Mite of the Month, September, 2001

N342M, serial number 222, is an M-18C built in 1950. It is owned by Kurt Etling of Amarillo and Gruver, TX who purchased it from Barclay Forrester, Inc. in late 1999. The total hours on the plane are now about 1500.

Kurt's Mite is powered by a Continental A65-8. For instrumentation it has airspeed, rate-of-climb (VSI), and turn & bank indicators, an artificial horizon and altimeter, a gyro and a magnetic compass, and oil temp & pressure, volts & amps gauges.

For communications, Kurt installed a new Microair transceiver. He also rewired the instruments and gear-up light, and put the new face on the panel himself about a year ago. He recently purchased a Narco transponder and encoder and will have that installed before too long. For navigation Kurt uses a Lowrance AirMap 300 GPS mounted on the panel with Velcro.

The plane has a new wood Sensenich propeller and tach, and the paint is in pretty good condition. A close look will reveal a modified exhaust system which was on the plane when Kurt purchased it. The auxiliary fuel tank holds six gallons of fuel and the plane has an STC so it can use auto gas if desired. 

Kurt sent us the following story in June, 2001:

"One of the first owners, an ex-navy pilot and long time pilot for Delta Airlines contacted me about the airplane and gave me some great history on it. He learned to fly in 1954 and was stationed at Oceana near Virginia Beach, VA. While there, he bought the plane from a guy working for the Navy in the overhaul and repair program at NAS Norfolk. The plane was full of Navy instruments. He also told me that he paid $1500 for the Mite in 1957!! He flew it for about a year and put 140+ hours on it and then sold it.

"He said many years later, while on a trip to Shreveport, La., he found the plane there and it was owned by a still had the Navy instruments in it. He says that he thinks that he has a picture of it from 1957-58, and will send it to me when he finds it.

"He has a lady friend (he's retired now) in Lubbock Texas which is just about a hundred miles from me and we have made a pact to get together sometime so he can see the plane again. He is about to embark on a flight to Australia in a Cessna 185!! 

"I really love the plane and try to put about 100 hrs. a year on it. My longest trip to date was from Amarillo to Kansas City and back. The plane is so honest and fun to fly, and is so easy to fly. I wish that I had a lot more time to fly it."

We are waiting for Kurt to complete a family tree showing the owners of the Mite, but in the meantime, here are the ones we found mentioned in the MMOA bulletins:

Ed McGuire of Claremore, OK in 1967-68
J.L. Kinnison and John M. Kearby of Tulsa, OK in 1969.
C.B. Hood of Chesapeake, VA in 1974.

20 August, 2001