Mooney Shrinks To Skeleton Crew, Seeks Investor Support

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Mooney Aviation Company began a company-wide "draw down" Friday that will see its staff cut from 53 positions to "less than 10" by Jan. 1; the company says it is not shutting down and its aircraft will be supported. AVweb spoke with Mooney's Susan Harrison Friday, who confirmed the details. The layoffs will be staggered through December. Beginning in 2011, Mooney will be staffed by a skeleton crew that will maintain the company's facilities, its type and production certificates, and parts inventory, and provide technical support to owners. The bottom line appears to be this: Come January, the phone at Mooney may sometimes go unanswered, but, for now, that does not mean the company has closed shop. Mooney has been involved in negotiations with potential investors for 18 months and says those efforts will continue.

Mooney designs have been market-tested for more than 60 years and claims among its achievements the first single-engine aircraft certified for flight into known icing and the first single-engine production aircraft to achieve 200 mph on 200 hp. In 2008, Mooney had 500 employees but lost 200 by November and reductions in personnel have continued. As recently as April, Mooney reported it had sold all inventory aircraft and was watching the market for cues that would allow the company to restart production. Friday, the company posted an announcement to its website describing the conditions described above. Find it here.