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Hi All--

I'm just getting back into flying after about 12 years. I sold my C152 12 years ago thinking I'd just rent if I wanted to go somewhere. Turns out, I didn't really want to go anywhere. Weeks turned into months and months into years. One day I looked up and thought, what happened? Anyway, I've been working to get current again. I just passed my BFR two days ago. I was surprised both at how much I had retained and how much I had lost. I had no problem getting in the plane, taking off and landing. Basic maneuvering and emergency procedures seemed to come back easily. However, I was a bit uncomfortable with the radio work at the Class D airport at first. Especially, on the ground and taxing. The ATC talks a little fast for me and I often ask them to repeat their taxi instructions. The more I fly, it seems to get better though.

I loved my 152, I owned it for several years before going to the airport and cranking it became a bit of a labor which is what prompted me to sell. Though I loved it, there were two things about it I always lamented. It's lack of passenger capacity and it's speed. Often, we would have to drive because we were more than two. Also, sometimes, I'd fly while my wife drove with the kids and she'd come really close to beating me (MWL-RYW).

So, this time around, I'm re-configuring my life to get another plane. I'd really like to get a Mooney but I'm open to Piper or Cessna. I'm kinda leaning toward the low wing this time though. For the Mooney, I'm kind of leaning toward the M20C but I have M20F in my favorites list.

I'm kinda picky. I want a nice looking plane with low to mid time engine. Nice interior and exterior is really a must. I'd like a really nice panel too. The more glass, the better. Also, it needs to be IFR certified and have a nice auto pilot. I'm tracking everything on TradeAPlane.com daily. There are a couple there I might be interested in once I'm ready.  Nothing there really is everything I want. Everything seems to require something more before I'd be happy with it.

Anyway, just saying hi to everyone here. I read a lot of the posts and enjoy following along. This board has a lot of really good information. Thanks so much...

 

 

 

 

 

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Welcome aboard. This is an extremely informative and user friendly site. Feel free to ask anything on here, and be prepared to get a gamete of responses. 

I acquired an F several months ago and am loving the plane!

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John, perhaps you've discovered that there are several threads here on MS that start with a post similar to yours. The archives contain a wealth of info.

 If you're in TX (MWL-RYL) it should be easy to find Mooney "experts". 

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Yep. Now that I'm current I am thinking about doing a short cross country over to Kerrville. I can only dream about the planes coming out of there right now. It would be a fun day trip to go see what they have sitting around.

Actually, we're planning on relocating out to the hill country, Bandera/Pipe Creek/Kerrville. I wonder if Mooney needs a good software guy...

I'm selling most of my cow herd to generate the funds I'll need for my plane. If I found the right plane, I could probably move on it even before if it really impressed me as a good deal. I've seen a few go by that were a little bit above my price point. There is about a $30K gap between what I want to pay and what I want to have. ;-P

I might have to grind on both sides of that equation to find my plane...

 

 

Edited by johnlwebb@gmail.com

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Welcome to MooneySpace!  You’ll get a lot of good advice here and do understand it will slant toward Mooney’s!

The M20C is the best bang for the buck in General aviation when it comes to speed and efficiency! For less than a 172 you get a 140knot retract with a VERY strong wing.

I previously owned a M20F and loved it.  It’s the best value for useful load and speed.  It does almost what the J does for up to $30,000 less for comparable airframes!  That delta equals the the price of some M20C’s.

Your missing is capacity for more than 2 people at times and speed.  Cost wise the M20C is a great choice for occasionally 3 or 4.  The back seat is tight.  The M20F is perfect as you ascertained. 

Is suggest the Mooney but here are some other airframes that are also good but not quite as fast as a M20C.

Grumman Cheetah

Early Bonanza 35- do your research here!  The M20C will be more stable.

Cessna 172, Cessna 177 Cardinal, Early Cessna 182.

Piper PA28-180

Piper Commanche 180

North America Navion.

It may also make sense to find a well maintained airplane at your airport of choice where the owner is open to a partner to split costs.  A good flying club could be a nice way to test the waters for the first year or two while you figure out what you want to buy and regain experience.

-Seth

 

 

 

 

 

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Hello and welcome, John! As much as I love Mooneys, don't discount other Piper or Cessna models. The main reason people choose Mooney is for speed, efficiency, and safety. If you want room or backcountry performance, other models do better.

There is a nice F model here in FL (I'm sure you've already seen it) with nice paint and engine, but IIRC still had a steam gauge panel (650 GPS). These well-equipped planes seem to go fast, especially when priced right. Good luck on your hunt.

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I'm open minded to other airplanes but Mooney is definitely the top of the list for me. I'm not against sharing either however, we are currently pondering a geographic change pretty seriously so a partnership might be problematic. A flying club with a Mooney would be awesome. I currently live east of Austin outside of Elgin. I'm close to Taylor (T74) and Giddings (GYB).

 

 

 

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John, Jimmy Garrison at All American in Spring Branch TX probably has more Mooneys than you'll find in Kerrville! At any given time they'll  have a wide range of models at a range of price points. Well worth a call. 

https://www.allamericanaircraft.com/default.htm

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4 minutes ago, Bob_Belville said:

John, Jimmy Garrison at All American in Spring Branch TX probably has more Mooneys than you'll find in Kerrville! At any given time they'll  have a wide range of models at a range of price points. Well worth a call. 

https://www.allamericanaircraft.com/default.htm

Thanks for the info. I'll take a look...

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John,

Enjoy the hunt...

The challenges of swapping planes is similar to swapping houses...

Selecting a Mooney to fit your mission is a bit of a challenge using paper, lists and charts, and specs...

Once you have it down to a short list...

Take the opportunity to visit AAA in person...

Decide on things like...

  • Airframe... short, medium, or Long body...
  • Instrument panel... VFR, IFR minimus, IFR maximus...
  • Engine... NA, TC, TN... carb vs. FI
  • Prop... two or three blade, aluminum or composite,
  • year of construction... hours on AF and Engine

Once you have that...

  • Paint and interior are important for your passenger’s comfort.

The fun part of taking a decade off...  Most of the key things have only changed a small amount...  The things that have changed the most are all instrument panel items...

If you find a plane with everything you want, it will be priced similar to your house...   :)

Go visit AAA and sit in all the planes... take good notes.  It is a pretty tough memory challenge.

Best regards,

-a-

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1 hour ago, johnlwebb@gmail.com said:

I'm open minded to other airplanes but Mooney is definitely the top of the list for me. I'm not against sharing either however, we are currently pondering a geographic change pretty seriously so a partnership might be problematic. A flying club with a Mooney would be awesome. I currently live east of Austin outside of Elgin. I'm close to Taylor (T74) and Giddings (GYB).

I've got an M20K 252, not for sale, hangared in Smithville. (84R). If you didn't move west, Smithville isn't too far from you, a great little airport with a proper Mooney Service Center (SWTA) on the filed. There is nothing quite as convenient as having a really great shop just a few hangars down from yours. He's also got several Mooney's in the shop right now and a great way to look at different options. JD, the owner, is also a good one to ask questions of. JD has done a lot of pre-buys for All American and others. He's a really great resource and really close to you.

I'm also happy to talk about Mooneys with you and give you a ride in my 252. You might like the panel that I did for it. I've owned both an M20C and now an M20K. 

I sent you a message with my contact details.

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47 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

I've got an M20K 252, not for sale, hangared in Smithville. (84R). If you didn't move west, Smithville isn't too far from you, a great little airport with a proper Mooney Service Center (SWTA) on the filed. There is nothing quite as convenient as having a really great shop just a few hangars down from yours. He's also got several Mooney's in the shop right now and a great way to look at different options. JD, the owner, is also a good one to ask questions of. JD has done a lot of pre-buys for All American and others. He's a really great resource and really close to you.

I'm also happy to talk about Mooneys with you and give you a ride in my 252. You might like the panel that I did for it. I've owned both an M20C and now an M20K. 

I sent you a message with my contact details.

Thanks. I'll follow up. I'd like to talk to someone who has improved their panel. When you say "panel that I did for it" what do you mean? A pic would be cool. The reason I ask is that I have seen a few planes where I just couldn't accept the panel but everything else was okay. Panel upgrades can be expensive, I know. It is a bit abstract for me to judge what it would take to get from any particular panel to a panel I like. I don't know the details of what can stay and what has to go and what can be made to look new again and what cannot. I'm okay with a six-pack of steam gauges. I would like some newer functionality though. Digital IFR, GPS connected autopilot, moving map and maybe synthetic vision.

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John,

There is a lot to learn....

Paul has a few pics in his album... and I only found the old plane... :)   

His K has an even more capable panel...

Clucking on these pics will lead you there.... clicking on his avatar will reveal a few more options..,, look around...

Enjoy...

-a-

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That was a nicely updated M20C...

You will find that some planes get anointed to a level of Forever-planes....

There are a few M20Cs around here that are at a similar forever status...

Best regards,

-a-

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49 minutes ago, johnlwebb@gmail.com said:

Thanks. I'll follow up. I'd like to talk to someone who has improved their panel. When you say "panel that I did for it" what do you mean? A pic would be cool. The reason I ask is that I have seen a few planes where I just couldn't accept the panel but everything else was okay. Panel upgrades can be expensive, I know. It is a bit abstract for me to judge what it would take to get from any particular panel to a panel I like. I don't know the details of what can stay and what has to go and what can be made to look new again and what cannot. I'm okay with a six-pack of steam gauges. I would like some newer functionality though. Digital IFR, GPS connected autopilot, moving map and maybe synthetic vision.

With my M20C, my approach was to buy the plane with the best panel possible and then make a few small improvements. You found the picture of the panel I started with in the M20C. The approach with the M20K was a bit different. I considered it my "forever" airplane and therefore was a little more willing to spend to upgrade it. But still, I looked for an airplane with the correct autopilot as that's the most expensive bit to upgrade. So with the right autopilot, I set about upgrading the rest of it.

I started with this...

IMG_1141.thumb.JPG.a08c9579106625f2823bd49a565dc6ac.JPG

And went to this...

IMG_2532.thumb.jpg.0fac82e4e8f93ccd77a271a228d4016e.jpg

IMG_2531.thumb.jpg.2814a1530f9534054cfd41515492effa.jpg

It was more than a year of researching, planning, searching, acquiring the components, and then about a month to get it all done. But I'm very happy with the result and have thoroughly enjoyed flying it for almost 400 hours now.

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With my M20C, my approach was to buy the plane with the best panel possible and then make a few small improvements. You found the picture of the panel I started with in the M20C. The approach with the M20K was a bit different. I considered it my "forever" airplane and therefore was a little more willing to spend to upgrade it. But still, I looked for an airplane with the correct autopilot as that's the most expensive bit to upgrade. So with the right autopilot, I set about upgrading the rest of it.

Why keep the airspeed,altitude steam gauges, Aspen is he primary, and G5 serves as backup?

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Airspeed and altimeter can only be eliminated if a second Aspen is installed. The G5 is backup for the AI but can't be backup for the others at the same time. Also, since the KAS-297 altitude pre-select can't be controlled by the Aspen, I'd have to keep the altimeter anyway. Therefore it didn't make sense to add the second Aspen and only be able to remove the ASI. 

Wishlist scenario... replace the aging KFC150 autopilot and KAS-297 altitude pre-select with the upcoming STEC 3100 which has the altitude pre-select built in and is compatible with Aspen. Upgrade the Aspen to the new MAX version and add the Aspen MFD MAX as well. That would eliminate the need for the ASI, the Altimeter, and the G5.

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Yes. That panel for you K is very nice. Your original panel on your M20C would have been good for me I think.

Here is an example of a plane where it mostly seems to meet my requirements.

https://www.trade-a-plane.com/search?category_level1=&make=MOONEY&model=M20C&listing_id=2325207&s-type=aircraft&s-seq=1&s-lvl=4#

I think I could get something like this and still have money left to improve the interior and the panel. I'd put priority on the panel for this one. Really, I don't think there is anything wrong with the panel. I just something more modern looking. The trouble is, I have no idea what it costs or where to begin with a panel upgrade.

This one doesn't have an A/P either. That's another area where I come up short in knowledge. I don't know which ones are good ones. You can look on the Garmin site and see that a GFC 600 is about $20K. I assume that's just for the unit. After that, I don't know what it would cost to have it installed or even if it is possible for any particular plane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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30 minutes ago, johnlwebb@gmail.com said:

 

This one doesn't have an A/P either. That's another area where I come up short in knowledge. I don't know which ones are good ones. You can look on the Garmin site and see that a GFC 600 is about $20K. I assume that's just for the unit. After that, I don't know what it would cost to have it installed or even if it is possible for any particular plane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It's a very interesting time for autopilots. Depending on your point of view, it's either a time of amazing opportunity or of punishing frustration. If you want a new AP right now, today, you've got few options and they're all expensive. But if you have 12-18 months to spare (and especially if you aren't overly bothered by a need to fly coupled approaches to minimums), there will be at least four new options available to you, for very reasonable prices. 

TruTrak and Trio will have APs available for Mooneys under $10k installed. Garmin will have the GFC500 for under $20k installed. And Dynon may well have a complete panel overhaul including a digital AP for under $30k installed. 

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54 minutes ago, johnlwebb@gmail.com said:

Yes. That panel for you K is very nice. Your original panel on your M20C would have been good for me I think.

Here is an example of a plane where it mostly seems to meet my requirements.

https://www.trade-a-plane.com/search?category_level1=&make=MOONEY&model=M20C&listing_id=2325207&s-type=aircraft&s-seq=1&s-lvl=4#

I think I could get something like this and still have money left to improve the interior and the panel. I'd put priority on the panel for this one. Really, I don't think there is anything wrong with the panel. I just something more modern looking. The trouble is, I have no idea what it costs or where to begin with a panel upgrade.

This one doesn't have an A/P either. That's another area where I come up short in knowledge. I don't know which ones are good ones. You can look on the Garmin site and see that a GFC 600 is about $20K. I assume that's just for the unit. After that, I don't know what it would cost to have it installed or even if it is possible for any particular plane.

Thanks.

The best money, or most economical way to get what you want, is to buy one that's already been upgraded. But those are hard to find.

Give me a call. I'm happy to talk through it and answer these questions.

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1 hour ago, johnlwebb@gmail.com said:

Yes. That panel for you K is very nice. Your original panel on your M20C would have been good for me I think.

Here is an example of a plane where it mostly seems to meet my requirements.

https://www.trade-a-plane.com/search?category_level1=&make=MOONEY&model=M20C&listing_id=2325207&s-type=aircraft&s-seq=1&s-lvl=4#

I think I could get something like this and still have money left to improve the interior and the panel. I'd put priority on the panel for this one. Really, I don't think there is anything wrong with the panel. I just something more modern looking. The trouble is, I have no idea what it costs or where to begin with a panel upgrade.

This one doesn't have an A/P either. That's another area where I come up short in knowledge. I don't know which ones are good ones. You can look on the Garmin site and see that a GFC 600 is about $20K. I assume that's just for the unit. After that, I don't know what it would cost to have it installed or even if it is possible for any particular plane.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For one of the previous owners the best panel upgrade was completed in the picture below. I think this is a really nice aircraft. However, panel upgrades can get expensive quick so go in knowing exactly what you need and how much that will cost.995A99A8-B660-4201-88AA-89514285F0FA.thumb.jpeg.6e3e51095caf2f36bf953ece5d3e1cec.jpeg

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3 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

Airspeed and altimeter can only be eliminated if a second Aspen is installed. The G5 is backup for the AI but can't be backup for the others at the same time. Also, since the KAS-297 altitude pre-select can't be controlled by the Aspen, I'd have to keep the altimeter anyway. Therefore it didn't make sense to add the second Aspen and only be able to remove the ASI. 

Wishlist scenario... replace the aging KFC150 autopilot and KAS-297 altitude pre-select with the upcoming STEC 3100 which has the altitude pre-select built in and is compatible with Aspen. Upgrade the Aspen to the new MAX version and add the Aspen MFD MAX as well. That would eliminate the need for the ASI, the Altimeter, and the G5.

If, and that's a huge if, Bendix King delivers on the AeroCruze 230 you'll be able remove the Altitude pre-select and Altimeter, since the pre-select is built in to the autopilot controller. Bendix King is working with Aspen on making theirs' compatible with all things Aspen. 

220354912_ScreenShot2018-11-11at8_15_27PM.thumb.png.1ac78926366b6b9a6a86eca349dc580a.png

 

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Thanks to everyone for pointers. I spoke with Paul for a bit on the phone. Turns out we live in the same vicinity. Thanks Paul for your time and wisdom. My thinking has changed on a few things from talking with you.

I am now a little more open to an E or an F and less focused on the C.

Also, you helped put things into perspective regarding panels, autopilots, engines, paint and interiors. So my options have expanded in some significant ways for finding the plane I want.

Thanks so much! I'll let you guys know how the search goes.

 

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