Mooney Aerospace Group Files For Bankruptcy

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Mooney Aerospace Group Ltd. (MASG), the former parent company of Mooney Airplane Co. (MAC), filed last Thursday for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in federal court in Maryland. MASG sold its interest in MAC to an investor earlier this month, so the filing has no impact on the aircraft manufacturer, based in Kerrville, Texas. In court papers, MASG listed liabilities of $65.5 million and no assets. "The bankruptcy doesn't affect the airplane company," said J. Nelson Happy, president of MASG. "What we were able to do was lift these major financial issues away from the manufacturing operation." Unfortunately, that may not be the notion conjured in an aircraft buyer's mind when he or she hears Mooney and bankruptcy. MASG recently lost a court case in California, in which it was ordered to pay almost $24 million to its former landlord at Long Beach Airport, where it had been based in the form of Advanced Aeronautical Structures Inc., or AASI, the developer of the JetCruzer aircraft. The AASI plant was closed in early 2003 when MASG moved to Kerrville to take over the Mooney operation.