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The follow will be published in an upcoming local newspaper in Panama City Beach. Mooney Summit really made a real big "splash" in the area.

 

Mooney Summit V

The Mooney Summit is a 501 ©3 organization established in Panama City Beach in 2012 by Ron Dubin and Mike Elliott to promote safety and educational seminars to Mooney Pilots worldwide. Before I begin to explain what the Mooney Summit is about, you should probably know something about a Mooney airplane. A Mooney is the lesser known of the big four airplanes certified in the US. Everyone has heard of Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft but not Mooney. And why you ask? Perhaps that the Mooney is a single engine 4-seat niche aircraft designed to fly extremely fast and efficient, with characteristics of flight only experienced pilots can fly. They are all made in small numbers in Kerrville, Texas and named after the inventor – Al Mooney in the late 50’s. They are extremely safe when flown properly and are built with similar safety and performance designs as Boeing jets. A turbocharged Mooney can fly at altitudes as high as 25,000 feet and reach speeds up to 280 mph true air speed.

Anyways, now to the Mooney Summit V

Our mission is to “Better the Breed”, making Mooney pilots better stewards of our airplanes as well as interacting within the National Airspace. Our meeting this year was held at several locations throughout the city from September 29-October 1 and included 161guests, pilots and spouses  from all across the US and even from London, England. This event is gaining in popularity throughout the Mooney community due to the uniqueness of the program. Everything is provided free to all attendees including subject expert speakers from the FAA, industry, and other leaders in aviation. All our food, entertainment, dinners, breakfasts, and even lodging to many of our attendees in 18 beach front condominiums and homes are free. Our Friday evening socials at my penthouse condo at Origin at Seahaven is a very popular event which earmarks the groups return to PCB and features fabulous catered meals and drinks. Earlier that day was airport day at the Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport which features experts in formation flying and other topics followed by a formation flight of 5 Mooney’s over the airport and city. This event was open to the public and put on by Lee Fox and Bucko Strehlow.

Saturday and Sunday conferences were held at the Seahaven Conference Center and were led off with an introduction to the city by Mayor Mike Thomas. The topics discussed were very informative and helpful. These included the safety and regulations of flying to Cuba including FAA paperwork, overwater flying and safety equipment required. One speaker spoke passionately about a recent experience which occurred over Canadian airspace where he completely passed out due to Carbon Monoxide poisoning and crash landed the plane. This occurred in an isolated area during the winter months and required survival tactics similar to the techniques used in the current movie, “The Mountain Between Us.”  The importance of having a CO detector in a plane (as well as in homes) was an important take home message. Engine performance and analysis of evaluating potential engine problems was a lecture from Ron New, Savvy Aviation, Las Vegas, NV

Saturday evening all the participants and family members were treated to a dinner at the Runaway Island restaurant compliments of Mooney International. Awards, silent auctions, and speakers from the Mooney factory were the highlights of the evening  while underneath the glow was the appreciation of the factory’s continued support for the existing fleet of all the Mooney’s in the world.

Early Sunday morning was the second formation flight, this time over the beaches from pier to pier. Most beach goers who saw the event probably noticed the one thing that is unique to Mooney’s – the design of the tail that looks like it’s on backwards. But backwards it is not, the tails unique design gives the plane its wonderful and sexy appeal while outperforming all other planes with their normal looking tails.

Other events during the Mooney Summit V included a free companion flying course given by a local certified pilot instructor Ron Jarmon. Non flying spouses were given an entire day instructional course on how to land a Mooney in the event of the pilot becoming unable to land. They were taught such things as who to call on the radio for help, how to navigate to an airport and the proper ways to set up for a landing. Ron also has one of the most advanced flight simulators ever made and housed  at the PCB airport and demonstrated this to the attendees. Max Gurgew, a pilot examiner for the FAA from Birmingham, Alabama, is an annual speaker due to his entertaining abilities while educating us on the proper ways to fly an instrument approach to an airport while in the clouds and fog. Bruce Landsburg is the nominee from President Trump to serve as Vice Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board and spoke on true confessions of pilot errors. Another speaker spoke on ditching procedures and survival techniques over long distance water flying.

The Mooney Summit has established the Bill Gilliand Foundation to provide emergency crisis intervention and financial assistance for downed Mooney Pilots’ immediate families. Unique in general aviation, Mooney owners are not only bonded together by the planes we all fly but as well as this foundation for the caring and compassion towards Mooney families. Bill Gilliand was a VP of Simon Properties (owners of Pier Park) and was killed in a Mooney accident in 2013. Mike Elliott, the co-founder of the Summit, was a passenger in the plane but survived. We decided to make this foundation a tribute to Bill and his family.

As we came to a close on that Sunday October 1, the weather was low overcast clouds and very windy. But this did not dampen anyone’s spirit as we all talked about the return of the Mooney Summit VI from September 28-30, 2018 and how this conference has become, in five years, the largest gathering of Mooney owners in the world.

Ronald S. Dubin, M.D.

 

You can also review a past newspaper article on the Mooney Summit V     http://www.newsherald.com/news/20170930/mooney-pilots-land-in-bay-for-5th-annual-summit

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Great story for the paper, Rocketman!

It was great to meet so many Mooney pilots that I already knew..?

Next year, we need to go get a good jog in before breakfast!

Best regards,

-a-

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I realised that i had not put up the presentation that i did on over water flying.  The videos can be seen and heard by clicking on them on the last sldes.  Be safe out there, wear a life jacket, carry a DECENT raft, and be prepared.

Mooney Summit 2017.pptx

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