troyus

A couple of questions from a newbie

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Hello, Mooninites...

Just some background, and a couple quick questions from an aspiring pilot.

I've always wanted to fly but it wasn't something I was willing to financially entertain when I was younger. Instead, I went with motorcycle roadracing (club level), which was fun, and helpful in learning to calculate probabilities at high velocity... Basically high speed chess with razorblades. It also gave me a great opportunity to learn the mechanics behind everything, since I needed to work on my own machinery to keep it going, so I can do things like rebuild a top end, replace electrical systems, and am in general a competent mechanic, and am able to visualize how things "work".

I am now 40. I have no flight training yet.

As in motorcycles, I understand the notion that too much power is too much and will slow down the ability to achieve mastery. So I have set my sights "lower".

My eventual goal is that I would like a plane which can travel up and down California , which could also land on a hard packed dirt runway in Baja, and can seat 4/carry surfboards, and cruise around 200 mph. So, with that all that said, I wanted some collective advice from people with experience... what is the most cost-effective way to do it quickly and safely? And would a mid-size Mooney a good fit for this?

Does it make sense to buy a lower powered, fixed gear aircraft to start, and hire a CFI independently and then take about 100 hours of training to be proficient in VFR,IFR,HP and complex? 

Or is it smarter to take a traditional flight school, use rentals, and then purchase a plane after 50 hours/PPL? (Learning complex, IFR, etc. in my own plane.)

Finally, for a first plane, assuming I would eventually want to pilot an M20J (I appreciate the efficiency/balance of the design, and cruise speed), would it be reasonable to start with a slower low wing such as a Grumman Tiger, or should one just stick with the tried and true 172 to start? Or would it be reasonable to go to an M20J after 100 hours and 'skip' the intermediary plane?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

-Troy

 

 

 

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I live in Georgia, so I don't know what a surfboard is. Lol.  Four people and surfboards may be a tall order for any four seat plane. As far as getting a license, my first lesson was at 38.  I do not recommend using your own plane to learn. It will get some abuse.  Anyway, welcome to mooneyspace. 

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The fastest way to get your PVT is in a trainer like a C172 or even a PA28 archer or warrior. Then afterwards you can start flying solo and getting checked out in more capable aircraft and gaining experience traveling out of the local area. As it is, even that "fastest" way takes most people most of year between getting the written out of the way and then the flight training  portion completed. I also highly recommend you get the written done before taking flight lessons if you want to speed up the process. 

But much of what you ask is personal preference and deciding between what opportunities you have near you. For example, I live by and instruct out of what is considered the largest flying club in the country with planes that are more economical to rent than anywhere else supported by many independent CFI's like my self. We also have many local flight schools in the area  that people use as well. What route you go will be based on what looks most appealing to you after you check out your available options nearby.

But don't get too far ahead of your self. Break this up into small manageable goals that are attainable so that you don't become one of the many starts that didn't finish. Take you time, get the ground school out of the way at a local community college if you can. Then learn in a trainer and as you gain experience and knowledge you'll know where you want to go next aircraft wise after you get the private license. 

But Mooney isn't likely going to carry anything but a couple very short surfboards. A surfing friend of mine bought a A36 after his private while training on his instrument with me. We went for the big dual cargo doors to be able to carry that kind of stuff. BUT he joined a small partnership to allow him rent a Cherokee 6 to use for Baja trips and still prefers to use that for surfing baha than take his nice A36 into dirt surfing strips in Baja. My Mooney has been into many dirt strips in Baja but it only sees casual dirt runway use during the winter  Grey whale season - not the common every other weekend my A36 friend flys down to baja in the Cherokee 6! 

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I started at 39 when I became an adult kid!  Good luck to you. BTW the 6 will carry it all from my understanding.

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If you have the money, I would recommend that you buy your own plane, but only after you solo.  By then you will know for sure that you really want to pursue aviation, and that you don't have airsickness issues...(My dad, wanted so badly to be a pilot, but couldn't get past the airsickness.  He flew RC planes, and got me addicted to flying at a very early age.  Fortunately, I didn't inherit the motion sickness issues. )

You can learn how to fly in any plane.  The US Navy's primary trainer (back in my day) was the T34C turboprop, with retracts, constant speed prop, and 210 knot cruise...I chose it because it had AC...some of my buddies flew for the first time in the T-28.  

However, I don't recommend that for civilians that have a budget and aren't full time flight students...

I recommend you look at the Grumman Cheetah or if you have the budget, a Tiger.  They are both FUN planes to fly, simple and very affordable.  They have fixed gear and fixed pitch props, nonetheless,  their performance ain't shabby.  A well rigged Tiger will run with or outrun a 200 hp Piper Arrow.  They aren't as "hot" in the pattern as a Mooney, but, they are more 'similar' than any other trainer that I can think of. 

Get a hundred or two hours under your belt, then look at moving up to something more complex...

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cessna 180 has been described as the SUV of airplanes.   Maybe a Cessna 210 or 206

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Sorry, I don’t know the airplane that flies at 200 mph and lands on dirt strips. I don’t know the airplane that could carry a surfboard short of a DC3. I think the OP should rent Skyhawks from the local club and figure out what his mission really is.

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Thanks for the replies! Just for clarification, my surfboards are in the 5'4"-6'0" range (not longboards). I would envision carrying 1-2 passengers, with our shortboards, for the Baja trips.

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15 minutes ago, troyus said:

Thanks for the replies! Just for clarification, my surfboards are in the 5'4"-6'0" range (not longboards). I would envision carrying 1-2 passengers, with our shortboards, for the Baja trips.

That's a possibility, depending on passenger size, amount of baggage and how the boards stack up. But you will need split folding rear seats, not the folding bench. Just something to keep in mind when you start looking for a plane.

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Great questions Troy,

Get started.

you will change your mind about priorities for a few dozen hours...

Go Long Body.  Fold the rear seats flat.  You can carry a Tahoe load in the back...

Some Moonies have installed a ski-tube to put full length skis in the back (and beyond)

I put a friend’s Snow board back there... I rented skis for the day...

And landed at a field with a runway shorter than 2,000’

As for flying Baja and gravel strips... it’s your plane... but stones, props, and paint don’t go well together...

Do you have the large budget or the small budget...this will make the difference...

Best regards,

-a-

 

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So Cal Here - Got my PPL this year at over 40 with a flight club in a 172 (the way to go unless you could buy a plane first!), then Bought a Mooney M20F and I hate to say that I don't think I would want to squeeze my surfboard in.  Haven't tried, but each time I get in feels a bit of a squeeze.  I am 6'4" 200lbs.

Any guys I have talked to here that have made a baja trip with boards have rented out a Piper Cherokee 6.  Also keep in mind the plane needs the updated ELT for Mexico frequency.

I am very happy that I bought a mooney for my plans of flying up and down the west coast with the wife or maybe another couple....long range (64gal fuel), fuel efficient, and fast, ....but I know that for the infrequent trips where I need more room (or to fit the whole family) would require a rental of a cherokee 6, so I plan on getting a checkout and rental arrangement for one of these.

Where are you located?

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I've maintained after going the flight school route paying 145 an hour dry for my instruction that I would go a different route.  

I'd buy a basic vfr fixed gear plane (low wing of course if you are eventually going the Mooney route)  do all the things to it that a pilot in training will do - bounce, land hard, side load the gear etc.  

Become a proficient student and whilst learning about flying and airplane ownership in what ever time frame it takes to get your ticket, start to look for your eventual next plane. 

You'd have to do the fixed cost comparison in your area against using a school plane but I'd wager you'd come out ahead of the game on a total cost to get the license, but the older planes tend to hold their value - the 150 hours or so really shouldn't affect the price one could ask in resale. 

 

 

 

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I love my Mooney but for that mission I would take a Cessna 414 or 421. It will haul your boards and your friends and land on dirt strips.
Now if you could rent your boards when you get there that would be better.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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21 hours ago, steingar said:

Sorry, I don’t know the airplane that flies at 200 mph and lands on dirt strips. I don’t know the airplane that could carry a surfboard short of a DC3. I think the OP should rent Skyhawks from the local club and figure out what his mission really is.

That's and easy one, PC-12.  That however is not easy on the budget.

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10 hours ago, sdflysurf said:

So Cal Here - Got my PPL this year at over 40 with a flight club in a 172 (the way to go unless you could buy a plane first!), then Bought a Mooney M20F and I hate to say that I don't think I would want to squeeze my surfboard in.  Haven't tried, but each time I get in feels a bit of a squeeze.  I am 6'4" 200lbs.

Any guys I have talked to here that have made a baja trip with boards have rented out a Piper Cherokee 6.  Also keep in mind the plane needs the updated ELT for Mexico frequency.

I am very happy that I bought a mooney for my plans of flying up and down the west coast with the wife or maybe another couple....long range (64gal fuel), fuel efficient, and fast, ....but I know that for the infrequent trips where I need more room (or to fit the whole family) would require a rental of a cherokee 6, so I plan on getting a checkout and rental arrangement for one of these.

Where are you located?

Hey thanks for the info! I'm in San Diego north county, I'm going to direct message you locals for more region specific knowledge and hope for the best! :)

 

-Troy

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I took my first lesson at 49.  10 hours in my instructor's Cub, 10 hours in the C-172 rental, and then bought my Mooney and completed my training in that.  Finished up my PPL a few months ago.  This approach has worked really well for me.

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I started flight training in my late 40s.  I really enjoyed the learning aspect of it.   There were lots of knobs and buttons and I got to learn what they all do.

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We are Mooniac’s to be technically correct on who we are.  My advice is get your license.  LEARN to fly and THEN look at investing in your airplane that fits your mission.  Good luck!  Have fun.  Better off learning in someone else’s plane.

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