A letter from Mooney Aircraft, Inc. to Harold
on the subject of ADs in 1961
Mooney Aircraft, Inc.
Louis Schreiner Field
Telephone CL 7-4043
April 11, 1961
Mr. Harold Gallatin
c/o Aviac, Inc.
624 N. 66th Street
Milwaukee 13, Wisconsin
Dear Mr. Gallatin:
We are in receipt of your letter and have carefully
all of your comments on Mooney M-18 aircraft.
First, I would like to say that we are in agreement with
your comments and we realize that any service letter or AD note
that is issued will cause some hardship to some owners or users.
The reason that AD notes become mandatory on certain
usually due to the fact that most aircraft owners, as a rule, do
not pay any attention to the manufacturer's service letters or
service bulletins that have been released to inform the owner or
user that there is a possibility that improved performance, longer
service life, improved safety or many other reasons, can result
when consideration is given to the information released by the
In this case M-18 service letters #16 and #17 were
the manufacturer to help the owner eliminate any possible chance
for failure of the items mentioned in service letters 16 & 17.
All owners received a copy of the above mentioned letters
should have made checks and/or repairs, as indicated in the
People, being human, are lax in doing anything that might
a small or large sum of money or time, did not take advantage
of our suggestions in the service letters and one or two accidents
happened and the FAA said they would have to make these modifications
mandatory so we now have AD note 59-22-3 which covers all Mooney
page 2 - April 11, 1961, Mr. Harold Gallatin
After the FAA issues an AD note on an airplane, we are no
in a position to make any changes unless we can prove that the
AD note was not necessary in the first place. This we can not
do, as it was our idea to release service letter #16 & #17 to
inform people that these items needed checking.
I feel sure that several failures on M-18 aircraft were
when the airplane was operating within the manufacturer's limit-
tations. Here are a few reasons why I believe this:
Some people, when ground handling M-18s, sit on the horizontal
stabilizer to lift the nose wheel off the ground to turn it
in a small space. Result, a cracked horizontal stabilizer spar.
If the owner was not advised of this condition, you can imagine
what would happen on the next flight. In one case I know of,
the owner did fly the airplane around the field and noticed
that there was considerable vibration in the tail section
and landed without mishap. This was the first flight after
a new horizontal stabilizer had been installed on the aircraft,
but it had sat in the hangar for three weeks before it was
flown. I say that someone damaged the airplane in the hangar,
what do you think?
Some people do not hangar their airplanes and in a wet climate,
after several years, wood and fabric rot is bound to attack
the structure, we had this in mind when we issued letters
#l6 and #17.
Some people, (very few), still take pride in a fine
give it the care that it deserves, if we knew the names of the
owners and the serial numbers of these airplanes, we would not
have to worry about the structural condition of these planes
and so there would be no need for service bulletins or AD notes.
Changes on the airplane that have been added to the
after the airplane left the factory will have to be cleared
through regular channels.
I know that these items will also be a burden to people,
some very fine changes and modifications have been installed
on M-18s, but the manufacturer cannot approve these items without
extensive tests to prove to the administrator that they will be
safe when operated within the limitations.
I hope this letter does not sound as though we do not care
each individual, because we do, but we have several hundred
Mites in the field and we try to keep any changes or modifications
down to a minimum.
page 3 - April 11, 1961. Mr. Harold Gallatin
It is a shame that so many have to suffer because of the
of so few.
I hope you haven't become bored with this letter as I felt
you expressed your opinions very nicely and. that you deserved
an explanation from the manufacturer's view point.
If we can be of any other service, please feel free to
us at any time.
MOONEY AIRCRAFT, INC.
(signed) Milton Jacoby
Customer Service Manager
Contributed by Dick Rank
08 February, 2001