This Mooney means Business

This flight served an interesting side purpose for us: check if a single engine personal airplance could be used for business purposes in an economic way … My friend BelFlyer has been renting a georgous Mooney M-201-J from Horizon in Lille, and we were to use this aircraft for a trip to the UK. Another friend joined us on the flight. Our UK destination was again Blackbushe just like when we went visiting Farnborough about a year ago. Flight rules: IFR of course, which served as another good training for me through the help of BelFlyer !

This Mooney is really a cute airplane. Enjoy with me some close-up shots:

Mooney Logo

The Mooney Spinner


Our IFR routing, which we had meticously prepared, called for a southwesterly course to Boulogne, a quite long stretch over the Channel into Goodwood VOR near Southampton, and then northerly over Farnborough into Blackbushe.

Jepp helps

Coffee was served on board as expected when cruising at FL100 in full comfort !

Compass & Cup

Maintaining FL 100 !

Passenger comfort was assured!

Serious pilot

In Blackbushe, there is no Instrument Approach, despite it has some sort of STAR. Therefore we did a ‘Standard Overhead Join’, straight from the UK book of VFR flying.

EGLK Blackbushe approach

Blackbushe EGLK final

Blackbushe Apron

Blackbushe is quite busy for GA traffic. I visited the tower to push our flight plan foreward and I was able to see how lively it really is. There are two controllers in the tower being constantly busy working airplanes in the circuit. Below you might see our Mooney as the third from the left.

Flightline at Blackbushe

Having arrived at about 9am local time, we were ready to depart again back home around 4.40pm. Routing this time was slightly different and covered more land: south to Goodwood, east to Seaford, Lydd and Dover to cross the channel there into Lille. We received our IFR clearance on the ground at Blackbushe.

Cruising along

After keeping low in uncontrolled airspace in South England, we were cleared into controlled airspace towards our airway. Almost immediately we received a “Direct TRACA”, which put us over the water again for a long time. But the Mooney and its pilots did their jobs…

Clouds over England

In descent into Lille, we had to penetrate a overcast while being vectored for the ILS runway 26.

Entering the soup

Howe sweet home … at least airport-wise.

LFQQ Lille final

Now remember that we wanted to check the economics of this type of travel … I did a little study to compare the costs with those of other modes of travel. Below you find the comparison in time and Euros. Note that travel with the Mooney supposed a cost sharing model between the pilots:

Mooney flight on cost sharing basis
Airline BRU-LHR
Car & Eurotunnel
Eurostar high speed train
Wake-up hour
16u00 previous evening
Arrival time
Departure time
Back home at
Flight / drive
Car mileage

Seeing that flying by Mooney is almost the cheapest over this routing, leads me to believe that this Mooney Really Means Business !

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