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Cris last won the day on February 26 2013

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About Cris

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    Brigantine, NJ
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    Jaguar XKE & Porsche sports cars & boating
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    M20S Screamin' Eagle ATP, CFII, AGI
  1. You might want to consider the KX155A which gives you a few additional options. See the Garmin site for differences.
  2. As we all know VFR fuel reserves are 30 minutes day and 45 minutes night @normal cruise. Typically I want an hours reserve after I land and always assume an hour flight even if it is just around the pattern. At a conservative 15 GPH I would have 30 gals of useable on takeoff. Interestingly In my A/C I see empty tanks with 15 gals useable per side so no ability to use a dip stick. As a heads up here is a dip stick story. I recently flew in a helicopter and was concerned about the fuel on board as the pilot had been giving rides to friends at the local airport. I requested the pilot dip stick the fuel before climbing aboard which he did. I watched from the side as the rotor was still turning. He said it was OK but I did not trust the statement as I had been timing the flights. We agreeded he would hover taxi to the fuel pumps a foot or so off the tarmac. Once we reached the fuel area he inadvertently rose to about four feet and at that moment the helo ran out of fuel. He was unable to recover and we landed very hard on the right skid. The Main rotor just missed the tarmac as it tipped on its right side where I was sitting. Luckily it bounced to center and except for a very hard landing we walked away unscathed. When we reviewed the issues I asked about the dip stick which I could not see from outside the rotor area. He showed me the stick. What he saw was the years of fuel stain on the stick as opposed to actual wet fuel on the stick. He had intended to fly at 60 feet to the pumps which were at the other side of the airport. Thankfully we did not. Flying is not inherently dangerous but it is terribly unforgiving. I consider myself lucky in this instance and it reinforces the fact that you cannot be to careful regardless of what others may say. Trust your own judgement. Fly safe.
  3. Many years ago I was a partner in several Mooney's. It always worked out but there was an extensive agreement. One issue that was not addressed and did occur was gear up landings and the resultant loss of value after repair. One partner had the misfortune to have two gear up landings within a year one of which was mechanical but avoidable and one as a result of a porpoised landing. The difference in the value of the aircraft even after repair caused the dissolution of the partnership. Something to consider if you are involved with others even with the best of intentions.
  4. As an owner of a very low time Eagle my experience is that I would do it again. At time of purchase in Feb 2011 the aircraft had 330 hrs TT with an Mattituck overhaul at 47 Hrs due to a prop strike. Contientals have far fewer corrosion issues than Lycomings due in part to cam placement. The Aircraft had spent half its life in Fl but inspection showed no evidence of corrosion any where. My thinking was that cylinders might need to be replaced but that the bottom end should be fine. Since purchase I have had very few maintenance issues and it has been maintained by a Mooney expert. One cylinder was iran'd last year due to a burned exhaust valve. I suspect that since their was no engine analyzer the previous operator may have run the CHT's to high. I did immediately add the analyzer and typically run lean of peak. Also the avionics were all low time and have been flawless. The S-Tec 30 is simple and more than adequate although I do have an S-Tec55x that I am thinking about installing. This Eagle came with the 280hp STC and I upgraded it to the 310HP with Midwest at a cost of 5K. It has a much better useful load than an Ovation 1123 lbs. and performance better than an Ovation 3 since it is a bit lighter. I also added a second color which was relatively inexpensive and now it is hard to tell it is not an Ovation since it had most of the Ovation options like leather seats. metallic stripes dual alternators, vacuum pumps etc. Currently it has 630 hrs and is a pleasure to own. At some point it will be sold but I will not be anywhere close to TBO which will make it easy to sell and I will not have taken the hit on the new engine depreciation that is typical. I'm way to old to get my money out of a new engine. Was I lucky? I don't think so. Just be sure you get a good Pre-Buy and be prepared to walk away. Just my thoughts on a low time purchase from someone who did so. Others have voiced excellent view on the opposite high time approach. In the end buy the best aircraft that you can afford.
  5. At present neither of these systems allows for VOR/ILS integration. Trio has indicated that they need to step up to another level of FAA acceptance in order to integrate with panel mounted systems. Presumably that is their intention but it is a risk to consider. Personally I would not consider an autopilot without both GPS and VOR integration. The Dynon D10A (autopilot function) which is being Certified by the EAA does have this capability but is still a ways away from sale. May be to soon to make a decision without solid specs.
  6. In my Eagle the factory Moritz EGT runs as much as 100 degrees higher than my Insight G2. As others have said it is where the probe sits and perhaps the accuracy of the Moritz. If you run lean of peak you will be able to reduce EGT's much more operating the engine at 60 percent power. Of course that means you need an engine monitor.
  7. No the servo's are the same and the system when designed was intended to be easily upgraded. The problem is that over time the mfg. has forgotten that part and the cost to upgrade is often as much or even more than a brand new 55x system. One of the issues with the experimental autopilots is that they only handle GPS and not ILS/VOR Nav systems. I have read that is one of the issues that TruTrac is addressing but it means that the Vizion will not be the experimental version and probably will be much more expensive.
  8. I have an S-Tec 30 in my 310hp Eagle. It is perfectly adequate and simple to operate and maintain. However it does not do anything near to the 55X. To intercept it must be within 10 degrees of the final approach course and you can't put it in heading mode and have it intercept the final approach course. You can't add vertical speed capture etc. You already know it will not follow the GS. GPSS is included in the 55X and it is an option in the 30. When you look at the hardware cost it is not that much more expensive to add the 55x. I do not know if there is a substantial difference in installation costs although I suspect there is. The resale value will definitely be higher with the 55X. I am considering upgrading to the 55x not because of its capabilities but because of the fact that it is also the turn coordinator. This makes it difficult for a passenger to access and use it in the event of an emergency. The 55x is in the radio stack and easy to use for a passenger. Just something to consider as we age.
  9. Hi I'm considering the same setup. May I ask the installation cost? Thanks
  10. Just registered See you there!
  11. Go onto the Dynon website to read about the capabilities of the D10A AI. The unit available for our Mooney's incorporates the same features as the experimental version. One of those features is the autopilot function. One would need to purchase the servos and the control module in addition to the D10A AI to enable its functionality. The cost appears to be a around an additional $2000. The EAA is working on getting the autopilot functionality approved for certified aircraft. The AI portion plus other features like AOA is already approved. It does not supply inputs to existing autopilots but rather will replace an existing autopilot at substantially reduced costs as opposed to upgrading an existing S-Tec 30 to a 55X. The functionality of the D10A autopilot function when approved may well be similar to the 55X. Hope that helps.
  12. The only significant diffferance is the built in GPSS in the 55X. You could add the S-TEC ST901 GPSS and have the same ability. Chances of the DFC 90 seems to be slim to nil. More likely is the Dynon 10A AI approved for the Mooney and which has autopilot capability. That 10A AI is being further approved by the EAA to use the internal autopilot feature.
  13. That is what I heard at this year's Mooney Homecoming in Oct. Supposedly the delay is also the reason in large part to the change in mgt.
  14. One of the options with the D10A that you can get now is a magnetometer which gives you heading.
  15. Yes but these are very inexpensive on the used market. If you have the BK HSI it could be sold or even better traded to someone like Alan Fox. I'd think the BK system would have more value than the Stec making a trade realistic. I have a couple of spares I've collected " just in case...." BTW the D10A includes an HSI since it is identical to the experimental version. Don't know if you are legally able to use it in a certified A/C. Their is also an external control module to make it easier to use. Might be worth a call to the company.