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Recommendations For a New Pilot


ARiehl
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Hello ya’ll. I’m in this early stages of buying a short body Mooney. I am a fairly new pilot. I have had my certificate for 18 months or so and just wrapped up the instrument. This would be my second airplane. I am at about 250 hours total with 80 or so in C150 and 172s and the rest in a two seat Grumman. I have a little bit of complex time in an Arrow. Am I completely off the rails to be buying a Mooney? I would like a J-bar gear because it is simpler. 

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You’ll do well.  Plan for about 10 hours with a good instructor, preferably one who has vintage Mooney experience.

You will probably be fine after the first 5 hours, but the extra 5 will definitely cement the complex sign off and give you a chance to practice instrument procedures as well.  My additional suggestion- use part of the time to learn some Commercial maneuvers, such as the power off 180 and the Chandelle.

Your insurance company will likely require at least 10 hours anyway.

Edited by Andy95W
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Nope your not off the rails!!! Your much smarter than the average bear- The short body Mooney will go fast enough to be a good travel machine and burns so little that it’s great to just go out and enjoy the local scenery too. You have a great foundation of training and will enjoy what the Mooney offers. Smart Move!!!


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57 minutes ago, ARiehl said:

Hello ya’ll. I’m in this early stages of buying a short body Mooney. I am a fairly new pilot. I have had my certificate for 18 months or so and just wrapped up the instrument. This would be my second airplane. I am at about 250 hours total with 80 or so in C150 and 172s and the rest in a two seat Grumman. I have a little bit of complex time in an Arrow. Am I completely off the rails to be buying a Mooney? I would like a J-bar gear because it is simpler. 

Do it, you’ve got your PPL and Instrument rating, seems like your ready to fly faster and more efficient. Way back when, I received my PPL in my Cherokee then purchased a 1977 J to get my Instrument rating in, now about 40 years later I’m still cruising around in a Mooney, my third. Good luck finding a nice one in this sellers market 

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You'll be fine, there is nothing magical about a Mooney. Fly the numbers on landing. I had 58.6 total hours in my logbook all in Cherokees when I bought mine. Insurance required 10 transition with a CFI and 5 on my own before carrying passengers. I was feeling comfortable around 7-8 hours in and not worried when I took my wife and son up flying. That was almost 5 years ago and I'm right at 600 hours in my plane.

@Hank can tell you he did the same thing getting his plane after his PPL and there are others as well.

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I will add that it is time to understand your mission(s).  The transition to flying the plane should be pretty easy. It looks like you have been mostly adding ratings so far.  The next step with a fast cross-country plane is to understand about flights of 500 to 600 sm that include different air masses, locations, etc. Ease into that and take your time, the Mooney is a time (saving) machine that will allow you to get to places much faster than you are used to.  It can also get you into trouble much faster until you get used to staying ahead of the airplane and the changing weather around you.

Good luck

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There are two things to keep in mind:  learn to fly the plane, not just operate the controls; and get a good instructor who knows Mooneys.

I bought my C just five weeks after my PPL checkride, with a whopping 62 hours in C172s. Had a great instructor, and the weekend after the u surance dual was finished (15 hours including 5 hours real or simulated IMC), I took my wife from far western WV across the Appalachians for her dad's birthday in Central NC.

Lord have mercy, that was almost 900 happy hours ago . . . . Later, I got my instrument rating in the plane. Every few years, I'll go to a MAPA PPP for a refresher with a top-notch Mooney CFII. I highly recommend going to one early in your ownership, you'll learn about maintenance, upgrades, flying procedures, etc.

Go shopping and have fun!

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5 hours ago, ARiehl said:

Hello ya’ll. I’m in this early stages of buying a short body Mooney. I am a fairly new pilot. I have had my certificate for 18 months or so and just wrapped up the instrument. This would be my second airplane. I am at about 250 hours total with 80 or so in C150 and 172s and the rest in a two seat Grumman. I have a little bit of complex time in an Arrow. Am I completely off the rails to be buying a Mooney? I would like a J-bar gear because it is simpler. 

You're a seasoned aviator compared to me back when I got my M20C in 2014 - I was a brand new private pilot with exactly 80 total hours in a Warrior.  Take your time to find a good one and respect the transition training - you will never regret it!!!

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Just make sure you are getting a good mechanically sound aircraft and I will second the recommendation to get transition training with a pilot who has significant Mooney experience.  If your insurance policy is like mine was it will require the instructor to have a certain amount of M20 time.

If your instructor will demand that you can land and stop easily in 1,800-2,000 ft then you will be fine.  Just make sure you follow the speeds on final, and don't forget to put the gear down.

Enjoy !

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1 hour ago, Bartman said:

Just make sure you are getting a good mechanically sound aircraft and I will second the recommendation to get transition training with a pilot who has significant Mooney experience.  If your insurance policy is like mine was it will require the instructor to have a certain amount of M20 time.

My insurance company only required the instructor to have 10 hours in a Mooney for my transition training.  I found a local instructor through a friend who had 25 hours of Mooney time so I figured I was good.  Bad mistake, he didn't really know how to teach speed control in a Mooney and I ended up afraid of landings as I was always too fast and too long.  Then I got a few hours with Don Kaye and it was a world of difference, he straightened me out in maybe the first two hours.  After that I was very comfortable.

Get an instructor who is expert in Mooneys, not just one who meets the insurance requirements.  I know many will say any good instructor can teach speed control and I agree but they need to understand the importance of it in the Mooney.

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Welcome aboard AR.

You have come to the right place at the right time… :)

When hunting for your Mooney…

Read up on topics like…

  • PPIs… Pre-purchase inspections…. Who does them, why…. How much to spend…
  • TT…. Transition Training… what it covers, who you should get it from, and what makes a Mooney difference from what you have been flying…
  • Insurance…. One of the best resources around MS… find Parker…. He shares the insights of the insurance world with MS…
  • Valuation…. Find the MooneyFlyer… it has a pretty good valuation tool….
  • Actual planes for sale…. There is a for sale part of this site…. Another resource for comparisons… GMax.   GMax specializes in pre-flown Mooneys… and usually has a wide inventory of the many Mooney airframes….  A great visit if near TX…. Ask for Jimmy, the G in GM….

Enjoy the hunt!

Go Mooney!

PP thoughts only, not a plane salesman…

Best regards,

-a-

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On 9/16/2021 at 11:53 AM, ARiehl said:

Hello ya’ll. I’m in this early stages of buying a short body Mooney. I am a fairly new pilot. I have had my certificate for 18 months or so and just wrapped up the instrument. This would be my second airplane. I am at about 250 hours total with 80 or so in C150 and 172s and the rest in a two seat Grumman. I have a little bit of complex time in an Arrow. Am I completely off the rails to be buying a Mooney? I would like a J-bar gear because it is simpler. 

It’s likely good that your being conservative, but as an instrument rated 250 hour pilot with multiple aircraft experience, I wouldn’t consider you a new pilot.

I cringe often when I read in this site where people tell others that are newly minted private pilots with only 172 time that they will be fine in a Mooney, but 250 hours and instrument rated is for most people years of experience.

I know military training is different but average number of hours in WWII for a German fighter pilot when he entered combat was 240 hours, Brits 200 hours 

Insurence is in my estimation one of the better ways to determine if your ready or not, if it’s tough to get insurence, maybe your not ready yet.

‘I expect you’ll have no difficulty in obtaining insurence

Edited by A64Pilot
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Don’t do it. Just don’t do it.

It starts with the short body Mooney. You get a taste of what a fine traveling machine can do, but only a taste. Then you’ll meet other Mooney owners that will let you fly in a J or K, and you see there’s a bit more out there and the obsession gets a little deeper, then you’ll run across an Ovation or an Acclaim with all glass, and we’ll, you’ll find yourself on controller late at night with everyone in the house asleep looking at Mooney’s for sale and trying to figure out how much you can get for your dog so can make that next step up the line a reality, at that point there really needs to be a 12 step program….


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Welcome aboard. You've already shown you have excellent judgment, because you're looking for a Mooney. As others have said, they are great planes and fun to fly and not difficult to fly.

Two pieces of advice above that I would echo: (1) teach yourself to stay ahead of the airplane when your workload is relatively low so that you can avoid putting yourself in situations where your workload gets too high, and (2) be disciplined in your airspeeds while in the pattern/don't get yourself over the landing zone going ten knots too fast/if you do find yourself going too fast, don't try to force the plane to land/let the plane land when it's ready to land, and if that's too far down the runway then go around. On No. 2, there are ways to fix things if you're high/fast, such as slips or speed brakes (if you have those), but the best way to fix a high and fast problem is to avoid getting into one.

Get to know your fellow Mooney pilots, through this list and through fly-ins and through wandering over to speak to another Mooney pilot when you see a Mooney on the ramp. It's a friendly group of people who love their planes and love talking about their planes and will love hearing about your plane. And some of what they say will be true.

 

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1 hour ago, midlifeflyer said:

I have to laugh. Asking a group of Mooney lovers whether it's ok to buy one is like asking Ben & Jerry if it's ok to buy ice cream.

Can I fly my Mooney to the Ben and Jerry’s factory for some ice cream?

Yes I can! And I have!  I recommend that to all.

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4 hours ago, aviatoreb said:

Can I fly my Mooney to the Ben and Jerry’s factory for some ice cream?

Yes I can! And I have!  I recommend that to all.

Do tell where is this said ice-cream factory run airport located? 

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