Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My first Mooney

I created this blog a year ago after I bought N5236G on March 8, 2005, but haven't taken the time to update it. So now is just as good of a time to start as any. I'll start with a bit of background and do my best to catch you up to where we are today...

My name is Jim Kerr and I'm the proud owner of N5236G. I've been flying since 1988 and have logged a bit over 2000 hours in many types of planes. The majority of my time is in multi-engine, high-performance aircraft including the Cessna 310, Cirrus, etc. I also hold an Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) license. I am not a professional pilot or mechanic by trade, but I stay current with both by owning, maintaining and flying our personal planes.

My wife Lisa Kerr, who is also an avid pilot, and I met via aviation -- a match made in heaven! We have joyfully spent our 13+ years of marriage flying and living aviation every minute we can. We, of course, go to EAA Airventure Oshkosh every year without fail.

36G is a 1988 Mooney M20K 252TSE (Turbo Special Edition). The 252 is considered by many to be one of the best Mooney's ever built:

Plane and Pilot - September 2005 - For a pilot who has owned them all, only one stole his heart.
Mooney Aircraft & Pilots Association - Flying the M20K 252

She's fast, she's clean and she's built for travel --

Performance stats
Gross Weight: 2900 lbs
Empty Weight: 1800 lbs
Horsepower: 210
Top Speed: 219 kts
Cruise Speed: 201 kts
Fuel Capacity: 75 gal
Fuel Burn (@75% power): 12.8 GPH
Stall Speed (dirty): 59 kts
Range: 980 nm
Ceiling: 28000 ft

The 252 is an amazing piece of equipment. Getting 200+ KTS on 210 horsepower burning 13 GPH is very impressive! As I reviewed the numbers, the safety records, the NTSB accident reports and the AD's, we had to have one. Fast, a traveling machine and fun. Need I say more ;)

After the decision was made to buy a 252, I wanted to find the right one. I wanted a plane that was stock original with low airframe and engine time. The 252 I set out to find was one that had not been hosed up by backyard mechanics or owned by someone that did not maintain it properly. The find one of the best Mooney's ever and make her a Technically Advanced Airplane (TAA) that's better, faster, and cheaper than a brand new airplane.

The quest took me through the typical hunt that many owners go through....Trade-a-Plane, Controller, etc. I looked for several months finding many not so good Mooney's. I finally found N5236G. She had just been listed by Kansas Aircraft Corporation. This one looked good. She was a 1988 M20K 252TSE with only 627 hours total time Airframe and Engine. She only had two other owners and the most recent, and the one that owned her for 10+ years, was a President of a bank. She was well maintained, hangared, and taken care of. She just wasn't flown much -- PERFECT!

The only blemish on her record was some slight hail damage in 1999. The owners took a short trip and left her on the ramp while they went in town for lunch. Kansas is known for their fast and powerful storms. 36G's luck, she got beat up by a unpredicted storm. Fortunately she was parked and securely tied down. The repair was fully insured by Avemco and the top skin and flight controls were replaced with factory new. I even got a copy of the work order directly from Avemco, contacted the previous owner and confirmed that all was properly repaired.

Here's the original pictures...

As you can see, she isn't Technically Advanced yet, but that's not a problem. She has the makings of a true champion... Let the games begin!


Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed your story of N252Q. I am wondering, did you consider a later model Encore during your search, or upgrading to its higher performance engine someday?

Jim Kerr said...

I bought 252Q to serve our mission. I selected speed, fuel efficiency and performance over payload. The 252 comes out on top compared to all of the Mooney's unless you need more cabin room/payload. In the room/payload category, Bonanza is a better choice.

I am looking at the Encore upgrade when it's time for a new engine. This mod will add 300 LBS without a weight penalty. It is a relatively easy upgrade to complete. Break calipers, counter weight in the tail and engine/prop exchange.

In the single engine land category, not much can beat the 252. If I were to upgrade it would probably be a Cirrus Vision Jet or Piper Matrix.

John Mohan said...

Hi Jim,

You have found and created exactly the plane I dream of one day owning (not neccesarily yours, but one just like it).

Your criteria is very similar to mine - I want a fast, efficient plane that will get me to places such as Blairsville, Georgia, Missoula, MT, and Van Nuys, California to visit family.

We all started in Chicago, but we've sure spread out!

Best wishes,

John Mohan