Mooney Mite N4060, Rootnik-IV
When this image first arrived as an e-mail attachment from Bob Hanek, we were at a loss to identify the N-number on the tail and thus the serial number of the aircraft.
While Bob tried to to solve the mystery by enhancing the image with his computer, we met with success by going in another direction. On the Internet, we made a search on SuperPages.com and soon had a phone number for the photographer credited in the article. Tom Root, who fortunately still resides in Plymouth, Ohio, told us right away it was N4060.
In speaking with Tom, we learned that his brother, Paul Root, had been a pilot in WWII. His love of airplanes is reflected in the attention he gave to N4060, which he acquired in the late 50's -- the period when the Soviet Union was launching the Sputnik satellites. Paul actually sold the Mite and bought a Bonanza some time after this article was written.
We were very sorry to learn that, after 3800 hours as PIC and time logged as an instructor, Paul died in a Cessna 310 in 1966.
The only other information we have about this airplane is that it was owned by Joseph E. Johnson of Port Arthur, TX from 1963 to 1974. We would really like to know where this airplane is now! Can you help?
29 December, 2003