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TNIndy

M20K Rocket Wing Damage

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I am new to the site and considering purchasing a M20K 305 Rocket that suffered a gear up landing. I attached a picture of the wing damage. It's my understanding that the plane stayed on the runway so I assume the wrinkle in the skin was from impact. I would appreciate any input I could get on how extensive this repair might be. I haven't seen the plane in person440256228_WingDamage.thumb.jpg.00c3d12651ebdad6962940b273da3623.jpg

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Ouch. Keep in mind it’s not just a prop that plane will need. Make sure you price out the exhaust repair if it was damaged and if the engine has to come off, it seems customary to have the mounting framework IRANed as well. 

I am not completely certain that skin distortion is from a gear up landing. And if it is, I would want to know how they removed it from the runway. 

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Thanks for the reply, yes it will need an engine tear down and inspection. Prop, skin panels underneath or a one piece lasar belly. I’m not sure the skin distortion is from the impact. I will ask the shop additional questions tomorrow. I assumed it was since he sent a pic specifically showing the distortion 

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What is the reason for buying a broken plane?  Are you a mechanic?  Have you rebuilt an airplane before?

 

Gear up GU landings are common enough that the Mooney was designed to handle them admirably...

But... Wing damage isn’t normal for that... a few ground off flap hinges, yes....   bent wings structure can often be so expensive that you would need to receive the project for free.... Unfortunately...

Be sure you know what you are getting, and what the all in costs are going to be...

Do some searching around here... There are a few planes that have needed wing work after reaching the end of the runway...

Re fitting a wing can be very expensive... a few MSCs keep an extra wing around in the event Insurance is paying to have the work done.

This probably isn’t a good way to get an expensive Mooney for a low cost...

Building up a plane that is fully worn out would be better... full cost, but with no DH...

Buying one in flying condition probably costs more to acquire, but typically ends up being the lower cost machine over time...

 

PP thoughts only, not a mechanic... or a finance guy...

Best regards,

-a-

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What is the history, where is the plane? It looks suspiciously like one in my neighbourhood that had a gear up and bent a wing in flight.

 

 

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What is the history, where is the plane? It looks suspiciously like one in my neighbourhood that had a gear up and bent a wing in flight.
 
 

How do you bend one of these wings in flight?
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6 hours ago, teejayevans said:


How do you bend one of these wings in flight?

...and survive/live to tell the story?

As for the how.... The one we are familiar with got caught in a thunderstorm...

-a-

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23 minutes ago, carusoam said:

...and survive/live to tell the story?

As for the how.... The one we are familiar with got caught in a thunderstorm...

-a-

That is the one!  Caught in towering cumulous; significant icing; 3500 fpm descent. The gear came down on it's own due the bend in the wing. It was evident as a wrinkle in the top of the wing.

They landed gear up when the gear collapsed.

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The wing spar/wing root are just aft of the location of that wrinkle.  The wing spar runs from inside the floor of the aircraft (where it joins the other wing spar) out towards the tip.  To cause a wrinkle in compression perpendicular to the spar like that one appears to be, the spar likely flexed as did the rest of the wing support structure in that area.  So probably, you are looking at replacing the spar and spar cap, some of the cross members, the wing skin, and to get to the wing root the starboard fuselage skin will need to be removed around the wing.  Pricey.  That’s my Internet diagnosis from a picture.  An A&P will need to get inside there and determine what all needs to be replaced, which at a minimum means the wing skin in that area, just to inspect.  

Now, that’s a picture, it may be that on further examination that is not from a flexing of the wing at all.  But chances are pretty good it is.

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43 minutes ago, milotron said:

That is the one!  Caught in towering cumulous; significant icing; 3500 fpm descent. The gear came down on it's own due the bend in the wing. It was evident as a wrinkle in the top of the wing.

They landed gear up when the gear collapsed.

Where can one read this story?  I need to add it to my growing file of things never to do in my Mooney...:mellow:

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The plane is in California, close to Sacramento. 

jlunseth, thanks for the detailed description. I am considering having someone from the local MSC do a pre-buy damage assessment. Although I'm not sure what he will be able to determine without removing the skin.  

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36 minutes ago, TNIndy said:

The plane is in California, close to Sacramento. 

jlunseth, thanks for the detailed description. I am considering having someone from the local MSC do a pre-buy damage assessment. Although I'm not sure what he will be able to determine without removing the skin.  

Even if they gave you the plane for free, between the expense of overhauling the engine, prop and repairing the wing, gear, etc., you are looking at some serious cash output. 

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49 minutes ago, TNIndy said:

The plane is in California, close to Sacramento. 

jlunseth, thanks for the detailed description. I am considering having someone from the local MSC do a pre-buy damage assessment. Although I'm not sure what he will be able to determine without removing the skin.  

I thought the Mooney that hit a thunderstorm and landed with bent wings was 10-15 years ago in the Midwest . . . This plane is in Cali. Can't be the same one, can it?

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Any structural part that is wrinkled like that has been seriously overstressed, regardless of how it happened. What many people don't know is that that many manufacturers "post incident, minor" (over speed, overstress, minor impact etc) inspection requirements are often simply an external skin inspection. No cracks, wrinkles or distortion and the structure is intact. As the skin is a stressed part of the structure. Put another way, the skin is much of the structure. The wing spar carries the load to the airframe. All are engineered to be as light as possible, without sacrificing strength. That means that when one part is clearly overstressed, associated structures have also experienced overstress, visible or not. The lower skin will likely be stretched (even if it looks good) and spar did it's job carrying that overstress right into the airframe, while yielding (bending permanently) somewhat. 

It takes a lot to bend a Mooney wing. That kind of stress can, and does, destroy much more than what's externally visible. 

My opinion, that wing and it's spar are scrap. 

 

 

Edited by cujet
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If you got the plane for free... it will undoubtedly still be cheaper to go buy a nice one that is airworthy, current, and flying.

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cujet, I spoke to the local MSC today and he agreed that this type of damage is difficult to see. Basically plan to replace the wing. 

RobertGary1, No, the owner is selling. 

 

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A few MSCs have the skills/knowledge and personnel to swap out a wing...

Building a wing at the factory is done in a giant rotisserie type Jig... to keep alignment in order.

Rebuilding a wing first requires a whole bunch of expensive unbuilding first...

Unbuilding costs as much as rebuilding when paying by the hour...

This project has the ability to cost as much or more than a whole flying Rocket...  

And at resale time you will be discussing the damage history and repairs with every knowledgeable buyer...

Most Rocket buyers are quite Mooney knowledgeable...  very few would be first time plane buyers.

Many people (like me) complain about the cost of having an MSC doing an annual...

Having an MSC swap out a wing has got to be really expensive...

These projects are really good for some people...

  • Mechanics with lots of weekend time, and drive to work a lot of extra hours...
  • Mooney shop owners with back of the hangar projects for work leveling...
  • Dismantlers, selling parts...

A plane like this typically goes through an extensive pre-purchase inspection searching for unknown damage... in this case every nut and bolt is going to get inspected looking for stretch marks.  By the time a wing bends... every part near it has been highly loaded.

Don’t buy it until you know what you are going to do with it...

For an example there is a Bravo around here that hit a fence in NJ a couple of years ago... look that up for some education...

Best regards,

-a-

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carusoam, I appreciate your thoughts. Where can I see the info regarding the Bravo. If nothing else I will get some education through the process of considering this plane. 

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I'm curious as to why the owner is selling this plane? Was it not insured? If it was insured, I would expect it would have been totaled and the owner has a check and is out looking for his next Mooney. 

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I'm all for finding diamonds in the rough and polishing them up, but I think this one is a bit beyond practical consideration.   Replacing the wing will be expensive, repairing this one far more expensive, and that doesn't even consider the prop, engine, belly, etc.    I think this one is destined to be beer cans, flatware, or guardrails.

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27 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

I'm curious as to why the owner is selling this plane? Was it not insured? If it was insured, I would expect it would have been totaled and the owner has a check and is out looking for his next Mooney. 

Frequently the insurance company will offer to sell the totaled plane back to the owner. Their logic is that they would have to transport the plane somewhere, store it and sell it either complete or part it out. I’m sure they have actuarial tables that show their the break even point.   If the owner buys it back they are done with the headache and it’s off their books.

 

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Just now, CaptRJM said:

Frequently the insurance company will offer to sell the totaled plane back to the owner. Their logic is that they would have to transport the plane somewhere, store it and sell it either complete or part it out. I’m sure they have actuarial tables that show their the break even point.   If the owner buys it back they are done with the headache and it’s off their books.

That's what I was thinking, but I can't imagine it would be anywhere close to a break even proposition for the owner to buy it back.

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