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  • 47

Mooney Ceasing Production. Closes Kerrville Plant, furloughs hundreds of employees

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The Kerrville Daily Times is reporting that Mooney International has ceased manufacturing operations at its Kerrville Airport factory at Kerrville Municipal Airport (KERV), Texas. In the move, a company spokesman said, the company laid off 229 employees, bringing Mooney employment down to around 90 workers. None will be producing aircraft parts, however, which is certain to concern Mooney owners. (www.planeandpilotmag.com) Altro...

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bbabis
Bill Babis 11
I've always loved the Mooney. It was my first retractable and I have many many good memories. I don't see how this is going to be "Temporary" though. If you can't sell them in today's market you won't do any better down the road. I'm sure others are working on it (Cirrus), but maybe reintroducing them as the first single engine piston with emergency auto-land capability could give them the boost in the market they need. Good luck Kerrville.
bentwing60
bentwing60 5
I'm with you Bill, first high performance and complex checkout and with the Johnson bar no less. Great and tough little airplanes that were built with pride and very rarely had an airframe failure in flight. Sad to see for at least the 5th time in my career and I hope not down for the count. Good luck Kerrville.
bbabis
Bill Babis 4
My Dad had an early Mooney distributorship and I received my PPL during that time so the Mooney Exec21 was my first high performance checkout and my ship for the instrument and commercial. I've flown every model, except for the Mite and including the Mustang, up through the 201. And, I do prefer electric gear over the Johnson bar. I showed many new owners how to use that bar but you could always tell the Johnson bar Mooneys on takeoff by the wing wobble!
TorstenHoff
My dad owned a Mooney 201 and I will always have a fondness for the type. I hope this is just a temporary hiccup.
GaAubie
Ken Hardy 13
Fast little airplane and fuel efficient but the bigger story is the cost of operation for the average person, tie down fees, hanger space, hull insurance all make it too expensive to operate a single engine piston aircraft anymore and unless you are a high net worth type with a love of stick and rudder flying, its cheaper to go Delta ( or such ). The younger generation does not have the love of aviation that the older generation does, to the younger crowd, its get on board get from A to B and crank up the social media
21voyageur
Good synopsis Ken. Just not enough people looking up at the sky anymore. Least of all, with amazement.
M20ExecDriver
Mid Atlantic fixed costs for an old Executive and a thousand hour pilot eight years ago when I sold mine were 10K and gas was a dollar or so cheaper than now. I miss the utility. I don't miss the expense.
jeremyhanna
I can afford the operator costs, except that the maintenance on the 1976 aircraft I can afford is killing me. Be nice to have something newer with less maintenance, but no way I can afford $850k up front!
wtcamp
A typical commercial flight from OKC (OK) to SAT (TX) requires a stopover in either Dallas or Houston. On average with TSA time and layover you are looking at a minimum of 6 hours point to point for a $300 ticket. My wife can fly BOTH of us for 27 gallons of 100LL at $4ish/ gal.(a little over $100) and arrive point to point in 2.7 hours (less with a tailwind) in a Mooney M-20J. That same trip by automobile takes close to 10 hours. Commercial is great in crummy weather or distances over 1000 miles, otherwise there is barely a comparison to be made to a Mooney. Fantastic airplanes - fingers crossed this is not the end. W.C.C.
Decibel
Jim Nasby 1
Ok, but what would that trip look like in, say, a 182? My guess is that a Mooney just won’t get you all that much unless you’re pretty close to 1000 miles.
wtcamp
My wife has flown the 182 stateside in the Air Race Classic and on Safari around Africa. It is a WONDERFUL aircraft and a true comfy hauler for gear and tight unimproved airstrips. 10-15 knots difference so you are right doesn't matter for local hops. But the real world trip that I described is a 9 gallons per hour fuel flow NOT flat out throttle to the wall. The 182 will burn a minimum of 25% more dead dinos to cover the same ground and it will do it slower (much slower if you are trying to to stay under 11 gph). At 12 gph most middle aged Mooneys can easily kiss 175-180 mph and are amazingly stable in winds / crosswinds. Again both great airplanes but kind of built for different missions.
bentwing60
bentwing60 1
Yeah, but it was a lot more like drivin a Porsche than your daddies Buick! I flew them both more than once. they were designed by different mindsets, for different users. I'm a Cessna fan and a 182 is the queen of ennui. I'd rather drive a C6 Vette.
omrigaron
The first plane i owned was a 1982 Mooney M20J. Loved that plane and hate that I sold it. Brought me home safe many times through some cruddy weather and burned just enough fuel to get me there quickly.
mdonahue00
Had several Mooney's, very fast and efficient. During a visit to the plant once, I was told their planes were so expensive due to liability coverage and lawyers. Not sure that is still the case.
Stormy105
Ed Chapman 7
So very, very sad to see....a1965 Mooney M20C was my first aircraft, a delight to fly with gas at 57 cents per gallon. Watching closely to see how this plays out.....
21voyageur
. . . . "He's dead Jim". . .
nasdisco
Chris B 4
Playing Taps......
M20ExecDriver
Flew an F for eighteen years. Fit like a glove and landed at too many strips to remember. Like every other boomer pastime, the demographic reaper is swinging his scythe and aviation is the canary in the coal mine.
ElliotCannon
Very sad to see this happen but at about $850,000 for a single engine airplane I think is moving it further out of reach financially. Maybe they can find some Chinese investors to take over. It seems everyone else has.LOL
trammellcasey
I thought Mooney was already owned by the Chinese.
Gentilo
Very sad news !!
flightinstructor42
I instructed in them for years. Loved that airplane.
sweeper239
sweeper239 2
Earned my ATP in a 231. Loved that plane. 1900 hours of memories in that plane. 15000 hours later and I still think of the fun I had. Sorry to see another great plane disappear.
planesafe2
They were behind the curve competing with Cirrus. Nice concept and I love Mooneys, but the Cirrus Marketing is nearly 20 years ahead! It will be interesting to see how this affects the fleet still out there flying. As a maintainer, it is already hard enough to find parts for the aging fleet of all brands.
bentwing60
bentwing60 3
Finding a well qualified and experienced maintainer is becoming as difficult to find as "the parts".
ADXbear
ADXbear 3
If a business cant survive in a good economy like ours, it have no chance in slow down..
China did little to help this fine mfg.. shame.. good ouck to the job losses..
ravenshammer
I wonder how much of the tech has made its way to China since they bought the company? Would not be surprised to see Mooney lookalikes pouring out of China in the near future.
n9341c
n9341c 0
To whom exactly? Some Chinese plant worker?
21voyageur
To the same Chinese customers of Mercedes, BMW, etc.
ravenshammer
China's new "executive" class, friends of the Chinese government. They've been buying up our small class aviation businesses for some time now.
yakc130
Doug Zalud 2
The days of the simple, inexpensive, and home-built airplanes of yesteryear are gone. The Golden Age of Aviation is dead.

Sad. Just sad.
ajfrumkin
Loved my 231...nothing in GA could compare. My 1980 with its new engine, paint, and owner flies ever onward.
vulcancruiser
small cabins in a time of expanding older pilots. The 2nd door should have gone in a long time ago. Fast and speedy you can't complain about that.
carlbevan
carlbevan 1
Yes, they are gone from here but now that all of the Mooney's specs are in China they will be manufactured there under a new name. Shouldn't have to wait too long.
cpriaulx
I had a Mooney for many years. Sad day. !!!!
21voyageur
First flight in a single was an M20J. What an intro to flight!
Greg77FA
Greg77FA 1
Always sad to see a long standing company close. But with the prices tipping close to $1M, it is really difficult to compete for such a small market share. I wish the workers best of luck in new aviation work, and that the name continues on in some fashion.
ewrcap
Very sad. Mooneys are amazing airplanes. Very efficient and well built. My only problem with them was the difficulty getting my 6’2” 210 lb body inside. I wonder if they had just added the parachute...
n9341c
n9341c 1
You would still have had difficulty getting your 6'2" 210 lb body inside. Maybe more so.
trammellcasey
Hopefully they regroup and start production again in the not to distant future.
21voyageur
Chineese money is not patient. Don't hold your breath other than for another equity firm buying the assets but as time goes by, it will be harder to sell off. Guaranteed they have been trying to unload quietly (?) behind the scenes. Really too bad.
MikeCafffyn
But the legacy lives on in Tarbes, Southwest France where one TBM a week rolls off the line.
bbabis
Bill Babis 2
Mooney pulled out of that deal decades ago. Socata, now Daher, just doesn’t want to rename the airplane.

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