Early Photos of N122C

These great photos were taken by Bill Larkins

This is a photo of the plane in flight over downtown Concord, California. Taken on June 2, 1950, it shows Gladys Davis in the cockpit. She flew it in the Powder Puff Derby that year, hence the name on the side. Gladys and her husband operated a flight school at Buchanan Field in Concord at the time.

Here are two more shots this Mooney M-18C at Buchanan Field. Was this a belly landing or just a gear collapse? We have no information on when it was taken, but it has to be in the early 1950s and after Gladys Davis had flown the plane in the Powder Puff Derby.

The above one was taken at Buchanan Field (CCR) on June 1, 1952. Notice the differences in the paint scheme.

Here are some comments from our Guestbook e-mailed to us by Vern Hain:

On 16 August 1950 I joined the Air Force. I kept applying for cadets and was finally accepted. On my way from Hickam to Lackland I stopped in Stockton just to fly the Mooney Mite. The first person to talk to our class of about 500 cadets was the chaplin. The first words out of his mouth were, "How many men here have ever flown a Mooney Mite?" I was extremely proud to be one of five who held up our hands. The only thing that I remember about his talk that morning was about that Mooney. Every Saturday he would fly as high as he could, and that was where he would compose his Sunday sermon. I made it through cadets and flew KB-29's for four years, and left the Air Force in 1958. Got hired by a little airline called Allegheny and flew 25 years for them. Had three children, the middle one a boy who is now a 777 captain for Delta. Of all the airplanes I have flown the Mooney Mite is the one I have the least amount of time in, 40 minutes, but beyond a doubt it is my favorite.

Looking at my log book I realized there is a mistake. The year I flew it was 1953, not 1952. I do not remember what [the Mite] looked like, and did not own a camera back then to take a picture. No mention was made to me about a belly landing. The only comment was a $100 deposit in case I forgot to put the gear down. It was a young man who rented the plane to me, and as I only had a student pilot license it took a lot of talking on my part to get him to rent it to me. He did not even make me fly something else to show him I was a pilot. I almost did not fly it because as we walked out to the plane he grabbed a glove to put on his right hand. When he opened the canopy I saw what the glove was for. The cockpit was loaded with spider webs. He scooped them out, and I reluctantly got in. It only took 1 minute to forget about the spiders. Once I was in, all I wanted to do was fly this plane. Just sitting in that Mite gave me a feeling that is beyond description. Hey, I'm preaching to the choir. You have known that feeling many-many-many times. Me just once, but I will never forget.

Vernon P. Hain
Punta Gorda, FL

Here is what N122C, renumbered N66MX, looks like today:

N66MX, lovingly maintained and regularly flown by owner Ben Favrholdt, is an example of what is being achieved by many Mite owners who are dedicated to keeping this classic aircraft alive.