First and foremost, I'd like to say 'thank you' to the contributing members of this forum. Also, the general Mooney community, who has not let me down yet in my search for guidance. I would feel remiss if I did not also thank the Grumman community. If not for the over-valuation of their aircraft, I probably would have settled for a lesser performing a/c and paid more money for it. I started looking for a Mooney, transitioned to a Tiger search, and then realized, I could get a nicer Mooney for less money than I could find a nice Tiger. =) It's true. Anyway, I pulled the trigger on my first airplane and so far so good! I am thrilled as I could be and it's been a long time coming. What a job it is to find the right bird! I am also nervous, to a point, about the first annual and what gotcha's might come up, but I did my due-diligence the best I could and made a decision armed with the best facts I could gather and came out feeling as confident as could be. So far, my only observation of squawks is a leaky oil pan gasket. It was a bummer to see seeping oil under the new bird, but it wasn't guzzling, just creeping out. Oil level stayed about the same after about 5 hours of flight so, it's not major I don't think. Will correct it at annual in February.
As of now, I have 5 hours dual time and 5 hours solo logged. I am coming from flying Skyhawks and I have to say, from my first 10 hours, I have felt better about the flight characteristics in the Mooney than I ever have in a skyhawk- including takeoff and landing. So far, my style has just meshed with the Mooney so it's felt good. There is a lot of chatter out there that almost makes the transition seem "spooky" for someone coming from the easy flying Skyhawk, but again, it's felt "right". I am still getting used to appropriate power settings and the dynamics of a complex craft (having no time in them before now), but I've been reading a lot about power settings, what is safe, what is recommended, etc etc. I watched a Commanche land gear up 2 weeks before I got the Mooney, so I've been hammering that drill in my head. Felt really bad for the guy, he just forgot. But, it put him out of the game for good and crushed his spirit. I am not worried about it per se, but it's certainly something to keep in mind- especially during the transition. My first goals will be to build time in type while building cross-country experience, as renting has prevented that from being feasible. The idea that I can actually GO SOMEWHERE with practicality is a feeling of freedom only seen before during my first solos as a student pilot. How great! After I've developed some proficiency and comfortability, I'll start working on my instrument rating.
I've posted a couple of questions already, but I thought I'd throw up a Hello. Based in Southeast Georgia (KSSI) and running a 1977 J model. I look forward to the journey and appreciate the help from folks. I intend to be an active member of the discussion, and hopefully at some point, I'll have something to contribute as well!
A couple of thoughts on my mind this week, if anyone wants to take a stab at it:
-When "staying in the pattern" for stop and gos, what do your power transitions look like? I've been extending upwind, turning cross wind at 1000' just so I have a longer downwind to think through the process. At 1,000 feet I'm coming off the throttle to about 60% (not really choosing a particular MP) and then pulling the prop RPM back to about 2300. I have also done it a few times not touching the prop at all (leaving full forward the whole loop) and only adjusting throttle. I am trying to nail down an "every time habit" simply for pattern work. What does yours look like?
-I noticed on my baggage door, there is a slight warp on the top left of the skin, on the same side as the telescoping door prop. I also noticed the same thing on another Mooney. Is this "bend" a design of the door or is this something that happens over time as the result of the pressure from drag that the telescoping door prop causes on the door structure?
-For any '77 J owners, is there anything specific from your experience that you would suggest to take note of, that is specific to the year model? (Probably a maintenance question)
-I don't have any indications in the logbook of a specific address of SB-208. All of the interior, as well as the insulation, has been replaced, but it wasn't done as a compliance with the SB, it was just done for upgrade (that I'm aware of). I am going to have this addressed at annual. In the meantime, I've been skeptical about running a hose on the place to wash it. Am I just being parnoid, or is there any legitamacy to the concern that I wouldn't want running water over the windows?
-There is a hatch on the roof that is for the top ventilation system. The hatch is in a recessed square on the roof. What is the risk of leakage if water is sprayed or rain? Seems like it would hold a small amount of water.
-The crank style manual gear extension on the left wall - is it healthy to excercise this mechanism? Maybe once a year at annual?
That's all I have for now, but I'm sure there's more to come. Thanks again for everyone's help.