Mooney_Allegro

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About Mooney_Allegro

  • Rank
    Lives Here

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Henderson, NV KHND
  • Interests
    Flying, cars, scuba diving, trains, snow skiing, traveling.
  • Reg #
    N82CG
  • Model
    2015 M20TN

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  1. @curusoam, First off, thanks for your comments. I have a bit more information to add to the mix. The plane has a G1000 with a datacard to record aircraft engine parameters. I'm a Savvy subscriber for over a year now, so they have the downloaded info, and I was able to find it. My fuel flow for most of the affected flight was under 18 gph. At about 45 minutes prior to landing, the FF spiked up to 35 gph for 5 minutes, then returned to normal. This must have been when the G1000 "range-ring" showed I had about 5 minutes of fuel. I checked my engine logbook after the leak was fixed last October, and the corrective action was, "Tightened fuel line on fuel transducer, leak check good". It was a five minute fix.
  2. Thanks Mike. I'm really glad to hear that it didn't come out of the factory like this. I just had flashbacks from Richard's crash and now this new crash in AZ, so it's been making me think a bit more about maintenance practices. That fitting was never something I ever thought about until last October. At the various maintenance facilities I've been to in the last 4 years, it's a constant theme from management....."we are having a hard time getting qualified people, and the experienced people are retiring". It's putting me on pins and needles everytime I take my plane in for an annual. There's been too many issues I've seen on my plane where things have not been put back correctly, and by chance, nothing bad has happened. Thanks for your concern.
  3. Perfect, thanks for the suggestion and photo. I've seen torque paint on I believe the major oil fittings. Is torque paint on all the fuel and oil fittings? Is that standard? If I remember correctly, sometimes I've seen cracks on some of the torque paint. I'll have to recheck the engine and look for that.
  4. The mechanic who discovered the fitting was loose didn't re-torque the fitting, he just tightened it with a wrench. I apologize for saying the torque needed to be checked at every annual. I wish I had the experience to know what is right and wrong when looking at an engine. I'm not a mechanic. The only thing I'm competent to do on an engine is an oil change and check for leaks/chaffing.
  5. I don't know why some of the photos are not in the correct orientation as they are on my phone when uploaded to this site. Sorry, no better photos. I do have a video showing the fuel spraying out all over the firewall. As far as maintenance done in the past, a condition of purchasing the plane was that the fuel pump be replaced with an overhauled unit (due to Richard Simile's brand new Acclaim crash in Lakeland, FL back in 2015 at Sun 'n Fun). Richard's plane was only one serial number away from mine. My logbook entry has the new fuel pump listed and also "repositioned fuel line to prevent chafing", done back in 2016. The MSC that accomplished those tasks stated that they never touched the fuel line in question. The logbook has been checked. No fuel lines or oil lines have been replaced. Only a replacement fuel pump was installed at purchase as a condition of purchase and repositioning of a fuel line to prevent chafing. That's it.
  6. I have a story to convey that is very alarming for me and I'm still being haunted by what could have happened. I've been told by many aviation experts that "I can count my blessings" I didn't have an engine fire or engine shutdown while cruising at 15,000 feet last year over rugged terrain and low IFR enroute conditions over New Mexico. On 17 October, 2018, I was repositioning my aircraft (2015 M20TN) from Atlanta (KPDK) to Las Vegas Henderson Executive Airport (KHND) with one fuel stop in Clinton, Oklahoma. The first leg went just fine. My fuel stop in Clinton consisted of grabbing a bite to eat at McDonalds (not many food choices in Clinton), then returning for the final leg home. I arrived back at the airport an hour later, sumped the tanks with the 75 gallons of fuel I had pumped earlier, and I was ready to file my new IFR flight plan via ForeFlight. I fueled my tanks especially full on this leg because of enroute low IFR weather 1/2 way to my destination, high terrain and lack of close alternate airports along the way. After takeoff in good DAY VFR conditions, I smelled 100LL fuel, which was a bit surprising, but I discounted it, since I assumed it was caused by filling the tanks as high as I could (100 gallons). In the 2015 Mooney Acclaim Type S, normally I don't top the tanks due to the added weight for shorter flights. In my previous 1998 Mooney, I once smelled fuel in the cabin after takeoff six months after my tanks were resealed. The culprit was a few loose screws behind the pilot's sidewall that links to the fuel senders in the wing. In that instance, fuel was leaking from those screws very slowly and making a blue mess behind the interior sidewall. I ended up fixing the leak myself under direction of the "Weep No More" repair center. That fix entailed removing the pilot's seat, removing the left sidewall, and tightening the screws carefully and cleaning the blue stains, all which I could do as a pilot/owner legally. During cruise, I made a note to contact my Mooney Service Center in North Las Vegas the following day to have the fuel smell addressed. Again, I assumed the fuel vapor was primarily caused by a small fuel seepage from a cabin screw behind the sidewall. The fuel smell continued after two hours, so I knew it wasn't due to overfueling. It must have been the fuel seepage into the cabin.....so I thought. About an hour outside of Henderson Executive, while talking to Los Angeles Center, my G1000 fuel range ring all of a sudden showed I had five minutes of fuel remaining from 60 minutes I was suppose to land with. My fuel gages still showed I would have 20 gallons remaining on landing, which is my normal reserve on such a long cross-country flight. I discounted the G1000 fuel range ring as a malfunction, but a later review of my G1000 engine parameters database showed my fuel flow spiked from under 18 gph to 35 gph over a five minute period. I relied on my fuel gages, burn rate, and time. The G1000 fuel ring is not something I rely on, but is an advisory "nice to have visual display" only. I was cleared for the visual approach into Henderson Executive, made a smooth landing and taxiied to my hangar with the fuel gages showing I had 20 gallons remaining. Since I had 32 hours on the oil and since the engine oil was still hot, I decided to do an oil change right then and there. After uncowling the engine and draining the hot oil, I noticed the firewall, nose gear doors (inside and outside), underbelly, and parts of the engine right next to the 1600'F+ dual turbo-chargers were coated with 100LL thick blue stains. I was in shock, because I'm super meticulous with my plane's maintenance, aircraft cleanliness, and I've never seen any leakage before like this with any aircraft I've owned in the past. This was a very SERIOUS leak. The only maintenance I've had done in the area was to "replace the main fuel pump" and to "reposition fuel line to prevent chafing". This was done two years ago. The MSC that accomplished this advised me they did not touch the fuel line in question. The next morning, I came back out to the airport to finish the oil change and to start the engine to find out where the fuel leak was located. Under the direction of my Mooney Service Center both in Atlanta and North Las Vegas, I started the engine, let it run at 1000 RPM's and had another pilot take video of the engine during the ground run at 1000 RPM's. We had an extensive safety briefing before the runup due to the spinning propeller. We have video of the leak, and it was a massive leak near the top of the firewall, where the fuel transducer and main fuel line are located. The fuel was literally gushing out extensively and spraying all over the firewall. It was not a pretty site to see and as I said before, I'm told that it was a miracle there was no fire or engine failure while in cruise flight. The area where the leak is located is wrapped up in orange fire-sleeve materials. About a week later, I had my MSC director of maintenance drive an hour to my hangar to diagnose the issue. His corrective action was, "TIGHTENED FUEL LINE ON FUEL TRANSDUCER". He found that this connection was not even finger tight. This area is on the upper rear firewall above the turbo chargers on the TSIO-550G engine. The fuel connection was about to let loose completely. I was flying 4 hours in that condition with considerable fuel spraying out. He said that this fitting is tightened from the factory and should never come loose on its own. He also said that it's something NEVER checked on annual or 100-hour inspections, because it's not suppose to come loose. I verified this with other leading Mooney Service Centers across the country and they advised me the same thing.....this main fuel fitting is NEVER checked on annuals. It's wrapped up in thick fire sleeving and there's never a need to check it. My MSC mechanic was super surprised that the plane didn't have a complete engine failure or especially a fire with the glowing red hot turbo chargers just below. Note: This main fuel line fitting cannot be safety wired, so it relies on proper tightness. That following week, I drove to the Las Vegas FSDO office in Las Vegas and provided all of my photos to document the issue. They were VERY interested and directed me to submit all of my documentation online, which I did. Their conclusion was that this seemed like an isolated case and it hasn't been reported in the past. The purpose of visiting the FAA was not to point any fingers, but to document the issue and perhaps prevent this from occurring to someone else. If it happenend to me, there's a good chance it will happen to someone else. So the moral of the story is: IF YOU SMELL FUEL IN THE CABIN, LAND AND HAVE IT CHECKED OUT BY A MECHANIC. PLEASE DON'T DELAY! I could have easily ended up a statistic in this case and possibly the NTSB would have never known what happened after their investigation since the plane would have most likely burned up after a forced landing in the rugged mountains or rough desert floor. At every annual, I will direct my mechanic to remove the fire sleeving from this area and check the security of the fuel line on the fuel transducer. After my incident, the MSC advised me they will start checking this on all TSIO-550G engines from now on. Another tip is to always keep the engine bay and wheel wells super clean, so that in the event there's a new leak of some sort, you'll spot it immediately. I learned this years ago while flying corporate aircraft.
  7. Sent donation via PayPal. Thanks Mike for everything you do and keeping us all informed. This is all very shocking and makes me think a lot about general aviation flying.
  8. This is just terrible news. I really hope the occupant(s) pull through.
  9. Hi Mark, I had something similar last year with my TSIO-550G. I noticed long brass colored slivers of whisker-like material in the oil filter and the prop would spin during start, and occasionally stop during the start, and then it would start. Speaking with Continental, they said it was the starter-adaptor going bad. I had that replaced and a short time later, I also had the starter replaced with a Sky-Tec C24ST4, due to oil leakage from the seal inside the starter. All is good now with no more whisker-like bronze material in the filter and good starts. Good luck with your issue, I hope it's resolved by now.
  10. PIREP..... I finally received my two spare ignition keys from Mooney. It took 6+ weeks to get them after ordering them from a MSC, so plan accordingly if you need them. The good news is that they both work, so I'm very happy.
  11. Yes, I took a photo copy of the tech's notes. Here they are. He said the numbers were all over the place and he couldn't make any sense out of it. His boss finally told him to stop after 4 hours of grinding away at the starter on and off. All were very hot starts plus all the turbo cool downs. IPS .28 @ 208 .31 @ 180 24.3 @ 249'/260 .35@ 324 18.7 @ 304 .22 @ 210 37.9 @ 303 .24 @ 7 22.3 320 .48 @ 17 .48 @201
  12. It was VERY gusty that day and a quartering crosswind. You would think that this experienced tech would know not to attempt a balance in such conditions. I spoke to a MSC that does prop balancing a few days ago, and he told me they never do prop balances in high wind, that they strive for calm conditions. I bet this is why my prop couldn't be balanced.
  13. I’ve decided to have my prop balanced by a leading prop shop in Gainesville, GA since I’ve never had it done. I’m not experiencing any unusual vibrations. The tech has been doing this for 15 years and has done 100’s of planes. He’s very experienced. He spent four hours and 10 run-ups and each time, his computer was telling him conflicting information that didn’t make any sense with moving weights all over the place and sometimes doubling weights from the previous run in completely different positions. He concluded that he couldn’t balance my prop and never charged me. He thinks it could be either his equipment or my engine. Has anyone experienced a Prop Balance where the readings were all over the place and it was impossible to balance the prop?
  14. FYI, for any owners that have the vernier throttle in their Mooney might want to check the tightness of the push button vernier throttle (black button on the end of the throttle). Mine came completely out yesterday while turning final at 1000' coming into Scottsdale, AZ yesterday. The black button fell out in my hand, and the spring inside fell out onto the floor. It took me a few seconds to realize what was going on, and another few seconds to make sure I had control over the engine, but at that altitude, there wasn't much time. After shutdown, I was able to screw the button back in along with the spring that goes inside of it. From now on, I'll check this as part of my preflight.
  15. After starting the TSIO-550G engine yesterday, the G1000 MFD displayed the RPM's as Zero, even though the engine was running just fine. I recycled the MFD twice with the CB, and completely powered the plane down with the Alternator and Master switch both off, then back on again, with no help. I called my MSC, who was no help either, and also spoke to Garmin Field Service, which was absolutely no help or assistance for that matter. Has anyone experienced this issue of ZERO RPM displayed? The only thing I know to do would be to remove the GEA71 (engine and airframe) box in the tail and reinstall it. The GEA71 gets it's RPM from a sensor someplace, but I have no idea where the RPM sensor is located. I'm assuming in the engine compartment, but I don't know. The RPM indication finally started working again after about 11 minutes and continued to work until shutdown. Thanks for any guidance. David