A Letter from Richard Irish about N612C
Dear M-18 Lovers,
My ophthamologist gave me knowledge of your website when he stated he was thinking of buying a Mooney "Mite". He really got excited when I told him that I had been a proud owner of N3161K back in the early 1950's.
I purchased the plane with the proceeds of the sale of my wrecked Formula III Kieft-Norton that Bob Said had flipped in a race in California and after I went on active duty with the U.S. Army.
I was a student pilot at the time and my flight instructor really got pissed when he authorized me only to do "taxi tests" (I think HE wanted to fly it first!) and got going "a little too fast", pulled back, raised the gear and did a pattern!
I later did my solo cross country in it, flying from Patrick Henry airport in Newport News, VA (I was stationed at Ft. Eustess) to Cleveland, OH. A flight that ALMOST ended in disaster. (In fact I later wrote a story for Flying Magazine's "I learned about flying from that", but they chose not to publish it. Such for my literary "career").
As I notice no 3161K in your lists, I can only assume that the N number was changed or that the a/c no longer exists. That would be a shame as they sure were fun AND economical. As mine had the Lycoming and no outside wind driven generator, I got 123 mph at 2.9 g/h. Of course one had to slow to 109, gear down speed, and lower the gear for enough drag to put enough heat into the exhaust pipes and heater muff to keep from freezing in the winter!
Truly a GREAT airplane!
Thanks for the memories,
Richard H. Irish
These photos were taken at Patrick Henry airport in Newport News, VA. The fellow in the a/c was named Crenshaw and was from my outfit. As I was usually alone, I never thought of getting MY picture taken with it.
This Mite originally displayed NC3161K, a number which later became N3161K, then CF-LHZ in 1959 when it went to Canada. Since returning to the USA in 1964 it has been N612C. Most recently it was purchased by Mark Belton from the estate of Le Selting. See our news item of 2014-05-04
The full story of CF-LHZ is on this page: http://www.mooneymite.com/articles/canadian_mites/CFLHZhistory.htm