Mooney Mite May Day

Ben Favrholdt, N66MX, told this hilarious story over breakfast at Ryan's during the last WAMM Porterville fly-in. We persuaded him to "put it down on paper" and here it is...

On June 25, 1972, Bob King of San Diego and I decided to make a trip to Cable airport for lunch. He took off from San Diego, I took off from Torrance, and we joined up for the flight. All was well until we were about five miles from Cable, when he suddenly announced that he had a total engine failure. 

Bob, a low time pilot, asked me what to do. I told him to switch his radio to 121.5 ( the emergency frequency), that there was a road down below, and he should try to make it there. An airline pilot came up on frequency and asked if he could help. I told him that we had a Mooney Mite going down with an engine failure, that we may be needing some medical assistance, and please notify the authorities. 

Well, the landing site turned out to be a motorcycle park and it just so happens that one of the motorcycle riders had had a bad accident and they had called for medical help. 

I watched Bob's landing from above, and it looked pretty good. I tried to call him several times with no luck. Finally, he came up on the frequency. I asked him what was happening and he told me that he was in the bar at the club house with his handheld radio having a scotch and soda! 

Meanwhile the medivac helicopter landed. The pilots got out and wanted to know where the injured Mooney pilot was.

In retrospect, this situation was kind of funny. I never saw Bob again after that incident. I believe his N number at the time was N4079M.


21 May 2001