How to Hoist a Mite

Whether for servicing the tires, rigging the landing gear, or mounting gear doors, these suggestions will come in handy.

From Boyd Maddox, N352A:

"There are several ways to lift the little Bird, but I believe this is the best.

"You will need two saw horses (short saw horses or two-step step ladders), two strong bodies, and an engine hoist.

"Pick up one wing tip and place it on a PADDED step ladder or saw horse positioned under a rib located just outside the wheel well. Then proceed to the other side and repeat the process.

"Next, with the top cowl removed, place the hoist at the front of the engine and lift the engine. If you don’t have a lifting eye, you can lift the front of the engine using a sling around the crank shaft. The following manual shows sandbags being placed on the elevator, but I strongly urge against that."

Pages from the Mooney Mite Assembly Manual (1970) by Fred Quarles:

Landing Gear Rigging Instructions, and Main Gear Door Installation Instructions (PDF downoad)

Note: The whole 1970 manual is available for purchase and download from the Manuals page on the Mite Site.

Tony Terrigno used a different method. He would crawl under wing next to the gear and push up while someone slid the padded saw horse under a rib joint to take the weight. This was repeated on the other side. In order to hold the nose wheel off the ground, he had a five gallon paint bucket full of hardened concrete tied to the tie-down hook at the tail of the Mite once the nose was lifted. Another method of holding the nosewheel up was to use a prop stand instead of tying down the tail.

Here are some photos provided by David Favrholdt showing N66MX up on saw horses during disassembly, being prepared for stowing in a shipping container. The last two show the location of a tie-down hook.

view a

view b

view c view d


This photo of N4065 in its hangar at Grand Prairie, TX shows another jacking procedure that worked really well for Mark Lenker.