyway, best of luck with your search!
  4. BaldEagle

    Mooney Step up 2.0

    I'd take my friend's Malibu over any of the heavier light twins I've flown (402's, P-Navajos, etc). But I wouldn't fly it solo at night over the Rockies, but then I wouldn't fly a twin solo at night over the Rockies either if the terrain is higher than the single engine service ceiling. A really good resource:
  5. BaldEagle

    auto equivalents

    Alas, I had to sell mine. The wife wouldn't let me have a Mooney and a Lotus. I always compared my Elise to a Vans RV. Sitting in either is like sitting in the bath with the water drained out. This was my 3rd (and last) Lotus. Like Mooney, Lotus was constantly looming from one financial disaster to another.
  6. I just got through my first annual, and as there were no nasty surprises I'm planning on getting the windshield replaced sometime next year. Can anyone recommend a shop, preferably in the Southwest? It looks like a big job and I'd rather have someone who has done this job before perform the work.
  7. This is really good advice. It wasn't until I purchased my third airplane that I came up with a similar list. Sales taxes, ferry costs, etc. in addition to above though. I read somewhere that 95% of GA airplane owners can't afford to own an airplane. Or to put it another way: many people can afford to buy an airplane but often grossly underestimate the cost of owning and operating it.
  8. BaldEagle

    Question about cylinder pressures

    Thanks all for the feedback. I did recently purchase Mike Busch's book on Engines, and although I'm fairly inept mechanically I did find the book very persuasive, especially in regard to on-condition maintenance philosophy (so much so that I'm currently working my way through his webinars on YouTube).
  9. Bought my '78 J back in February and its first annual since the purchase is currently being finished up. No nasty surprises (thank goodness), but the compressions are high 60's in all 4 cylinders. Last year they were all in the high 70's. During the PPI last January three cylinders were in the high 70's, while one was in the high 60s. When I questioned the A&P he dismissed it as likely a piece of soot or something on a valve seat. The engine is at about 1,000 hours since factory overhaul. Should I be budgeting for a premature major overhaul or top overhaul in the near future? Should I be worrying? The airplane did sit for a month in January (while negotiating, PPI, etc.), and a month in July (due to illness), but other than that it hasn't sat for more than a couple of weeks without flying since I've owned it. It has about 50 hours on it the last 8 months or so. The previous owner only put 40 hours on it the last year he had it, but prior to that it was more active. The engine uses very little oil, runs real smooth with uniform CHTs on all cylinders. Prior to my purchase it was based in the Georgia mountains in the summer and Tampa in the winter, so I knew I was taking a risk with corrosion but this was somewhat mitigated by evidence of meticulous maintenance. After paying for two major overhauls the same year (two difference airplanes -- I'm not that unlucky -- one had a cracked crankcase, the other eating metal) I've become paranoid about airplane engines.
  10. ATC reported erratic altitudes then no alt at all so I had the avionics shop replace the encoder (AK-350 for a AR-850), did a couple of flights including one IFR and all is good. Took it up this morning and the darn thing is transmitting 1,800 ft too high. I find it hard to believe the replacement encoder has gone bad so soon. Any ideas before I take it back to the shop? Static plumbing? Bad connection? Apparently there is a Garmin encoder that is recommended for the GTX 335 / 345. Install that?
  11. 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...
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.