Mite of the Month, April 2001
N4155, SERIAL NUMBER 321 built in 1954,is an M-18C owned by Bob Katz of Encino, California.
When Bob bought N4155 in 1968, it had already been re-fitted with a Continental 75 engine. He totally rebuilt the Mite in 1969, but kept all the original instruments, adding only a radio and transponder. Since then he has recovered it (1984), updated the interior lights, and redone the instrument panel. However, in most respects it is stock — just as it came from the factory.
In 1996, Bob had to make a gear-up landing after the tow bar jammed the gear retraction system behind the seat. Subsequently, the propeller was replaced and the engine rebuilt.
Bob flies his Mite regularly. When he bought it in 1968, it had 800 hours on it. Now it has 3000 hours. He recently finished the annual. New tires were installed (after 400 hours on the old ones) and the Triumph motorcycle brakes were redone.
The following was submitted by Bob's flying partner, Ben Favrholdt, to add more flavour to this occasion.
"The attached is a trip report of the cross country trips that Bob Katz and I made years ago. As I remember, the total fuel bill for the first trip was 40 dollars for the entire trip. Av gas at that time sold for about 35 or 40 cents per gallon. We got into some IFR conditions approaching Victoria, but Bob and I both had our newly obtained instrument ratings, so we went into the cloud deck and broke out at about 3000 feet. At Arcata, on the way home, the Flight Service specialist asked us if we could go to 10 thousand feet, and when we said we could, he told us that we would have a 50 knot tailwind, so we were traveling over the ground at about. 170 MPH
At Boeing field, they told us to forget about transit parking. They wanted us to park right in front of the restaurant. At Vancouver we landed in the rain on their 10 thousand foot runway, Ground control asked us where we wanted to go, and I had no idea, but I saw a Piper sign, so I told them we want to go the Piper dealer. When we got there, they immediately ushered us into their hangar to get out of the rain.
"Those were great trips, and it showed that the Mite indeed can be a great cross-country airplane. At Portland International, we met with another Mite owner for breakfast, ( I don't remember who he was), and when we got ready to depart, the tower told all three of us to taxi into position and hold. He then cleared us all for take-off at the same time, and he said that he wanted to get some pictures.
"Great memories, and Bob turned out to be a wonderful partner -- always upbeat and ready for anything. Ben"
Here are the itineraries of the two trips. Incidentally, Ben made these flights in his first Mite, N4092, which was lost in a fire in 1980.
Torrance - Santa Barbara - San Luis Obispo - Salinas - Monterey - Livermore - Nut Tree - Red Bluff - Montague - Medford - Redmond - The Dalles - Troutdale - Olympia - Boeing - Victoria - Vancouver - Bellingham - Olympia - Troutdale - Eugene - North Bend - Arcata - Murray - Mendocino - Coddingtown - Reid-Hillview - Paso Robles - Santa Barbara - Torrance
Torrance - Santa Barbara - Paso Robles - Monterey - Half Moon Bay - Santa Rosa - Ukiah - Benton - Montague - Grants Pass - Roseburg - Salem - Portland - Toledo - Chehalis - Kitsap - Payne - Victoria - Friday Harbor - Roche Harbor - Friday Harbor - Boeing - Hillsboro - North Bend - Gold Beach - Rhonerville - Sonoma County - Nut Tree - Turlock - Tulare - Bakersfield - Torrance
As a matter of history, N4155 was owned by Jack Harloe of Fullerton, CA in 1965-67.
08 March, 2005