Plane & Pilot
Thursday, September 1, 2005

Mooney 252

For a pilot who has owned them all, only one stole his heart

Speed is a mission in itself; in fact, speed is the essence of flying. The faster you go, the faster you go faster, or at least most of us want to. Terry Williams of Fort Worth, Texas, goes faster than the majority of us in his Mooney 252." />

Williams says, “I usually fly it around 180 knots down low and between 200 and 210 knots at 17,500 feet. I never fly it wide open. Mostly, I like 65%—that gives me a fuel burn of 12.4 to 12.7 gph. Pretty close to book. See what I mean? Show me another airplane that can do that.”

Williams adds, “The Mooney has an automatic wastegate, so you don’t really have to fiddle with the engine on takeoff. Just advance the throttle smoothly, and off you go. This engine always runs cool; I never worry about it.”

The Mooney 252 TSE’s engine has an intercooler and is limited to 36 inches of boost. N5252G is a well-equipped airplane with a backup, always-on 70-ampere alternator and rear seats that fold flat for convenience and storage.

Williams’ 252 TSE is loaded with about every bit of avionics you can imagine, from the HSI and KNS-80 RNAV system to the KFC-150 autopilot with altitude pre-select and electric trim. He explains, “It has dual alternators, a standby vacuum, a fuel totalizer and a Stormscope. I haven’t put in a GPS yet; the Loran does a great job, and when I fly IFR, I still use the VORs.

“What I really like, though, is the speed brakes. The other day, I ended up over the field about 4,000 feet high. All I had to do was put out the speed brakes and make one big circle. By the time I hit downwind, I was at pattern altitude,” says Williams smugly.

Maintenance problems are virtually unknown to Williams. “I fix anything that comes up. That way, I’m ahead of the game. Once I put 1,000 hours on it, I did a top overhaul; the compressions were fine, but I just wanted to be safe. The only modification I’ve done is put a three-bladed hot prop on it—I really like the way the three-blade looks,” he justifies.


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