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
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