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Will an Ovation fit my mission?


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Hi All, New here and looking at my first Mooney purchase.

Going to be based out of 46U, a 5000' runway at 5600' in western Wyoming.

Mission is carry 2 people and one small dog (who loves to fly as much as I do.) Total 330lbs of Mammals + luggage.

Biggest part of my mission is making about 6 trips a year to Charlotte, 1700 miles.

Other 200 - 500 mile trips, sometimes with 3 to 4 people not very large people.

My budget is about 175K give or take.

I know a Bravo will fit my mission but I am wondering about an Ovation?

Don't know if it can handle the density altitude in the summers.

I have decent insurance quote on a Bravo.

My experience: 300 hrs in high performance gliders (retract) and 200+ in Just Aircraft Highlander. Will be doing my IFR right after Mooney transition training.

I will be keeping the Highlander because it just too much darn fun!

 

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Just Aircraft look like lots of fun! And they are born pretty close to me.

I do not anticipate an Ovation having any problems. Just like now, though, watch DA at takeoff [and landing, in the event of a go-round. But that's generally at much lower weight than takeoff, unless you're doing pattern work]. Watch useful load, too, the long bodies burn much more fuel than my little C. I can carry 300 lb. fuel, me and my favorite 470 pound of people and gear. [Capacity is only 52 gal = 312 lb, but I leave ~1/2" air at the top due to warm weather expansion.]

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36 minutes ago, MooneyTime said:

Hi All, New here and looking at my first Mooney purchase.

Going to be based out of 46U, a 5000' runway at 5600' in western Wyoming.

Mission is carry 2 people and one small dog (who loves to fly as much as I do.) Total 330lbs of Mammals + luggage.

Biggest part of my mission is making about 6 trips a year to Charlotte, 1700 miles.

Other 200 - 500 mile trips, sometimes with 3 to 4 people not very large people.

My budget is about 175K give or take.

I know a Bravo will fit my mission but I am wondering about an Ovation?

Don't know if it can handle the density altitude in the summers.

I have decent insurance quote on a Bravo.

My experience: 300 hrs in high performance gliders (retract) and 200+ in Just Aircraft Highlander. Will be doing my IFR right after Mooney transition training.

I will be keeping the Highlander because it just too much darn fun!

Welcome.  Michael @201er wrote a post How Many Hours to transition into a Mooney in another section of the forum, and I'm adding another post from Don @donkaye in that same post which should get you started in the right direction.  Some of these thoughts may or may not apply to you, but all in all, good reading.

"If you understand page 8 of my Precision Flying Handout that is both on my website and included with my Landing Video, then transitioning to a Mooney should be no different than transitioning to any other tricycle gear airplane, assuming a knowledgeable Mooney Specific Instructor.  As with transitioning to any airplane should be, the transitioning pilot would be comfortable with how to maintain airspeed within a knot in smooth air and slope management for landing.  Until I met my mentor instructor, Robert Goldin, unfortunately I hadn't found any instructor who understood those principals well enough to teach them.  The light bulb went on with his outstanding instruction and I am passing on his words of wisdom to this day.

I have found that less flight time is usually better when it comes to transition training.  There is less "undoing previous bad instruction" and "my instructor told me to do it this way" to be done.  I just can't believe some people.  Their previous instructors generally had very little Money time, but trying to change their habits validates one of the principles taught in becoming a flight instructor; The Law of Primacy, first things learned are most ingrained--even if they are wrong.  

Several students pilots have purchased their Mooney before they even got their Private including one who bought an Ovation 3.  I helped him bring his plane from Atlanta to California, then, after he finished up his Private,  we did his transition training in about 16.5 hours.   I had another outstanding student who had just gotten her license, did her transition training with me, and flew her C Model all the way back to Florida on her own.  Even Airline Pilots need some transition training, although most can transition in 5 hours.  I even had a transitioning U2 pilot who took about 4 hours.  Most transition trainings take about 15-20 hours and 25-40 landings.  I did have one student who took 30 hours because it was an Acclaim and his home airport was Palo Alto with its 2,460 foot runway.  I couldn't let him go until he was consistently able to handle that.

Bottom line; with good instruction transitioning to the Mooney is no more difficult than transitioning to a more "draggy" airplane.

If you understand page 8 of my Precision Flying Handout that is both on my website and included with my Landing Video, then transitioning to a Mooney should be no different than transitioning to any other tricycle gear airplane, assuming a knowledgeable Mooney Specific Instructor.  As with transitioning to any airplane should be, the transitioning pilot would be comfortable with how to maintain airspeed within a knot in smooth air and slope management for landing.  Until I met my mentor instructor, Robert Goldin, unfortunately I hadn't found any instructor who understood those principals well enough to teach them.  The light bulb went on with his outstanding instruction and I am passing on his words of wisdom to this day.

I have found that less flight time is usually better when it comes to transition training.  There is less "undoing previous bad instruction" and "my instructor told me to do it this way" to be done.  I just can't believe some people.  Their previous instructors generally had very little Money time, but trying to change their habits validates one of the principles taught in becoming a flight instructor; The Law of Primacy, first things learned are most ingrained--even if they are wrong.  

Several students pilots have purchased their Mooney before they even got their Private including one who bought an Ovation 3.  I helped him bring his plane from Atlanta to California, then, after he finished up his Private,  we did his transition training in about 16.5 hours.   I had another outstanding student who had just gotten her license, did her transition training with me, and flew her C Model all the way back to Florida on her own.  Even Airline Pilots need some transition training, although most can transition in 5 hours.  I even had a transitioning U2 pilot who took about 4 hours.  Most transition trainings take about 15-20 hours and 25-40 landings.  I did have one student who took 30 hours because it was an Acclaim and his home airport was Palo Alto with its 2,460 foot runway.  I couldn't let him go until he was consistently able to handle that.

Bottom line; with good instruction transitioning to the Mooney is no more difficult than transitioning to a more "draggy" airplane."

Don's website is below, and is a great resource from which to draw some knowledge and direction based on your questions.  The Handbook is near the bottom of the page on the left under "Flight Training Links"

http://donkaye.com/donkaye.com/Flight_Instruction.html

Steve

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Go Bravo ;) Both are within the same price point...Turbo is nice to have and wasn't needed for my mission, but not sure I could go back to NA now.  Only thing I am missing is TKS/FIKI which will be on my next plane when I upgrade.  DA and UL will need to be the two things to keep an eye on. 

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The Bravo will do everything the Ovation will do, but not vice versa. Where you live a Bravo makes more sense.

There’s a Mooney guru that lives out your way, Kerry McIntyre, who resurrected a Bravo and flies it as his personal airplane.

Flying that Bravo from Wyoming to NC up in the teens with a nice tailwind will spoil you forever.

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On the other hand, if you find an Ovation that makes you happy, I suspect you won’t find much you can’t accomplish. I had a 231, now have a Screaming Eagle. This one is dead slap simple to fly, no cowl flaps, no turbo to baby, performs beautifully, climbs like the proverbial bat to at least 12,500. Haven’t tried higher, but now that I have portable O2, I will soon know more. Its service ceiling is way on up there, but NA might take a while to reach it.

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Your flight path doesn’t take you over all the high stuff. With your dog and passengers you won’t be flying in the high teens to take advantage of the turbo. Going east you will be flying high but coming back west you will be flying low. I fly to Jackson and Driggs in mine and have never had a problem with density altitude or even climbing up to 17.5. If you look up tail numbers of all the people that have turbos most don’t fly at the beneficial altitudes and the additional fuel burn eats up useful load and adds additional stops making your trip times slower not faster. If you were flying by yourself I would go turbo but your not. Just my reasoning. 

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I found, owning the 20K, I rarely took full advantage of that turbo. It was wonderful at 12-15000, but refilling that built in ox tank was a nuisance, required landing at a big-city airport, paying substantial sum ($100-150-ish) for a top-off, winds were often unfavorable, and I wasn’t happy with the amount of useful consciousness left at the flight levels if the connector popped loose before I saw it. As it did from time to time. That said, it was lovely to accept FL220 once when requested, just to say I did. And up high, the a/c works well in July, the buildups are skinnier, and groundspeeds eastbound, as mentioned, are gratifying. I just didn’t get up there often enough to be worth holding out for a turbocharged Mooney as nice as this normally aspirated one. I haven’t found myself out of climb power on several continent-crossing trips, and 310hp gets off even a high da airport promptly. Buy the best avionics you can afford... :D The rest is pure Mooney magic.

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I can only speak to the NA version.  I love my Screaming Eagle.  As Amelia said above, simple to fly.  The cost of a rebuild is what, half? 

I fly over the mountains all of the time.  Cascades, Utah, Montana, never is an issue. 

The benefit of the Screaming Eagle is power of the O's, same body, better UL.

I would seriously consider getting one with FIKI.  This was a "must haves" when I was looking for my plane.  Yes, I have used it and grateful I have it.

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Steve - Thanks for the info. I was surprised at how low the min transition training requirement was on the quote. 3 hrs before Solo and 6 total before passengers.

I had already planned on much more.

kyfm30f - You hit the nail on the head for me!   Do you think there will be much difference with the 280 HP?

Lets open this can of worms! Can others chime in on this? The though of the extra maintenance and really only being able to take advantage of the turbo on one way of the my long trips got me to thinking. The O looked like a good compromise.

At this time I am shopping for both but leaning O.  Thanks, Bob

 

 

 

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Is the STC to get the Ovation to 310 HP still available?

Yes, we just got ours done a few months ago. It’s about a 20amu adventure, and worth every penny. Cold and light, I’m off the ground in ~800’ and climbing at 1700FPM 120-130knots. Heavy is about 75% of that. We’ll see how the summer goes, but I’d imagine it’ll be good there too. Makes the “impossible turn” a little more possible. You do lose 7% glide. I can share AFM supplements. PM me you’re email if you’re interested. Plenty of threads here regarding the upgrade. I’ve read them all [emoji23]

~15amu for new top prop w/tks kit
~5amu to Mooney for a piece of paper [emoji849]
You’ll also need to send prop gov out for T20 upgrade to allow 2700RPM.
Fuel flows need adjusted as well.

STC SA03024CH for Hartzell Prop (7498)
STC SA02193CH for HP change to 310

3 prop choices:
7498: thinner, think I gained a few cruise knots
7693: more repairable
Composite: much more expensive
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Lot's of good commentary and advice here. I'll just add a snippet of my personal road to an O3.

After my PPL and a year in a flying club (about 150hrs in Piper Archers) I bought my Ovation, and had an instructor meet me to pick up my aircraft. Over the next 10 days we combined transition training with IFR training. After flying 43 hrs in 10 days I had my IR and was perfectly comfortable/confident in my Mooney. Needless to say I'm a big fan of accelerated training programs :)

Good luck!

Robert

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11 hours ago, MooneyTime said:

The O looked like a good compromise.

 

Need to get past something...

Before you own something that.... in the back of your mind is a compromise...

Go fly one...

 

Use caution...

If you fly a 310hp O... there won’t be an overwhelming desire to fly something else... :)

PP thoughts only...

Best regards,

-a- 

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30 minutes ago, carusoam said:

Need to get past something...

Before you own something that.... in the back of your mind is a compromise...

Go fly one...

 

Use caution...

If you fly a 310hp O... there won’t be an overwhelming desire to fly something else... :)

PP thoughts only...

Best regards,

-a- 

There's nothing like the voice of experience . . . . .

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Anyone in the Charlotte area have an Ovation that might be willing to give me quick ride? Be glad to pay for gas. Have had both shots!

Unfortunately my main concern is how it will handle the density altitude in Wyoming. But, I think kmyfm20s  has answered my question on that.

Thanks for all the responses! This place is a wealth of knowledge. Bob

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Consider the M20S Eagle in your search. Only 65 were built. They are 100% Ovation with economy options. Better UL and can be upgraded with the 310 HP STC. 

 

the POH performance tables go to 20,000 feet. Some Ovations have been know to make it to 25,000 feet without too much effort. 

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1 hour ago, MooneyTime said:

Anyone in the Charlotte area have an Ovation that might be willing to give me quick ride? Be glad to pay for gas. Have had both shots!

Unfortunately my main concern is how it will handle the density altitude in Wyoming. But, I think kmyfm20s  has answered my question on that.

Thanks for all the responses! This place is a wealth of knowledge. Bob

Ive taken off of truckee at 9 to 10k DA at about 350ish under gross and it was normal with the scraming eagle. the plane really climbs. I was still getting about 700 to 900ft per minute of climb. Same with big bear. The plane at full gross weight will climb just fine to 14 thousand feet. After that it starts to slow down a bit. If youre light, its a homesick angel. Off the ground in 600 feet at SL and climbing at above 1000fpm all the way up to 9000ft.

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1 hour ago, Cruiser said:

Consider the M20S Eagle in your search. Only 65 were built. They are 100% Ovation with economy options. Better UL and can be upgraded with the 310 HP STC. 

 

the POH performance tables go to 20,000 feet. Some Ovations have been know to make it to 25,000 feet without too much effort. 

Eagles were $65,000 less than an Ovation when they came out in 1999. To save money they were painted white with stripes, a more basic interior, an STEC autopilot, 2 blade prop, less on the panel and no rudder trim. They came with 75 gallon tanks and the IO-550 was derated to 244 hp.  Still a very nice airplane. 

Most of those things can be upgraded to match an Ovation. I'm not sure about rudder trim though, whether it can be added. With 244 hp it wasn't as big of a deal, however in the Ovation I owned I did the 310hp STC and couldn't imagine not having rudder trim with that much torque.

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8 hours ago, LANCECASPER said:

Eagles were $65,000 less than an Ovation when they came out in 1999. To save money they were painted white with stripes, a more basic interior, an STEC autopilot, 2 blade prop, less on the panel and no rudder trim. They came with 75 gallon tanks and the IO-550 was derated to 244 hp.  Still a very nice airplane. 

Most of those things can be upgraded to match an Ovation. I'm not sure about rudder trim though, whether it can be added. With 244 hp it wasn't as big of a deal, however in the Ovation I owned I did the 310hp STC and couldn't imagine not having rudder trim with that much torque.

I have rudder trim and it was added on by the previous owner so don’t know how involved it was. 

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11 hours ago, MooneyTime said:

Anyone in the Charlotte area have an Ovation that might be willing to give me quick ride? Be glad to pay for gas. Have had both shots!

Unfortunately my main concern is how it will handle the density altitude in Wyoming. But, I think kmyfm20s  has answered my question on that.

Thanks for all the responses! This place is a wealth of knowledge. Bob

I have found and talk to others that agree, that 105 KIAS in the magic number to get to before you ask your Mooney to climb.  So in high DA don’t pull it off the ground and go for Vx right away. If you let the plane fly off the ground, raise the gear and flaps, level off and accelerate to 105 KIAS it will want to climb out. If your mostly flying out Charlotte you will get used to the low altitude Hp. A good way to practice and get a feel for the Hp decrease before you get to Alpine is to takeoff with a reduced MP setting to simulate high altitude power reduction. 

 

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My opinion.... the Ovation won’t be anemic at your proposed density altitude but with the Standing Ovation 310HP you will be good to go. Overhauling the Ovation engine is a lot cheaper than the Bravo engine. Lower cost of operation. Look at the performance charts in the Ovation/Bravo POH for expected performance then weight that data with cost of operation.

https://mooneyspace.com/applications/core/interface/file/attachment.php?id=87945

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