Another "missing" Mite shows up!
Ray Allen of Arizona tells this interesting story of how he acquired another Mite for parts. Here at the Mite Site, we are pleased to be able to update our records on a Mite that has been missing since 1971. Hopefully, more lost Mites will turn up in the near future.
"N333M was purchased in 1970 by a Mr. John Haston of Mineral Wells, Texas. He always kept it in a T-hangar. About 16 years ago, the hangar was broken into and the plane was vandalized. All the instruments and Plexiglas were smashed. The wind blew the doors off the hangar some time later.
"John Haston was in poor health. His brother, Woody Haston, convinced John to let him take the Mite to Geronimo, TX and restore it.
"Woody found the wing to be in bad shape, with a cracked main spar and severe weather damage. He disassembled the wing and built a new main spar, a new auxiliary spar, and a "D" section. Last summer, when disaster hit, he had the fuselage hanging up in his work shop and was building main ribs to finish the assembly of the wing.
"Then, in August Hurricane Bret struck south Texas dropping 29 inches of rain in 24 hours. Geronimo Creek overflowed and Woody's hangar was flooded to a depth of four feet. When he was able to return to his work area, Woody discovered the wing ribs he was working on had floated down the creek and the horizontal stabilizer was not to be found. Woody said that during his many subsequent trips down the creek, he was able to recover a few rebuilt ribs, but not the horizontal stabilizer with elevators attached. 'Some one is probably surfing on it in the Gulf of Mexico!'
"I heard about the basket case via a mutual friend. I called Woody, and then drove to Texas with a trailer and check book."
Submitted by Ray Allen, Camp Verde, AZ. January 14, 2000