CoffeeCan

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About CoffeeCan

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Corpus Christi, TX
  • Reg #
    N5779R
  • Model
    M20K (231)

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  1. Hmm. Well, both times I flew here previously they put me in the Bravo all the way to PWK then handed me over to tower, fwiw. This time they had me fly under the Bravo, which was cool, as I didn’t get vectored all over the sky, just flew direct to MDW. My experience at DFW Class B has been similar to yours at NJ, they route you in there with the big boys all the time, but are very professional about it.
  2. Guys, I appreciate all the input. Wish Meigs was still there, but alas... Anyways, we opted to fly in to MDW, picked up VFR FF out of MKE and had a short but scenic flight down over Chicago, landed Rwy 31Center and a short taxi to Atlantic. Regional Approach ATC wasn’t as caustic as usual, which was nice, and they were routing a lot of commercial traffic in and out of ORD. We stayed below the Bravo the whole way in per ATC direction, and were routed direct accordingly instead of being vectored all over the sky. Gas prices suck here, but it is what it is. We caught a nice Uber ride to downtown. All in all, a very pleasant experience.
  3. Fellas, I appreciate all the handy advice and encouragement. VFR FF to MDW was easy peasy, although Regional Approach was cranky (as expected for the Bravo). MDW ATC was cheerful and helpful, and the view of downtown Chicago coming in was spectacular! Two thumbs up!
  4. Brian, I use flight following on every cross country, and anytime I’m near a Class Charlie or Bravo. Just makes sense. I somehow didn’t yet see Martin Pauley’s videos of Midway. The guy does great aviation videos.
  5. I just realized this. Not sure how to delete the duplicate.
  6. I fly into the DFW Class B quite often, and I’ve learned there is a big difference between airports... cranky ATC is the rule at Addison, for instance, and Harrison’s FBO at Arlington is great, and the tower guys are cool. So I wonder which airport small aircraft pilots prefer in the Chicago Bravo? Ive flown into Executive (once) and it was smooth, but it’s a longer drive from downtown than Midway. However, SouthWorst Airlines flies into Midway, so air traffic will be heavier. I have comfort with Class C airports ATC, so that’s not an issue, but I’ll be flying VFR, so that might not be a good fit at Midway? So, any personal experience or observations?
  7. Silly question, perhaps... I fly into the DFW Class B quite often, and I’ve learned there is a big difference between airports... cranky ATC is the rule at Addison, for instance, and Harrison’s FBO at Arlington is great, and the tower guys are cool. So I wonder which airport small aircraft pilots prefer in the Chicago Bravo? Ive flown into Executive (once) and it was smooth, but it’s a longer drive from downtown than Midway. However, SouthWorst Airlines flies into Midway, so air traffic will be heavier. I have comfort with Class C airports ATC, so that’s not an issue, but I’ll be flying VFR, so that might not be a good fit at Midway? So, any personal experience or observations?
  8. Agreed. I am 11 months into my 231 ownership adventure. To say that I have been pleased with my decision to buy a turbo Mooney would be a gross understatement. When I was shopping for my Mooney, I looked hard at a couple of 252's, but couldn't justify the price differential. In the end I bought a well-maintained 231 with recently rebuilt engine (with only 85 hrs on it), intercooler, Merlyn, and GAMIjectors, and upgraded panel, for substantially less than the cheapest 252 on the market at that time. As it happens, my hangar-neighbor bought a 252 about the same time as I bought my 231. I have flown his airplane quite a bit (about 25 hous) over the past 6 months while he's been out of the country. Aside from his panel being a bit cleaner and his interior newer, there's not much to choose between the two aircraft. As Warren says, once you learn the idiosyncracies of engine management in the 231 on takeoff and climbout, there's only a little less performance difference in the 252 and an upgraded 231 like mine. Would I buy a 252 if it was priced right? You bet! But an upgraded 231 like mine is a close second choice. As for turbocharged vs normally aspirated aircraft: the advantages are subtle but real, and in my view make a big difference, especially on long XC flights. The best reason for flying higher, in my view, is that there is far less traffic above 8000-9000 MSL, so your flights are safer. I fly regularly past KSAT, KAUS, and near/into the Bravo around KDFW and KHOU. Under 6000 MSL, there are a LOT of aircraft in these environs, and while most of them are talking to ATC a good percentage of them are VFR aircraft squawking 1200 and monitoring Guard only, if they're on the radio at all. Between 6000 and 10,000 MSL you'll find a lot of commercial traffic descending or climbing into/out of the Charlie and Bravo. But above 10,000, you'll be clear of almost all that traffic. Normally aspirated aircraft are almost all below 12,000 MSL, and commercial aircraft are almost all in the FL's... between 12K and 18K you'll find you're almost alone, in smooth air, often with very favorable tailwinds. And maybe my experience at these altitudes is too short, but I've found that headwinds in the teens are less likely to be turbulent than they are below 6-8000', so even if I'm not seeing a bonus in groundspeed, I'm getting a much more comfortable ride and my engine temps and fuel flow are better than they are down low.
  9. This is very true. My wife and I have used our airplanes for business travel (we are both self-employed) and there is no question that this makes the costs of owning and operating an airplane a LOT easier to swallow. But that doesn't mean the airplanes have been an investment. I have suggested to several people that they might consider starting a side business in a field that they enjoy, as a means to helping defray the costs of aviation. It won't work for everyone, but if it works for you the benefits can be very meaningful.
  10. I agree. I bought my first plane while I was still a student pilot. I had been flying airplanes belonging to my local flying club, and the club went bankrupt just as I was getting ready for my PP checkride. Bummer. I decided renting would be a good option until I did the math... and a friend had a 172XP for sale at a decent price so I snapped it up. I flew it 100+ hours/year for 2 years, and in the process determined what my airplane mission would be. Buying a "starter" airplane (for lack of a better term) makes a lot of sense. It doesn't cost that much to get into ownership, and if you are reasonably careful, you can sell for it in a year or two for about what you paid to get into it. By having your OWN airplane to fly whenever you can or want, you will figure out if you truly do fly enough to justify ownership. I know guys who bought their first airplane and realized after 3 or 4 years that they simply aren't active in aviation to the point of justifying the expense. That is a relatively cheap lesson if you buy a Cherokee or 172, but it's tougher to justify if you are spending $150+ thousand dollars. I don't believe anyone should buy an airplane with a definite time-frame in mind. An 8-year investment makes no sense for folks that are just starting out in general aviation.
  11. I have to disagree with the bolded section above. How is buying a more expensive aircraft sooner rather than later going to cost you any more or less? It costs what it costs. And there is no question that flying a Skyhawk or Cherokee for a couple of years is relatively cheap. The costs of flying a trainer (or slightly advanced trainer) are quite a bit lower than those of a M20K, and you can learn a lot of valuable lessons in the Cessna while doing so. Building that flight time and experience in a simple-to-operate and low-cost aircraft can give the owner-pilot the leisure to build time and experience more slowly and thoroughly, which can save you money later when you're dealing with a more complex aircraft. And you won't be throwing money away if you buy a 172 or Cherokee, either. Resale value and demand remains high for older aircraft. For example, I bought my 172XP in 2016 for $45,000, and sold it this past July for $45,000. I put about $8,000 into it in repairs and maintenance, for a total hourly operating cost over that 2-year period of less than $40/hr, not including fuel.
  12. I would mostly agree with this. I bought my 231 this year after I had accumulated 380+ hours TT over a 5 year period, but 240 of those hours were flown in the 22 months prior to the Mooney purchase, and nearly all of them were in a "complex" Cessna 172XP (Continental 6-cyl engine with constant speed prop). Personally, I found having that much time running a FI Continental really helped me with my transition into the 231. And having a good bit of flight experience in differing flight conditions, including some instrument training, gave me experience I was really glad to have as I learned my Mooney. In the 95 hours I've accumulated in my 231 since July, I've learned a LOT about engine management and a LOT about handling the aircraft, and much of that learning would have slipped right past me if I hadn't already learned a LOT in accumulated hours in my Cessna. Depending on whether you have the -GB or -LB engine, and on your engine monitoring system, learning to run your Continental TSIO-360 may be easy or it may be less easy. If you have a JPI monitor with good transducers and GAMIjectors, it will be pretty easy. If you have the original factory engine instruments only, it's gonna be harder. I expect you will be dunned by your insurance company for your low total time and low time in type. This may be significant. Also, you will almost certainly be required to take a minimum number of hours of dual instruction from a certified Mooney CFI. This isn't a bad thing. I spent 16 hours in the cockpit of my 231 with David McGee of All American Aircraft, and it was well worth the time and money to do so.
  13. Where did you order the new seats? They look amazing!
  14. MKTurbo... Actually, pulse oximeters can be pretty iffy. I rely on them daily at work (ER) and they can be fussy and/or really unreliable. Like any small electronic device, individual pulse oximeters can be quirky, incorrectly calibrated, or just "lemons". In the medical setting we use oximeter transducers that connect directly to our wall monitors, which are much more reliable than the compact portable battery-powered devices. Even then, it's not uncommon to have to switch from one hand or digit to another because of quirks in getting good readings. Taped-on transducers work better than the ones that are held on by spring pressure, also. We routinely check our portable pulse oximeters against the wall units, and often have to replace the portable units because of inaccurate readings. A pulse oximeter measures the percentage of hemoglobin molecules in the blood that are saturated by oxygen, which induces a color change; as such, it detects hypoxemia, or low blood oxygen concentration. This isn't the same thing as hypoxia, which denotes low oxygen concentration in the tissues, most immediately in the brain. One can have transient hypoxemia without being clinically (or aeronautically!) hypoxic. Transient hypoxemia is anticipated above certain density altitudes (arbitrarily 12,500, but this is by no means a "safe" altitude), but this will usually not cause clinically significant hypoxia unless the hypoxemia persists for longer than a few minutes. This is why the FAA gives you 30 minutes of leeway between 12,500' and 14,000' MSL. However, there is no clearly "safe" level of hypoxemia and some brain functions are demonstrably impaired at altitudes as low as 6000' MSL, at which point retinal function becomes impaired and night vision degrades measurably. It was in consideration of these factors that I decided to get some good baseline measurements of my SpO2 (oxygen saturation readings) before flying my new-to-me M20K above 14,000' MSL. As jlunseth suggested, the portable pulse-ox I bought may not be giving accurate readings, but it definitely shows trends that suggest caution when using my on-board supplemental oxygen equipment. I had noted in my pre-O's days in my Cessna 172 that I felt a little breathless at 11,000' and above... and my pulse oximeter showed my SpO2 was definitely trending downward above 8000-9000', and O's were required at 12,000'. Interestingly, I get higher readings in my middle finger than my index finger, and in my left hand rather than my right. Higher readings are more likely to be accurate. Also, when I checked my wife's SpO2, she got readings in the 70's... but she wears thick red nail polish. Other factors can confound the pulse-ox, as well: cold hands, thickened fingernails due to onychomycosis, and so forth. As for your hypoxemic flightmate in 2013: jaylw34 commented, people with chronic disease can be perfectly comfortable with quite low SpO2's... but in the 70's, it's highly unlikely he would be able to tolerate this and not have blue lips and hands. Most likely he has an anatomic or other functional impediment to good SpO2 readings.