Mite of the Month, February, 2004

N4189, an M-18C-55, rolled from Mooney's Kerrville assembly line on March 22, 1956 sporting an A65-12 engine fitted with a starter and generator. It is currently owned by Jim Frank of Atlanta, GA.

Jim purchased the Mite from Fred Schmidt in July, 2003. It had been sitting for approximately 11 years and was covered with mildew. When he got it back to Atlanta, Jim says, he just basically cleaned it up and made some avionics changes (not shown in the photo). Everyone has been impressed with the outstanding quality of restoration done on this airplane. The owner just prior to Fred had painstakingly made flap gap and aileron gap seals that are remarkable. The instrument panel is engraved, the woodwork is exceptional; everything is top quality.

Jim says, "I was chided by a friend named Gus Hertz for wanting to buy a Mite. He in fact tried to talk me out of it and even went as far as suggesting that I should purchase a Cub. Having owned N4180 several years ago, I knew the enjoyment of flying a Mite. Ironically, two weeks after Gus's flying my Mite, he was the proud owner of a beautiful 1950 Mite (N70DV) that was restored by Ron Anderson. Gus and I frequently fly together to many of the local airport restaurants and fly-ins in the central Georgia area. Gus now admits that it is the most enjoyable flying experience of his life, and he professionally flies the big stuff for Delta, but Delta makes him fly with another pilot in the cockpit."

"The photos were taken by our friend Vic Syracuse from his Stearman. Vic has an ultra high quality digital camera and took about a hundred photos of me and Gus. They were taken in August of 2003 just after the passage of a cold front through the Atlanta area. The still photos I took using a Nikon Cool Pix 900."

This is a photo of the cockpit before Jim installed a new Becker com and a new King transponder along with a new stick grip and push-to-talk button.

"My Mite is now living at Mallards Landing, GA04, which is a flying community 25 miles south of Atlanta Hartsfield airport. We have a 4800 foot grass strip with lots of really nice folks. There are now six Mites in the Atlanta area. Our goal is to rival the California Mite owners in numbers and fly-ins!!!!"

The Mite Site archives show the following list of owners:

George Elias of Escondido, CA, then John Russell of Milwaukee, WI in 1967.
James Russell of Milwaukee, WI in 1968.
A.M. Davis of Flintville, TN in 1969.
Richard Rogers of Dayton, OH in 1974
Fred Schmidt of Camden, OH in 1994