Bill Cox and Jade Duckart pilot a new 2011 Cessna Skylane along the western side of Southern California’s rugged Catalina Island.
Back in 1979, I purchased one of the very first Mooney 231s, my first-ever new airplane. At the time, the price seemed more applicable to something with a three-car garage and a circular driveway. Still, with all the tax benefits (investment tax credit and accelerated depreciation), the 231 turned out to be an excellent financial move. This was the first of the turbocharged, four-seat Mooneys, however, and the turbo system wasn’t quite ready for prime time.
I purchased the 231, and immediately leased it on an all-encompassing, two-year contract from the date of delivery, so I had little to do with the airplane until 1981 when the lease expired. (In fact, I didn’t even see “my” Mooney until the lease expired.) I found out later that the engine had suffered turbocharger problems from the beginning, and those problems continued when I took the airplane back, after the warranty expired, of course.