Mooney N1087M

Once the decision had been made to purchase a Mooney, then came the hard part – finding the right Mooney. Everyone that knows me knows that I am a gadget guy. I like electronics, I like gadgets. So of course I looked for the Mooney with the most number of gadgets. I also looked at things like engine and airframe times, but those being mostly equal, the race would fall to price and gadget factor.

The Bravo was the right price range for what I was looking for in a plane, and that plane was perfect for my primary mission – from KCRQ (Carlsbad, CA) to KDVT (Deer Valley, Phoenix AZ). I was sure I would use it for other things as well, but that was my primary mission and one pretty well suited for the Bravo. Typical flight time for me between CRQ and DVT was figured around 1:45 at 17,000′. I could not wait to get the plane.

After spending a few weeks looking around and inquiring about different planes, I finally picked N1087M. The plane was located at KFXE (Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport) in Florida. The plane was at a reputable Mooney shop, a pre-buy was completed, logs were checked, a deal was struck and escrow was put into place. The last step was insurance. OUCH…this was going to hurt…I had ZERO time in a Mooney, much less one like the Bravo. One thing I had learned about the Mooney – you really needed to respect the plane and it’s approach and landing speeds.

After discussions with my insurance broker, I had everything lined up. I learned that I needed two whopping hours of dual instruction before I could carrypassengers in the Bravo and that full-coverage insurance with zerodeductibles was going to run me less for an entire year than a single month of insurance for my MD500. I was elated, this plane was getting cheaper by the minute!

Mary and I climbed aboard a commercial flight to Florida and later that day we arrived at KFXE and started the final inspection and test flight of the Bravo.

Getting the Bravo ready to go


After getting the dual instruction needed and learning a little bit about the panel and radios, Mary and I loaded up the Bravo and set off to bed, arising early the next morning to begin our trip across the country. Our route would take us over the Everglades, up overTallahassee and eventually all the way to California. We topped off the 120 gallons of gas and off we went!

In part 2, I will share our route and more photos from the trip!

Our Intrepid Explorers!