Mite of the Month, April 2002

A visit to see Jim Jenkins' Mite at Concrete, WA

Last February (2002), David Favrholdt and I drove down from British Columbia to Concrete, Washington for the purpose of meeting a new member of the Mite community, Jim Jenkins. We were joined by Mite owner Gil Gilbert who drove up from Kent, WA and had the good fortune to meet a friend of Jim's, Harold Hanson. Harold keeps many of his beautifully restored aircraft in two large new hangars at Concrete. If things work out as planned, Harold will employ Jim to take care of his collection. As you can see in the photo, Harold is also an aficionado of radio controlled models.

It was a chilly, wet day, but all five of us enjoyed a good visit over a hearty lunch and coffee at a local cafe, followed by a tour of several hangars where we met three local aviators. We were favourably impressed with the setup at Concrete, where there is a good paved strip and plenty of land for hangars at very reasonable prices.

David Favrholdt, Jim and
Harold Hanson.

Harold, Dave, Jim and Gil.

Gil inspects the tail feathers.

Harold's hangar displays his remarkable collection of flying models.

Jim and David get to know each other.

In Terrana's hangar at Concrete, Washington.

The inside of the fuselage
 behind the pilot's seat.

This Mite is not fancy,
but it flies well.

Jim presently makes his home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, but his purchase of C-GHIY, one of the two Mites from the estate of aircraft collector Carl Terrana, signals his plan to move out to the West Coast as soon as possible. Jim, an A&P who restores antique and classic aircraft, was involved in maintaining Terrana's fleet of aircraft. He was attracted to the Mite and made a deal to swap it for his Granville Gee Bee Model E.

Jim is experienced with wood work , fabric, custom sheet metal, and steel tube welding and he says he's not afraid of owning a Mite. He is having a great time flying it in the mountains and valleys north of Seattle. He plans to become an active member of WAMM. Incidentally, Jim called the FAA in Oklahoma City and asked about the availability of the Mite's original N-number, N4095. He was pleased to learn that it was available.

The Mite is an M-18C, built in October, 1952. It was imported into Canada in 1984 as one of two damaged and incomplete airframes by Cornelius (Neil) Holmes of Richmond, BC (now deceased). He rebuilt the plane using parts from the other Mite, an M-18C-55, number 349. A new wing was made, the fuselage rebuilt and the engine majored in January, 1985. It was re-covered at that time. It has a Flottorp wood propeller and a Continental A-65-8F engine.

Holmes donated C-GHIY to the Canadian Museum of Flight in Langley, BC, in 1991. Until two years ago, it was hanging from the ceiling of the main hangar. Unfortunately, due to budget restrictions, the Museum could not keep the Mite and it was sold to airplane collector Carl Terrana down in Buckley,WA in June of 2000. The Museum gave the engine a top overhaul before it was delivered to Terrana's by Werner Griesbeck of the Museum staff.

Our records show that this Mite was owned by:

Richard D. Denzler of Oelwein, IA from 1958 - 1974.
Steve Frenzel of Los Altos, CA in 1979