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Euro Caravan
Day 1: Regional Departures
Day 2: Madison
Day 3: OSH
Day 4: Setup
Day 5: Opening Day
Day 6: Barbecue!
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Murph's Audio Files:
Taxi (14:53)
Departure (19:53)
Enroute (11:09)
Arrival (23:46)

Mooney Caravan 2000

The third annual Mooney Caravan to EAA Airventure in Oshkosh, WI. Growing from 42 planes the first year to 76 the second year, this year's Caravan is expected to draw 100 Mooneys. For the first time, two aircraft will participate from overseas, as Marcel Geering (1981 262)and Flemming Pedersen (1965 M20E) arrive from Switzerland.

Pilots’ Comments:

”The best thing I liked about the Caravan was meeting everyone from the e-mail list who had gotten to be like family. If I had one wish in the world, I wish that all of us could live in the same airpark and hang out all year long. As a first time fly in visitor to Oshkosh, few events in my life will come near the thrill of landing at Oshkosh and taxiing over to our campsite. The best part was sitting in our easy chairs at the end of the day over a few beers just shooting the breeze. Sometimes the simplest things in life are the best.”

Jerry Salem, 1970 Chapparal/M20E, N9328V
Syracuse, NY


“I helped organize and was the flight leader for the first Caravan to Oshkosh, a flight of 42 airplanes. It felt like being King.”

Jonathan Paul, 1966 M20E, N9208M
Salinas, CA


“Spending day and night at an airport surrounded by 40 to 100 Mooney airplanes - being woken up by prop noise rather than dogs barking - walking to the air show without a car - putting faces with names with tails.

In my mind, the value of a Caravan of Mooney's at OSH is a little on the obvious side.”

Scott Cutler, 1983 M20J, N1173N
Houston, TX


“Barb and I flew in last year's Caravan, although we did not camp. However, we enjoyed the cook out the night before and thought that the presentation about the 'Mooney Around The World' was fantastic. Mingling and mixing with the other Mooneyites was very worth while and enlightening.”

Bob & Barb Morgan, 1981 M20J, N1142G
Jefferson City, MO


“We participated in '98 and '99. This is a fascinating group of people from all walks of life, the full range of expertise in the various aspects of flying. I regard myself as a neophyte, especially when compared to most of the attendees, and gain so much from conversing with these pilots. Wondering about which headset to buy? Ask. Who's demo’d all the flight simulators? Which is the best? Then go see for yourself. Turbonormalizers...air/oil separators...TKS...somebody in the group knows. Learn. There is the socializing at the campground and looking at and talking about everyone's pride and joy and how they ended up with their particular plane. One might even share one's favorite brew from a different part of the country.”

John Bartholomew, 1982 M20J, N339PB
Dakota Dunes, SD


“What’s great about the Mooney Caravan?
- the rare opportunity to participate in an organized fly-in
- the excellent organization
- the excellent leadership shown by Jonathan Paul
- the excellent support by Madison, EAA and the FAA (never thought I'd say that!)
- the additional camaraderie and contact with fellow Mooniacs I'd heretofore only known by their e-mail personalities
- the chance to make an impression with the locals, suitable to our station in life as a meaningful alternative to Bonanzas”

Jim Ryan, 1961 M20B, N74797
Hillsborough, OR


“I’d love to have seen the faces on the pilots and passengers of a Northwest Express plane behind the Northwest Caravan departure from Bismarck: “Mooney Flight of Nine” taxied out and departed as if we were trained by the Air Force!”

Henry Hochberg, 1989 M20K, N52202
Woodinville, WA


“I especially liked the opportunity to further relationships with other Mooney pilots. It seems that, during the first Caravan, many of us were just being introduced to each other for the first time. Last year, we built upon those introductions and, in some cases, formed relationships that continue throughout the year. I now have more fellow Mooney pilots with which to seek advice and bounce ideas. And, while much of the conversation does revolve around our airplanes, the relationships allow our conversations to expand into other areas, as well. Although my friend, George, who joined me the last two years, will be sitting-out this year's caravan, my best friend, Jack, from my high school days) will be coming along. He should also have his pilot's license by then. I'm really looking forward to this year's Caravan to introduce him to the Mooney camaraderie. I'm sure he will be feel right at home.”

Mark Napier, 1970 M20C, N241LW
Princeton, NJ


“I have attended AirVenture four times. Once was in the early 1990's as a passenger. I next attended in 1997 in a 1978 M20J. I went as part of the Caravan in ‘98 flying a 1988 M20L and again in ‘99 using a 1986 M20K. Oshkosh is a lot more fun to attend as part of the Caravan because of the social aspect of the camping as a group as well as the Caravan concept as a whole. In the earlier years (pre-Caravan) you did not know your neighbors. It makes a tremendous difference.”

Sheldon Smith, 1986 M20K, N252AT
Bismarck, ND


“The best part of the Caravan was the visit with people of a like mind regarding airplanes. There is a certain camaraderie that is generated from the association with a common purpose. “

Waldo Born,1965 M20C, N7872V
Mattoon, IL


“Two things stand out for me. The opportunity and challenge of flying in as a group and thus camp together. The fellowship of being with so many other Mooney nuts. This includes the BBQ and just sitting around in the PM with a beer.”

Dave Boerigter, 1967 M20C, N9668M
Sequim, WA


“Best words ever heard over the radio of your own Mooney – ‘Mooney India flight, welcome to Oshkosh. Cleared to land runway 36L.’”

Jody Voss, 1988 M20L, N111MM
Austin, TX


“The experience of meeting so many new flying enthusiasts, particularly those who fly Mooneys was overwhelmingly fun and memorable. To be able to put faces to those names we all correspond with over e-mail became an interesting and enjoyable experience. The ability to share and experience so many diverse personalities , occupations, lifestyles, yet all sharing one common bond is truly remarkable. This is one of those positive events in ones life that leaves a "smile and nod" when reflecting back in life of things done and people known. Thanks to all planners, participants, and pilots.”

Ken Beaubien, 1964 M20C, N6657U
Waterloo ,WI


“The Caravan created an elite club of ‘camaraderie’ for a special group of Mooney Pilots. The ambience in Madison, and especially at OSH was very intense. What a great feeling. Landing in formation was a real thrill. And finally spending a week with a group of Mooniacs at OSH was certainly worth repeating-and I will.”

Bob Achtel, N231DC
Sacramento, CA


“Armed with a brand new Private Pilot License (140 hours TT) and a recently acquired 1962 M20C (70 hours TT) I found myself on the morning of July 24th, 1999 winging my way to Oshkosh with the southern California regional Caravan. We were just two planes at the start, and picked up a third in Wichita, KS.

What an exciting experience this was to fly such a long cross-country (too stupid to be afraid) and to meet so many Mooney enthusiasts. The flight from MSN to OSH was an experience of a life time and the friendships that were formed are priceless. I look forward to Caravan 2000.”

Marty Petri, 1962 M20C, N6289U
Agua Dulce, CA


“While 1999 was my second year to fly into Oshkosh, it was my first with the Caravan. We decided to go again this year for a number of reasons, but first and foremost was the new friendships that were kindled. Friendships that were started in Bismarck, ND and continued thru the week. With or without the Caravan structure, flying into Oshkosh is easy and fun but going with a group that shares a common bond is similar to going with family.

Since Airventure 99, Linda and I have flown N9140X to many generic fly-ins. It's not unusual for someone to say, "Weren't you part of the Mooney caravan?" or "Didn't I meet you at Oshkosh?"

Every day my 1991 205 MSE looks up at me with her cute ‘lil landing lights and says "Dad, can we go now?" and every day I have to say "Just a few more days". Everyone is excited about Oshkosh. Moonies as far as you can see. Wow!, What a gas!”

Ron Polley, 1991 205 MSE, N9140X
Cśur d’Alene, ID


"The best part of the Caravan was getting to know the fraternity of people that have come together through the Mooney e-mail list. It was a week of hangar-flying at a higher level. Everyone already agreed on the best single-engine airplane, so there was none of the standard ‘they're too small, hard to land, etc...’ that always comes up at the local FBO. The loose formation flight from Madison was a rush and the feeling everyone had as we shut down in the camping area was one of great elation. There were a lot of ‘high-fives’ as we tied down and set up camp. I'll be back!”

Andy Barre, 1967 M20C, N9752M
Knoxville, TN


”I enjoyed the challenge of helping the organizing, coordinating and the execution of fellow Mooney enthusiast flying into the world's best airshow with the help of ATC, EAA, and FAA personnel. It truly made the Caravan flight a "trip of a lifetime" experience. I thought the Airventure convention was great before the Caravan emerged from a dream to a reality, but now it is better than ever with such a fine group of pilots to fly, camp, and share the memory with.”

Bill Rabek, 1981 Mooney 201, N1143N
Fayetteville, GA


“What I liked best was that the Caravan finally got me to get off my butt and go to Mecca, err, Oshkosh, after 20 years of flying. And having a big bunch of friends to camp with was, I think, a lot more fun than just pitching a tent amongst 10,000 strange airplanes.”

Les Niles, 1982 Mooney 231, N5452X
Palo Alto, CA


“Best: Camaraderie in the campground. ‘Nirvana for a Mooniac is spending day after day with other Mooniacs totally immersed in an aviation event.’ Those ice cold beers from Cody's cooler weren't too bad, either after a day in that unbearable heat!”

Frank Bowlin, 1967 M20F, N6496Q
Aptos, CA


Revision: 10/28/2010




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