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New License, buy a retractable?

Google translate of that French article:

During the navigation flight, the pilot, not being IFR qualified, crossed at an altitude of 17,250 ft (the VFR limit being set at 17,500 ft in the United States). He has just logged 99 hours of flight time, including 54 on the M600, since obtaining his private pilot’s license two and a half months earlier. During the first 45 hours of flight, he only flew a Cessna 172 before switching to a 600 hp single-engine turboprop capable of cruising at 270 Kt over more than 1,600 nautical miles – a “certain step” to overcome!

He certainly didn’t waste any time buying the M600 right after his PPL! And without an IR (who would buy a PA46T without an IR? – it’s not very useful in the US, and would be totally useless in Europe) he probably struggled to understand “aircraft systems”… which is quite possibly why he didn’t have an IR in the first place.

I used to know a guy near here who did something very similar, but he never bent the plane because he had a permanently installed RHS CFII. He also could not get the IR (had multiple checkrides) due to a lack of comprehension of what the many different knobs did.

The article is wrong on some points. Max for US VFR is 17999ft not 17500ft. Also 1600nm at 270kt would be some going

Sure, a certain % of retract owners have done a gear-up, but being patronising (by an illustration of a ridiculously novice pilot) is not the way to approach it. Probably written by an ex Armée de l’Air aeroclub president

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

It’s just what Lionel here did and he made it, like plenty others.


Lionel is clever

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

Anyone knows what was the runway length in that PA46T crash? most young military pilots do just fine moving to 600hp turboprops & +5T fast jets with barely 50h on SEP and no IR but +3km runway, 20h per month currency and min amount of brain cells helps a lot…

Peter went for TB20 just after PA38 that was in EGKA with load of flying hours per year, it would have been steep learning experience in typical UK SE 500m grass

Last Edited by Ibra at 30 Jun 15:49
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom


~20hrs PA38 (walked out due to poor condition)
~40hrs C152
~50hrs renting PA28-161 and -180 (181?)

then TB20.

The difference with mil pilots is that some 90-99% get chucked off the fast jet route (producing a large number of ex mil guys joining the CAAs with huge chips on their shoulders, but that’s another story) whereas in the civilian world nobody gets chucked off.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

You can manage any step up, only that a bigger step needs more/proper training. My 2 cents.


Ibra wrote:

Yes none of the Mooneys is a “proper 4 seaters” but they do a good job for 2pob, I still I took M20J 4pob down to North Africa twice and few times LaBaule to SanSebastian, and UK to LeTouquet more than I can count, as long as one is happy with 3h endurance it’s fine (300nm legs is more than I would like with 4pob inside),

I’ve had 4 in my C Model repeatedly, my wife sais she was comfortable in the back… I can’t say because I have not yet sat in the back of that plane.

Ibra wrote:

Mooney M20J (RV-10)
HP: 200hp (260 hp)
CS: 170kts (171kts) I’d say the J model is a honest 160 kt airplane. 170? Maybe.
Ceiling: 19kft (20kft) Seeing that I had the C model up at 20k ft DA, I guess the J should make 20 k as well.
Range: 700nm (700nm) The range should be better than that, if flown at long range cruise.

The J has about the same leg room than any PA28 in the back… it was the C and E models which gave the Mooneys the “cramped” label, which they have never really gotten rid of.

I still find the J model a remarkable achievement, to my knowledge in terms of efficiency, it was not really ever matched.

LSZH, Switzerland

LeSving wrote:

I think I have an idea. There are good pilots and there are not so good pilots

At least the OP is 50% of the way to being a good pilot by asking and critically reading herein…

LESB, Spain

Mooney_Driver wrote:

I’ve had 4 in my C Model repeatedly, my wife sais she was comfortable in the back…

That is what matters the backseats in C & J felt cramped for me but still manageable for 90min flights (but I never flew more than that as pax with other pilots), we are not talking RyanAir seats

Last Edited by Ibra at 30 Jun 20:07
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

I’ve been lurking here for some time (a year or so while I did my PPL) and just I’ve just bought a share in a 172 as my first ownership experience.

PPL completed in May but the UK CAA have been, errr, very pedantic with the licence issue, so still waiting on that.

Went for this 172 in particular as I can afford the share, and the other group members seem like “my sort of people”.

Back on topic, I did consider a retractable but the option available was a Mooney and I (as a lapsed glider pilot) have a bunch of grass-runway destinations in mind. Also I didn’t fancy the additional cost up front until I have some kind of instrument rating. Really not worried about a retractable as a “new power pilot” – most gliders have retractable gear.

Of course they still get left up (some aircraft have warners, some don’t) but really I think it’s made out to be more of big deal than it really is!

Elstree, United Kingdom
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