Mite of the Month, February, 2005

N53TW is one of only three homebuilt Mites (M-18X).

It was completed by Tom Oostdik of Lino Lakes, Minnesota in September 15, 1993. It has an aluminum aft fuselage and no electrics. Tom sold it to Freddie Berger in 2000 who in turn sold it to the Crosby brothers of Pana, Illinois. It is now registered to Gerald "Jerry" Crosby. He, James and Curt have two Mooney Mites, the other one being a project, N4052. Jerry is featured in these photos by Curt.

In 2003, Curt Crosby wrote: "We bought N53TW from Freddie Berger in Olney and love it. It has an A-75 Continental. We are rebuilding the other Mite Serial #109 equipped with a Lycoming O-145. We made a fixture to handle the wing that has proven very valuable."

Unfortunately, N53TW was involved in a serious accident in October, 2003. Curt explained to us, "it was my brother (Jerry) that was flying N53TW. It destroyed the plane and broke both my brother's legs. He will recover but it will be a while. He barely hit the top of a tree with his left wing which turned the plane 180 degrees prior to impact (that saved his life). Mites sure need to have shoulder harnesses! I will let you know about our other Mite as we go along. Thanks for your concern. We are thankful that our brother is alive."

Happily, in his latest update of earlier last month, Curt reports that Jerry is doing well. Their other Mite is "on hold" for the time being, but they hope to resume the project when the weather gets better.