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Mooney Aircraft Owners' Events

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Quotes related to Mooney Aircraft, taken from the Mooney Events page.

"We will be building highly-refined versions of the M-20 airplane in the year 2000."
-- Roy LoPresti, president of Mooney Aircraft, 1985.

"I was holding hands with Orville and Wilbur, with Captain Eddie and Mr. Lindbergh and with Al Mooney."
-- Gordon Baxter, long-time Flying Magazine columnist,
after first flying his 1968 Mooney Ranger.

"I didn't buy the airplane to go slow."
-- TLS Bravo owner quoted in AOPA Pilot, January, 1998.

"One safety point: do not spin a Mooney. It loses altitude by something like 1,000 feet per turn."
-- Aviation Consumer, 1989. See also: FAA type certificate for all of the M20s.

"Within 24 months after the first Mark 22 comes off the production line, production of the Beechcraft Bonanza will cease."
-- Hal Rachal, president Mooney Aircraft, Flying Magazine, December, 1964.

"'Twin Cessna 4344R, be advised traffic at 6 o'clock, 3 miles, a Mooney, overtaking,' said ATC. I could just see the twin driver lower his nose and push the throttles forward."
-- Michael Williams, Mooney 252 owner, quoted in Aviation Consumer, 1989.

"No model encapsulates the Mooney mantra of high performance, high economy better than the 252."
-- Thomas Haines, at the launch of the Encore. Flying Magazine, August, 1997.

"Any contact with Mooney people brings up the name of Charlie Dugosh, who runs a Mooney service shop across the field from the factory at Kerrville. Dugosh is a living legend among Mooney owners."
-- Gordon Baxter, Flying Magazine, 1976. Baxter consulted Dugosh on the purchase of his first plane, a 1968 Ranger (M20C).

"Land by the numbers, but don't trust statistics!"
-- Phillip Kolczynski, Aviation Law Forum, answering a question on how much of a new Mooney's purchase price goes to product liability insurance.

"The statistics show Mooneys are involved in overshoots twice as often as the comparable aircraft. The good news is that in the decade we studied, only one pilot succeeded in putting a Mooney down short of the pavement--a unique, if dubious honor."
-- Bruce Landsberg, AOPA "Mooney Safety Review." October, 1995

"Oh shit!"
-- Pilot of N252AK in 1998 video of long landing at Langely, WA.

"Every year, Mooniacs return to the Mooney Homeland in Kerrville, Texas, much like the swallows to Capistrano, pigeons to statues, lemmings to the sea ..."
-- Liz Swaine, Avweb (and M20E owner), referring to 1998 MAPA Homecoming (now Mooney Fiesta)

"The 201 and 231 are truly superior performers, far better than competitive aircraft."
-- Aviation Consumer, 1989

"Heat is the nemesis of all things aviation: pilots, avionics or engines."
-- Bill Cox, in a Plane & Pilot review of the TLS Bravo, November, 1998

"Everybody knows that aircraft handling tends to go critical at a high angle of attack. So I gave the vertical fin the straight up-and-down lines it still has today. Few people realize this was not a style gimmick."
-- Al Mooney, quoted by Gordon Baxter in the MAPA Log, March 1997

"The Mooney's 200 hp engine would have to be increased to 208.3 hp to achieve such a speed improvement (3 mph) without the wax!"
-- CAFÉ Foundation on the value of a clean airplane, July 1997. The test plane: M20E with an IO-360.

"The Mite was a sport plane for ex-military pilots. It was small and light. It was nicknamed the 'Texas Messerschmitt.'"

"The Mooney Mite was the only single-place general aviation aircraft to go into production after World War II."
-- Kevin McKown, Southwest Aviator, October, 1999

"Weighing just 574 lbs empty, every whiff of air current caused it to bob and go other than in a straight direction. I was quickly reminded of a rodeo, and it took me more than just a few minutes to get N4187 to understand that I intended to be the boss."
-- Mal Gross, checking out in his newly-acquired Mooney Mite. November, 1995. See Mitesite.

"In a moment of quiet reflection, they'll concede that the other brand is a broken down piece of crap that never should have gotten loose from the factory."
-- Aviation Consumer on the rivalry between Mooney and Bonanza owners, December, 1999.

"I hope someone shot and ate that stinkin' deer!"
-- Richard Zephro, Mooney dealer, after a runway incursion by a deer caused a balked landing in February, 1997. The Mooney 231 hit the top of a tree and it crushed the outboard 6' of wing - but still flew. (See-Mooney mail list archives, October 11, 1999)

"Bax tries to pass himself off as a pilot, but don't believe him. He never could fly worth a damn. But Gordon feels airplanes, loves and honors them in ways the rest of us are ashamed to admit."
-- Stephan Wilkinson, his Flying Magazine editor, in the preface to Gordon Baxter's book, Bax Seat, 1978.

"The engine pooped out on me just beyond Fort Wayne, and I had to land in a field, and the newspapers and radio called it a failure. That ruined us. We kept it goin' for a little while, but not long after that."
-- Al Mooney, on the failure of the first Mooney Aircraft Co. in 1929, after attempting a Burbank-New York promotional flight. From Wichita "Eagle," 1985

“I am taking my family over to Oshkosh this year. I thought it might be fun to organize a caravan of Mooneys to fly in together.”
-- E-mail from Akmal Khan, Feb. 21, 1998. Editor’s note: the family didn’t go. Akmal did.

“I helped organize and was the flight leader for the first Caravan to Oshkosh,a flight of 42 airplanes. It felt like being King.”
-- Jonathan Paul, owner of an M20E, 1998.

“The best words ever heard over the radio are: ‘Mooney India flight, welcome to Oshkosh. Cleared to land runway 36L.’”
-- Jody Voss, owner of a Porsche Mooney, referring to flying in Mooney Caravan, April, 2000

"An airplane can successfully handle surprisingly more weight than I had been led to believe."
-- Reed Prior, who flew a Mooney 201 straight across the Pacific and around the world in 1998. He added 145 gallons in two ferry tanks (and the ability to add oil in-flight.) See:

“Under the direction of Roy LoPresti, Mooney Aircraft was the first to offer a miles-per-gallon chart in the flight manuals of the 201 and later the 231. Roy recognized that Mooney pilots were fanatical about fuel efficiency, and he hired an aeronautical engineer, Fen Taylor, to do the flight testing, analysis and charting.”
-- Alfred Scott, 1994, Falco Builders Letter

“The Mark 21 has been dived in excess of 330 mph and withstood static tests in excess of six G's without failure as well as withstanding the flutter test at over 200 mph."
-- Norman Hoffman, president, Mooney Aircraft, in Flying
Magazine, 1961, about the new all-metal M20B
(Thanks to Brian Newman, N78898 '65 M20C for this quote)

“Instrument flying, I had concluded, is an unnatural act, probably punishable by God.”
-- Gordon Baxter, Flying Magazine, 1974.
(Suggested by Andy Allen)

“Mooneys are uncommonly sensitive to subtle rigging maladies. There are more than a few really slow older Mooneys dragging themselves through the air sideways because of misrigging.”
-- Marc Cook, AOPA Pilot, July 1997.

“Looking at accidents that occurred under instrument conditions, we found that the Mooney pilots seem to do a significantly better job. The IMC accident rate per 100,000 hours for the Mooney is just a little over half the accident rate of the other retractables.”
-- Bruce Landsberg, AOPA “Mooney Safety Review.” October, 1995.

“It took the dumb out of the pilot when the pilot was so inclined, and left him to concentrate on the far more important task of flying the airplane.”
-- Mark Twombly referring to the Mooney PFM (Porsche) engine and its replacement of mixture/prop/MP controls with a single control, AOPA Pilot, 1996.

“Naked City Airport, Indiana. Turf strip overrun with parked cars of a crowd of 7,000 who came to view 50 naked girls vying for title of Miss Nude America, and four naked parachute jumpers. Unable to obtain other data, notebook was with my clothes.”
-- Gordon Baxter’s shortest story submission to Flying Magazine, August, 1973

“All of the M20Cs are fitted with what is arguably the best aircraft engine made, the Lycoming O-360. In parallel-valve, carbureted form, the M20C's 180-horsepower engine is both simple and long-lived.”
-- Marc Cook on his preference for an M20C among used aircraft, AOPA Pilot, 1995.

“This is a job you don’t do for the money alone. Not even you guys would be able to afford a new airplane every week.”
-- Margrit Waltz, trans-Atlantic ferry pilot, to MAPA Homecoming, 1998

“The company airplane is a Mooney 201 but not being brand loyalists to any degree, we’ll admit we picked it for one overriding reason: We’re cheap.”
-- Aviation Consumer, December, 1999

“It was a dream machine for hands-on pilots.”
-- Mark Twombly referring to the Mooney PFM (Porsche) engine and its replacement of mixture/prop/MP controls with a single control, AOPA Pilot, 1996.

“Now that we have pictures, that wing damage doesn’t look too bad. Nothing that Photoshop can’t fix.”
-- Ron Gilbert’s assessment of a Mooney damaged after an engine failure and runway overrun.

”Why not work on a new rating that you couldn't get using your Mooney? Something like a seaplane, multi engine or glider rating. This way you do some flying and its not like you’re cheating on your plane.”
-- Len Lanetti via e-mail to Ed Gunberg, who was having an “annual from hell,” February, 2000

“They're fast if you're skinny!”
-- referring to Mooneys

“To say that Mooney batted one right out of the park with the 201's 1976 debut somewhat understates the matter.”
-- Marc Cook, AOPA Pilot, 1994

“Few marques seem to call together such a diverse group of fanatics as Mooney.”
-- Marc Cook, AOPA Pilot “Early Mooneys,” September, 1992

“Originally designed as a target drone, this was the first of the ‘backward tail’ Mooneys.”
-- Aerofiles, an aviation history website, and their reference to the M-18 Mite.

“It's often been said that Porsche has forgotten more about engine design than aviation engine manufacturers ever knew. Porsche mistook a compliment for the truth and never bothered to find out the few things that Lycoming and Continental did know.”
-- Alfred Scott, Falco Builders Letter, 1988. The first article critical of the Porsche engine in the Mooney PFM

“Porsche has built aircraft engines for over 75 years. This engine is based all on 1980’s technology versus 1940 technology done over and over by Lycoming and Continental.”
-- Darrell Duchesneau, defending the Mooney PFM design in letter to MAPA Log, Sept/Oct, 1994

“A Mooney can be spun, but don’t.”
-- Gordon Baxter, MAPA Log, March 1997

“You can always tell when a man has lost his soul to flying. The poor bastard is hopelessly committed to stopping whatever he is doing long enough to look up and make sure the aircraft purring overhead continues on course and does not suddenly fall out of the sky. It is also his bound duty to watch every aircraft within view take off and land.”
-- Ernest K. Gann, Fate is the Hunter

“And you can’t fly a Mooney without admiring how well it goes fast and how slowly you need to approach to land without floating a long way.”
-- Richard Collins, Flying Magazine, February, 2000

““For equal horsepower, the wood wing airplanes were faster than the metal ones. And not just a little bit – we measured a speed loss of 5-8 mph when we converted the wood wing M20A to the metal wing M20B.”
-- Bill Wheat, 42-year engineering veteran of Mooney Aircraft in MAPA Log, March, 2000

“Roy (LoPresti) and I are both design-engineers. There are lots of good aeronautical engineers, and a few good airplane designers. But very few of us are design-engineers. Roy is one of the best.”
-- Al Mooney, The Al Mooney Story, 1985

“As with every Mooney that’s ever flown, speed isn’t the most important thing, it’s the only thing.”
-- Bill Cox, Plane & Pilot, November, 1998

“Ah, he never sat down at no table with a clean sheet of paper to do that. What he sat down with was a fifth of Johnny Walker Red.”
-- Art Mooney, joking about his brother’s M-20 design.

"I didn’t put the tail on backwards. All the others did. Power on or power off, you will find on my plane that you can always lift a wing with the rudder.”
-- Al Mooney, The Al Mooney Story, 1985.

“The empty weight of a Mooney Mite is 500 pounds, and it looks like a Texan's idea of a model airplane.”
-- Chuck Wolfe, Flying Magazine, February, 1964.

“This flying high and on your own is really quite a novelty. There are absolutely no distractions; no instructor to ask questions of, no passengers with whom to jabber and no radio to talk over.”
-- Don Downie, on a flight test of the single-seat Mooney Mite, Skyways Magazine, August, 1949.

After conversion to the Lycoming engine the Mooney Mite “not only looked like a baby fighter plane, but flew like one.”
-- Al Mooney, The Al Mooney Story, 1985. Al had more hours in a Mite than any other aircraft.

“The airplane, which just naturally lends itself to this sort of thing, has been displayed in super-markets, where it has been offered for sale at six dollars a pound.”
-- Robert Halford, on the Mooney Mite, November, 1953, Aircraft Magazine.

"Flying the Mooney Mite is the closest experience to flying a Spitfire: it's a single seater, it has retractable gear, it has a mixture control, and it's very responsive to the controls."
-- Vera Dowling, one-time Mite owner and Alberta aviator who ferried over 260 Spitfires in Britain during World War II

“The M-19, a military Mite, was Al’s favorite Mooney, the one he put the most time in.”
-- Gordon Baxter, MAPA Log, August, 1993. Successor to the M-18, only one M-19 was ever built.

The Ann Arbor FBO I rented from said, "Well, I saw you pull up in a Mooney so we'll just waive the checkout for the Cherokee."
-- Phil Guziec, 65 M20E N5841Q, July 2000 on Mooney mail list

“Before he started designing the (Piper) Malibu, Jim Griswold had spent hours crawling around the Mooney to determine what turned this machine into the success that we all know.”
-- Jacques Esculier, CEO Mooney Aircraft, Homecoming 1993.

“The (Mooney) Rocket practically screams for speedbrakes, and we wouldn’t consider a conversion without having them installed.”
-- Aviation Consumer, September, 1993

“It makes my blood run hot and fast, it makes my body tingle. It’s almost exactly what I expected, and it’s easy to land.”
-- Roy LoPresti, quoted by Gordon Baxter, after the introduction of the Mooney 301 on April 21, 1983

“An interesting feature is the undercarriage warning, which is nothing but an adaption of a standard Trico automotive-type vacuum-operated windshield wiper. This unit is mounted at the top of the panel, but it is fitted with a red disc in place of a wiper blade. When the throttle is closed, this Trico unit begins to wig-wag frantically, keeping in motion until such time as the undercarriage is lowered.”
-- Robert Halford, on the Mooney Mite, November, 1953, Aircraft Magazine

“There is a special and romantic charisma about any Mooney, a mantle that has attached itself to few mass produced airplanes in history. We feel it among other pilots, and among ourselves.”
-- Gordon Baxter, MAPA Log, February, 1980

“The 201 makes a great power soarer. The Mooney seems to soar best with about 10 degrees of flaps, prop set at full course pitch and just a tad of power.”
-- W.B. Snead, Sept/Oct MAPA Log, 1994

“The new Mooney (301) is a simplified, single engine, pilot-flown Queen Air. It will be the new life or death of Mooney Aircraft.”
-- Gordon Baxter, MAPA Log, May 1983, at the introduction of the pressurized single

“Soaring involves a lot of circling. . . passengers will get sick after a few minutes. . . get the passenger on the ground especially if it is your spouse.”
-- W.B. Snead, describing soaring in a Mooney 201, Sept/Oct MAPA Log, 1994

“Worse things can happen than landing gear up. But right now I cannot think of anything that makes a pilot feel more like a fool.”
-- Don Lamm, Sept/Oct MAPA Log, 1994

“All of my pointed comments in the past have been directed towards making the management of Mooney realize that existing Mooney owners are prospective customers and should be treated as such.”
-- Richard Morton, MAPA Log, December, 1992

“Good energy management techniques can even be observed during taxi.”
-- Dick Crittenden, past president, MAPA Safety Foundation, MAPA Log, July 1993

“It is surprisingly easy to believe it is down, even with the gear horn sounding.”
-- Don Lamm, Sept/Oct MAPA Log, 1994

“I always knew I would design airplanes when I grew up. I learned the fundamentals of stress and balance there (the Denver Public Library), which served me all my life.”
-- Al Mooney, “The Al Mooney Story: They All Fly Through the Same Air,” 1985

”stay in the cockpit to test it (the starter) where you wont get your head chopped off by the propeller. it wouldn’t matter, except it’s hard to get a medical with no head. not impossible, but hard.”
-- s&c bob (aka William Robert Goodman, Auburn University professor)

“Mooney has quietly kept turning out rugged, top-performing airplanes. In fact, the factory, located in Kerrville, Texas, has churned out more new models over the last decade than any other manufacturer.”
-- Thomas Haines, AOPA Pilot, May, 1997

“Just After Ralph Harmon passed away, I spoke with Ed Penny who really admired him. Ed told me that Ralph was responsible for some early wing designs at Beech. There were in-flight break ups of a few Bonanza wings which totally devastated Ralph. He redesigned those Beech wings and that general design stands today. When Ralph came to Mooney, Ed told me that he vowed that there will never be another wing design of his that ever fails. Hence the spectacular integrity of our Mooney wings today.”
-- Richard Simile, Mooney Mail List, October, 1999

“The Mooney will float like a T-craft in July until the wing pays off – then it’s all through.”
-- Gordon Baxter, Flying Magazine columnist, on landing a Mooney.

“It remains an efficient, sleek airplane that’s made all that much better by a first-rate stack of radios, a study and easy-to-run engine, and detail improvements that make the airplane safer, more useful, and huge fun to fly.”
-- Marc Cook, AOPA Pilot, December, 2000 about refurb of a 1987 201 into AOPA’s Millenium Mooney

“Two things Mooney pilots can do to help eliminate prop strikes: The first is to never, ever push the control wheel forward during the landing flare. The second is to being the landing flare at 1.2 times the stall speed for the flap configuration you are landing with.”
-- Bob Kromer, executive director, MAPA, May 2001 MAPA Log

"Flying it is like strapping on a pair of wings and just taking off."
-- Ted Reusch, Mooney Mite owner, May 2000 Pacific Flyer

”If they could bottle the feeling you get when you bust out of the thick stuff to a windshield full of runway lights, it would sell by the case.”
-- Keith Ulstad on Mooney Mail List, Aug. 2001

"The 305 Rocket is an “M20K on steroids (that) retains all the Mooney’s virtues, as well as its drawbacks, but adds another dimension to the plane’s already renowned reputation for speed.”
-- Aviation Consumer, September, 1993


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Revision: 6/6/2023