Mooney Aircraft appears to have new ownership and management but just exactly who is still a bit of a mystery.
On Mooney’s website an announcement was made about the changes that are headed to the historic, yet long financially troubled, airplane manufacturer.
“There is new management at Mooney and it’s made up entirely of pilots and Mooney owners giving the company a unique and valuable perspective going forward,” wrote new CEO Jonny Pollack.
In the letter, Pollack said he’s been overseeing a skeleton crew at the company’s Kerrville plant, adjacent to the Kerrville-Kerr County Airport, where they’ve been making parts for the fleet of 7,000 aircraft that have been made here for more than 60 years.
Pollack’s letter was aimed more at the existing Mooney ownership with promises of upgrades to navigation and avionics in the coming months. Pollack said the company has been granted FAA approval to upgrade the software for the planes.
“Our first priority is to re-engage and rebuild our relationship with the Mooney community,” Pollack wrote.
While Pollack didn’t reveal the majority of his investors — other than Mooney pilots and owners — he did mention that Meijing Group will remain a partner in the new venture. Meijing acquired Mooney in 2013 but was unable to scale the business successfully.
With the announcement that Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing was going to build a production facility in Kerrville in 2021, Kerr Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Gil Salinas said this latest version of Mooney could be another piece of a hoped for aviation hub for Kerrville.
“Mooney is a strong brand at a national and international level,” said Salinas, adding he has almost no detail in what has happened with the company as far as the acquisition.
Pollack said in his note that the company will be focused primarily on servicing the existing fleet of planes, making parts and other services before heading back into manufacturing.
“We are also working on those challenges that have gone unresolved to date,” Pollack wrote. “A useful load increase retrofit is in the works. Once that is tackled, it will allow us to consider other design challenges such as a ballistic parachute, auto-land and a larger cabin.”
Earlier this year, Mooney was able to catch up on more than $340,000 in back taxes owed to the Kerrville Independent School District, the city of Kerrville and Kerr County. That ended a potential lawsuit by Kerr County to collect the money.
Mooney has gone through 11 ownership changes and three bankruptcies since moving to Kerrville in the 1950s. Mooney has built and delivered 41 single-engine airplanes since 2013.