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Folks,

My new (to me) Mooney is coming up on it's first annual and while I have a shop that can do the work (and several vintage Mooney annuals each year), they seem a bit pricey for just the annual.  So, I figured I'd seek input on A&P/IA / Shops that get high marks.  I'm in Las Vegas NV and don't mind hitting SoCal or AZ (just more reason to fly).  1967 M20F / N135JC

Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

Cheers,

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I’d highly recommend looking local.  Find a shop in S. NV at least.  Build a relationship.  You want someone close who will get to know your airplane over a long time and be close for issues/help/questions even when it’s not annual time.  Flying somewhere else to save a buck may cause more problems in the long run.

How much flat rate for inspection is your current shop asking?

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Agreed on building relationship...only issue is we're going to be moving out of state (to TX) late summer, so this will be a one and done in this area.  Place I found is 1950 just for inspection...seems high as my last one in Avon Park during my purchase (it was a full annual) was 1200 for inspection.

Simply looking to save a buck if able to find a highly recommended shop that has availability.

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Somewhat in agreement with @Ragsf15e. I wouldn't fly very far to save $$.

I would definitely fly as far as I needed to go, to get the right shop to work on my Mooney. For example, I know Mooney owners on both coasts that take their Mooneys to Don Maxwell in Texas every year. I am about to relocate to Denver, but SWTA will continue to do my annuals and any major work on my Mooney. It will be about a 4 hour flight for me to get to SWTA in Smithville, TX.

 

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Where are you moving to in Texas?  If so, I'd take it to SWTA for the annual this time. It's a nice flight and they are an excellent Mooney shop to work with and get to know. You can call Laura and ask what they get for an annual inspection. 

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I would’nt touch it at $1200, that’s 12 hours of labour plus materials.  I’d question what they’re going to inspect in that time.

Clarence

Edited by M20Doc

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If you use the 100-Hr / Annual Checklist posted here several places and at www.mooney.com, the going rate seems to be 16-20 hours labor, plus anything that needs repair / replacement. The exact number of hours may be negotiable, but should be agreed to in advance. Try to get a firm completion date, too.

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34 minutes ago, Hank said:

If you use the 100-Hr / Annual Checklist posted here several places and at www.mooney.com, the going rate seems to be 16-20 hours labor, plus anything that needs repair / replacement. The exact number of hours may be negotiable, but should be agreed to in advance. Try to get a firm completion date, too.

16-20 hours is very low more like 24 

for a proper inspection , or more

Brian

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Just now, orionflt said:

16-20 hours is very low more like 32 for a proper inspection 

Brian

It took me and my freshly-retired IA fewer man-hours than that! Of course, they were my 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th owner-assisted annuals.

Now I'm in the hell of my first [and last, if I can help it!] "Drop it off, insurance won't let you help" 6-week annual from hell . . . . But even he quoted me 18-20 hours based on that checklist. Didn't realize that meant one hour per weekday, with weekends off. No, wait, that was two weeks ago . . . . . .  :wacko:  :blink:  :angry:

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Just now, Hank said:

It took me and my freshly-retired IA fewer man-hours than that! Of course, they were my 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th owner-assisted annuals.

Now I'm in the hell of my first [and last, if I can help it!] "Drop it off, insurance won't let you help" 6-week annual from hell . . . . But even he quoted me 18-20 hours based on that checklist. Didn't realize that meant one hour per weekday, with weekends off. No, wait, that was two weeks ago . . . . . .  :wacko:  :blink:  :angry:

I corrected my number, I was goin for 24. 

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In the more rural parts of the US, $1200 buys you closer to 20 shop hours.  I've used two different shops, one charges $58/hr and the other charges $62/hr.

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It would be wise to find a good shop in Texas If you're indeed moving to Texas soon. The relationship will likely be worth the decrease in convenience this time around if you plan to stay in Texas very long. However, this isn't a hard-and-fast suggestion. There are good and bad shops all over. 

Explicitly ask potential shops if they'll be using the Mooney S&M Manual checklist and if they will provide a copy to you for review as issues arise... as well as at the conclusion of the Annual. If not, you'll probably want to either continue asking questions if you have enough experience... or move on to another shop. If they are indeed inspecting to the manual as they should be, it's not going to be inexpensive... time-wise IMHO.

That said, a high-dollar Annual isn't necessarily a good Annual either.

Edited by David_H

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I flew back to CA last year to go to my mechanic in KTSP that I trust... but it was a pain in the ass.  Luckily I had some friends help me with rides back to Vegas and to pick the plane up again, but I wasn’t able to be involved with my annual at all and I didn’t get my plane back for a month.

This year I’m gonna do it locally in my hangar with John Bacon at Boulder City. He’s helped me with a few things like replacing my mags, changing brakes, my fuel pump, etc.  I’m more comfortable with him and the plane in my hangar than the other shops in town. 

If you’re moving to Texas though I second the advice that you just take the plane there. 

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Where in Texas?  Lots of us have good/bad experience with shops there.  It’s a big place.  You might wanna start with a recommended place within driving distance.

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Will be in San Antonio eventually.  While I absolutely would love to fly out to TX to a reputable shop for annual, it's likely not in the cards this year...simply don't time in my schedule and am ok with the shop here in LV.  Seems SWTA gets pretty good reviews...perhaps next years annual.

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Add some logistics thought to your first annual planning...

First annuals often come with a surprise or two...

Select a cool city to be stuck in for a while... :)

The cooler your plan... the less problems will arise...

Select the middle of nowhere... you might be stuck there for weeks...

PP thoughts only, not mechanically inclined...

Best regards,

-a-

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Carusom +100. Spot on.

I will say $1950 doesn’t sound too bad for a shop familiar with the type. We pay more than that for a simpler airplane that by all accounts is easier to do an annual on than a Mooney. (Cirrus SR20)

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https://aglaviation.com/ is too far from you but they do have flat rate annuals and their hourly rate on their web site. $1950 sounds very fair for a proper inspection - particularly if the shop has not seen the plane before. (I do all the grunt work on my owner assist so the "inspection" by the IA only takes a few hours - <5 - including A.D. research, logs entries. But there are many hours of grunt work - r&r of: access panels, seats, wheels, battery, plugs, oil filter, spinner... lubing heim bearings, jack screw, gear...) 

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