Nick Pilotte

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About Nick Pilotte

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 10/29/1979

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    St Charles, IL
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    In market

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  1. I’m still a(n older) student pilot. Very boring 172.
  2. Love it! Congratulations! The red, white, and blue is very nice!
  3. Wasn’t in a Mooney today but I just got back from practicing landings for a couple hours. It really was nice out today. Little overcast over Chicago now but not bad. Lots of activity at KDPA today.
  4. I think you have a very nicely appointed aircraft too. Can you share how the side panels and/or the glare shield are stitched? I come from a long history of working with high end European cars and compare a lot of trim work to them so I’m curious how he lays them out then stitches them.
  5. I tend to agree with Tony (Carusoam) on this. In fact, for many years, my industry was the Euro exotic car market. All of those have an “entry model” and all launched them at a time when their brands were dying. They may not be entry level to average consumer Joe but that applies to all luxuries like aircraft. Bentley was in financial distress and sold to VW, who launched the Continental GT for $140k Opposed to $300+ for the Arnage. Lambo did the Gallardo, Porsche launched the Boxster and Cayenne much to the dismay of purists and it saved them. Aston relaunched the Vantage in 06ish for about $140k too. Ferrari California was a V8 powered convertible for half the cost or so of their 360/430 model. Mooney has had no entry level model anymore. This could be where a properly executed trainer or even a step up from training model that would be similar to an io-360 powered M20 that could help promote easily manageable transition to complex aircraft. I do agree that there is no way you could keep a company afloat with selling 10 aircraft under $1mil each when you factor costs of employees, materials, overhead on property, and compliance. That is my thought as a new pilot and I am not a marketing expert either.
  6. Can you give a pirep on maintenance? Is it intensive per flight hour? TBO super low or are the engines decently durable for heritage type flights these birds see now? I’m sure the parts stream is somewhat constrained but I’d expect that for a 75 year old plane too.
  7. Is there a group of recognized transition trainers for that?
  8. Is the Summit for Mooney owners/pilots or is it open to prospective buyers(sorry, not a new Ultra buyer though)? I’m working the logistics of getting down there for that weekend but am not an owner yet.
  9. I hit the play button and it loaded/played. My only challenge is I’m a little jealous. I’ve loved the PA46 for a long time as well.
  10. Tom, I neglected to pass my sympathies in our exchange yesterday. Nonetheless, you have my thoughts and prayers to go with the rest of the outpouring you see now. Friends can never be replaced, but the memories are alive in your heart and mind. I hope you can continue the tradition of Airventure this year, finding solace that Steve would likely do the same if the tables were turned. It won’t ever be the same, but it doesn’t have to be. Fair skies and tailwinds to your best friend.
  11. You are correct that automating for 5-100 units isn’t feasible. But a thorough market analysis could tell you (company owner) if the market will bear an M20 at a $400k price with minimal changes in a Cirrus-like volume of 3-400 yearly, then you may be able to justify tooling up automation.
  12. Another thought is invest in manufacturing automation like Daimler Chrysler did with Mercedes-Benz 20 years ago (without the quality compromises they installed and failed with as well). You invest largely in machines and train the employees to use them. Production can start and you pump aircraft out on par with Cirrus volumes and cost per unit goes down with every 100 you build. Base prices went down a little as a result of reduced manufacturing costs once the initial investment in equipment was made. Quality can go up when processes are automated because you have less human intervention. Market the new Ovation Ultra at $400k base, sell to flight schools, airline training departments, and university flight departments as a Cirrus competitor for less $$ and you can make more profit on the volume if marketed correctly. Get them set up on a reasonable 3-5 year trade schedule and you now have a used market that you can sell and service as well. If you want, bring the planes back to the factory for a Steele Aviation style refurbish to market as a certified used plane with an engine plan and some semblance of airframe warranty Lastly, I know it sucks when new product prices are cut because it instantly devalues existing customer’s products, but from a manufacturing standpoint, the existing customer is now a liability through the warranty period and often won’t be buying enough parts through dealers to maintain a profitable aftersales market once out of warranty. Over 5-10 years used prices will tend to stabilize like everything else anyways.
  13. I work for a non-aviation vehicle manufacturer so have a little bit of understanding of how Mooney has been operated the last few years. My company has 3 basic divisions and one is a niche market similar to Beechcraft’s piston division. When you have sky high development, testing, and certification expenses, you have a low likelihood of making a profit on low volume product. If they want to turn things around, I think developing the M10 would help but they could also look at single engine turboprop trainers to compete with the T-6 Texan II contract. Over the past 19 years, production of that craft has been 850+ at a unit cost of over $4mil. Perhaps this type of government contract could keep the private GA line afloat. Just random thoughts from a non-executive low level worker bee.
  14. I joined as a new but not young pilot to learn more about the brand that captivated me as a young kid in the 80’s and early 90’s when my Dad would taxi his Cherokee on ramps away from our private grass strip. I loved these Mooneys then and am still entranced with them. This is a VERY civil forum (even with the recently unruly coin dealer) compared to the automotive forums I used to frequent as a car guy. The fact it is more of a niche forum helps that. I’ve aged enough now that I am more tempered in my responses that I don’t care if people see my real name. I am classified as a wannabe right now, and who knows, once I get into a Mooney, I may find it doesn’t fit my needs for flying my family, but I still love the brand, and appreciate this forum for its wealth of knowledge, inclusion, and brother/sisterhood that it brings. I’m thankful that if/when I ask newbie questions that there are good people here willing to answer them, including if they can let me look at their plane if local..... PS, I don’t know if John with a 252 based at KDPA is on here, but if you are, I had fun talking with you that last weekend of October in the hangar. Nice plane!
  15. So do you need an internal camera? I seem to remember seeing one that was set up for aerial surveying and had a (large) clear panel in the floor and was set up for some crazy camera. I seem to remember it was only a couple years old though and VERY pricey. I don’t know your budget but it was well north of a new 206 from Cessna.