October 17, 2020 at 8:49 am #2098Bob MartinParticipant
Good day, all!
I’m deep into the process of researching potential aircraft purchases, and stumbled across the Meyers 200 quite by accident, not knowing anything about these rare and wonderful aircraft. I’m a bit of an obsessive when it comes to research, and I have to say that I’m fairly stymied when it comes to these planes due to the rarity of them. I can find information on the performance and history, but almost nothing in terms of what it is actually like to own and fly one.
My questions are nearly all qualitative in nature, and I’m sure there could be a spectrum of responses. What I’d like to know is what it’s like to own a Meyers.
I assume that, for the most part, service and maintenance is fairly straightforward. Dean Siracusa has already been immensely helpful in providing links and information regarding parts, contacts, lists and more.
If you’ll indulge me, here are a few questions from someone new to the Meyers world:
1.) If you had to choose one (and other than the fairly low useful load of the plane, which I already know about), what would you say is the biggest struggle you have with your Meyers from a design or performance perspective?
2.) What is the interior comfort like? I’m 6’2″ tall and want to make sure I won’t be pressed into the roof. Legroom is adequate? Is the visibility as good as it appears it must be with those huge, panoramic windows?
3.) Are there any “required” upgrades that you can think of that would be recommended for these 60-year-old planes?
Anything that you can provide that would help put these wonderful planes into perspective for me would be appreciated. I’m not sure how feasible my viewing the plane in person will be prior to purchase, so I’ll be putting a lot of weight on your insight and suggestions.
Thanks, in advance!
Naples, FLOctober 19, 2020 at 5:57 am #2099Mark JensenParticipant
I have owned and enjoyed my Meyers since September 2001. The Meyers 200 is a great airplane. Unfortunately, I am dealing with the FAA on some special issuance issues. I still have my class three medical but at age 77 I have put my aircraft, N2983T, on the market.
Concerning your questions, take off and go around take some getting used to because the high engine torque requires some heavy force on the right rudder. When you first start flying the Meyers, it is a good idea to bring the power in slowly as you gain more speed and rudder effectiveness.
I have heard that the door hinges are weak and can break if the door is caught by a strong wind. The door also can come partially open in flight if not closed properly. The top latch will not release. My original partner and I had the door partially open when we picked my aircraft up in Albuquerque after purchase. We flew it all the way to Houston with some extra wind noise. It is a good idea for the owner to take charge of closing the door. I also had the baggage door come open just after take off causing a banging noise. My mechanic replaced a sheared latch bolt with a larger size and stronger bolt.
I had a left main torque link break on landing. It didn’t create a control problem. I have flown it for more than 10 years since that happened with no recurrence but I keep spare torque links on hand.
Some owners wish for a different fuel selector and gauges for each tank. I am used to the original system and use my EDM 700 in conjunction with the gauge to keep track of fuel burn from each tank.
I have heard of preferences for Cleveland brakes but I find the Goodyear brakes to be safe and effective.
I had a problem during taxi with the failure of a screw that holds the bracket for the throttle control. I think most owners have installed a spring modification that will not allow the engine to be stuck at low power should this occur.
I had a neighbor who is 6’2″ fly with me a number of times and he had good head room and adequate leg room. I had another long legged gentleman who was 6’4″ try the airplane on. With the pilot seat full back, his knees slightly overlapped either side of the yoke. The seat back is about 4″ thick so his problem might be improved by reducing this thickness.
I have done a number of upgrades which although not required, I think contribute to safety. The biggest bill was for an up to date Nav/Com system for increased situation awareness, ADS-B, and inflight weather awareness for route and destination, I also like having a back up ADI and 406 MHz ELT. A capable autopilot is a must for some buyers and could be useful if a person is required to make an actual instrument approach. As far as everyday VFR flying, enroute IFR, and cross countries, I find the aircraft to be quite stable and easy to fly and trim out.
As for the Meyers 200s being 60 years old, They were very well and strongly built in the first place. If well maintained, I don’t think age is a problem for this nice flying aircraft.
I hope this response has been helpful. Good luck with your aircraft search.
Mark JensenOctober 19, 2020 at 8:38 am #2100Bob MartinParticipant
Thanks for your insights!
Dean Siracusa and I have been in touch and he’s been exceptionally forthcoming with information for me. He sent maintenance manuals, owner’s manuals, checklists and much more, all of which I have been digesting over the last few days.
He and I have been working on putting a deal together on N2976T and we have a tentative agreement in place that should get locked up today if things go well. If that’s the case, I will shortly be joining the ranks of Meyers aircraft owners!
Bob MartinOctober 19, 2020 at 4:07 pm #2101Ed PulliamParticipant
Bob-welcome to a great group with a special bird. Dean is ‘The Man’ the go to on all things 200 IMHO so you are in excellent hands.
The 200 was recently profiled in Aviation Consumer and for good (or bad), I was allowed to give my opinion. Mark’s comments are spot on. Most A&P’s/IA’s well versed in 1960’s retractables will find the 200 not terribly difficult to work on. The all-hydraulics gear and flaps means you must pay attention to the overall condition of the system. Like Mark, I have done some radio upgrades but do not have a glass panel other than an Aera 660 and (JPI 830) which has been hard wired in and serves as my MFD. Given I am using a 430WAAS as my main navigator, the 660 resolution makes it an outstanding map display. With a good fuel flow indicator like the JPI and discipline, the single gauge works fine.
Several of the guys have gotten a 337 to replace the front seats with Bonanza seats and they swear by the upgrade. I think the seats are a weak link and am considering doing the same.
Good luck with 76T. Keep us informed!!October 20, 2020 at 1:54 pm #2102Ashley WadeParticipant
Hello Bob and thanks for sharing some of your Meyers journey with us. Dean, Mark and Ed have answered all of your questions, but I thought I would add some details.
When you buy one of these planes you are really buying into a family. The Owner’s Association is very strong and even safely met this yer in Sedona despite the virus. You will definitely not be stranded on maintenance or parts for this airplane.
There is one guy that can answer two of your concerns quite well. That is Mr. Dave Smith. Dave restored a 200 A model (lower roofline) and won an Air Venture Reserve Grand Champion award with it the same year that he also won a Reserve Grand Champion award for his Beech Staggerwng. He loves the airframe so much that he bought the original tooling and tons of NOS parts when they moved out of the original factory. He also bought his own fleet of 200s that he’ll be restoring over the coming decade. Dave’s also got you beat on height and is plenty comfortable in the A model.
I feel extremely safe in this airplane. I would rather rely on myself and the chrome moly framework than a plane where you pop a chute, pray and 100% have a totaled aircraft. Many of these planes had off airport landings and the occupants and aircraft live to fly another day. The power and performance can get you into a lot of great places and also out of a lot of jams that you might box yourself into. You can go screaming fast and race her, you can land super slow on a grass strip, you can trim her out and smoke a lucky while she floats down an ILS approach.
The useful load has never been an issue for my family of four. Just top off two tanks instead of four and go. The plane’s range is greater than the bladder capacity of my wife and two daughters. By the way the panorama windows and ample room in the back can lead to a dispute as to who gets the privilege of sitting back there.
Negatives? Sure, everything has a compromise. The only two I see for this plane are a modern autopilot and since I live in Louisiana an air conditioner. The AC was the only thing I lusted after in a Cirrus when I was safety pilot for instrument currency with a friend. I currently have no autopilot and successfully hand fly in IFR. As I get older (and hopefully wiser) I’ll want a fully featured autopilot. Under the new FAA requirements the fleet is waiting for someone to get their paperwork caught up enough with the more popular models and finally release one for a 200. Surely it will come with so many of willing to pay cash in advance, just no way of telling when.
Dean stopped in to see my wife Karen and when he was flying cross country in 2976T. She’s a pretty girl! Good luck with your journey.
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