The Diary of a Mite by Dick McComas
This was published in the October 1978 issue of the the WAMM Newsletter. Dick, who is no longer with us, based this diary on information taken from the flight log of 329M. The Mite Site would be pleased if this project inspired other Mite owners to do the same and send the results in for archiving -- and publishing, of course!
Mooney Mite, M18-C, S/N 210, N329M and I have shared many good flying experiences since March 19th 1970 when her diary (log books) and title came into my possession. I refer to 29M as "she" or "her" because of the love affair that has developed since we first flew together in 1966.
The first entry in 29M's diary is by Bill Taylor, Mooney test pilot, on June 14,1950. She was flown by Bill for a little over one hour on her maiden flight. From this time until January 1st 1951 an additional 43 hours were recorded - pilot or pilots unknown.
The next entry was receded by H. Lourn, an A&E, who logged 40 hours between January 1st and October 31st 1951. The record is not clear if Mr. Lourn was 29M's first owner or if he, as an employee of Mooney, flew and maintained her prior to her first ownership transfer.
S. J. Varby made the next entry in 29M's diary on December 1st 1951. From this time until August 31st 1952 Mr. Varby recorded 101 hours. There is no indication of the location of these flights.
29M's title was transferred to Mr. S. Balkurll on September 1st 1952 when she was moved to Akron, Ohio. From this time until July 31st 1954, Mr. Balkurll recorded 55 hours. The next entry in her diary was on March II 1955 when she was licensed in Willoughby, Ohio. Presumably for this seven month period she was in storage.
On April 10th 1955 Mr. R. Holstein's name appears in 29M's diary. From April 10th to May 29th 1955, 17 hours were logged. Apparently this association was not satisfactory because after a short 3 1/2 month period, 29M received a new name in her diary, Mr. D. Harbaugh. This was recorded on July 22nd 1955. 29M had remained, as far as her diary shows, in Ohio. Up to this time 29M had been a one-man-at-a-time lady. But on August 15th 1955 D. Harbaugh decided to share. Walt Tomlin, Max Lovingood and Dave Mulvaney each obtained a 1/4 share interest. From July 22nd 1955 until June 20th 1959, 172 hours were entered in 29M's diary, all within the local area -with an occasional flight to Chicago or Birmingham, Michigan.
On June 20th 1958 29M's log shows that she was placed in storage until April 23rd 1960 when she was ferried from Warsaw, Missouri to Fallen, Nevada. This flight took 16 hours. She was re-licensed in Fallen, Nevada on July 14th 1960 but no entries were made in her diary from this date until June 1st 1964 when she was again licensed in Santa Paula, Calif. This implies that 29M was again in storage for almost four years except for the flight from Fallon, Nevada to Santa Paula, Calif.
J. R. Stevens appears in 29M's diary on September 29th 1964 when he flew her from Santa Paula to Torrance, Calif. From this initial entry by Stevens until May 20th 1966, 135 hours were recorded. Most of this time was in the Southern California area with an occasional flight to the Stockton - Sacramento vicinity. One entry shows a flight to Medford, Oregon and return.
The next recorded entry in 29M's diary was on June 5th 1966 by Ray Anderson. In August 1966 Ray flew with her to Ft. Smith, Ark. and return. A wonderful experience, according to Ray. It was during the time of 29M's and Ray's association that I was given the opportunity to fly her - and it was "love at first flight. " In thirty some years of flying that has included thirty three different types of aircraft (from a Heath Parasol to a T-33 jet plus a couple of helicopters), none have performed as beautifully or has seemed as "one" with me as did 29M. It is thrilling when you just think about the direction or maneuver you want - and she follows. Just as if she is reading your thoughts. This is when our love affair began.
From June 5th 1966 until November 3rd 1968, Ray recorded 185 hours in 29M's diary. It was at this time, to my dismay, that she again changed owners.
The next entry in her diary is on November 3rd 1968 by Bill Thompson from Santa Monica, Calif. I prevailed upon Bill that if and when he decided to part with 29M, he must immediately contact me. Bill enjoyed flying 29M. He flew with her all over Southern and Northern California, Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Idaho. They also made a trip to Florida to visit Cape Kennedy. From November 3rd 1968 until March 18th 1970 Bill recorded almost 320 hours in 29M's diary.
About this time I received a call from Bill saying he was going to part company with 29M. You can imagine my joy in hearing this. At this time I owned a fun little "bug smasher", a 1938 Aeronca K, but I was not again going to let 29M slip away so on March 19th 1970 her diary records that we became companions. Since that time we have shared over 430 hours of beautiful flying over Southern and Northern California. To air shows and fly-ins from Watsonville to San Diego, or just spending a few days together.
We went on a trip to Spokane, Washington in early August this year - but that is another story, perhaps for a later issue of WAMM.
August 4, 2001