Monticello Flying Club Pilot Transition Manual Mooney M20F

Monticello Flying Club Pilot Transition Manual
Mooney M20F
This manual is based primarily on research from multiple sources and the practical use of the
Club’s specific aircraft. A few excerpts are from the MOONEY PILOT PROFICIENCY
PROGRAM developed by the MOONEY AIRCRAFT PILOT ASSOCIATION SAFETY
FOUNDATION. This entire manual is for non-profit educational purposes and in no way
supersedes the information in the POH.
You should thoroughly read through the POH, its supplements, the club’s aircraft
checklist, and all of the equipment manuals prior to reading this document.
The pilot in command must also become familiar with all available information concerning each
flight, the airworthiness and legality of the airplane, and the pilot's competency, currency and
authority for the flight.
Remember, the pilot in command is solely responsible for making all decisions concerning the
flights and in each instance has the responsibility for the safe operation of the aircraft.
Revised: 7/10/2017
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INTRODUCTION
This document is meant to assist with a Club member’s transition to flying a Mooney.
This document in no way should take the place of a thorough check out with a Club approved
CFI. Additionally, Club members are expected to take an active role in continuing education
related to Club aircraft, aviation safety, and general aviation knowledge.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Along with the POH, you are strongly encouraged to review these additional resources
(and other resources) prior to operating the aircraft.
Garmin 430W trainer - http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=3531
Garmin 430 video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RRU8vVIe-cQ
Garmin 430W video - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRQT9eybjao
Electronics Int. (CGR-30P) YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/buyeiinc/videos
ForeFlight Videos – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aSvi70M7A&list=PL2zAuxLDr5dbvH7dbcOeqfNvFEjvSYD5f
Plane/Equip Manuals - http://www.monticellofc.org/aircraft/N3275F.html (bottom of page)
Great article on use of mixture: http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/182084-1.html
Great article on manifold pressure: http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/Pelicans-Perch-15Manifold-Pressure-Sucks-182081-1.html
Great article on variable props: http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/Pelicans-Perch-16-ThoseMarvelous-Props-182082-1.html
Great article on putting these together: http://www.avweb.com/news/pelican/Pelicans-Perch-19Putting-It-All-Together-182085-1.html
M20 SERIES HISTORY AND OVERVIEW
The Mooney model has a very interesting history from wooden tails to one of the first
pressurized singles. To see a full description of the progression of the Mooney, go to
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mooney_M20
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................... 2
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES ......................................................................................................................................................... 2 M20 SERIES HISTORY AND OVERVIEW ................................................................................................................................ 2 CHAPTER 1: SYSTEMS ........................................................................................................................... 5
GENERAL DESCRIPTION ........................................................................................................................................................... 5 LANDING GEAR SYSTEM ........................................................................................................................................................... 6 Landing Gear Circuit Breakers ............................................................................................................ 7
Manual Landing Gear Extension ......................................................................................................... 7
FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEMS ..................................................................................................................................................... 8 Elevator Trim ........................................................................................................................................ 8
Flap System ........................................................................................................................................ 11
CABIN HEATING AND VENTILATION ................................................................................................................................... 11 INSTRUMENTS ......................................................................................................................................................................... 12 Auto-Pilot System ............................................................................................................................... 13
ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEM ................................................................................................................................................... 13 FUEL SYSTEM .......................................................................................................................................................................... 14 RAM-­‐AIR SYSTEM ................................................................................................................................................................... 15 INSTRUMENT VACUUM AND STANDBY VACUUM SYSTEMS ............................................................................................. 16 CHAPTER 2. WEIGHT AND BALANCE ............................................................................................. 19
M20 SERIES REFERENCE DATUM ....................................................................................................................................... 19 WEIGHT AND BALANCE RECORDS ....................................................................................................................................... 19 CHAPTER 3. AIRSPEED LIMITATIONS............................................................................................ 20
M20 SERIES: SUMMARY OF AIRSPEED LIMITATIONS ....................................................................................... 20 IMPORTANT SPEED CHART ................................................................................................................................................... 20 CHAPTER 4. AIRCRAFT PERFORMANCE ....................................................................................... 21
GENERAL .................................................................................................................................................................................. 21 THE PILOT OPERATING HANDBOOK (POH) ..................................................................................................................... 21 TAKE OFF PERFORMANCE .................................................................................................................................................... 21 CRUISE PERFORMANCE ......................................................................................................................................................... 21 DESCENT PERFORMANCE ..................................................................................................................................................... 22 LANDING PERFORMANCE ...................................................................................................................................................... 22 CHAPTER 5. OPERATIONS PARTICULAR TO MOONEY AIRCRAFT ...................................... 23
PREFIGHT ................................................................................................................................................................................. 23 Fuel-Related Items .............................................................................................................................. 23
TOW BAR AND TOWING ........................................................................................................................................................ 24 LOADING AND UNLOADING PASSENGERS .......................................................................................................................... 24 Adjusting the Seats ............................................................................................................................. 25
STARTING THE ENGINE ......................................................................................................................................................... 25 TAXIING .................................................................................................................................................................................... 25 ENGINE RUN-­‐UP ..................................................................................................................................................................... 25 Monticello Flying Club Pilot Transition Manual: Mooney M20F
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TAKEOFF .................................................................................................................................................................................. 26 Initial Climb........................................................................................................................................ 26
Cruise Climb ....................................................................................................................................... 26
CRUISE ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 27 Leaning the Aircraft ........................................................................................................................... 27
High Altitude Cruise ........................................................................................................................... 28
ENROUTE DESCENT ............................................................................................................................................................... 28 LANDINGS ................................................................................................................................................................................ 29 Go-arounds ......................................................................................................................................... 30
SHUTDOWN AND SECURING THE AIRCRAFT ...................................................................................................................... 30 Cleaning and General Care of the Aircraft ........................................................................................ 30
WINTER OPERATIONS ........................................................................................................................................................... 31 NIGHT OPERATIONS ............................................................................................................................................................... 31 OPERATING THE IPAD AND STRATUS 2 .............................................................................................................................. 31 IFR SPECIFIC PROCEDURES .................................................................................................................................................. 32 Approach Level/Holding .................................................................................................................... 32
IFR/ILS Descent ................................................................................................................................. 32
IFR/Non-Precision Approach ............................................................................................................. 32
IFR Circling Approach ....................................................................................................................... 32
Missed Approach ................................................................................................................................ 33
CHAPTER 6. MOONEY ACCIDENT INFORMATION ..................................................................... 34
OVERVIEW-­‐ MOONEY ACCIDENTS ....................................................................................................................................... 34 MOONEY M20 SERIOUS ACCIDENTS: PILOT CAUSE ........................................................................................................ 34 MOONEY SERIOUS ACCIDENTS -­‐ PRIMARY CAUSE! .......................................................................................................... 35 PILOT PROFILES ..................................................................................................................................................................... 35 PILOT TIME-­‐IN-­‐TYPE SERIOUS ACCIDENTS HISTORY ..................................................................................................... 36 ACCIDENT DATA BY PRIMARY CAUSE ................................................................................................................................ 36 Adverse Weather ................................................................................................................................. 36
Judgment............................................................................................................................................. 36
Improper Maintenance ....................................................................................................................... 37
Loss of Control ................................................................................................................................... 37
Airspeed Management ........................................................................................................................ 37
Gear Mismanagement ........................................................................................................................ 37
Fuel Mismanagement ......................................................................................................................... 37
Improper Preflight .............................................................................................................................. 37
Other Causes ...................................................................................................................................... 38
Undetermined Causes ......................................................................................................................... 38
SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................................................................ 43 Monticello Flying Club Pilot Transition Manual: Mooney M20F
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CHAPTER 1: SYSTEMS
GENERAL DESCRIPTION
M20 series aircraft are four-place high-performance single-engine low- wing
monoplanes. The all-metal airframe has a tubular-steel cabin frame covered with nonstructural
aluminum skins, a semi-monocoque aft fuselage, and a full-cantilever laminar-flow wing.
M20 Series Tubular Cabin Frame
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M20 Wing Structure
The spar is a single piece spar running from end to end under the rear seats with the ribs
attached to the spar. The original fuel tanks were part of the structure, but have since had fuel
bladders added.
Control surfaces have extruded-spar construction with stressed skins riveted to the spars
and ribs. Dual control wheels accompany the conventional flight controls. The pilot's rudder
pedals have toe brakes linked to individual hydraulic cylinders that supply pressure to the
hydraulic disc brakes on each main gear wheel. Removable co-pilot rudder pedals are standard
equipment
LANDING GEAR SYSTEM
The standard landing gear system in all models through 1968 was manually operated.
Immediately after construction, the Club’s aircraft had its manual landing gear replaced with an
electric gear system.
Rubber discs in the gear leg assemblies absorb the shock of taxiing and landing. Singledisc self-adjusting hydraulic brakes are featured on the main gear. There are only toe breaks on
the pilot side rudder pedals. An airspeed-actuated safety-switch in the pitot system prevents
electric gear retraction on takeoff until a safe flying speed is attained (Note: This airspeed safety
switch is fundamentally different from a squat switch). A gear-throttle warning horn is operated
by a detent switch on the throttle which sounds when the throttle is set for ~12 inches or less of
manifold pressure and the landing gear up.
The landing gear system has a steerable nose wheel. The nose gear steering system
consists of a steering horn on the gear leg linked to the rudder pedals by push-pull tubes and bell
cranks. Gear retraction automatically disengages the steering mechanism from the nose wheel
and a centering cam aligns the nose wheel for entry into the wheel well.
The gear position is indicated in several ways. There is a red in-transit light that lets you
know when it is in transit, and there is a green down light. The red in-transit light will go out
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when the gear is fully retracted. These lights have an aperture closure for dimming, so if these
lights do not come on, the first thing to do is rotate the light to ensure the aperture is open. There
is also a gear position indicator window (see image below) between the front seats that is unique
to the Mooney. When the red lines line up, as shown below, the gear is down.
Gear Position Indicator Window
LANDING GEAR CIRCUIT BREAKERS
There are two landing gear system circuit breakers located next to the emergency crank
handle (to the left of the pilot’s knees – see photo below). The 25amp breaker is for the gear
motor. The smaller breaker is for the relay. If the 25amp breaker trips, you should manually
lower the gear and return for landing (see next paragraph). Only reset the breaker if the manual
extension fails and then only operate the gear to get them down. Resetting the breaker risks
expensive damage to the gear motor.
MANUAL LANDING GEAR EXTENSION
The electric gear retraction system has an emergency manual extension system connected
to the gear actuator to permit manual lowering of the gear in the event of an electrical
malfunction. Never use the manual system to retract the gear. Mooney used two different
systems (see diagram) with essentially similar operation from the cockpit. Use of either manual
extension system is summarized below:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Pull the landing gear actuator circuit breakers located next to the extension handle.
Move landing gear control switch to DOWN position.
Unlatch manual extension handle.
Crank the handle clockwise until green GEAR DOWN indicator light comes ON and/or
the lines on the visual gear position indicator on the floor aft of the console are aligned
when viewed from directly above the indicator.
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Control
Switch
(shown in
the ‘up’
position)
Landing
Gear
Circuit
Breakers
Emergency Gear System Diagram (top)
& Photo of the Control Switch, Crank, and Circuit Breakers (bottom)
FLIGHT CONTROL SYSTEMS
The dual flight control systems can be operated from either the pilot or copilot seat. All
flight controls are conventional in operation, using push-pull tubes to link the control surfaces to
the control wheels and rudder pedals. Formica guide blocks maintain control tube alignment and
dampen vibration. An interconnect bungee spring mechanism links the aileron and rudder
systems to assist in control coordination. The co-pilot's rudder pedals are removable.
ELEVATOR TRIM
You will notice that there is no trim tab on the airplane. Instead, the elevator trim wheel
in the cockpit rotates the entire empennage (right picture, above) to set the stabilizer angle of
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attack around a hinge located aft of the battery compartment. The trim wheel is on the floor
between the pilot and co-pilot’s seats.
The elevator trim
actually rotates the
whole empennage along
this line.
The trim wheel rotates the whole empennage around a hinge
Rudder Control System
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Elevator Control System
Aileron Control System
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Elevator Trim Control System
FLAP SYSTEM
This aircraft originally had a hydraulic flap system that was replaced with an electric flap
system. The switch is located on the center console next to the lighter adapter. There is an “up”
and “down” position with a neutral or off position in between. The switch is not spring loaded in
the up position, so if you move it to the up position it will stay in the up position. It is, however,
spring loaded in the down position, so flap extension will stop upon releasing the switch or
reaching the full flaps down position. A deliberate 3-second count extends the flaps to roughly
15o (approach setting), and roughly 11 seconds will bring the flaps from full up to full down.
CABIN HEATING AND VENTILATION
Pulling out the cabin air knob allows air from inside the engine cowl to enter a mixing
box located on the engine side of the firewall. Pulling out the cabin heater knob allows air that
has passed over the exhaust muffler to enter this mixing box. Air leaving the mixing box is
routed to nozzles at the right shin of the pilot, the left shin of the co-pilot, just below the cigarette
lighter on the center console (see photo below), and the windshield base. These nozzles (with the
exception of those at the windshield base) have louvers to control the airflow. The nozzles at the
windshield base are primarily for defrost. For maximum defrost, you must partially close the
lower louvers in order to force more hot air to the windshield. Be careful as too much hot air on
the windshield may damage the windshield.
Twist knob openings at the left knee of the pilot and right knee of the co-pilot provide
outside air to the front cabin. A manually operated overhead air scoop provides additional
outside-air ventilation mostly to the back seat occupants, and controls for these vents are located
on the ceiling.
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Vent
Control
Knobs
Pedestal between the pilot and co-pilot
to show the cabin heat and air vents and control knobs
INSTRUMENTS
All flight instruments are located in the shock-mounted flight panel. Engine instruments
are in the CGR-30P display. Pitot system ram air pressure operates the airspeed indicator. The
instrument static pressure system has air pickup ports, which are open to atmospheric pressure,
on each side of the empennage, and this static pressure operates the altimeter and contributes to
the airspeed reading. There is no alternate static air source, so you would need to break the
vertical speed indicator glass in case of blockage to obtain an alternate static air source (in an
emergency). The HSI and attitude indicator operate off of an engine driven vacuum pump, and
the turn coordinator and electric compass (lower center of the pilot-side panel) are driven by the
electrical system. The panel-mounted electric compass is tied to a remote compass in the tail of
the aircraft and supplements the standard compass mounted at the top of the windshield. A
dimmer knob located on the ceiling above the pilot’s head manually dims the instrument panel
lights, and red spotlights are controlled using the knob above the co-pilot’s head. Make sure to
turn the instrument lights off after a night flight to prevent the bulbs from burning out.
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AUTO-PILOT SYSTEM
This aircraft originally had a wing leveler system (Positive Control) but that has been
replaced with an S-TEC System 30 Auto Pilot that provides a steering, heading, and tracking
(GPS) modes. The autopilot on-off master switch is located just below the ignition switch. The
System 30 is combined with the turn coordinator and thus is rate based (as opposed to gyro
based). This means that the autopilot will still function in the event of a vacuum or pitot system
failure. If you become disoriented during a vacuum system failure, switching the autopilot on to
level the wings could be a lifesaver.
There is also a GPS Steering system (GPSS) run by a separate switch on the left side of
the pilot panel that switches the input to the HDG mode on the System 30 between the Heading
Bug (HDG) and the Garmin 430W (GPSS). With the System 30 in HD mode and the GPSS in
GPSS mode, the autopilot will fly the flight plan that is in the 430W. If the GPSS is in HDG
mode, the autopilot will fly the heading bug when HD mode is selected. The Lo and Hi TRK
modes are not currently connected.
There is an autopilot disconnect switch on the pilot’s control yoke. Also located on the
yoke is the altitude hold engage/disengage switch. In altitude hold mode (which will only operate
when a directional control mode is active), indicators on the turn coordinator will indicate
whether trim up or down is required by the autopilot system. Since the aircraft is not equipped
with electric trim, the pilot must manually adjust the trim settings per the autopilot’s guidance in
order to maintain altitude. Additionally, like many other autopilots in GA aircraft, the system
will attempt to hold altitude to the point of a stall if insufficient power is supplied, so manual
power and trim adjustments must be made by the pilot to compensate. These adjustments are
particularly important when using the autopilot to hold altitude and course during a manual gear
extension (expect to add power and trim as the gear comes down).
There is a lot more critical information in the autopilot manual, which is located on the
club’s website. Reading this manual and practicing autopilot use in good weather can familiarize
you with its operation so that you can comfortably use it during IFR flight to reduce your
workload. If you plan to use the autopilot during flight, you must check the disconnect function
as part of the pre-take off systems check.
ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEM
The master switch and power relay control the electrical power system, which is
composed of a 50-amp 12-volt generator (no alternator), a voltage regulator, and a 35 amp-hour
battery. One thing to note with a generator is that it will not provide power at low RPM (the
amber low voltage light on the annunciator panel will illuminate), so watch the ammeter when
waiting for a clearance, troubleshooting something, or waiting for other aircraft to depart. An
avionics switch, located on the center panel next to the flap switch, isolates the avionics. The
battery is located in the tail and can be accessed via a door on the left side of the fuselage.
Circuit breakers and circuit breaker switches protect the electrical wiring and equipment
from overloads. There are fuses on the autopilot system and the cigarette lighter circuit. All of
the light switches have internal breakers, so if a light switch will not stay up, it is an indicator
that the breaker has tripped.
Included in the electrical system are the navigation lights, interior lights, combined gear/
stall warning system, an electric fuel boost pump, electric starter, electric gear retraction system,
and an electric flap system. After night flights it is important to make sure the panel and interior
lights are turned off because they are not visible during the day.
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Electrical System Schematic
FUEL SYSTEM
The fuel system has internally sealed, integral wing tanks in the forward, inboard section
of each wing. Because of frequent leaks in this type of tank system, our aircraft had fuel bladders
added to the tanks. This prevents leaks, but reduced the fuel capacity by 9.2 gallons, resulting in
a total capacity (now) of 54.8 gallons, and added 26 pounds of weight. Additionally, there have
been some problems with water getting into these bladder systems so an AD was issued
requiring each tank to be sumped for 4 seconds each.
Vents at the aft outboard corner of each tank extend downward through the lower wing
surface. There is a piece of metal in front of each vent to reduce the risk of ice forming in the
vent. These tank vents are also designed to be a tube-within-a-tube, which helps to prevent
freezing. These fuel vents allow for overflow and fuel tank ventilation, and they should be
checked for obstruction during pre-flight inspection.
Fuel sump drains are located at the lowest point in each tank. Fuel feeds from either tank
to a valve through a gascolator integral with valve and low-point drain. The selector valve (see
picture in Chapter 5) is located between the pilot’s legs along with a selector sump ring that is
pulled up to drain the sump for each tank at the selector. This point is the lowest point in the fuel
system. The selector goes from ‘left’ to ‘off’ (pointing at pilot) to ‘right’. While you do have to
go through ‘off’ position to switch tanks, there is sufficient fuel in the lines to prevent this from
stopping the engine as long as it is done in a reasonable amount of time.
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The electric fuel pump is in the bottom left forward section of the fuselage just aft of the
firewall. Fuel feeds from either tank through the selector valve to the electric pump then to the
engine-driven fuel pump and to the fuel injector system on the engine. Fuel quantity transmitters
in each tank are wired to fuel quantity gauges. The aircraft master switch turns on the fuel
quantity indicating systems.
Fuel System Schematic
On our aircraft, a Bendix RSA-5AD1 fuel injection system uses measured airflow in a
stem-type regulator to convert the air pressure into a fuel pressure. This fuel pressure differential
is applied across the fuel metering section of the fuel injector, making fuel flow proportional to
airflow. The injection system is composed of the injector, flow divider, air-bleed nozzles, and
associated lines and fittings.
The Lycoming fuel injection controls on M20E, F and J models do not include an engine
primer. Fuel will be sprayed into the intake manifold whenever a fuel pump is operating and the
mixture control is open. Thus proper positioning of the mixture knob is critical for insuring the
engine is properly primed but not flooded.
RAM -AIR SYSTEM
The ram-air feature was incorporated with the 200 horsepower engine in M20E and later
models, including M20J production through 1991. It provides a 1" manifold increase by allowing
engine induction air to partially bypass the induction air filter (see schematics below). Use of
ram-air must be strictly limited to clean, dust-free air, as the engine operates on direct unfiltered
air when the ram air control is pulled on. RAM air must also not be operated in clouds below
40oF due to the risk of freezing at the injection ports.
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If the ram-air is on while the landing gear is down, the ram-air annunciator light will
illuminate, reminding you that you should close the ram air door. Do not wait for this light; close
the door just prior to starting the descent. Should the induction air filter clog, a spring-loaded
door in the induction system will open by induction vacuum to allow bypass air to enter the
engine.
Fuel
Injector
Ram
Inlet
To Engine
Air
Air
Filter
Ram Closed
Fuel
Injector
To Engine
Air
Ram
Inlet
Air
Filter
Ram Open
INSTRUMENT VACUUM AND STANDBY VACUUM SYSTEMS
An engine driven, dry air vacuum pump supplies suction for the vacuum operated
gyroscopic flight instruments (the directional gyro in the HSI and the attitude indicator). The air
is passed through several filters before entering the instruments. A vacuum regulator valve is
incorporated to maintain the required operating vacuum throughout the engine power range. A
red vacuum annunciator light will flash when the vacuum drops below the 4.25 ± 0.2 in Hg
suction that is required to operate the instruments. The vacuum annunciator light glows steadily
when vacuum exceeds the normal setting of 5.5 ± 0.2 in Hg. Idle RPM settings will normally not
provide adequate vacuum for satisfactory instrument operation, so the low vacuum light may
illuminate while the engine is at idle.
If the primary system fails, as indicated by a “low” vacuum annunciator light, then the
pilot can activate the standby system by pulling the knob above the co-pilot’s knees. This knob
opens a valve to pull vacuum pressure off of the #3 cylinder. When the engine is running at
manifold pressures below atmospheric (approximately 30”), suction is created by the cylinders
(this suction pulls air into the engine). The standby vacuum uses this suction to run the
instruments.
Accordingly, the standby vacuum system will not operate at manifold pressures near or
above standard pressure (approximately 30”), because the cylinder is getting all the air it needs
from the fuel injector and thus is not creating a vacuum. This detail is important to remember if
shooting an approach in IMC while using the standby vacuum. If you execute a missed approach
and increase engine manifold pressure above 30”, you will lose standby vacuum pressure and
your DG and artificial horizon will slowly wind down. Anticipate this situation and rely on your
altimeter, turn coordinator, and VSI until you have sufficient altitude to safely reduce manifold
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pressure below 30”. When you activate the standby vacuum, the “low” vacuum light will go out,
but the standby light on the annunciator panel will stay lit.
Instrument Vacuum System
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The vacuum system also operates the aircraft step. The step will retract
automatically when sufficient vacuum is produced by the vacuum pump.
Vacuum Step
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CHAPTER 2. WEIGHT AND BALANCE
This section addresses a critical flight planning area, the determination of payload
(passengers and baggage) and usable fuel loading.
M20 SERIES REFERENCE DATUM
For all Mooney’s, the reference datum plane is at fuselage station 0.00. On "long
fuselage" models M20F, M20G, M20J, and M20K, fuselage station 0.00 is 5.00 in. aft of the
centerline of the nose gear support bolts. The leading edge of every Mooney wing is 33.00 in. aft
of fuselage station 0.00. This detail explains why short, long, and longer fuselage Mooney’s all
have similar CG ranges when expressed as "inches aft of datum." With its 10 in. longer fuselage,
the M20F wheelbase also increased 5 in.
WEIGHT AND BALANCE RECORDS
In 1974, Mooney issued an AFM addendum for 1967 and earlier Mooney’s covering
weight and balance, providing original equipment, additional charts and a sample weight and
balance. All additional and removed equipment has since been captured in log book updates to
this original weight and balance.
You are required by the FAA to ensure that the aircraft is properly loaded for each flight.
One way to do this is to follow the steps outlined in the POH/AFM addendum and complete the
chart provided in the addendum. The current Empty weight of N3275F is 1740.95 and the arm is
46.17”. Note that because of the fuel bladders, usable fuel has been reduced to 27.4 gal/tank
(54.8 total). With a maximum takeoff weight of 2740 lbs, that gives a useful load (not including
fuel) of 999.05 lbs and a payload (with full tanks) of 670.25 lbs. There is also a weight and
balance spreadsheet for instructional purposes found on the club website.
Since the club only fills the tanks to within an inch of the top, you will be right at
maximum gross weight with four FAA full sized (170lb) adults on board. You can also carry less
fuel by either paying the FBO to remove fuel, or by calling the previous member flying the
aircraft and request them not fill up the tanks. Otherwise the club policy is to keep the tanks
within an inch of the top in order to keep the bladders wet but to also prevent venting of fuel.
Again, it is your responsibility to calculate fuel and passenger weights and complete the weight
and balance calculations.
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CHAPTER 3. AIRSPEED LIMITATIONS
Airspeed control, one of the most important flying skills, is especially important in Mooney
operations. This section is designed to aid in understanding and flying proper airspeeds through a
review of terminology, maneuvering speed, and other airspeed limitations.
M20 SERIES: SUMMARY OF AIRSPEED LIMITATIONS
Va – Max. Maneuvering 135 MPH– straight and level (not shown)
(reduce by 6 MPH for every 200 lbs under max weight)
Vfe – Max. Flaps Extended 105 MPH (top of white arc)
Vge – Max. Gear Extended – 120 MPH (not shown)
Vlo – Max. Gear Operating – 120 MPH – raising and lowering
Vne – Never Exceed – 200 MPH – even in smooth air (red line)
Vno – Max Structural 174 MPH – only in smooth air (top of green arc)
WARNING!
DO NOT EXTEND FLAPS IN TURBULENCE.
GEAR MAYBE LOWERED, BUT ALWAYS SLOW TO GEAR OPERATING SPEED.
IMPORTANT SPEED CHART
1. Vso, Power off stall, gear down, flaps 33°
2. Vs1, Power off stall, gear down, flaps 15°
3. Vs, stall, gear and flaps up
4. Normal takeoff
5. Normal takeoff 50' agl
6. Best rate, Vy, clean, full throttle, 2700 rpm, sea level/10,000'
7. Best angle,Vx, clean, full throttle, 2700 rpm, sea level
8. Normal landing 50' agl
9. Short field landing 50' agl
10. Balked landing, flaps 33o, gear down
11. Normal climb, 26"/2600 rpm
14. Max glide range, 2740 lbs, windmilling/stopped
62 MPH
64 MPH
68 MPH
65-75 MPH
80 MPH
113/102 MPH
94 MPH
80 MPH
74 MPH
80 MPH
115-120 MPH
105/100 MPH
See the POH for details on recommended combinations of manifold pressure and RPM at
various altitudes and their influence on aircraft performance.
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CHAPTER 4. AIRCRAFT PERFORMANCE
GENERAL
This section considers another critical flight planning activity, the proper use of
information contained in the aircraft performance charts to optimize performance and protect the
aircraft from damage.
THE PILOT OPERATING HANDBOOK (POH)
First a little background. In the 1960s, the M20F OWNER'S MANUAL was issued with
96 pages, still with a separate loading schedule to be consulted for weight and balance data.
Mooney Owners Manuals and Pilot Operating Handbooks contain the following advice, which
we would all do well to heed:
"...It is important that you - regardless of your previous experience - carefully read the
handbook form cover to cover and review it frequently."
TAKE OFF PERFORMANCE
Take off performance can be obtained using the chart in the POH. These charts are
calculated based upon actual flight tests, using average piloting techniques, the airplane and
engine in good condition, and the engine power control system properly adjusted. The charts
make no allowances for varying levels of pilot technique, proficiency or environmental
conditions. The pilot must evaluate the effect of soft runways, winds aloft, or airplane
configuration changes.
Keep in mind that to use these charts you must first calculate your weight and balance
and calculate the density altitude at your departure. Remember as well to figure on 1.5 gallons of
fuel burn for start/taxi/run up/takeoff.
The worst-case scenario (per the charts) would require 2,395 ft to clear a 50 ft obstacle.
So if you are taking off from a runway that is shorter than this, you need to pay close attention to
the takeoff charts to ensure that you can depart under those conditions. Don’t be afraid to abort a
takeoff that is not progressing as you expected before it is too late to do so. Also, maintaining the
best angle of climb airspeed of 94 MPH is critical for obstacle clearance on short-field takeoffs.
Succumbing to the temptation to raise the nose to get over an obstacle can quickly put you on the
wrong side of the power curve – fly the POH performance speeds. Keep in mind that density
altitude affects performance.
CRUISE PERFORMANCE
Cruise performance can be directly obtained from the charts found in the POH. The
aircraft should not be continuously operated above 75% power and remember that these
tables are based on aggressive leaning of the mixture. It is also important to remember that these
are true airspeeds (TAS) not indicated airspeeds (IAS) or ground speeds (GS). You must adjust
the TAS according to pressure altitude and temperature to determine calibrated airspeed (CAS),
which should be close to the indicated airspeed (IAS) read off the airspeed indicator.
Furthermore, ground speed calculations must include the effect of winds aloft.
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DESCENT PERFORMANCE
The original 1967 Mooney POH does not have a descent chart. It is important to
avoid unnecessary engine shock cooling during descent (while taking full advantage of the
reduced fuel burn available). Avoid shock cooling the engine by decreasing propeller speed
to the lowest allowable cruise rpm and subsequently making several gradual reductions in
manifold pressure.
Pay close attention to the CGR-30P during descent to avoid shock cooling. Refer
to the CGR-30P manual for details on using that instrument.
Pay attention to the RPM restrictions on continuous operation, but the general
technique of descending with low rpm/moderate MP rather than higher rpm/lower MP, will
help eliminate piston ring flutter and maintain higher cylinder head temperatures.
LANDING PERFORMANCE
Landing performance can be determined from the POH. According to the charts, in
the worst-case scenario (full weight, high density altitude) the landing distance is 2,175ft. If
you are landing on a field shorter than this you should calculate your landing distance from
the chart. Also note that the airspeed upon crossing the runway threshold is lower for shortfield operations compared to normal operations. Keep in mind that density altitude affects
performance.
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CHAPTER 5. OPERATIONS PARTICULAR TO MOONEY AIRCRAFT
PREFIGHT
There are few things particular to a Mooney on the prefight inspection. Please take note
of these items and pay particular attention to them during the pre-flight inspection.
FUEL-RELATED ITEMS
First is fuel straining. On the floor of the pilot side are the fuel selector and strainer
(below). Place the selector on the first tank and pull the ring solidly for a count of four, switch
tanks, and repeat.
Fuel Selector Knob and Strainer Ring
Standard club practice is to fill both fuel tanks to 1 inch below the top of the tank
following each flight (fuel charges should be billed directly to the club at the Charlottesville
FBO, and the treasurer will match up fuel charges with pilots using the flight log). During preflight, verify the fuel level in each tank. If the tanks were not refueled following the previous
flight (either due to pilot error or failure of the FBO to process the order), request that the
Charlottesville FBO refuel the aircraft to 1 inch below the top of the tank and make a note on the
flight log to make sure that fuel charges are billed to the appropriate pilot.
The bladders in the fuel tanks result in a situation where traditional dip-stick techniques
are not reliable for determining fuel quantity in our aircraft. This situation is why the club has
adopted the practice described above. Also, when fueling the aircraft, you will notice that the
bladders will expand as the tanks fill. As such, it is recommended to slow the rate of fueling as
the level of fuel reaches the top of the tank. In most cases, the bladders will expand at a slower
rate than the fueling rate. Quickly fueling a tank up to the top of the tank without allowing time
for the bladder to expand could result in taking on less fuel than expected.
Finally, you need to make sure the fuel caps (see photo below) are tight. Check the
tightness of the fuel caps by pushing down on one of the outer edges of the fuel cap. If it moves
around, then it is not tight, which can allow fuel to leak out and water to leak in. To tighten the
cap, remove it, turn it upside down, and then rotate the bottom clockwise. Tighten the cap such
that it does not move around when it is locked in place, but do not tighten it so much that you
cannot fully push down the metal locking tab.
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Fuel Filter Cap Assembly
TOW BAR AND TOWING
The nose gear strut is precariously positioned in such a way that over steering the nose gear
can cause expensive damage if the strut is forced against the retract bar. Gradual sweeping turns
and bringing the plane forward or back to straighten the nose gear in successive turns is essential
to prevent this damage. It is also important to remind line crews of this. There is an indicator on
the front of the nose gear strut to help you avoid over turning the strut.
If over turned, this bar will
damage this bar. Inspect as part of
pre-flight.
LOADING AND UNLOADING PASSENGERS
The best way to load passengers is to push the front seats to
the rear and then load the pilot. Next, pull the co-pilot seat full
forward and load the rear passengers. Then push the co-pilot seat
full back, push the controls forward, and then load the co-pilot last.
Shutting the door is different than most aircraft, you DO NOT
SLAM IT. Gently bring the door mostly closed, push the handle
forward to open the latch, pull the door snug, then while holding it
snug, rotate the handle to the back of the plane.
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ADJUSTING THE SEATS
The front seats are slid forward and back by pulling up on
the bar along the front of the seat. The seat back can be reclined or
set straight up by rotating the silver knob at the bottom of the back
rest while leaning slightly forward until it is in the desired position.
The rear seats can either be folded down for more baggage
storage or reclined for passenger comfort. Either is accomplished
by pushing down on the red handle found on both sides of the rear
seats (see picture on left).
STARTING THE ENGINE
The checklist gives a full description of the steps to start the engine. The engine is fuel
injected with no primer. You prime the engine by turning on the fuel pump with the mixture at
idle and the throttle half in and then pushing in the mixture to full rich for 3-8 seconds before
returning it to idle. Typically, more priming is needed on colder days. On warm days or with a
warm engine, it is often helpful to turn the fuel pump off prior to engaging the starter.
The article on mixture at the beginning of this guide is very informative for starting this
aircraft.
The ignition system is a shower of sparks system, so make sure to turn the ignition to
‘start’ and then push in the ignition. On ‘start’, you will hear a chattering noise, which is
perfectly normal (for more on shower of spark systems, see this helpful discussion:
http://www.donmaxwell.com/publications/MAPA_TEXT/Shower%20of%20Sparks/Shower%20
of%20Sparks.htm). As the engine catches, gradually push in the mixture, and lean the engine
promptly to prevent spark plug fouling.
On cold days, the engine should be pre-heated using with the built-in oil sump heater or
blown pre-heat air. See the aircraft use rules for more details. It is important to recognize that
cold weather is particularly hard on engines, so pay attention to checklist details for cowl flap
use in cold weather and promptly reduce RPM after starting the engine to allow the oil to warmup.
TAXIING
Mooney props sit closer to the ground so you need to apply extra caution when applying
breaking and when taxiing over uneven ground. As with towing, avoid sharp turns, allowing for
sweeping turns.
You should lean the engine during ground operations except when large amounts of
throttle are needed to get up a hill or while doing a run-up. Like most engines, this one tends to
run so rich that, without leaning, spark plug fouling is inevitable during a long taxi or while
awaiting takeoff clearance. The risk with leaning on the ground is that a takeoff with a lean
mixture can cause severe engine damage so you must make absolutely sure the engine is full rich
(except in high density altitudes) prior to run-up and take off.
ENGINE RUN-UP
The steps for the run-up are covered in the checklist. Cowl flaps should be open at this
point per the checklist. To avoid damaging counterweights and cylinders, increasing the throttle
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from idle should be done gradually (over a few seconds). Mag checks are done at 1700 RPM and
prop cycle is done at 2000 RPM. Like any other complex aircraft, the propeller should be
exercised to get fresh oil into the prop governor. Unlike aircraft that have a feathering prop, only
one cycle of the prop should be sufficient. Make sure to not to let the RPM drop more than 300
RPM during prop cycle to prevent engine damage.
During run-up the CGR-30P engine monitor can provide very important information on
the operation of the engine. If you get a rough running engine on either mag, pay attention to the
CGR-30P engine temperatures. A bad/fouled plug will show a significant EGT drop on that
cylinder. If multiple cylinders drop EGT significantly, it might be an indicator of a troubled
magneto, and the flight should be terminated. Fouled plugs are caused by lead deposits, which
require higher temperatures to burn off. Leaning the mixture and running up the engine can clear
lead deposits. If you encounter magneto problems, write down the trouble magneto and cylinder
temperature information to save the club maintenance troubleshooting.
TAKEOFF
Advance the throttle slowly to avoid engine damage while holding the aircraft with the
brakes (if necessary on a short field). The takeoff configuration is partial flaps, 15°, used with
maximum available power.
The pilot should "lighten the nose wheel" (except in strong cross winds) on the takeoff
run. The aircraft has a tendency to rock steep nose up if you try to truly rotate off of the field.
You really just slightly get the nose off the field at rotation speed, lower the nose slightly without
remaking contact, and then let the mains fly off the field.
Rotation speed for calm/steady days is 65 MPH and on gusty days is 75 MPH. The short
field/obstacle rotation airspeed is 75 MPH. Once airborne, slowly lower the nose to achieve Vx
(94 MPH) or Vy (113 MPH). If obstacle clearance is not a factor, a Vy climb reduces the engine
temperatures and is, thus, desirable.
Once there is no remaining usable runway, apply the brakes to stop wheel rotation, raise
the gear, and once the obstacle is cleared or you reach 700 ft AGL, raise the flaps. Raising the
gear and flaps will require significant nose trim. Be ready for this change and apply liberally.
INITIAL CLIMB
After clearing all obstacles, climb should be made at full power and with the propeller
pulled back to 2600 rpm. On hot days, after clearing all obstacles, the nose should be lowered (to
increase speed) and power reduced to around 26” to ensure the hottest cylinder does not to
exceed 400oF.
CRUISE CLIMB
The transition from initial climb to cruise climb requires only a reduction in pitch attitude and
re-trim (for a better visibility and higher speed climb) followed by a power reduction (never below
1,000 ft AGL) to the POH recommended power setting.
Climb at POH power levels, since engine cooling is dependent upon both the recommended
fuel flow and airspeed. While climbing, always monitor engine cylinder head and exhaust gas
temperatures for operation "in the green". The cruise climb is an optimum performance maneuver,
requiring use of the proper airspeed, combined with the lowest possible drag configuration, which
will yield sufficient engine cooling.
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CRUISE
In making the transition from climb to cruise, lower the nose enough to maintain altitude,
close cowl flaps (if applicable, engine temperatures permitting and below 150 MPH), accelerate to
cruise airspeed, then set cruise power using the cruise performance table. Cruise should be kept
below 75% rated power. To determine the MP and RPM’s you can consult the table in the POH
and determine what trade off you want between speed and fuel economy. The engine
performance charts in the original POH have been updated for the club’s Mooney after fuel
bladders were installed which reduced the fuel capacity by 9.2 total gallons, thus reducing range.
There is a full performance chart with additional information in the white aircraft folder. Keep in
mind that these tables are for true airspeed and were based on a brand new aircraft, with a new
paint job, and with much fewer antennae. Your indicated airspeed will be different depending on
altitude and your ground speed will be different depending on the winds aloft.
The engine allows for a wide range of MP and RPM settings, but in a few of our tables
there have been some settings that are eliminated for continuous ops. The original propellers had
trouble with harmonic oscillations that prevented continuous operations at low MP’s. This
aircraft has a new scimitar prop. The only restriction on this propeller is that there shall be No
continuous operations above 24″ between 2350 and 2550 rpm. This is placarded on the panel
and these settings are indicated on the table in the aircraft book. The CGR-30P engine monitor
will give a master caution indicator (flashing yellow light on the annunciator panel) when the
prop speed is set between 2350 and 2550 rpm (yellow arc). This indication can be canceled by
pressing the ‘E’ button on the CGR-30P, but this indicator is a reminder to make sure that MP is
at or below 24” when the propeller speed is set in that range.
There are however, other considerations, such as the higher pressures created within the
cylinders. Even though the Mooney POH's generally allow cruise at a lower RPM with higher
manifold pressure, Lycoming recommends using an RPM in the mid ranges (2350-2500),
provided that the engine runs smoothly at the selected RPM. Lycoming does not specifically
address the issue of RPM/MP selection, but it does leave it to the POH and the pilot.
There is a theory that at lower RPM and higher MP you will be "lugging" your engine.
Conversely, at a higher RPM and lower MP your engine will be turning more cycles, but they are
easier cycles with less internal pressure. The overriding consideration should be a smooth
running engine at whatever authorized combination of RPM/MP you select.
LEANING THE AIRCRAFT
The club’s Mooney has an engine monitor that monitors both CHT and EGT on each
cylinder. Procedures for leaning are found in the checklist and the monitor’s operating manual
(the CGR-30P has a Lean-Rich of Peak (ROP) mode that makes leaning easy). In general, you
should gradually and conservatively lean the aircraft during climb, and then upon reaching cruise
altitude, lean aggressively using the engine monitor. Lycoming recommends leaning the engine
to 150 degree rich of peak for max power cruise and at peak for economy cruise (below 75%
power). At no point though should the EGT exceed 1600 degrees or should the CHT exceed 400
degrees. Keep in mind that engine temperatures change gradually, so lean in increments while
waiting several minutes between increments to allow the temperature to stabilize. Temperature
changes should always be kept gradual to prevent engine damage. Below is a chart directly from
the Lycoming Operating Manual that is very informative:
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Engine Leaning Information
HIGH ALTITUDE CRUISE
Mooney’s are capable of reaching altitudes in excess of altitudes that require
supplemental oxygen and that have other complicating factors. The listed ceiling for our aircraft
is approximately 17,000 ft. The FAA states that supplemental oxygen must be used by the crew
when operating for more than 30 minutes between 12,500 and 13,999 ft. That is what is required.
However, keep in mind that your physical health condition can amplify the effects of hypoxia
and hypoxia can affect night vision as low as 5,000 ft, so you personally might need
supplemental oxygen below 12,500 ft. Additionally, ducking below 12,500 ft for a few minutes
doesn’t restart the clock. Above 14,000 ft, the crew must use supplemental oxygen at all times.
The following websites have some good additional information on hypoxia and other
physiological factors: https://www.faa.gov/pilots/safety/pilotsafetybrochures/media/hypoxia.pdf
& http://tfmlearning.fly.faa.gov/publications/atpubs/AIM/Chap8/aim0801.html.
Some Club members own supplemental oxygen systems that may be borrowed, but that is
done completely independently of the club. The club requires members to follow the FAR’s
related to these issues and, if required, use a FAA approved supplemental oxygen system with a
pulse oximeter. The club recommends following the advice on the above link for use of oxygen
below 12,500 ft and there are non-approved oxygen systems that can supplement flight below
12,500 ft.
An additional issue that may arise at altitudes above the freezing level is ice blockage of
the fuel injection and air induction systems. If you experience engine problems above the
freezing level, it may be worth getting below the freezing level when practical and if the engine
has stopped, attempting a restart a minute or two below the freezing level if practical.
ENROUTE DESCENT
A well planned descent can "buy back" much of the fuel used in the climb, along with
pleasing airspeeds, fuel economy and improved engine life. Reduce power by decreasing engine
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RPM to the minimum recommended by the engine manufacturer or permitted by the POH. Maintain
cruise MP during the descent, with reductions to no less than 55% BHP. Gradually increase the
mixture as you descend to maintain rich of peak as the air density increases.
The easiest way to plan your descent is to look at the GPS ETA and allow 2 minutes/1000' of
altitude that you have to lose so that you get a 500'/min descent. So if you are at 9,500’ and the field
at destination is 500’, you will want to start your decent when your ETA is 18 minutes. As long as
you descend at an airspeed slower or equal to your cruise, you will arrive at the pattern altitude prior
to reaching the airport. The Garmin 430W GPS also has a VNAV mode that will identify ‘top of
descent’ for you based on settings that you input – see the GPS manual for details.
It is recommended to use a lower RPM with higher MP within the allowable limits. The
lower RPM puts backpressure on the pistons, prevents piston ring float and keeps temperatures up.
By maintaining a higher CHT, we prevent shock cooling, oil congealing, and spark plug fouling.
LANDINGS
The gear warning horn is supposed to sound when the throttle is pulled back to around
12” MP if the gear is not down. Do not rely on this because these horns can fail and will not
work if there is an aircraft electrical failure. It is a good idea to test the gear horn during your
descent to landing by momentarily pulling the throttle to idle.
There are several particular risks during landing in a Mooney. The first is carrying excess
speed on approach. This will either result in touchdown on all three wheels and then screeching
of tires as heavy braking is initiated before sufficient weight has been transferred to the landing
gear or the plane is held off for a touchdown at the proper speed resulting in a lengthy float in
ground effect which can be disastrous in gusty winds or crosswinds. To avoid this, use the
airspeeds found in the checklist and do a go around if you find yourself too fast over the runway.
If you do find yourself floating or even ballooning, fight the temptation to shove the control
wheel forward. This action usually results in a prop strike or nose gear damage. Either go around
or if there is sufficient runway, let it float and add power if necessary to prevent excessive sink
from the ballooning. Finally, the Mooney sits closer to the ground, so your flare will be closer to
the ground.
The second concern is porpoising. The gear base is shorter so if excessive speed is carried
to a rapid landing with little float, the main gear may strike the runway forcing the nose gear to
rapidly follow, and thus porpoising. To avoid this, maintain the appropriate approach speed for
the conditions without carrying too much speed.
Landing speed should be 1.3 Vso for normal landings and 1.2 Vso for short field. For 33°
flaps, 0° bank, and max gross weight, Vso is 62 MPH, so normal landings should be conducted
at 80 MPH at the threshold and short-field should be conducted at 75 MPH at the threshold.
These can be slightly decreased for lighter than max weight, but there is no chart for this, so it is
safer to just fly these speeds no matter the weight if field length allows. The standard technique
of controlling airspeed with aircraft pitch attitude, and rate of descent with power should be used
for Mooney approaches and go-arounds.
As in any complex aircraft, make sure you are ready for a go around while on final (prop
full forward, mixture rich (in most cases), and cowl flap open).
NOTE: Touch-and-go landing practice is not recommended for retractable gear aircraft.
Use full stop or stop-and go landings only.
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GO-AROUNDS
A properly executed go-around requires establishing a positive vertical rate, and safely
transitioning from a low-power/descending/gear and flaps down configuration to a highpower/climbing/clean configuration. The go- around requires simultaneous application of power
and pitch inputs to maintain the same airspeed as that flown on short final. As the go-around is
initiated, Mooneys in landing trim require ample nose down trimming and right rudder to offset
the high "P factor". Flaps may be set to the takeoff position, and with a positive rate of climb
(ROC) the gear is retracted. Finally, accelerate to Vy (best ROC) and retract the flaps.
SHUTDOWN AND SECURING THE AIRCRAFT
There are multiple steps outlined in the checklist, but let’s highlight a few. First, after a
night flight, make sure the instrument panel lights are turned off. It is hard to tell that these lights
are on during the day, and running them during the day burns out the bulbs. Next, make sure to
remove the iPad and Stratus 2 from their cradles, place them in the small black bag, and return
them to the storage locker. With the Stratus 2, make sure to hold the cradle to the ceiling while
removing the box so that no unnecessary pressure is placed on the headliner.
Close all exterior vents (top vent and the ones next to your knees) to prevent bugs and
water from entering the plane. Install the intake plugs and pitot tube cover. Additionally,
particularly during the spring, install the foam plugs in the tail of the airplane to prevent birds
from nesting. Finally, when installing the cover back on the plane, be very careful with the
antenna on top and the OAT probe on the pilot side window. Make sure to loop the straps
through the landing gear and behind the gear doors as shown below instead of over the gear
doors. Running it over the gear doors can damage the doors.
Secure the front strap of the plane cover under the gear strut and the middle strap
behind the gear doors to prevent gear door damage
CLEANING AND GENERAL CARE OF THE AIRCRAFT
The windshield should be cleaned using Lemon Pledge and one of the microfiber cloths
found in the black bag baggage compartment. Two microfiber cloths are located in the bag, and
they have clips on them indicating that one is for the windshield and one is to be used to clean
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the leading edge. When the windshield microfiber cloth is sufficiently dirty, it then becomes the
leading edge cloth, and a new cloth is used for the windshield.
Remove all personal belongings and trash from the airplane. Aim to leave the airplane in
better shape than you found it. A little bit of effort goes a long way in terms of keeping the plane
in good shape.
Refuel the airplane per club policy (fill both tanks to 1 inch below the top). Complete the
flight-log. Notify the club maintenance officer if any anomalies or squawks need to be reported.
WINTER OPERATIONS
Operations are the same as done with most aircraft. The engine will generally require
more priming during cold weather operations, so allow the fuel pump to run a little longer during
priming.
There is an oil sump heater on this aircraft with the plug tied to the oil filler neck and
during the winter there will be an extension cord in the back of the plane. When the field
temperature is below 32oF, plug in the sump heater into a plug outlet an hour prior to engine
start. While using the sump heater, leave the cowl plugs in and place the folded over aircraft
cover over top of the cowl to help trap the heat in the engine compartment. Alternatively, the
engine may be pre-heated using blown pre-heat air. Consult the club aircraft use rules for more
details.
Once started, reduce engine RPM and let the engine warm up on the ramp prior to
moving to the run-up area. Monitor the oil temperature closely. Cold weather operation can be
hard on an engine, so we need to do whatever we can to minimize wear.
Install the cowl plugs soon after shut down to allow for gradual cooling. As with all
aircraft, do not take off with visible frost or ice on the wings. During the winter a brush will be in
the plane for brushing off snow and frost. Be gentle on the paint job and never, ever scrape ice
off of the windshield or surfaces. If there is ice on the wings/windshield, you can ask the FBO
to move the plane into their hanger for heating. It takes about a half hour to melt moderate ice in
the hanger. Make sure to dry up any water around the control surfaces so that it doesn’t refreeze
and prevent control movement.
Finally, occasionally check (particularly while using cabin heat) the carbon monoxide
detector on the panel to make sure carbon monoxide is not entering the cabin.
NIGHT OPERATIONS
For night operations, make sure to check all lights during preflight. The knobs on the
ceiling control the panel and red (spot) lights. One knob controls the panel lights, and the other
controls the red lights (this configuration may seem counter-intuitive at first). The dimmer knob
will get hot; this is normal.
OPERATING THE IPAD AND STRATUS 2
The club has installed these items to improve situational awareness, but again, they are
not allowed for use as primary flight instruments. Additionally, it is critical that you not allow
these to distract you from your primary responsibility of operating the aircraft. There are many
videos on how to best operate this equipment on YouTube and the manuals can be found on the
Club’s aircraft page and in the iPad Foreflight program. The best way to prevent these from
distracting you is to become thoroughly proficient with them prior to operating them in flight.
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Both items are plugged in via USB cable to the lighter adapter splitter under the panel on the
pilot’s side. They should always be plugged in during flight and unplugged after flight.
IFR SPECIFIC PROCEDURES
APPROACH LEVEL/HOLDING
The transition from cruise-descent to approach level or holding requires only setting a
holding power setting and re-trimming to maintain altitude. The cruise rpm combined with 18"
MP should yield about 120 MPH (105 kts) in level flight. Adjust MP to maintain airspeed; a
change of 1" MP affects airspeed about five knots. For those who prefer a 105 MPH (90 kts)
approach, that would require about 15” MP setting. Lean the aircraft as necessary to ensure
smooth operation and save fuel, especially if holding.
IFR/ILS DESCENT
Perhaps the simplest configuration is the IFR/ILS descent from the approach level
configuration, which requires only that we lower the gear at glide slope intercept or the nonprecision FAF. This will result in a 500 FPM descent at the same airspeed with little change to
either power or trim. Pitch attitude will be about 3 degrees nose down. So if you like to fly your
approach at 120 MPH (105 kts), fly this speed until the FAF, and then lower the gear at FAF to
start your decent. If you prefer a 105 MPH (90 kts) approach, reduce the MP to about 16” (the
gear horn will sound) and slow the aircraft to 105 MPH just prior to the FAF. Then at the FAF,
just lower the gear to start your decent. Pitch attitude for a 105 MPH approach will be just about
level.
To adjust your descent to stay on slope, each inch of MP equals 100'/min, so adjusting
descent is just a matter of adjusting MP. If you want to add 15 degrees of flaps during the
approach, just add 1” MP to make up for the additional drag. If you need to level off at an
intermediate fix or at the MDH, just add 5" MP and trim for 105 MPH. When you are ready for
full flaps (runway in sight, landing ensured), just add the flaps and trim for level attitude, which
will slow you to the normal landing (entering ground effect) speed of 80 MPH. It is good
exercise during your IFR practice approaches to occasionally carry 105 MPH all the way to the
DH to get used to this transition.
This is all for a normal length runway. If your approach is to a short runway, keep in
mind that you will need to slow to 75 MPH for landing so you will need to reduce MP by a
further 1” when you put in full flaps in order to slow to 75 MPH.
IFR/NON-PRECISION APPROACH
As always, pitch controls airspeed and throttle controls altitude. If you set up the airspeed
and MP as described above at the FAF, just lower the gear at the FAF and then further reduce the
manifold pressure (each inch of MP equals 100’/min) to achieve the desire additional decent rate.
Thus if you want 800’/min decent rate at 105 MPH (90 kts), set the MP to about 15” and slow to
105 MPH just before the FAF, then at the FAF lower the gear and reduce MP by 3” to 12” to get
the additional 300’/min. Just prior to reaching each step altitude or the MDA, add back this 3”
plus the 5” to stop the 500’/min decent, which in the case will be 20”. Once you reach the MAP
and if you don’t see the runway environment, go missed as described below.
IFR CIRCLING APPROACH
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If executing a circling approach, power should be 18" MP, pitch attitude +3 degrees, and
aircraft slowed to 105 MPH. Descent is not initiated, and flaps are not extended until on base leg
in a position for a normal landing. If visual contact is lost, execute the Missed Approach. In a
straight-in approach, extend flaps, and trim to maintain a level pitch attitude to attain 80 MPH,
500'/min descent till single story height. Then close throttle, and hold the nose off to a +6 degree
pitch.
MISSED APPROACH
Implement the missed approach by setting climb power, gradually raising the wing flaps
if extended, establish a positive rate of climb and retract the gear, re-trim as required and adjust
cowl flaps if necessary.
Remember the essentials; establish climb power, retract flaps, bring the pitch attitude up
8 degrees, when a positive rate of climb is established then retract the gear, and fly the proper
missed approach procedure. It is good piloting to remember the initial heading and altitude of the
missed approach while on the descent so that you do not need to look at the plates while
retracting the flaps and gear.
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CHAPTER 6. MOONEY ACCIDENT INFORMATION
OVERVIEW - MOONEY ACCIDENTS
This information is adapted from the Mooney Association’s manual with information
provided by the AOPA Air Safety Foundation and NTSB.
Material in this chapter is based on a detailed study of 392 Mooney accidents that
occurred from 1982 through 1991. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) findings were
analyzed to determine the primary causes of these accidents and relate them to pilot experience,
ratings, judgments and actions. Relevant instructional areas have been identified.
Shown below are the primary causes and percentage distributions of the 156 accidents
and 309 fatalities/serious injuries.
MOONEY M20 SERIOUS ACCIDENTS: PILOT CAUSE
Source: AOPA Safely Foundation
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MOONEY SERIOUS ACCIDENTS - PRIMARY CAUSE!
Note: All figures rounded to nearest %
Source: AOPA Safety Foundation
PILOT PROFILES
A survey of Mooney pilots conducted by Plane and Pilot (September 1990 issue) showed
that the median M20 aircraft annual hours flown were 138. Median pilot total and Mooney hours
logged were 1611 and 400. This information is in general agreement with the following data
from the FAA Office of Management Systems that shows hours flown vs. accidents. The average
Mooney aircraft was flow for 121 hours.
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M20 SERIES HOURS FLOWN vs. ACCIDENTS 1991
Aircraft Registered
Active Aircraft
Total Fleet Hours
Hours per Aircraft
Yearly Accidents (1982-1991)
Accidents per 1,000 Hours
Hours per Accident
6,463
5,861
709,000
121
35
0.05
20,257
PILOT TIME-IN-TYPE SERIOUS ACCIDENTS HISTORY
Pilot experience is a powerful variable in aircraft accidents. As is true with most aircraft,
both the M20 and comparative group witness fewer accidents as pilots gain experience in the
particular model. Mooney places well compared to similar retractable gear aircraft. The M20 has
9% fewer accidents in the first 100 hours of a pilot's time than the comparative aircraft.
ACCIDENT DATA BY PRIMARY CAUSE
In the following sections we present discussions of each primary cause, together with the
associated pilot profile as suggested by the data. At the end of this chapter, detailed summary
data tables are presented for each prime cause.
ADVERSE WEATHER
• Weather and unfavorable environments (IMC/Turbulence/Night Conditions) were the leading
cause of accidents and fatalities, 16% and 48% respectively. While weather is related to one
sixth of the total accidents, it causes half of the fatalities. Coincidentally, the percentage of
total injuries associated with weather accidents is only 8%.
• Most adverse weather accidents fall into 2 roughly equal groups: VFR rated pilots who enter
instrument meteorological conditions, and IFR rated pilot indiscretions during turbulence,
IFR descents and approaches. The few remaining accidents were caused by induction system,
carburetor heat, and vacuum system misuse or malfunction.
• The pilot profile for adverse weather accidents is characterized by high total time, average
Mooney time, low recent time, with 57% holding an instrument rating.
JUDGMENT
• Judgment applies to decisions and actions after the preflight, but not the impact of adverse
weather effects. These preventable accidents accounted for 14% of the total, 18% of the
fatalities and 16% of the injuries: Drugs/alcohol, low level "buzzing", improper mountain
operations, and power line impact by both IFR and VFR pilots accounted for the fatalities
and half the injuries. Additional injuries resulted from high density altitude operations, hand
propping and downwind takeoffs.
• Pilots displaying poor judgment had above average total and Mooney times, low recent time
and 52% were instrument rated.
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IMPROPER MAINTENANCE
• Faulty engine and propeller accidents caused 45% of maintenance related accidents and 67%
of fatalities.
• The profile for this category shows average total and Mooney hours, but low recent time.
LOSS OF CONTROL
• Control loss occurred primarily in crosswind conditions during landing, go-around, take off
or initial climb. Improper landing flare technique induced loss of control, with a resultant
hard landing or porpoise. Control loss accidents were 12% of the total, causing 3% of
fatalities and 13% of injuries.
• The pilot profile for loss of control situations shows low total time, lower than average
Mooney time, low recent time, and only 26% were instrument rated.
AIRSPEED MANAGEMENT
• Poor airspeed management was responsible for 11% of all accidents and 5% of fatalities.
Most airspeed accidents were long landings or overshoots, which caused over half of the
injuries but no fatalities. Landing stalls and failure to establish a positive rate of climb
accounted for all fatalities. Go-around stall accidents, generally induced by improper pitch
trim, accounted for most of the remaining injuries.
• The pilot profile for airspeed accidents is distinctive: less than average total time, very low
Mooney time, and low recent time. Of this pilot group 40% were IFR rated.
GEAR MISMANAGEMENT
• Gear mismanagement accidents included failure to extend or verify gear down and locked,
and a few premature gear retractions during takeoff. This category comprised 8% of total
accidents but only 2% of fatalities. However, by conservative estimate there were at least
another 250 incidents (involving less than substantial damage to the aircraft) of gear up
landings. Somewhere in the world, a Mooney is landed with the gear retracted about once
every week.
• The pilots who landed gear up had average total and Mooney hours, and low recent time. IFR
ratings were held by 43% of this pilot group.
FUEL MISMANAGEMENT
• Fuel mismanagement caused 7% of total accidents and only 2% of fatalities, an apparent
tribute to the emergency landing abilities of the pilots. This accident invariably involved
failure to switch tanks, or running both tanks dry.
• The fuel mismanagement pilot profile shows above average total time, average Mooney time,
and very low recent time. Only 37% had IFR ratings.
IMPROPER PREFLIGHT
• Improper preflight was a direct contributor to 6% of all accidents, 4% of fatalities, and 6% of
injuries. Failure to discover/correct fuel contamination is the most significant problem.
• Other preflight omissions which led to accidents include checks of fuel quantity, pitot static
drains, baggage door inner latch, magnetos, and pitot covers.
• Pilots deficient during preflight had average total time, above average Mooney time, low
recent time, with 50% IFR rated.
Monticello Flying Club Pilot Transition Manual: Mooney M20F
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OTHER CAUSES
• This category, including midair and taxi collisions and bird/vehicle/deer strikes, was
responsible for 5% of total accidents, 4% of fatalities and 4% of injuries.
• The pilot profile includes very high total time, average Mooney time, and low recent time.
IFR ratings were held by 47% of the pilots involved.
UNDETERMINED CAUSES
• Undetermined causes were responsible for 7% of all accidents, 6% of fatalities and 7% of
injuries, and included suspected power loss, control loss, midair collision, fuel flow
interruption, and gear failure.
• Accidents of undetermined causes were experienced by pilots with above average total time,
average Mooney time and low recent time. Of these pilots 55% held IFR ratings.
Monticello Flying Club Pilot Transition Manual: Mooney M20F
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M20 SERIES ACCIDENT SUMMARY- 1982-1991
PRIMARY CAUSE
Adverse Weather
Judgment
Improper Maintenance
Loss of Control
Airspeed Management
Gear Mismanagement
Undetermined
Fuel Mismanagement
Improper Preflight
Other
Total All Causes
Median Pilot Hours
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
VFR RATING
47
42
42
35
31
23
20
20
18
16
294
77
27
15
5
8
2
9
3
7
7
160
10
21
19
17
13
7
10
17
10
7
131
20
20
21
26
19
13
9
13
9
8
159
TOTAL HRS
TOTAL M20
M20 90 DAY
851
140
8
IFR
RATING
27
22
21
9
12
10
11
7
9
7
135
Primary Accident Cause: ADVERSE WEATHER
PRIMARY CAUSE
VFR Rated Pilot in IMC
VFR Operations in IMC
IFR/VFR Opns, Turbulence
Descent Below DH/MDA
Climb in IMC
Induction System Icing
Vacuum Loss in IMC
Total All Discrepancies
Median Pilot Hours
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
VFR
IFR
14
12
9
5
4
2
1
47
28
16
18
7
6
1
1
77
1
6
0
2
0
1
0
10
14
2
2
0
2
0
0
20
0
10
7
5
2
2
1
27
TOTAL HRS
TOTAL M20
M20 90 DAY
1308
160
10
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Primary Accident Cause: JUDGEMENT
PRIMARY CAUSE
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
VFR RATING
12
9
5
5
4
3
3
1
42
0
14
7
0
0
5
1
0
27
6
2
2
6
3
1
1
0
21
8
4
1
2
2
0
3
0
20
Unsuitable Runway
Drugs/Alcohol
Low Level Flight
High Density Altitude
Hand Starting
Mountain Operations
Approach/Power Lines
Closing Door
Total All Discrepancies
TOTAL HRS
TOTAL M20
M20 90 DAY
1006
250
10
Median Pilot Hours
IFR
RATING
4
5
4
3
2
3
0
1
22
Primary Accident Cause: IMPROPER MAINTENANCE
PRIMARY CAUSE
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
Engine/Propeller
Wood Wing
Gear/Brakes
Fuel System
Oil System
Spark Plugs
Flight Controls
Total Discrepancies
18
1
8
6
6
2
1
42
10
4
0
1
0
0
0
15
5
0
1
6
5
2
0
19
TOTAL HRS
926
Median Pilot Hours
VFR RATING IFR RATING
5
1
7
4
3
0
1
21
TOTAL M20
161
13
0
1
2
3
2
0
21
M20 90DAY
15
Primary Accident Cause: LOSS OF CONTROL
PRIMARY CAUSE
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
Landing/Cross Wind
21
2
8
15
6
Take Off/Cross Wind
5
3
0
4
1
Hard Landing
8
0
5
7
1
Take Off/Autopilot
1
0
4
0
1
Total Discrepancies
35
5
17
26
9
Median Pilot Hours
TOTAL HRS
420
TOTAL M20
125
VFR RATING IFR RATING
M20 90DAY
10
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Primary Accident Cause: AIRSPEED MANAGEMENT
PRIMARY CAUSE
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
Landed Long
19
0
7
11
8
Take Off/Rate of Climb
3
4
1
2
1
Landing Stall
2
4
0
l
1
Go-Around Stall
5
0
5
3
2
Take Off/Flap Retraction
2
0
0
2
0
Total All Discrepancies
31
8
13
19
12
TOTAL HRS
759
Median Pilot Hours
VFR RATING IFR RATING
TOTAL M20
61
M20 90DAY
4
Primary Accident Cause: GEAR MISMANAGEMENT
PRIMARY CAUSE
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
VFR RATING
IFR RATING
Extension/Check
Early Retraction
Total Discrepancies
20
3
23
2
0
2
7
0
7
12
1
13
8
2
10
TOTAL HRS
845
Median Pilot Hours
TOTAL M20
140
M20 90DAY
11
Primary Accident Cause: UNDETERMINED
PRIMARY CAUSE
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
VFR RATING
IFR RATING
Power Loss?
Lost Control ?
Midair Collision ?
Fuel Flow?
Gear Failure ?
Total Discrepancies
10
4
1
1
1
20
0
8
1
0
0
9
9
0
0
1
0
10
6
2
0
0
0
9
7
2
1
1
1
11
Median Pilot Hours
TOTAL HRS
1032
TOTAL M20
140
M20 90 DAY
7
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Primary Accident Cause: IMPROPER PREFLIGHT
PRIMARY CAUSE
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
VFR
IFR
Fuel Contamination
Baggage Door Latch
Oil Quantity
Fuel Quantity
Pitot Cover Not Removed
Pitot Static System
No Magneto Check
Total All Discrepancies
12
1
1
1
1
1
.
1
18
5
2
0
0
0
0
0
7
5
1
4
0
0
0
0
10
6
0
1
1
1
0
0
9
6
1
0
0
0
1
1
9
TOTAL HRS
TOTAL M20
M20 90 DAY
840
265
6
Median Pilot Hours
Primary Accident Cause: FUEL MISMANAGEMENT
PRIMARY CAUSE
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
Tank Selected/Exhausted
Total All Discrepancies
20
20
3
3
17
17
Median Pilot Hours
VFR RATING IFR RATING
13
13
7
7
TOTAL HRS
TOTAL M20
M20 90 DAY
1150
130
5
Primary Accident Cause: OTHER
PRIMARY CAUSE
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
VFR RATING
IFR RATING
Midair Collision
5
5
3
3
2
Unauthorized Pilot
1
1
0
0
0
Incapacitation
1
1
1
0
1
Impact by Vehicle
1
0
3
0
1
Taxi/Roll Collision
5
0
0
3
2
Passenger Interference
1
0
0
1
0
Airstrike/Bird
1
0
0
1
0
Groundstrike/Deer
1
0
0
0
1
Total Discrepancies
16
7
7
8
7
Median Pilot Hours
TOTAL HRS
TOTAL M20
M20 90 DAY
1930
150
8
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M20 SERIES ACCIDENT BY PHASE
PRIMARY CAUSE
ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
INJURIES
Landing
Descent
Takeoff
Approach
Maneuver
Cruise
Standing
Taxi
Unknown
Climb
Total All Phases
137
61
28
20
18
15
5
5
3
2
294
2
81
8
8
28
24
0
0
6
3
160
62
27
15
11
7
2
4
2
0
1
131
VFR RATING IFR RATING
80
30
16
8
6
11
2
3
2
1
159
57
31
12
12
12
4
3
2
1
1
135
TOTAL HRS
TOTAL M20
M20 90 DAY
851
140
8
Median Pilot Hours
M20 SERIES ACCIDENT BY FLIGHT PHASE
FLIGHT PHASE
ACCIDENTS
%ACCIDENTS
FATALITIES
%FATALITIES
Landing
Descent
Takeoff
Approach
Maneuver
Cruise
Standing
Taxi
Unknown
Climb
Total
137
61
28
20
18
15
5
5
3
2
294
46
21
9
7
6
5
2
2
1
1
100
2
81
8
8
28
24
0
0
6
3
160
1
51
5
5
17
15
0
0
4
2
100
SUMMARY
The "AOPA Safety Foundation" undertook this study. The original study contains a
number of accident reports from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Since the
time that this study was written the "World Wide Web" has become natural resource for data
of all sorts. We would encourage pilots to use the Internet for further research on more resent
accidents. In addition to NTSB reports are data from the "National Aeronautics and Space
Administration" (NASA). NASA and their research staff base the data from NASA on safety
issues that are reported by pilots on the NASA form and studies performed. NASA also
produces a monthly safety bulletin. In the future the MAPASF will conduct a study, under a
grant from the FAA, on Mooney accidents.
NTSB: http://www.ntsb.gov/Aviation
NASA: http://www.olias.arc.gov/asrs
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