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About 1980Mooney

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  1. Also a Missile is “KISS” - Keep It Simple Stupid. It is simple, strong and forgiving. Engine management is elementary. You can power your way out of many conditions that a smaller engine can’t. You dial the engine back if you want efficiency or push it to the firewall you want speed, climb like a bat out of hell or to lift a full useful load. It also has the Monroy long range tanks (100 gal). Fuel management is simple too because the outboard tanks flow into the inboard ones. There are only 2 fuel selector positions even with the extra extended tanks. Its either “Right” or “Left”. None of the complex nonsense like on Bonanzas or Cessna 310s with tip tanks. I had my J converted to a Missile nearly 20 years ago. When the family was younger our trips were with all four seats filled. As commented above, family flights are best appreciated below 12,500 without O2. I think it’s important to look at real world performance rather than just flat out level speed. Our frequent trips between Sugar Land and Albuquerque (633 nm direct although few more around military and Restricted areas) are generally about 4 hours (curiously generally either way). Other frequent trips clear across Texas, from Texas Tech in Lubbock to Sugar Land, (400 nm direct) were about 2.5 hours. I recall one trip where another local father in a Cirrus SR22 was also flying his daughter back to.Sugar Land at the same altitude ( I think 9,500). I took off after him and passed him midway. I avoid grass or dirt fields There is too much weight on the front gear and not a lot of prop clearance. A bumpy surface or rut can make the plane pitch and bounce enough to nick the tips. Also if the ground is moist or soft, you will need help or a tug to move it. Check the prop carefully - it is full feathering used only on 3 planes. Check the engine mounts for droop and the landing gear Lord disks for compression. Both will reduce prop clearance. I recently had excessive wear on the lower two-thirds portion of the 2 piece spinner right under the big center nut that holds it to the low pitch stop on the piston chamber. Think of it as a large curved aluminum salad bowl with a big hole in the center of the flat base. Hartzell charges a cool $2,000 for that one piece of aluminum and it took them 6 weeks to make it. The full spinner (2 nose pieces plus backing plate) is $4,000. None existed in the US. For some reason corrosion in the tail pipe (a Rocket Engineering specific design) is a problem in Missiles. (No corrosion in the heater however - zero problem there). I know of one Missile owner in Houston who lost the tail piece while flying. The IO550A is tightly cowled and tends to run a bit hot. You have to watch cylinder temperature when climbing out on hot summer days in Texas (especially if idling or taxiing an extended time at a busy Class C or B airport waiting for clearance). I just shallow out or level my climb at slightly reduced rpm to stabilize temps before resuming. The Continental fuel injection nozzles are quite well balanced and temps are even. i do not have speed brakes and don’t really see the need. I have flown considerable times into Class B (Houston, Dallas) and some Class C where they ask for speed to stay ahead of the jets and then drop you in to land. I just reduce power, pitch up rather aggressively, drop the gear and add half flaps to kill speed and then lose altitude. The same is true when crossing the Monzano or Sandia Mountains anywhere from 10,500 - 12, 500 ft. and then quickly dropping into the Albuquerque Sunport at 5,300 ft. I will admit that I have dropped gear and flaps at speeds above those recommended or posted in the POH at times in the past; however over 20 years it does not seemed to have caused any problems. I have not needed to source anything from Rocket Engineering which is a good thing since they no longer support the Missile or Rocket. My A&P is able to find alternate suppliers or repair shops for the few Rocket Engineering unique parts. Make sure that it has the plywood battery board that Rocket Engineering originally cut for the plane. It is an odd shape and you need it to slide the battery box from the tail. (2 batteries in box). Good luck
  2. So it’s been nearly 3 months since the Chinese owners of Mooney stiffed the employees, welching on paying promised holiday pay that was an enticement to return to work after the Thanksgiving shutdown. And it has been a month since anyone commented about this topic here. Has anyone heard anything about the status of Mooney and the factory? Anything officially from Mooney management?....anything from the Chinese owners?...anything from departed employees?...any rumors?...anything?? Does anyone know if Mooney has a plan to sell airplanes this year?...or to just sell the company? The double recession in China must be killing the Meijing Group - real estate is usually the first to collapse. And I fear that the emerging US recession, manifested via the 35% drop in the stock market, will be devastating to all GA this year.
  3. You left out the 2 steps where you fill out a Comprehensive Medicinal Exam Checklist (CMEC) and where you complete an online Medical Education Course. The completion date of each of those activities are communicated to the FAA along with your permission for them to pull your driving record. "The date pilots complete the BasicMed course is now included in an airman’s FAA record." - per AOPA Example provided by neilpilot above: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2017/june/15/faa-airmans-database-now-includes-basicmed-course-completion-information So it is all very simple. In order to have a valid BasicMed, the pilot must complete the CMEC and the Education Course. The completion dates show up in the FAA Airman's Registry. If the boxes are blank, then the pilot has not complied and he/she does not have a valid BasicMed. In the case of N777WP, the registered owner (and presumably the PIC since the other person on board was not a trained pilot) had an expired 3rd Class Medical and apparently did not have a valid BasicMed (assuming that the FAA Airman's Registry is accurate and current)
  4. It is enlightening to compare the discussion of the crash of N777WP here on Mooneyspace vs. the same thing on Beechtalk. This crash has attracted 65 comments on Mooneyspace of which about 15 are on "not speculating, self-policing, waiting for NTSB report, etc.". On Beechtalk it has attracted 117 comments on this Mooney crash with no comments about limiting speculation regarding the crash, plane, pilot, controllers or conditions. The comments on both sites seem to be fair and none of the comments appear to be disrespectful (although like art and beauty - good taste exists only in the viewers eyes). In general, Beechtalk, when discussing crashes of any brand in "Crashtalk", seems to delve deeper into all the factors and actions (plane, pilot, controllers, conditions, etc) that might have contributed to the crash.
  5. Searching the tail number or serial number in AviationDB and the FAA Aircraft Registry, shows John Calvert was the registered co-owner of N777WP since 6/25/1992. His wife is the other co-owner. On 12/27/1992 the plane had a prop strike on the runway while just avoiding a gear up landing. Presumably he was the PIC. For some reason he allowed the registration for the Mooney to lapse and the plane was deregistered by the FAA on 6/7/2013. On 10/28/2014 the plane was reregistered with the same tail number and owners. The registered owner, John Russell Calvert of Valencia, age 77, was rated PILOT/PRIVATE - AIRPLANE SINGLE ENGINE LAND and PILOT/PRIVATE - INSTRUMENT AIRPLANE. The FAA Airman's Registry shows that Mr. Calvert's last medical was 4/2016 and that it expired in 2018 in his age bracket. It does not show that he completed a BasicMed course. The passenger was Kevin Solis, 36, of Fontana. He does not show up in the FAA Airman's Registry as a pilot or student. The free flight history on FlightAware only shows flights in January-March of this year. None of the flights appear to be at IFR altitudes. It appears that he had a long history as a pilot in type but currency will only be known by review of his logbook.
  6. Interesting point. It would seem that most of the posts on this topic are "speculation and guess". We don't really know who was the PIC, who was actually talking to ATC, the exact flight path of the plane (page 2 & 3 of this topic point out that Flightaware and flightradar24 might not be accurate). the exact weather conditions experienced by the plane, the medical status or condition of the PIC, the currency of the PIC, the condition of the plane, the equipment level (presence of Aspen, type or condition of autopilot, etc), level of hypoxia or presence of CO, what the pilot actually heard ATC say, etc. The only factual "INFORMATION" we really have is the identity of plane, Aircraft registration, location of crash, identity of 2 deceased, FAA Airman's Registry for the owner, the ATC recording and Flightaware tracks which may or may not be accurate. By the proposed rules of "police ourselves" then I guess there should not really be any comments other than links to those sources of "INFORMATION".
  7. Interesting dilemma that you highlight regarding how technology enables social media to accelerate the spread and sharing of information. Online blogs like Mooneyspace, Beechtalk, PPRuNe, the comment posts on Katheryn's Report, etc. encourage participants to share their views and speculation. Some would argue that speculation, rumor mongering and sniping are the only real purposes and reasons for existence of online blogs. Otherwise, in the case of crash and accident investigation, these sites would just be a one-way website where AviationSafetyNetwork reports and initial and final NTSB reports are posted. The webmaster could change the rules to only allow comments after the final NTSB report is issued. That would be more civil and take us back to something more like the 80's and early 90's but with electronic dissemination of information.
  8. You are right that it is about questioning ones capabilities, personal mins and "I am not proficient"..."or up to the task". But perhaps it is less about "today" and more fundamentally about the passage of time and age. It has been reported that the registered owner, John Russell Calvert of Valencia, age 77 and Kevin Solis, 36, of Fontana perished in the crash. The FAA Airman's Registry shows that Mr. Calvert's last medical was 4/2016 and that it expired in 2018 in his age bracket. It does not show that he completed a BasicMed course. Mr. Solis does not show up in the registry as a pilot or a student. Flightaware shows that the flight from Oregon was over 4 hours primarily at about 11,500 ft. Perhaps Mr. Calvert used some oxygen or perhaps not. In any event it is long flight followed by hard IFR. I agree that is probably less about the “go there I but the grace of god” aspect. The NTSB report in about a year will likely shed more light.
  9. I don’t think your comment is accurate or fair. Transcript from same topic on BeechTalk: First call at 13:14 (timecode) checking in on the ILS. My very rough transcript follows. All times given refer to the timecode in the file. After the check-in, Aircraft appears to leave the mic open, tower tells him twice. Aircraft seems to misunderstand and says, "yeah, we're ok." Throughout the recording there is a lot of noise, like a stuck mic or interference, or inadvertent transmission. Not sure if that's normally present on the VNY Tower feed. 14:57: "You are deviating to the left and you are low altitude. Confirm you have ILS in sight?" Aircraft: "We're level. (stuck mic)." 15:22: "Say again for 7WP?" Tower: "You are right of course, you are right of course, if you are not established on the ILS then I will have alternate instructions for you." Aircraft: "We're turning left . . . now . . . heading 150 . . . for 7WP." 15:41: Tower: "7WP, fly heading 160, climb and maintain 5 thousand." Aircraft: "Climb and maintain 5 thousand, 7WP." Tower: "Affirmative, 160 on the heading, climb and maintain 5 thousand." Aircraft (noticeable change to the voice): "Climb maintain 5000, for 7WP." Tower: "Ensure you are on a 160 heading." 16:15: Tower: "You need to climb to 5000 and 160 heading." 16:22: Aircraft: "Copy for 7WP. Oh, %#$@!" 16:39: Aircraft: "Ugh!" 17:07: Aircraft: "(screaming)"
  10. Aviation Safety Network https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/233962 https://archive-server.liveatc.net/kvny/KVNY-Mar-13-2020-2130Z.mp3 Pilot first checks in at 13:14
  11. John C Tune Airport in Nashville took a direct hit from the tornadoes. Most of the buildings and surface structures gone or collapsed. There are reports of over 90 aircraft destroyed including jets. Brace for another bad insurance year.
  12. Let’s not forget a big problem with aluminum and steel constructed Mooney’s. Past Mooneyspace posts references a 1993 company statement that it took about 3,800 man hours to build a J/201 or nearly 2 man years per plane. But look at Mooney’s recent real world labor input per plane. Kerrville Aviation, the FBO, that runs the airport facility which Mooney leases, says that Mooney had 260 Kerrville employees in 2018 after consolidating and closing the Chino facility and terminating development of the M10. Mooney produced 17 planes in 2018. Assume 10 employees are working full-time on making Repair parts for the existing fleet. That means All in, Assembly line, Front office, back office, procurement, technical support, etc. that is 14.7 man years of labor per plane. They said sometime in 2019 Mooney cut Kerrvile to 60 employees while it produced seven planes. Assuming 10 were devoted to replacement parts that’s still more than 7.1 man years of labor per plane. Mooney has to go to a design or type of construction which cuts the labor requirement way way back or if they’re going to stick with aluminum and steel they need to move manufacturing to someplace that pays only a few dollars per hour for labor. The “pipe dreams“ that suggest Mooney should allow each buyer to select their own combinations of avionics and engine packages are just that. It will make an economically unviable plane even more so.
  13. FIKI or A/C adds about 50-70 lbs each. This brings the Useful Load of an Acclaim down to 850-860 lbs. (barely 800 with both). With full fuel (89 gal) payload is about 320 lbs with one of the desired options, 260-270 lbs with both. That makes it basically a two people with baggage airplane. Looking at the pictures online of the new Acclaim Ultras, I haven't seen any with FIKI. I suspect that for $800-900 K the new buyers optioned A/C at the very least leaving little useful load to sacrifice. https://www.aviationconsumer.com/industry-news/editorial/mooney-acclaim-ultra-tops-in-raw-speed/
  14. Well aircraft insurance companies first and foremost are in business to earn a profit for their owners/shareholders. Look at the latest Nall Report. Non-Commercial GA Fixed Wing aircraft incurred about 960-970 accidents during 2013-2015 but were up to 990-1037 in 2016-2017. Insurance is a pool of risk. Think of it as a bucket that everyone pays into. More accidents (yes there were fewer fatalities but more accidents) means more claims and more payouts. At the same time the total fleet of GA aircraft owned and insured is basically flat so the number paying into the bucket is basically flat. Insurance companies are not to going take losses by letting payouts exceed premiums very long. Someone has to pay. And that is the good old reliable high time/low risk pilots. They are the ones that may have a small claim for hurricane relocation or hangar rash - or even a rare mishap. But they will be back repairing their plane or buying another and continuing to pay into the pool for insurance long into the future. On the other hand take the low time pilot that buys a complex high performance plane and gets in over his head/skill level. Maybe it will not lead to a fatality but maybe porpoising prop strike or belly landing. That type of pilot is more likely to walk away from GA after a $40-80 K payout (or a $++ totaling) and will never pay a penny back into the risk pool. That leaves it up to the "good old reliable" high time/low risk pilots to make up the shortfall.
  15. That’s a great analogy. It’s just like cars. Some people fought every innovation to improve safety or drivability as too expensive, too easy, kills the romance of driving, not as efficient/effect as a properly trained “skilled” driver. I can remember the pushback on fuel injection, disc brakes, front wheel drive, Super charging, turbo charging, ABS, airbags, active traction control and of course automatic transmissions versus manual. Today the pushback is on EV and auto pilot. I bet I see the day before I die that they take the “driver“ out of driving. (Ferrari doesn’t sell a car anymore with a manual transmission because no human can shift as fast as an automatic) Innovation in general aviation is slow and initial cost high but most have embraced the benefits of (no carb icing) fuel injection, first Loran and now WAAS GPS, data base terrain avoidance, ADSB traffic and weather. There is pushback by some on CAPS/BRS but I would not be surprised in my lifetime to see it along with single lever control, auto land, 4 point seat belts, air bags as standard on all new generations of high performance singles. The trend in commercial aviation, as the 737 Max saga has illustrated, seems to be making planes easier to fly for pilots with a lower skill base. The same seems to be happening in GA.