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    M20K 231

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  1. I heard you are the person to talk to. I'm Looking to fly to Mexcio city at the end of this year from San Diego. There is info on customs from AOPA but any advice on customs and on the first port of entry would help too.

    But my question on where to find information for where to land, parking, security etc. I find the websites are lacking on pilot information or contact emails phone numbers etc. 

    I'm thinking Aeropuerto de Atizapán is the choice to go to CDMX, but also where do one find more info on central and south America. This trip is fine since I can carry enough fuel to fly there and back to US, but any longer trip I'll need to learn the how and where for refuel. 


    1. Show previous comments  1 more
    2. kortopates



      MMJC (Aztipan) is way too short for the elevation IMO. I use Tolouca (MMTO) for Mexico City - everything is available there including a bus to MX every hour and Toluca is also still high at 8466' but it has a 13,780' runway versus the 4K' you referred too.

      From San Diego, plan to fly east over local mtns to the desert and cross the border at Mexicali. Then take V3 all the way to Obregon (MMCN) or further to Los Mochis (MMLM) to clear customs, get your Muti-entry, and refuel. The following day take V3 GDL V5 to TLC MMTO Tolouca. 

      You don't have to take airways unless flying IFR but its easy fly IFR down there in your K if you want. 

      Fuel is available at virtually all towered airports unless notam'd to the contrary, and luckily running out of 100LL is rare on the mainland - but always check NOTAMs just like flying anywhere else. The fuel price is virtually the same at every public mexican airpory because all fuel sold by single nationalized provider ASA, and they require payment via credit card. Some airport fees require cash for airport fees but many these days take credit cards for everything but will also charge a fee for using a card (except for fuel and multi-entry permits). If you'll be in Mexico for less than a week you won't have to pay for the tourist card as a crew memeber - about $30 US in cash (preferably peso's for better exchange rate).  But any pax will pay and you as well if staying 7 days or more. 

      Currently you should only get a multi-entry permit if you enter next year, since Multi-entry permits are only good for the calendar year you buy it. So if you enter in December any time, just get a single entry permit which will last for 180 days and thus won't expire Jan 1st. The closest you can cut it is to arrive New Years Eve, spend the night and get your multi-entry New Years day, but this adds challenges because not everything is open New Years and your screwed if you can't get your reciept for your multi before departing.

      I assume you know about our eAPIS procedures from entering the US from Canada, you'll also have to deal with this cross into Mexico and then coming back into the US. Also Mexico has their own eAPIS for both inbound and outbound, but very easy to comply with an email to MX - which is documented on AOPA - which is the way I do it. You'll also need the CBP sticker on your plane which I assue you're fmiliar with as well.

      For flight information, the best source is Jepp, which is what I use, but Mexico now uses bi-lingual plates which you can down load for free at the FlyQ website.

      I do Mexico checkout flights from San Diego to San Felipe for local pilots, going through all the border crossing rules and filing if you'd like the extra help. 

      For another source of information on flying in Mexico see Bajabush pilots website - I am on there as well and you'll find much more detailed information there than AOPA with trip reports from other pilots. But keep in mind most of the trip reports are from newbie pilots that just made their first trip down there and their information isn't always the best.  


    3. canamex


      @kortopates this is all great information. Have you flown into Atizapan? Obviously one needs to know their personal minimums however the 6% grade at Atizapan makes takeoff and landing much easier. There is a Cherokee 140 which flies out of there regularly and my M20F (without turbo) makes it off in about 2200ft. The tricky thing with Toluca is that it really isn’t GA friendly and since Interjet went bankrupt a couple of months ago there is no longer scheduled service to Toluca so ground transfers have become difficult.

    4. kortopates


      No worries @canamex I am just not the one to recommend such a short strip for the field elevation to someone flying into the area for the first time with such easier options. The instructor in me would reserve that for someone experienced in the area that worked up to going in there, having a good idea of their limitations. I 'd assume it wasn't your first airport used for area either, but maybe that's just me. I do have friends that have taken off at other similar altitude MX airports with longer unways in NA aircraft that relayed the typical density altitude white knuckle tales finding themselves barely able to climb out above obstacles.  But I was also not aware of the 6% grade which certainly helps but adds other concerns too. I do appreciate the update on Toluca.

  2. @canamex Im flying San Diego this winter and was thinking of going to CDMX for week. There is info for traveling to Mexico in a private plane but I cannot find info for flying to Benito Juarez. Do they allow it, fuel, tie down/ hangar rental etc.
  3. Aprox $2700, I had a crack lens on one side and the cost of Whelan LED lights pushed the cost to retrofit my existing winglets to the point I figured just get the newer design.
  4. Has there been any response from the email addresses on moony.com? We've been trying to call and have sent several emails but crickets.... My first annual is coming up and the AME wants to know/have the latest manuals or at least confirm with what I have. I was able to get the latest maintenance manual PDF for the M20K 231 off the web, but not the parts manual. I still have the paper binders that came with the plane, the paper manual for parts was published in 1998 and the maintenance manual was published in 1997. Any thoughts on what I have or what to do
  5. Very good chance I will once I pull the trigger on on a IFD440. Just hashing out some details since Covid and cross border travel is a bit messed up.
  6. Do you know what his procedure was? Trying to figure out a way to to create a dipstick for both tanks. Does he know how long it takes for the fuel to move from mains to aux? When I first got the plane I thought I had a fuel leak as I would fill up the mains and the next time I fly the wing gauge would show a considerable (10 gal) loss.
  7. I use a gas alert clip by ITM instruments (yellow canaries we call them at work). I do get some alarms in the cab when I'm flying slow and in maneuvers but for the most part it stays quiet. I used to clip it to the lower part of the back seat, but it went off quite a bit and now I have it in the baggage compartment. Thoughts are if its going off on high alarm way back there, then there might be a leak in the muff or something serious to contend with as the whole cab is saturated with CO. The low alarm is 25ppm and the high is 75ppm. As a reference, when brushing off the snow from the truck and walking around it while it was running, my CO monitor was going off and it had a reading of 145ppm as a max. OSHA is 50ppm for 8 hours
  8. As a student learning on 231, I was quoted $5600CAD for a 150KCAD hull. My instructor is an out of work Airline pilot (737), he didn't have any experience flying a Mooney and to him its also just a plane. Next week or so I'll be doing my check ride with the bare minimum hours so it is doable. The plane already had a camera mount on the underside of the wing and I happen to have a go-pro already to it was nice to watch the footage of my landings when doing circuits to see what the underside looked like and have that relate to what I was experiencing in the left seat. My 231 was upgraded to a merlin waste gate and has an 830JPI engine monitor so I felt that didn't add much more complexity, but if I has to watch all the old analog gauges it would have been overwhelming. One thing I think helped me was NOT learning how to land in a C172 as I learned GUMP's from the get go and really controlling my altitude and speed when landing. When I had to do spins and stalls after about 10 hours in the Mooney, I landed the C172 after the lesson and man it was easy! On my 3000' runway I don't have alot of time to let it float or try to force it down, if I'm out of position with either too high or too fast, and for what ever reason leading me up to that point, it's a go around, my pride isn't hurt with a balked landing. I am hoping that once I get that 100Hr mark and get my IR that the price will come down significantly. I recommend going to the plane you want and that will fulfill your mission instead of buying an interim one. I can give you my insurance agent and who is the underwriter is, but it's Canadian so not sure if they do cross border polices. That's my experience so YMMV
  9. $2700USD. I have a small crack in one of my lens that has not propagated since I've had the bird but it is there, so considering the cost to switch to whellen 650E's and order a new lens it was almost 1/2 the cost. I am hoping the the lens on the new winglet is a bit tougher then the .095" lexan. I am glad I was able to fabricate a new front landing light cover with homedepot .125" supplied material. The sheet was big enough to make my replacement and have enough left over for another one. Th old one was completely cracked and "repaired with silicon" to hold the pieces of plastic in place where the ligament was (area between holes and side wall). I kept the original hole size and used the flush screws w/ washers but I was contemplating using a smaller hole with pan head screws to strengthen the ligament area, but it wouldn't be as aerodynamic with the heads sticking out.
  10. How have they held up after 3 years in service? Looking to upgrade at my next annual.
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