June 2002 Issue

Light Retract Safety

This group of six airplanes posts a similar safety record but engine failures among Mooneys and Commanders are a concern

For owners not blessed with heroic stick-and-rudder skills and cash to burn, the usual sequence of ownership starts with a fixed-gear single and progresses to a high-performance retractable. For many owners, the retract is the end game.

The attraction of a folding-gear single is undeniable. These models are plentiful in both variety and price, most offer good performance at reasonable operating costs and they usually do represent a step-up in performance and capability.

Ignoring price and performance for this analysis, we’re comparing these aircraft strictly on one narrow parameter: the model’s accident record. What kinds of accidents do they suffer and how do they compare with each ot...

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