Friday, October 16, 2009

Candidate #1

In-person airplane browsing has commenced. Here is the first prospect:

1977 Mooney M20J
  • 4041 TT, 1043 SMOH, 685 SPOH
  • Garmin 430 WAAS, KX 155
  • Century 2000 A/P
  • Apollo GX-55 (VFR Only)
  • True Flight GPS WAAS with XM
  • Speedbrakes
  • New interior in 2006
  • Some new paint, but some leading edge surfaces needing attention
Based nearby, with maintenance apparently done by an independent A&P based at The Home Base.

Does have some damage. In 2000, it was damaged during a landing accident involving wake turbulence from a nearby helicopter that was in hover. According to the NTSB report, "The right wing contacted the ground and the nose of the airplane rotated 90 degrees to the right. The flight instructor then closed the throttle and the airplane impacted the runway landing gear first. The airplane came to rest upright on its landing gear." Careful examination of the top and bottom of the wing surfaces make it hard to discern the specific area of repair, so that's a good thing. The current owner (who did not own the aircraft at the time) reported that there was also an engine tear down.

FAA records have been ordered for further examination. He also offered to provide copies of the logs that could be reviewed on my own time.

Pictures and commentary:

N number erased to protect my competitive shopping advantage. Overall condition looks good.

Some leading edge surfaces need a bit of TLC.

Engine, obviously.

Interior still has that "new leather" smell.

The dark floor carpeting and black panel are a bit, well, dark for my liking. The True Flight GPS, which is velcroed below the throttle quadrant, banged right up against my knee. And I worry that having to look down at the display for weather and then back to the panel to fly is a bad recipe for potential vertigo or vestibular disruption during prolonged instrument flight.

Conclusion: Still in the running.


Postman said...

Those sound like valid concerns. The leading edges do need some TLC, as you've pointed out, and I also find the panel debilitatingly dark.

Packaging Supplier said...

The Mooney M20 is a family of piston-powered, propeller-driven general aviation aircraft, all featuring a low-wing and tricycle gear, manufactured by the Mooney Airplane Company.