By Reggie Paulk
On May 3, Arapahoe Aero Inc. hosted a Mooney technical workshop at its hangar on the east ramp of Centennial Airport (APA). Scott Utz, owner of Arapahoe Aero, was excited to have the Kerrville, Texas-based Mooney Airplane Company visit for the first time in more than 10 years.
“Mooney approached me to host this technical workshop,” Utz says. “We’re trying to reinforce to our Mooney owners that Mooney is still supporting its product.”
Often referred to as “Mooniacs,” Mooney owners are somewhat obsessive about their airplanes and the reputation that comes with them.
“Mooney owners are a small community,” Utz continues. “It’s important for them to see the company continue to support them—especially since Mooney has been in and out of bankruptcy a few times.”
The technical workshops are a way for Mooney to inform existing customers about technical aspects of its aircraft, and to show potential customers the benefits of a relationship with Arapahoe Aero.
“We’re trying to touch customers that we haven’t seen before,” Utz said. “We’re here for the customer, watching out for their needs and doing a good job for them.”
In addition to being a service center for Mooney airplanes, Arapahoe Aero also maintains service center relationships with Cirrus Design Corp., Diamond Aircraft Industries Inc. and Cessna Aircraft Company. This allows Arapahoe Aero to perform warranty work on those aircraft and to keep relatively busy during these lean times.
On hand to meet with attendees was Pete Wolak, vice president of customer service for Mooney. Standing in front of a brand new Acclaim Type S, Wolak showed his enthusiasm for the workshops.
“This is the third in a series of technical workshops we’re doing this year,” Wolak explains. “We have three people from the factory, including myself, and two salespeople who are team representatives. The idea is to get in front of our owners and potential customers in order to give them an update on all the exciting things that are happening at Mooney Company.”
One focus of the workshop is to showcase Mooney’s latest products. Two Mooney Acclaims were on hand for demonstration rides, including the just-released Acclaim Type S. Boasting a cruise speed of 242 knots, the Type S is the fastest piston single on the market. Of course, there’s more to be excited about than just speed.
“Thanks to our government and the accelerated depreciation law, you can write off the bulk of the cost of the airplane in the first year,” Wolak said. “In addition, Mooney is offering incentives on the pre-Type S Acclaim. We’re matching the cost of options, so you can get 50 percent off the value of select options.”
Bob Shank, the Denver-based Mooney team representative for the northwestern United States, gave demonstration rides in his new Acclaim. With more than 7,000 flight hours under his belt, Shank is perfectly suited to his task of showing potential Mooney owners the capabilities of the aircraft.
“I’m responsible for all of the new sales for the northwest U.S.” Shank says. “This includes the Front Range of Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. I work with the service centers and I interface with customers who are interested in Mooney products.”
Sitting in his Acclaim demonstrator with plastic still covering the leather seats, Shank showed off the airplane’s features.
“I have this new Acclaim, so I can go out and sit down with customers, talk about the airplane and then do a demonstration flight to see if it meets their missions,” Shank said.
Shank is impressed with the Garmin 1000 avionics system.
“It’s state-of-the-art technology for general aviation airplanes,” he said.
Garmin has continuously reengineered and upgraded the G1000 during the three years it’s been on the market.
“We now have safe taxi and approach charts on the system,” Shank explains. “When the GFC700 autopilot is set up, the airplane will level off at a preset altitude. We can set up our approaches and our navigation, and when we reach cruising altitude, the system shows us our hot cylinder. We can lean the mixture, and either fly the airplane rich of peak or lean of peak temperature for the conditions.”
With the Acclaim Type S, Mooney sits atop the pinnacle of high performance aircraft design. Add an excellent network of service centers and sales representatives, and Mooney is showing its dedication to current and future customers.
For a video of the workshop, visit [http://www.reggiepaulk.com/2008/05/mooney-technical-workshop-showcases-new.html]. For more information, visit [http://www.mooney.com] and [http://www.aviationdirectory.com/ads/apa-aero/default.htm].