Home > Personal > Mooney M20 > 170/M20 Trade

How I ended up with a 1961 Mooney M20

In August of 2010, our daughter graduated from college, got married and moved out of state. In our Cessna 170A, the flight to her new home would take just under six hours not counting fuel stops. This is too long of a flight for my wife. About the same time someone I know out at the airport purchased an RV-6A for around $20,000 less than I would have expected. With the bad economy planes are selling much slower making it easier to find a deal. The RV would make the same flight in less than four hours burning less fuel. This got me thinking, why not try and find someone who wants to trade an RV-6 for a 170A plus some cash? I found several people who were interested but only if we assigned a low value to my 170A and a high value to their RV-6. I really liked my 1950 Cessna 170A and was not that motivated to get rid of it.

About the same time on a Saturday afternoon the guy in the hangar next to me, who owns a Mooney M20C, asked my wife is she wanted to sit in his plane. Nadia sat down and didn't want to get out. Then later the next week someone with a Mooney M20B posted an ad on the Cessna 170 Association's form requesting to trade his M20B for a 170. I did a little flight planning with the Mooney's numbers and discovered it was just a little slower than an RV. In the Mooney we could make the flight to visit our daughter in just over four hours. This is a little longer than my wife would like but it is not that that much slower than an RV.

Although the Mooney is a little slower than the RV, it also has some advantages. I think the biggest advantage is that the Mooney is worth the same as the Cessna. We were able to trade the 170 straight across for the M20. This saved us the $20,000 plus that was needed to complete an RV trade. Another advantage is the Mooney has back seats. The RV is a two place plane while the Mooney is a four place. The back seats in the Mooney are small but at least they are available. The Mooney is also IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) certified. I have always wanted to learn how to fly in the clouds and the M20 is considered a good IFR platform.

The biggest disadvantage of the Mooney is it is not a taildragger. I love taking off and landing in a taildragger. I'm hoping flying faster and flying through clouds will offset the loss of not having a tailwheel. It will also be cool to be able to pull the wheels up into the wings.

See how I originally traded the 170 for an old Harley


Last modified 11/28/10