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johnggreen last won the day on June 12 2013

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About johnggreen

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    Grenada, MS
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    Cessna 195, Cessna 180, Piper J3 Cub

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  1. Maybe she's right about "should be satisfied".
  2. I have been contacted directly by several Mooney owners looking at Aerostars and feel compelled to "complete" this thread; at least to get to the point of "should I or shouldn't I". I won't go into details, but after getting my son in law back on his feet, the family was faced with some more challenges. 2019 was a year full of challenges. With the announcement Saturday of my son and daughter in law expecting our granddaughter in August, perhaps smoother sailing is in store. I'm going to write this in points, not a narrative, in the interest of time. First, understand that I owned the 601P with intercooler added by STC. That is my only direct experience with the airplane. YOU DO NOT WANT A 601P WITHOUT INTERCOOLERS. Temp issues will make your flying unpleasant. The 601P, my choice of models, is a 290HP turbo-normalized engine. It will legitimately give you 215 knots in the mid teens at 28-30 gph and 240 at 24,000'. The 350 hp models will add 20 knots and lots of single engine performance The airplane is fast, efficient, and stable as a 6,000# airplane can be. High wing loading smooths the ride. It's single engine handling is benign and stalls come with lots of warning though when it breaks, it breaks and recovery will require some altitude. Frankly, "handling" is about as good as it gets in all regimens. You don't flare on landing, just get a positive angle of attack and let her touch down. Personally, I found it to be one of the easiest airplanes I've ever owned to land consistently. That being said, don't let it stall on landing or you may be patching holes in the runway. It is really two airplanes. One with no flaps or half flaps and one with full flaps. You will have to have full flaps to land at an acceptable speed, but you do not put them down until you KNOW you have the runway made. With any weight and full flaps, the airplane will probably not maintain altitude even with full power. The only time I ever got close to the edge was on final when another airplane cut me off. I gently raised the nose without full power or dumping flaps and in seconds entered coffin's corner. DON'T DO THAT. ILS approaches are so incredibly simple: half flaps, gear down, power set to about 16" and it will settle into a 116 knot approach like on guided rails. The fuel system is different in every respect, but tricky only to the uneducated or careless. It will unbalance itself in cruise flight and must be monitored. You can rebalance with crossed, but DO NOT TAKE OR OR LAND ON CROSS FEED. THE FUEL WILL UNPORT. There was a fatal accident at Philadelphia, MS, just before I bought mine by a pilot (military fighter experience and airline pilot) who inadvertently took off with one engine on cross feed. When I bought the airplane, a friend who is a professional, Challenger pilot and who has 700 hours of Aerostar time in his early logs, that the Aerostar is the highest work load airplane you can find in civilian aviation. Absolutely true. I made more (thankfully minor) mistakes making IFR approaches in the Aerostar than all of my 50 plus year flying career combined. There would be a very good argument for only flying the airplane IFR with a qualified co-pilot. What I really didn't like about the airplane was no manual trim and an electrical capacity that could be overcome. A/C can't be used at night for instance. In a pressurized airplane, A/C is not an option. Then, the big negative. After lift off at 85 knots, you are in no man's land until you accelerate to about 115 knots when she acts like she really wants to fly. Blue line of 108 may be the best single engine climb speed, but it certainly doesn't feel like it. Lose and engine right after lift off and you had better have three thousand feet in front of you. The flaps and gear are hydraulic. The good side of hydraulic systems is that they are reliable and cheap. Most parts for repair are nothing but O-rings from your auto parts store. The down side is they leak just about all the time: hell of a mess. Forget avionics, paint, interior, and prop & engine reserve, Annual inspections and maintenance cost me $20,000 a year. YOU PROBABLY CAN'T DO THAT. I have an ideal maintenance situation with a reasonable shop that has been doing all my airplane maintenance for many years. If you use one of the "experienced/known" Aerostar shops, double that. Though I had no major failures during my ownership, the airplane "nickeled and dimed" me to death with my always having to go to the shop for some minor and difficult to diagnose item. We spent $2,000 trying to find the fault with the air dump valve light. You need the air dump valve light. Forty hours after I sold the airplane, it blew and engine at 24,000' over the high desert of Utah, landed on a remote field without damage but with enough damage to the engine and components that the airplane was sold for salvage. If you think you are going to overhaul those engines and components, (remember four turbos) for less than 90k per side, you are daffy. I understand how tempting the entry price can be. They are relatively cheap to buy, but remember, THEY ARE VERY COMPLEX FORTY YEAR OLD AIRCRAFT THAT WOULD COST UPWARDS OF TWO MILLION DOLLARS TO BUILD TODAY. The airplane has the ability to eat your lunch, your pocketbook and your children's education savings in a heartbeat. I will "finally" say something that I have never said publicly. The Aerostar community, I mean the professional community that supports them, has some good and some bad people. Problem is, the group protects the group and scratches each other's back. You will not know who to trust until it is too late. I will have to say that selling my beautiful Bravo and buying the Aerostar ranks among the dumbest moves in my aviation life. Yes, there are people with long ownerships who would not own anything else, but they are in the minority, IMO. Now, at seventy years of age and, soon to be, 60 years of flying under my belt, my wife says that "I should be happy" with my Cessna 180, 195, and Piper Cub. Throw in first class airline tickets and I suppose she is right. Still, I damn near cry myself to sleep sometimes thinking about N21448, my Bravo. So, I'm happy to talk to any of you at any time about Aerostars, but my answer is, well, I think you know. Ditto for any turbocharged, pressurized, piston twin. Jg
  3. I'm going to recount my Aerostar journey in segments. Here is the first. The airplane should be defined by the mission. Sometimes the mission is a want and sometimes a need. When I sold out my construction business in '99 so I could spend more time with my children, the need for a twin evaporated and a '98 Skylane did nicely. By 2005, my daughter and her husband were in D.C., my oldest son was at Davidson College in N.C. and my youngest at Northwester in Chicago. With my wife protesting the loss of the Skylane, I bought the Bravo. The value of turbocharging and getting over much of the weather made a big difference that even she had to admit. By 2013, two children are in D.C. and the other in Charlottesville with the expectation that he too would be in D.C. Our only grandson was there and the Bravo was getting lots of use up the Appalachian chain, north or south side depending on weather. There were many trips with low IFR and I'm pondering my lack of options should an engine fail. Then, there is a Columbia crash in those exact conditions along my route, low IFR, engine failure and no place to go. My want became my need. A twin or a chute? My wife voted for "nothing" else or a new or late model Garmin equipped Cirrus. I chose the Aerostar 601P. Pressurization was the deciding factor. I elected for the Aerostar because of the Lycoming engines. Two friends had owned 58P Barrons and they almost never flew for being worked on. Those airplanes were not junk and the owners could afford them. The 601P seemed to fit the bill. Speed and relative economy. The "big engine" A*'s burn lots more fuel, have lost more maintenance, and, in the real world give only about 15 knots more speed. For those that don't know, "big engine" is still the TIO-540, just boosted up from 290 HP to 350 HP. I flew my first A*, the one I bought and was amazed: the darn things really are THAT fast. Make no mistake, the 290 hp of the 601P will flat out leave a 58P in its wake. I always flew mine very conservatively, about 55% power and got about 214 knots in the mid teens burning 28 gph ROP. I installed GAMI's, as I had on all my airplanes, but she didn't like LOP at all. Mostly she just said "screw it" and slowed down like the Bravo. All for now. Jg
  4. Gentlemen and Ladies, I had every intention of continuing this thread within two or three days of my original post. Unfortunately, the day after the post, my son in law, 43 years old, suffered a stroke. He was very lucky, but it required hospitalization and will require some time and therapy to get back to normal. Karen had to catch the first plane to D.C. where they live to take care of our 7 year old grandson, and I have been preoccupied taking care of the home front by myself. I was going to fly up to join her Saturday in the 195, but a front was lying right atop most of my route along the Appalachians. Again, Hugh will be fine. He's home, already working on his computer and beginning speech therapy this morning. His mental acuity is fully intact as are most of his motor skills. I "think" that I have learned a lot in the move from the Bravo to a pressurized piston twin and the five years of ownership and will be happy to share. Your patience will be appreciated. Jg
  5. Over six years ago, I sold my Mooney Bravo and moved to an Aerostar 601P. Six years can bring a lot of changes to one's life, but, in this instance, they brought me a little more than I had bargained for. Coy Jacobs, the man most responsible for my buying the Mooney in 2005 died yesterday and my thoughts today, and my post hereon about his death, brought forth a wide realm of thought and recollection. I think my journey might be of interest to some here, particularly my thoughts on leaving the Bravo for the Aerostar. There will be, as well, some personal reflections as well that will help put it all into a reasonable perspective. But, not tonight. Tomorrow, the next day, or later in the week, I will come back to tell of the six year journey. Until then, just remember to cherish what you have: family, friends, health, and your Mooney. John Green
  6. Depending on one's perspective, Coy Jacobs was an icon or a demon in the Mooney community. Coy, bless his soul, had a way of making close friends and lasting enemies. I became his friend 15 years ago, and it lasted.Whatever your take on Coy, no one was ever a bigger advocate of the Mooney aircraft. He published many articles on the various models and a magazine, The Mooney Pilot. More than anyone else, he was the most encouraging force in my choosing to buy a Mooney Bravo in 2005, an airplane I came to dearly love and miss to this day.For several years, I wrote articles for Coy and the magazine. I think it was his second divorce, maybe his third, that brought an end to its publication. I miss the magazine, the airplane, and now, Coy.We talked fairly regularly, him calling me as often as I called him. He had a light stroke some months back but had recovered and vowed to fly up to see me one weekend. His last call a couple of weeks ago was about his youngest son applying to law school. He figured that Karen and I were pretty good sources of advice.His oldest son, Clayton, texted me Friday that Coy was in the hospital in serious condition. We couldn't make a contact as that is the day we were flying back from North Dakota in the Cessna 195. This morning Clayton called to say that Coy had passed away.There are no perfect people or perfect friendships, but friends come few and far between. At my age, they are becoming fewer and the betweens wider. Life is never fair or even and never long enough. We move through it thinking, hoping that we are in some control, but it is a fallacy. Our friends will become fewer until that day that we are the one that has been lost to those few remaining.I'll not waste platitudes of "rest in peace" or "gone to a better place" or anything else of which I have no knowledge. A group of people, most of whom I don't know, have lost a friend. I'll shed a tear and move forward waiting for the next loss or the day that I am, hopefully, the friend lost.Blue skies my friend. Oops, that was a platitude.Jg
  7. The last picture of Grant taken at a family gathering on June 1. Grant on the left, my grandson Hugh, and my other son, John Jr.
  8. I was a Bravo owner and an active member of this forum for several years. During that time, I accumulated a few "uncomfortable acquaintances" and many friends. Some of those friends went so far as to write letters, letters, not emails, as to how much they had enjoyed "post swapping" with me. That's nice. You know, my son Grant taught me that we all share 99% of each other and divulge/differ to about 1%. Yet, it seems that we spend a lot of time focusing on our differences. Grant reveled in people's "differences" seeking them out, learning about them, and most of all, showing respect for them. I bought a Cub and taught Grant to fly when he was nine years old, his brother eleven. He soloed that Cub one lazy summer afternoon that was perhaps a little earlier than anticipated by the authorities that be. I got my instructor's rating and instrument instructors endorsement so I could be the one to sign them off for their PPL. Grant got his PPL in high school and we enjoyed many, many trips together. He got his undergraduate at Northwestern, became a derivatives trader, then went back and got his MBA at Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia where he graduated last May. There are other things I could say, but you get the idea. He was my precious son. Grant had gone temporarily to explore some job opportunities in silicon valley, got a sub lease on a completely furnished apartment for 6 months and was to return home next month. Last Saturday night, he fell from a roof top patio at the apartment building. He's gone, and there is nothing else to say. Love your children everyday. Life is simply unpredictable. Love to all of you. John Green
  9. Someone on this forum referred me to Brian last summer for a scheme for my Aerostar. Working with Brian was incredible in that you could describe your idea and 24 hours later, your mind's eye was on your computer from Brian. After some delays, I finally got the Aerostar to the paint shop in March and picked it up a couple of weeks ago. I sent Brian pictures of his completed work and got a short note back about 10 days ago. I, of course, had no idea of his physical condition. I posted pictures of the Aerostar on another thread but am doing it again as a respectful testament to the man. Jgreen
  10. Karen and I took some better pics today. I want to thank Brian Smith for developing the designs from which I chose this paint scheme. He is incredibly good and ridiculously reasonable. I almost felt guilty for what I paid for such quality work. Jgreen
  11. I have always wanted to put 449JG on an airplane. Been holding off for years waiting for that King Air or Lear, but alas, such are the vagaries of life. As the lyrics to an Elvis song go, "It's now or never." After a wet spring, we are enjoying 80 degree temps and beautiful blue skies. Nothing prettier than a sunny spring or fall day in Mississippi. The weekend promises the same, but I have to finish up two miles of pasture fencing so I can move some heifers off of hay ground. Still get to enjoy Mother Nature's bounty only with a pair of fence pliers in my hand. Life IS good! Jgreen
  12. Got the A* from the paint shop. Not the best pic so I'll take a better one later and post. Almost there but still a few more kinks to work out. Loving the A* but I assure, the Bravo was a lot less trouble. Jgreen
  13. Maybe 15 years ago, I picked up a VHS put out by Shell that went into the longevity of their oil. There was a direct and surprising correlation between oil temp and how long the oil would operate without breaking down. If memory serves me correctly, at 185 it would last well past 50 hours and at 210 about 15 hours. I certainly no expert (at anything it appears), but oil consumption in an air cooled aviation engine seems to vary greatly from engine to engine. I had a friend who bought a new Skylane, non-turbo, and from day one, he burned a quart every 4 or 5 hours, all the way to TBO, which he made. I do think that you will see some increase in consumption with both higher power settings and as you accumulate hours on the oil, both very natural, especially in a turbo aircraft. I believe that the oil is exposed to the highest temps when it is going through the turbo, but I stand to be corrected on that. As for Camguard, absolutely no empirical evidence that I have seen that it does any more for your engine than cat urine; but if it makes you feel better, go for it. Jgreen
  14. Tim, I hope you are correct, but $2200 seems abnormally low for the installation of an IFR GPS unit. I would be in the camp urging you to NOT install a unit that cannot be repaired. I would encourage you to find a 430, WAAS or NON-WAAS for the upgrade. I had the 530 and 430 in my Aerostar replaced with GTN-650's and frankly am not happy. The extra features of the GTN make no difference in my IFR capability in the real world and IMO are not as pilot friendly as the 430/530. My curiosity is really peaked with the low install quote. I wish you would check into that and verify it is from a reputable avionics shop. Jgreen
  15. On any site, there will always be those who are so obsessed with their opinions that they not only want to express them, they want to censor yours. Start any thread you choose, with whatever opening question/opinion you wish. The only right another member has to censor you is to simply ignore the thread. When I suggested starting a forum on Bravos, several members objected. Of course the forum became a popular place for Bravo owners and a very convenient place for them to look for information. Some members are just pissed that I didn't get their permission first. A pilot community is just like any other community. After being a member of the pilot community for 53 years, since age 11, I recognize just how reflective it is of the population. There is nothing special about pilots, IMO. There are good, bad, smart, and stupid; arrogant, gracious, selfish, and generous. If you adhere to every negative response, they will shut you out; which is exactly what they would like. Then, there would only be room for their opinion. Post any question you like and ignore the trash that sits on the bottom. And remember that the anonymity of this site, a bad thing, always attracts the coward, looking for a cheap shot. Jgreen