Monday, October 01, 2007

2007 Mooney Airplane Pilots Association Convention

The Mooney Airplane and Pilots Association (MAPA) Convention is the annual Mooney owners mecca. It is a virtual who's who of Mooney. Every vendor that sells Mooney stuff, many service centers and of course tons of Mooney staff including their CEO, Dennis Ferguson, the Director of Sales, Rick Neely were there.

This year's event was in San Antonio Texas, which is about 100 miles from where every Mooney Airplane was built -- Kerrville Texas. The airport that hosted the event this year was Stinson Municipal (KSSF). Stinson is a stones throw south of San Antonio International Airport (KSAT).

There were over a hundred Mooney's from all over the world on the field at Stinson. I can honestly say that I've never seen so many Mooney's in one location. I go to Oshkosh every year and as many aviation events as I can, but I've never seen so many M20's in one spot. The COM frequencies were literally jammed with Mooney's flying into the the filed. The controllers were going crazy trying to keep track of us. We probably set a record for flights into KSST.

The Convention
The convention was jammed packed full of information. From the get-go they had comprehensive technical sessions that focused on answering the difficult questions that stumps mechanics in the field. Some as complicated as why the Century 2000 autopilots would for no good reason start a bank and never recover (not good if you're in IMC). Turns out to be a simple fix -- replace the cheap connectors the manufacturer forced Mooney to use...

I was very excited to meet Bill Wheat. Bill started working day 1 at Mooney. He was one of their first employees and the (yes THE) test pilot that gathered the data needed for certification of nearly every production model M20 for years.

Bill is an amazing guy that knows everything there is to know about the Mooney product line. The audience had question after question for him and he answered every one without hesitation. I sincerely hope that Mooney has hired someone to document his knowledge. The company has gone through a lot of changes over the years. If he were to leave his unique knowledge would be lost forever.

The Alamo
No trip to San Antonio would be complete without a visit to The Alamo. This place is full of history -- And Texans are very proud of their history. The Alamo is a beautifully maintained historically significant place to visit. The solders held the Alamo for days and gave their lives for our freedom. It is most certainly worth a visit.

The River Walk
There are two key things to see in San Antonio -- The Alamo and The River Walk. The River Walk is a man made canal that flows below the streets of San Antonio. They have created stunning architecture that incorporates influences from around the world that you can spend days enjoying. They also have remarkable species of plants that are not found anywhere else in the USA. Let's not forget the food -- they have lots and lots of great places to eat! Fresh seafood, fresh meat, fresh everything...YUM!

The flight
The flight down to San Antonio gave 36G and me a workout. There were T-Storms everywhere that I had to avoid, but the XM weather, MFD and GPS worked fantastic. I was able to divert around the T-Storms, rain and clouds without a problem. The Avionics Upgrade clearly paid for itself on this trip.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you have time, I invite you to Kerrville to eat my families Restaurant. It is five or so miles from the airport and it is the best in Kerrville. It is true Steak House that we have owned and operated for 30 years. The name is Cowboy Steak House. The phone number is 830-896-5688. My name is David and I am the son. My father is a retired engineer from Mooney, and he worked with LoPresti back in the day there at Mooney. Considered yourself invited. David

ps. Read your blog weekly