DesertNomad

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About DesertNomad

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  • Location
    Northern Nevada
  • Model
    PA28-236

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  1. As a new member (and non-Mooney owner so far), I am surprised this section does not exist. There are safety/crash sections on both AOPA and BeechTalk.
  2. I have sent a donation via PayPal. This hits close to home as he was headed to Carson City, just south of my home base of Reno. All the best to the family.
  3. Danb is right, if my Dakota could go 180kts, I'd be thrilled. While I rarely have people in the back seats, I do have useable back seats which is not true for all airplanes. Turbo and FIKI would be nice but probably not essential. On one hand, living out West, the turbo is probably more useful, since when we have icing here, the weather is usually not good for any light aircraft. Where FIKI would be nice is in the Pacific Northwest (where I fly 3-4 times a year) and in Michigan (1-2 times per year) when it is just cold-ish and overcast. I guess I need to compile a list of the different Mooney models with TAS, useful load, TBO, and fuel burn to come up with a short-list. No matter how fast we go, I can't see planing more than a 4-hour leg and 3.5 is more usual. It sounds like a 252, Encore or Bravo may meet my mission.
  4. The Factory Encores... were those new aircraft or rebuilt older ones that the factory bought and renovated? The Mooney line is still a bit murky to me as there just don't seem to be many around here.
  5. Which are Lycoming? Many people say the IO-540 is a very solid engine. My Dakota has the O-540 derated to 235hp. No idea why Piper didn't use fuel injection on their top-of-the-line Cherokee. I also don't like the funky dual-magneto on mine. If I still have the Dakota at overhaul time, I'll do what a few other Dakota owners have done and swap the engine for a set of standard mags.
  6. I am probably ok with the flight levels - at least over the Rockies. I have about 15 hours with a G1000 and frankly don't care for it (maybe it has to grow on you). I really like the GTN750 and the G5s, though an Aspen is ok.. less reliable from what I understand. I just think the G1000 locks you into that for any upgrades etc - anything like ADS-B becomes more of an issue. I certainly do not mind my steam ASI and Altimeter, but I would never go back from a glass HSI to something mechanical.
  7. Ok. Each year, I fly KRNO-KPTK which is 1647nm. The direct route nearly works, but there are needed turns because of the IFR system, restricted spaces near the Salt Flats, and terrain over the Rockies. Doing this trip in one stop would be amazing, but as it is currently at least 3 stops, 2 would be an improvement. I don't like to plan legs over 3.5 hours. The longest (time-wise) trip we've done non-stop in New Orleans Lakefront (KNEW) to St. Augustine (KSGJ) which took 4:15 block to block.
  8. When I said full fuel and four adults, I was trying to say that in that situation, my Dakota is still at or under gross, so it works. On the trip home from buying the plane, we took off from Prescott, AZ (5045') on a 95F day with 600 pounds of people (my CFI is a big guy), full fuel and bags. We climbed at about 700fpm. I didn't anticipate a Mooney having 130 gallon tanks so obviously full fuel can mean a lot of things. Let me rephrase by saying I'd like to be able to take 600 pounds of people on a 3-hour flight with at least a 1 to 1.5-hour reserve and depart from a 5000' field at 95F. That would be unusual, but I'd like the option to do so if desired. 90% of the time it will just be my wife and I, but long trips are the norm. I'd love to be able to fly KRNO-KPTK with three, 3-hour legs. In my Dakota this trip is four 3-hour legs. With the right fuel capacity and speed, that might make it possible to do the trip in one day with one stop if the winds were strong enough.
  9. For 90% of my flights, it is just my wife and I (300lbs together). I like that with the Dakota, the CG is not really a factor and I can load it pretty much however I want. On our typical cross-the-USA trips, we will have aircraft supplies in the back, plus our own bags... about 80lbs since there is often a case of oil too. Food, O2, raft, and my emergency box (batteries, handheld, etc) go on the back seats. We are usually at about 2650 out of 3000 gross and can still climb out of Reno initially at 1000fpm. I like that. It makes adding a 3rd person or even another same-sized couple possible if we want to.
  10. In the next year or two, I am considering upgrading to something a bit faster and perhaps more capable than my current aircraft. I have never flown, or even been in a Mooney and don't have anyone local to get a ride in one either.A bit about my plane and I:I am in my late 40s, based in Northern Nevada at 4500' MSL, have about 620 hours, and am instrument rated. About 420 of my hours are in my 1979 Piper Dakota and I fly about 110 hours per year. I don't want to go backwards, so for reference, my Dakota's panel consists of: GTN750, GNC255, FlightStream 210, GTX330ES (for 1090 Out), GDL88 (for 978 Out and 1090/978 In), GMA350c, Dual G5s (no vacuum system), JPI830 with fuel flow, STEC-30 with Altitude hold, GPSMAP 496, LED lights including wing wig-wag. New paint, interior and glass in 2010 and a mid-time (900 Hrs) O-540 engine.My flights include the typical 1-hour, $100 hamburger run at 11-12K MSL, a few longer trips like Reno-Seattle or Reno-Tucson, as well as at least one trip across the USA each year between Reno and Michigan and points beyond. 2016: Bahamas/Cuba, 2017: Michigan, 2018: Florida/Guatemala, and in September we are planning to go to New England. I don't fly at night and I rarely have more than my wife and I on board. Thus, I don't need 6 seats, but I want to be able to easily fill 4 on a hot day at 4500' with full fuel like I can in my Dakota.The longer trips are a big reason we have the plane. I think if it were faster, I'd do two trips to Michigan each year. My wife has family there and we always seem to turn those trips into much larger trips. We also have family in the Atlanta and Dallas areas so we often end up there on the same trip. We are typically traveling for 4-5 weeks on these trips.Overall, I average about 142kts ground speed at 11-12K on 12gph which is ok, but I'd like to get somewhere closer to 160-180kts. The shortest runways I routinely fly into are 2300' at sea level and 4000' at about 4000' MSL. I have an 1150-pound useful load (720 left over after full fuel) and 5-hours fuel with 1-hour reserve. I always top off the tanks when I get fuel.One other issue are the Piper seats. You sit fairly low in a Dakota and the way Piper seats are designed, the back is often pitched back too far with no good way to adjust them. The A36/G36 and Cirrus I have been in, prop you much more upright. This would be much better for my wife's back since she ends up with extra pillows under her and behind her to get the Piper seat into a better position.Built-in oxygen would be a plus. On the Dakota, the trim wheel and Johnson bar flaps prevent putting anything between the seats... on my first flight using oxygen I managed to place the two tanks carefully on either side of the trim wheel but they blocked the flaps which I discovered coming into the pattern at U42 (just south of Salt Lake). Good learning experience.With the Dakota, our tips to Michigan have been via I-80 though Wyoming, south via Santa Fe or north via Sandpoint Idaho and Bozeman. Something with built-in O2 and turbo would open up some additional route options, though in a single I don't think I'd be going direct over the Rockies without serious regard for the terrain.So I am thinking of a Bonanza, Mooney or SR22, probably in that order. Obviously I have my high-performance endorsement, but I don't have a complex endorsement, though I have about 8 hours in complex aircraft, it was not always with a CFI. I have a couple hours each in an A36 and G36 and I've ridden in the back of an F33.I am happy with my plane, just looking for a way to keep the nice avionics and add 30 or so knots to the speed with a bit more comfort. The one door is fine - but two would be nice of course... not really a deal breaker there. My net budget is about $250K, but if I could find something nice for a lot less, all the better.I am looking for advice to help me narrow down makes, models, years and options to look for or avoid. For example, in the G36 I flew, the air conditioner was under the pilot seat and it left very little room to maneuver one's feet around. All the circuit breakers on the left side don't help. I am 5'10" and 160lbs, but I have long legs. I think I'd want tip tanks for destinations where fuel might not be available (such as we found in Cuba and Guatemala).I don't think I want a V-Tail as I have read about the issues with magnesium and the ruddervators, so would likely be leaning towards an A36 or G36 (though I am not sold on the G1000.. either in the G36 or Cirrus). Are there certain Mooneys to avoid because of similar issues? My wife thinks I should get my twin rating so we can get a Baron for more comfortable over-water trips in the Caribbean. That might be a bit too costly to own and stay proficient in, so I would probably lean towards a standard single.Any thoughts, suggestions etc are greatly appreciated.Also looking for real world ground speeds (or TAS) altitudes and fuel burn.