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Becca

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  1. I am pretty happy with it all things considered for a first race and learned a lot about how to do better next time. We also won prizes on 4 of the legs (1 first place leg, 2 second place legs, and 1 third place leg.) 3rd place overall went to a very experienced Mooney racer flying her M20J, team “Over the Moon.” I feel a little bit like someone who trains for a marathon and says “I just want to run one once and cross it off my bucket list” only to be looking for the next marathon opportunity right when they get home. I hope to do it again, but the time commitment is pretty steep for anyone with limited vacation time. One amazing thing about this race is the airports in the route - amazing, they had food, spectators, hordes of volunteers from 99s, EAA, CAP, local schools acting as pit crew, meteorologists on site for briefings, water, swag, rides to hotels, etc. It was an overwhelming amount of support every time we landed.
  2. It was interesting how this all worked out. The situation sucks. Frankly, as to the destroyed Mooney, I am disappointed EAA didn’t make things right with the property damage in excess of your insured value. They have some culpability for failure to enforce their own safety rules. I assume they didn’t because they are worried about exposure for the helicopter wrongful death.
  3. My view of a pre buy is that no loggable maintenance except for an oil change should be performed without the owners’ express permission and clear authorization as to who will be paying regardless of the status of the sale. The annual should only begins once the sale goes through. As a buyer you wouldn’t want to pay an annual if you weren’t buying anyway. The idea of a pre buy and an annual are the same thing is a little out of touch with what you are looking for on a pre buy. I know lots of owners don’t like the plane leaving the field for a pre buy. But I think ferrying it a reasonable distance is a fair ask. Most airports don’t let off field mechanics to work on their field, so being unwilling to ferry basically amounts to limiting the mechanic who can do a pre buy. I think a reasonable deposit buys down a lot of seller risk. You should know your planes condition well enough to know there’s not something so badly wrong that it will get grounded and not be ferry-able.
  4. lol, I love my undeserved reputation for power here :). If only the reality matched! In all seriousness, we advise many people not to get a pre buy from a mechanic on field with the airplane or a mechanic that regularly maintains the plane…. It seems reasonable to practice what you preach. Also, there’s just a built in conflict here - is the mechanic supposed to betray a long time customer and blow up a deal by finding something bad they really should have found before? And what if the mechanic missed something then just keeps missing it on the pre buy? Everyone is just more comfortable with the sale if there’s an independent assessment. It’s crazy that even MSC’s won’t respond to a call about a pre buy - I know there’s some MSC shops regularly on MooneySpace, I wonder if they’d chime in about what’s going on? Seems like Mooney pre buys would be a required service for them to provide. Unfortunately, Mooney is not currently authorizing new MSC’s afaik.
  5. If you’re anything like Byron, no matter how much gas he has the perfect plane has 10 gallons more…
  6. I am surprised @jetdriven has not already jumped in to reply to this. I think he's written a few posts on this on the vendor forum. The quality and thoroughness of annuals vary. But in RPM's experience, a no-repairs checklist following the Mooney Factory Checklist recommended steps takes between 30-35 hrs. If you get quoted for a flat rate that takes less time, ask your mechanics if they do the annual in reference to this checklist or if they skip any of the steps on the checklist to make the annual go faster (and if so, make sure you are ok with whatever steps do they skip). Also if offered a low flat rate, make sure to ask what is included in the flat rate (I have seen bills that add 3 hrs for an oil change on top of a "flat rate" annual, that actually happened to a girlfriend of mine on her first annual, or or other items that you might assume would be included in the annual). Assuming a $100/hr labor rate (though in the midatlantic area some of the local shops have gone up to as high as $130-140/hr labor rate!!), you're looking at $3000-3500 plus materials (oil, filter, etc.). My personal observations is that first annuals in a new relationship with a mechanic - especially a thorough mechanic - are rarely no-repairs, straight time projects. They will find deferred or unsatisfactory work from previous owners. You will have squawks. When we bought our plane, experienced airplane owners told us "just plan $10k on that stuff in the first year of ownership." And I think that tends to run true for most of my friends that have bought planes both here and back in Texas for their year 1 annual expenses, whether incurred at annual or throughout the year. One thing I've been surprised learning since Byron opened RPM is how many planes do not have AD lists. If a mechanic has to compile an AD list from scratch because they don't want to rely on the previous mechanic's statement "all AD's complied with" but did not show their work or provide any info on which AD's are applicable or how they've been complied with, that's several hours of additional time but its a one time deal, because you will have an AD list going forward. This is super baffling to me, we would've wanted an AD list at pre-buy. Not sure why this isn't a thing everyone has.
  7. Its official, after years of talking about wanting to do it, I am making it happen and signed up for the Women's Air Race Classic. I see at least one other Mooney on the registration list so far - any other lady Mooney pilots going to be joining me this year? Anyone done this race in the past and have useful advice, tips, or tricks to flying fast? https://www.airraceclassic.org/racer-list.htm (I also plan on continuing to participate in some co-ed racing through Sport Air Race League as often as I can, so looking forward to seeing if anyone can best my speed there too!)
  8. As y’all know we have an 1977 M20J with modern avionics, new paint, and a 500 hr engine, it will soon have a brand new interior. Insurance companies are capping our hull value at $189k (for the insurance company with smooth limits) to $195k (the insurance company without smooth limits). Any higher hull value is doubling our premium (from $3k to $6k). I just cannot fathom being able to replace my plane for even $200k in the current sales environment. I think I’ll get “good enough” for $200 and then actually have to put more in to get where I am now. I am concerned my insurance company will be incentivized to total my plane because they will be able to sell it off at salvage for more than the insured value. Are you all seeing this with your hull values? Anything I can do? I’m afraid our only option is going to be to just go underinsured and keep our fingers crossed…
  9. We were parked kind of in the middle of the Cessna caravan this year... awkward! (Actually the most annoying thing is that a few Cessna people seemed to think its ok to run generators all night ... there were several planes that ran really loud generators non-stop, which is the first time in 15 years I've heard that while camping in the N40... But the rest of them were awesome and friendly as expected from the N40 camaraderie... we all got a big laugh at the Cirrus mass arrival having a group hug and an overly enthusiastic cheerleading session after they landed. I guess one thing that bonds all us old airplane owners is making fun of Cirrus?)
  10. I think EAA has a model of how group sites could be reserved based on the mass arrival groups. Also in experimental and vintage, they manage to park like types together with reserved spaces and minimum chaos. Maybe they could put a time limit on it -- if you don't arrive by Monday morning, the spots revert back to first come-first serve. But even if EAA extended what they did for Cessnas during this Oshkosh - allowing 25 reserved adjoining spots for non-formation arrivals - to all the groups with existing formation arrivals, you could really extend participation and grow the community. It would be awesome if a couple rows were saved along side the caravan for more Mooneys. I miss Yves pizza Mooneyspace gathering as another way to socialize with other Mooney owners.
  11. I am a big fan of good partnerships. We bought our plane in an excellent partnership and it was sad to dissolve it when we moved. We shared fixed expenses equally (at the time of the purchase, that was a loan, hangar, annual, insurance, and some upgrade funds); and then we charged variable expenses by the hour (engine/prop depreciation, oil, fuel), which we figured out our variable expenses by a tracking spreadsheet and updated it regularly. It was a compatible partnership, we had similar financial resources, similar approaches to maintenance, we were friends who enjoyed flying together, and we were respectful of each others scheduling needs (visiting grandma for weekend > $100 hamburger) and never had scheduling conflicts. We each flew just under 100 hrs a year which is about perfect balance between partners. We each owned our share of the plane AND the same share of our bank account balance which held our reserves. Many partnerships don’t put reserves aside and they fall apart when a big expense comes up or they fail to upgrade the plane regularly because on partner is always “let’s wait.” We put the plane in an LLC for some limited liability protection and used a version of the AOPA partnership agreement to spell out rules (which is important to think about survivorship, selling a share, etc) You are in a different situation because you already own the plane. So you have to ask - how do you value the share, what about things that’s already depreciated like the engine, what happens if your partner wants to take a loan to buy his share, etc. I think if I were you, I’d consider selling block time at cost instead of selling a share - get the person you sell the time to named on the insurance as part of their block time buy, charge enough to cover some of your expenses, etc. Maybe ask the person to contribute $200/month or something in addition to the block time price. If the arrangement works out, consider a partnership after that
  12. I had an intriguing conversation …. I was talking to a friend and learned the Cessna mass arrival is undergoing some sort of unspecified scrutiny, and as a result will only be allowed to have 50 planes in their arrival. The intriguing part to me is that they are being allowed 25 additional parking spots for other Cessnas that arrive outside the mass arrival to join their group because of the limits on the mass arrival size. This is intriguing and interesting to me, because I think there would be a high demand for this option. Is there a future for this with the Mooney’s? As you all are more than aware, we originally were never able to do the Caravan because we couldn’t meet the scheduling requirements (as we also often participate in the AirVenture Cup air race or have work conflicts depending on the year); and later we lost interest in formation flying with the caravan. But the fellowship the Caravan offers for a community of mooney owners has always been a wonderful thing, and I feel like parking with the community but without the formation arrival would be a great addition and open up participation to more Mooney’s. any chance of this ever happening? (fwiw, I’ve been separately providing feedback to EAA that they should open up the S40 to reserved group parking allowing people to rope off areas to camp together even after arriving at different times or out of formation. That “bonus” feature might make the S40 more desirable as a destination if it has different rules than the first come, first serve N40. I think there’s a lot of demand for allowing groups to camp together at Oshkosh.)
  13. I know this is a long shot, but figured I'd ask. I'm wondering if anyone would have space to take someone from Tullahoma, TN (any airport nearby) to Oshkosh this year. The passenger is an 86-year-old Air Force veteran, and general aviation enthusiast who used to own/fly a Lake Amphibian. He's just not in a position to drive the distance or navigate a commercial airport by himself. He'd pay his share of expenses and be flexible about arrival/departure times. Once he gets to Oshkosh, everything is taken care of -- His son, daughter in law, and two grandchildren will already be at Oshkosh before the show starts and provide accommodations and will get him home on their drive back to Atlanta. (They can't take him to the show because they'll be traveling throughout Michigan in the weeks before the show and won't be back in the south) Longer story about why I am posting this is that his daughter-in-law is one of my best friends and college roommate. She and her husband are both university aerospace engineering professors, this will be her and her elementary-school-aged children's first trip to Oshkosh - they will already be up there having made the drive weeks before the show as part of a more extended vacation. I am certain it would be meaningful to them to have a 3-generation Oshkosh experience. I know its a long shot, but I told her I'd post to pilot communities and see if we can find someone with a spare seat. If you know of anyone, just PM me and I will put you in touch with her directly.
  14. Jetdriven’s wife here. I pay the insurance bills. There was no discount applied for the MAPA Safety Clinic. (Or AOPA members, EAA membership, MAPA membership, etc) in our history of owning the plane despite regularly asking two agents (Falcon in Texas and AIR in DC). still I agree, getting Mooney specific training however you do it is important regardless of affect on insurance rates.
  15. The plane is based at my home airport. It’s a pretty active partnership. The plane is (was) pretty regularly flown by many or all of the partners. I think there may be 1-2 new partners so sucks for them if this is their first experience in airplane ownership. I find it hard to believe anyone who flies IFR regularly into GAI, let alone is based at GAI would be unfamiliar or unable to spell the BEGKA waypoint. I am curious how this will all play out with liability. i was not impressed with the pilot’s post accident interviews. In one he said to the reporter “well I’m trained to fly in that weather as long as it isn’t icy or a thunderstorm” (along those lines) which conveys he likely didn’t have any sense of personal minimums. One things you might not be hearing in the compressed versions of the LiveATC floating here is there was a Cheyenne on the approach to GAI in front of him who went missed, never saw the runway, and diverted to FDK. The accident pilot was aware (heard, discussed with ATC) of that and continued pressing. I was at GAI about an hour before the accident and the fog was so thick the ducks were walking, if anything the weather may have been slightly worse than the ASOS history reported in the thread.
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