News


Mid Atlantic Wing Formation Clinic - Lynchburg, VA KLYH June 23-25

posted Feb 15, 2017, 9:21 AM by Paul Steen

Mooniacs;

The Mid Atlantic Group of the Mooney Caravan (MAG) will host a 2017 East Coast Regional Mooney Caravan Clinic scheduled for the weekend of 23-25 June (rain dates of 8 or 15 July) at KLYH (Lynchburg, VA). The Clinic will provide mentoring and qualification to new and returning pilots to fly the Mooney Caravan to AirVenture 2017 at OSH.

The schedule is to arrive at KLYH NLT 1100 on Friday, 23 June, with that afternoon devoted to ground school and demo flights. Returning Caravanners are encouraged to attend the ground school as a refresher. Qualification/training flights are scheduled for Saturday extending into Sunday according to individual requirements. Please use this link to register:

Click Here to Register for LYH Caravan Clinic

You will be met at the FBO, attend the ground school and a demo flight, then scheduled transportation will take you to the Fairfield Inn. You need only show up, we’ll do the rest. Expect a registration fee of $80 for a really nice tee shirt, lunches, and to cover incidentals and gratuities for the hotel/FBO staff. We have some great dinner events planned.

We selected KLYH as it offers a centralized location, 150’ runway, control tower, no restrictive airspace, proximity to the hotel (5 minutes), and most importantly, a courtesy van. Restaurants are within walking distance, and we have negotiated a reduced rate ($109) at the Fairfield Inn. Use this link to reserve your room:

Book your group rate for Mooney Pilots 

Be advised that there are a limited number of Kings and Queens available so you would be best served by reserving early if you want a choice.

The Mooney Caravan offers a unique opportunity to learn a new flying skill, become a more proficient pilot, make friends with a like-minded group of pilots, and fly a formation mass-arrival at OSH. This is serious fun, and I encourage you to explore this opportunity. We will be in touch with you closer to the event with more details, but in the meantime if you have any questions or just want to discuss the Caravan please call me at 703-304-7406 or email at jpr6353@comcast.net.

Jim “Goat” Rigoulot"

The 4th Annual Mooney Caravan Formation Flying Clinic is back at KHYI on March 31 to April 2, 2017

posted Feb 14, 2017, 8:31 AM by Paul Steen

Come join the Texas Wing of the Mooney Caravan for a Formation Flying Clinic in San Marcos, TX at KHYI. 

FBO:       Redbird Skyport at KHYI: (512) 878-6670
 
Contact:  Bucko Strehlow                 
               8 Corby Lane
               San Antonio, TX  78218
               (210) 887-0144
               bucko.strehlow@gmail.com
 
Purpose:  Train pilots to safely perform formation flying using classroom briefings and actual aircraft in actual conditions.  The clinics provide a professional learning format, with pre and post flight briefings, along with skilled observer pilots helping to conduct the clinic and riding in the training aircraft.
 
The Mooney Caravan organization is dedicated to facilitating a safe and enjoyable formation mass arrival flight into AirVenture Oshkosh each year, as well as developing opportunities (such as these clinics) throughout the year to get together and fly our fantastic airplanes. Our participants share a strong sense of camaraderie and the friendship’s born via our common interests in aviation and Mooney aircraft, spanning the continent and the entire year between Oshkosh Caravan flights. The enjoyment and enthusiasm which we all experience at AirVenture doesn’t wear off; we keep it going throughout the year! 
 
Why you should do it (Check all that may apply): 
 
     1.  Because IT WILL BE A LOT OF FUN !!!
     2.  To learn new skills and make yourself a better pilot.
     3.  To be able to fly into Oshkosh in an organized group (with the Mooney Caravan), and with more safely than using the FISK arrival. (Note: this is totally optional.  A lot of you may not even be going to KOSH this year, but this will hopefully plant the seed and you can join us in the future.)
     4.  See #1 above-  IT IS A LOT OF FUN DOING THIS TYPE OF FLYING.
 
 
Sign Up Deadline:  Friday, March 17, 2017, which is two (2) weeks before the actual clinic.  This is to allow us to get enough Observer/ Safety Pilots for the course.  These pilots may be coming from California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, and we need time to organize how many are required.  Also, please note that attendance may be limited, so it is best to SIGN UP EARLY.  Also, if Safety pilots are limited, some preference may be given to pilots planning to fly in this year's Caravan.
 
Cost:  $ 100.   This is due at Sign Up.  This covers dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.  It will also be used to buy beer and sodas for the dinners.
 
Hotel:  Still deciding.  (Negotiations on room rates are presently ongoing.) You will pay for your own hotel room, and are free to either stay with the group or to make your own arrangements. A list of participants will be provided about a week before each clinic so that you may make arrangements to share rooms, if you wish.
 
Transportation:  You fly there and we will get you back and forth on the ground.  Anyone getting a rental or having a personal car available would be appreciated and pressed into service.
 
Homework Download and read the "Mooney Caravan Formation Guide" prior to attending the clinic. It can be downloaded from the mooneycaravan.com website from a link in the "Training" section. Newbies:  Watch the Video of the ground training (filmed at an earlier San Marcos/ KHYI Clinic) also in the training section of the website.
I know: there is a lot of information there.  The important items will be reviewed at the Basic Formation Ground School on Friday morning, but you need to have read the Guide so that the information presented at the briefing will be somewhat familiar to you.  Note: If you have not read the Guide prior to coming to the clinic, you may not fly in the clinic.
 
So, sign up if you are coming by sending your $ 100 to me at the above contact address, along with your email and phone information.
 
Also include your ratings (SEL, IFR, Comm'l, etc), approximate flying hours, Mooney Model, home base, and whether you'll be flying with the Caravan into KOSH this year or in the future.
 
If you are like me, I originally was going to go to Oshkosh years ago but was planning on landing at a satellite airfield because I did not enjoy the VFR/ FISK arrival.  Having done multiple Formation Flying Clinics in Yuma, AZ,  El Paso, TX, Kerrville, TX, and San Marcos, TX, I have now flown with the Mooney Caravan and arrived in style and safety for the past three (3) years.
 
Warning:  This type of flying is very addicting:  I have flown over 100 formation hours in 2016 alone, and almost 30 hours so far this year (2017) as part of multiple formation elements (2 ships, 3 ships, and 4 ships).  Texas has a lot of people interested in this and a lot of opportunities abound to fly together.

Flying MONKeys Midwest Mooney Caravan Clinic - Kansas City, MO - April 20-23, 2017

posted Jan 23, 2017, 6:32 PM by Paul Steen

This clinic is hosted in conjunction with the BeechNutz and only 8 slots are available for Mooney Pilots. Watch this space for further information.

Mooney Caravan/Red Star Pilots Assn. Gunfighters Formation Clinic-Feb 2-5, 2017

posted Oct 25, 2016, 2:30 PM by Chuck Crinnian   [ updated Oct 25, 2016, 2:36 PM ]


Plan to attend the sixth annual Gunfighters Formation Clinic in Yuma AZ for your Mooney Caravan formation training and proficiency.  This year we are expanding formation education and training opportunities to include the Red Star Pilots Assn for the second year.  This will be a multifaceted event with something for everyone and the opportunity to “step up your game”. Learn and improve your formation skills from well qualified pilots in a setting optimized for training efficiency and effectiveness.  Airshow type performances from F-35’s, AV-8’s, FA-18’s, and helo squadrons are a daily added bonus.

Venue:  MCAS Yuma, Millionair FBO.  Again, James “Curly” Combs the GM of Millionair extends his welcome to our group.  Excellent facility and staff with on- site café, briefing areas, and theater.  This is the best time of the year to fly in the southwest. 

Airspace:  Numerous dedicated formation training areas with discrete TAC freqs.  All missions will be dispatched to assigned training areas by the Air Boss/Deputy Air Boss to ensure deconfliction and efficiency.

Lodging:  Special arrangements have been made with the SpringHill Suites and Fairfield Suites for a nightly rate of $109.  This includes breakfast.  You must call 928-783-7853 (Springhill) or 928-345-1800 (Fairfield) and use group code ‘GFFO’ to get the discounted rate.

Alternatively, copy this link-past in your browser and reserve your room at the Springhill or Fairfield on line:

http://www.marriott.com/meeting-event-hotels/group-corporate-travel/groupCorp.mi?resLinkData=Gunfighters%20Formation%20Flying%20Cycle%5EYUMFI%60GFFGFFA%60109.00%60USD%60false%602%60;YUMSH%60GFFGFFA%60109.00%60USD%60false%602%602/2/17%602/5/17%601/10/17&app=resvlink&stop_mobi=yes

  The cutoff date for this special rate is Monday, January 9th, do not delay.

Training Tracks:

  • Mooney 2 ship, basic proficiency, newbie.  Caravan qualifications.

  • Mooney 2-3 ship, recurrent training/proficiency.

  • Mooney Advanced Formation training

  • RPA FAST training/proficiency 4-ship.  Includes Mooney and RPA aircraft (CJ-6, Yak, T-34)

  • RPA/FAST Rec rides and check rides.  Two RPA Check Pilots on site!

  • Optional: TAC FORM/CAS (RPA aircraft only, but Mooney pilots welcome to be involved in briefing and GIB positions.  This will occur if there are enough qualified IP’s and aircraft crews to support.  CAS “Bombing” contest.

Clinic Fee:  $120.  This includes clinic overhead, lunches on Thurs, Friday, Saturday, and Dinner Friday and Saturday evening.  Also will get you a Gunfighter T-Shirt, patch, and Zap Stickers, as well as briefing cards, TAC Form cards, CAS cards.  Additionally, happy hour reception on Thursday evening.  Drinks and Snacks.  Tips to the ground crews and transportation crews will be included.  This year will have improved transportation system in place.

Registration:  E-Mail Chuck “Cowboy” Crinnian at chiefpilot@aviationdoc.net NLT: 02 JAN 2017 with the following:

  1. NAME

  2. Aircraft type/N#

  3. Cell Phone#, Home Base

  4. Arrival Date

  5. Your goals for the clinic

  6. Confirm hotel registration

  7. T-Shirt Size

Payment (cash or check) due at clinic registration.  RPA pilots may use the on-line clinic sign-up on the RPA web site.  But, please register NLT: 02 JAN 2017 so we can get our shirts and bling ordered and on time!

This will be an event not to miss out on, take your formation flying skills to new levels and expand your aviation experience.  Register now so we can plan in advance your clinic details.  See the Gunfighters Formation Clinic page in Facebook.

California Formation Clinic - October 21 -23, 2016

posted Sep 9, 2016, 6:50 AM by Paul Steen

California Formation Clinic - October 21-23 in Visalia CA.  Hosted by Wolfgang Polak and Hepcats, our Grumman brethren, this event is open to  Mooneys and others. Some of you on the West Coast may already be in contact with Wolfgang for hotel and admin info. 

We want to be good guests, so if you would like to go and are a newbie/want a safety, please contact Larry 'Joker' Brennan (n9201a-at-yahoo) who will help arrange Caravan safeties and can put you in touch with our host. 

If this will be your first clinic, ensure before arriving you (1) read the Formation Guide basic section (pages 1-52) AND (2) watch the ground clinic video. Both resources are under the website's Training tab.

Mooney Caravan XIX 2016 The Movie - by Mason Shopperly

posted Aug 10, 2016, 8:00 PM by Paul Steen   [ updated Aug 10, 2016, 8:01 PM ]

Mooney Caravan XIX 2016 - by Mason Shopperly


Mooney Caravan XIX 2016 Recap

posted Aug 10, 2016, 7:50 PM by Paul Steen

The 2016 Mooney Caravan was worth the wait. After a four-hour departure delay to let storms move and clouds lift, 41 Mooneys—reconfigured into two-ship elements—flew safely to Oshkosh from Madison, WI on Sunday, July 24 under the professional flight lead of Chuck “Cowboy” Crinnian. For the first time in the Caravan’s 19-year history, our mass arrival became an Airventure “special event,” with a listing on the EAA’s schedule, live coverage on the Jumbotron and Mooney experts Don and Jan Maxwell announcing our lineup to the crowd.

The 2016 Caravan welcomed 6 new element leads and 16 newbies, flying M20Cs, M20Rs and various models in between. Ships departed at 15- or 30-second intervals from Madison for a roughly 38-minute flight to 36L at OSH. With safety and the integrity of the formation being paramount, Cowboy reconfigured the formation from the Caravan’s traditional three-ship vic to two-ship elements to allow for flexibility and an efficient arrival in the event of an in-flight runway change from OSH Tower.

This year, the EAA positioned our parking area on the Northwest side of runway 27, across from our usual location.  The 2016 North 40 parking was very close to Friar Tuck's restaurant but a bus ride or long walk from the shower and flush toilet facilities.  

By midweek, a number of Mooney Caravan activities had taken place and most had settled in to a groove. The Caravan’s first annual scavenger hunt proved a family-friendly hit and a welcome addition to the traditional event lineup: the dinner at Pedro’s and the Annual BBQ and raffle, the Mooney Owners Forum and the Ask the Experts Panel, the Royal and Ancient Secret and Sober Society of the Single Malt, the Sponsorship Social and the two sponsored breakfasts. The BBQ was yet again a huge success with 135 in attendance. There was another new wrinkle Wednesday night: Mooney Caravan participants donned Hawaiian shirts to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor and to attend themed activities and performances, such as the EAA Concert Band and Ladies Must Swing, an all-woman big band, before gathering for the magical night air show and fireworks event.

Oshkosh is a special place for many of us. And the Mooney Caravan? Some would describe it as a means to get to Oshkosh. However, to those that remember its origin, and for those of us discovering it, it’s a means to ensure that we camp together and enjoy fellowship with friends. For one week in July, we can truly say we are where the party is at—the aviation celebration of the year.

And speaking of parties and celebrations, next year is going to be a remarkable milestone. It will mark the Mooney Caravan's 20th year!  We hope you join us in Madison in 2017 to be part of the celebration and adventure. Bring your Mooney; bring a friend; and bring your love for flying!  We look forward to seeing you!

The Most Interesting Lead in the World

posted Jul 24, 2016, 6:38 AM by Phil Verghese   [ updated Jul 24, 2016, 6:40 AM ]

Cowboy is... the most interesting lead in the world

Learn about our 2016 flight lead, Chuck "Cowboy" Crinnian in this informative video.

California Caravan Practice - Chino, CA (click on the link for pictures from the event)

posted Jul 10, 2016, 8:33 AM by Paul Steen   [ updated Jul 10, 2016, 8:35 AM ]

The weekend of 9-10 July saw ten aircraft stage from Chino, CA for two, three, four and five-ship sorties involving  Cessna, Beech, Nanchang and of course Mooney aircraft. Two new Caravaners demonstrated proficiency while others sharpened their skills and learned more advanced ones. 

Chino is an extremely historic airport with a rich history and two of the best warbird museums on the planet. In addition, the fuel price and service at Flying Tigers was matched by outstanding hospitality and a terrific vintage ambience. In a happy coincidence, Flying Tiger gave our pilots and guests a preview of their Oshkosh trip by serving brats and sauerkraut for lunch!  

Special thanks for B2Osh, C2Osh and RPA leads Steve Blythe, Mike Jesch and Robin "EBay" Hou for supporting our efforts as safeties and flight leads.  Mooney pilots included Dallas Ashley, Larry "Joker" Brennan, Robert "Hoser" Davis, Mike "Flash" Knobler, Jolie Lucas, Dan Lubell, and Bob Velker.  Ron Moore from Mooney International also came out to support our efforts. 

Mid-Atlantic Regional Formation Clinic Rescheduled

posted May 22, 2016, 10:12 AM by Chuck Crinnian

Due to poor weather, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Formation Clinic has been re-scheduled to June 17-19.  The Mooney Caravan Flight Operations section just completed an intense safety pilot education seminar thus, the clinic is well prepared to mentor new formation pilots and provide recurrent training for past Caravan pilots.  The Safety Pilots at the Mid-Atlantic clinic are well prepared to guide the ‘newbie’ in our standardized program for formation techniques and safety.

 

The revised schedule format is modified to provide classroom instruction on Friday June 17 starting at 12:00.  Following this, there will be demo flights with the Safety Pilots showing the ‘newbies’ the basic formation skills.  Formation practice will start on Saturday June 18th.  See the attached schedule.

 

If you are on the east side of the country, this is your clinic to get Mooney Caravan formation proficiency.

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