Mooney M20
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Joined 08/09/2019 - 3 Posts
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I'm considering the purchase of a Mooney M20J and am wondering how it would feel about a turf taxiway that's  not exactly  golf course smooth.   Any insight would be appreciated.
4 Replies
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Joined 10/23/2017 - 12 Posts
As an A&P/IA, having worked and inspected a fair number of Mooneys through the years, the landing gear is not known as being weak.  The J may be a good choice because of the shorter distance between the nose tire and the prop tips.  Mooneys have been known to have prop strikes taxiing especially with the heavy 6 cyl engines and larger, heavier props.  be slow and careful and don't let it get rocking or hit a low spot going too fast.  As with any grass surface, its always best to walk it first/often to identify bad spots or critter holes.  In fly-in communities, Mooneys (and others) are known to have strikes coming down a concrete driveway onto a level crowned asphalt street.  Always take those areas at an angle and very slow.
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Joined 08/09/2019 - 3 Posts
Thanks Dean for the insight. A prop strike would be my major concern as I wasn't sure how much the nose gear can compress. I have an AA1B that takes the rough surface reasonably well as long as I keep it slow and easy especially exiting off the runway to the taxiway.
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Joined 04/27/2017 - 30 Posts
Hi Scott, 
I owned a Mooney M20C and landed on a sand and turf runway at Dog Island, Florida, with no problems and I had a heavyweight passenger. Sadly, I no longer own that aircraft, but it had good ground clearance and relatively new rubber shock donuts all-around helped. I agree with Dean that walking a field as a precaution is a great idea, and yes, we took it slow on the rollout and taxi.
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Joined 06/11/2017 - 789 Posts
Scott Warner:
Thanks Dean for the insight. A prop strike would be my major concern as I wasn't sure how much the nose gear can compress. I have an AA1B that takes the rough surface reasonably well as long as I keep it slow and easy especially exiting off the runway to the taxiway.

The nose strut assembly of the Grummans is notorious for being intolerant of rough surfaces -- it's not hard to get a divergent oscillation going.  If you're successfully navigating that surface in an AA-1B, just stick with those same techniques in the Mooney -- keep it s-l-o-w, with the yoke full aft.  Only problem with the Mooney vs the Yankee is your view over the nose of the surface immediately ahead isn't nearly as good as in a Grumman.