November 19, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
Most of Mooney Aviation Company’s remaining 53 employees, down from 500 in 2008, will be laid off by year’s end, the company has told its employees. The company will be down to less than 10 employees. However, the company is not shutting down, and a spokeswoman stressed that Mooney will continue to support present owners and provide a level of spare parts.
“We are not shutting down,” said Mooney Chief Financial Officer Barry Hodkin. “However, we cannot continue to subsidize the company at the level we have in the recent past. We have been in discussions with potential investors for more than 18 months and will continue to work with them. If things change, then the scope of this layoff could change.”
Mooney recently foreclosed on itself, a move that eliminated debt and changed the name to Mooney Aviation Company. However, it also left some investors behind. The move was aimed at making the company more attractive to investors.
Hodkin said negotiations with potential investors continue, but there have been no commitments made to date.
“We will continue to protect Mooney’s assets both tangible and intangible,” Hodkin said. “Those assets include the facilities and our certificates for production and manufacturing.”
Mooney began layoffs in 2008. At that time, the company employed approximately 500 people in the manufacture of its high-performance, single-engine aircraft. That year, as the economy worsened Mooney started taking steps to survive the economic downturn. On Nov. 4, 2008, more than 200 employees were furloughed. Smaller reductions in force continued until they reached today’s employment level of 53.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
As the cold weather chills AOPA’s Headquarters in Frederick, many of us are inside generating new resources for flying clubs.
In my house, every Friday night is “Movie Night.” While the movies are rarely educational (I don’t think I learned anything from the Lego Movie), we look forward to the weekly opportunity to spend time together. Why not use the same concept for your Flying Club (with the addition of education, of course)?
AOPA Flying Club Manager Kelby Ferwerda posted the following on the AOPA Flying Club Facebook Page: “Recently I’ve talked with quite a few Flying Clubs about maintaining social activity through the cold winter months. Some clubs host Holliday Parties, others have Potluck Movie Nights. What does your club do to keep members involved during the chilly months?”
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