Mooney M20C Ranger

See the transformation of this 1974 Mooney M20C and the critical first steps to buying an airplane.

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When deciding on an airplane to buy, I settled on an older Mooney M20-series aircraft because of its low initial purchase price and cost of operation.
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I found a 1974 M20C Ranger that fit both my needs and my tight budget.
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Rick Egan of Unlimited Airworks in Ramona, California, did a thorough pre-buy inspection before completing a full annual, which included swinging the retractable landing gear. This model M20C has an electrically actuated landing gear system.
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A compression check of the four cylinders in the Lycoming O-360 engine, which was overhauled in 1994, indicated that the engine was in great health. All four compression checks ranged between 78 psi and 80 psi — terrific numbers for an old engine.
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The pre-buy inspection revealed a loose tail section. Egan recommended the replacement of bolts and bushings to resolve the issue, an expensive fix that allowed for a little negotiation on the final price tag.
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**While IFR capable, the panel of the M20C is really outdated, with two Narco Nav/Comms, one of which has glideslope and DME capabilities, and Narco transponder, audio panel and ADF. **
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Built way back in 1974, this M20C ranger has the older Mooney logo displayed on the vertical stabilizer. One unusual feature is that the entire tail section of the Mooney pivots on the aft fuselage with pitch trim input.
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**After completing the purchase of the Mooney I enjoyed a beautiful, clear and smooth flight along the coast of southern California as I flew the Mooney back from Ramona to its new home in Camarillo. **
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This Mooney M20C is equipped with two Narco 12D Nav/Comms, one of which has a glideslope and DME, a Narco CP 136 audio panel, a Narco AT150 transponder and a Narco 841 ADF. It has an aftermarket 201 windshield and gap seals installed for improved performance. See the full specs in our "Mooney Makeover" feature here.