Friday, September 29, 2017

Mooney Summit V: Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport (KECP), Panama City, Bay County, Florida

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - This weekend, more than 100 pilots are gathering in Panama City Beach for the Mooney Summit.

"We try to make pilots more efficient, more competent, and we do this through education," Co-Director Ronald Dubin said. "I think we're one of the only events in the country that everything is completely free."

A Mooney is a small, propeller-driven aircraft.

Instead of driving, many pilots actually flew their Mooney to the gathering.

"They pull their planes up, they get a rental car," Dubin said. "We have a shuttle service for them if they don't want that and they learn. We educate them."

Officials said this is the biggest Mooney gathering in the United States. People came from all over, including one pilot from England.

"I was 17 when I first saw a picture of a Mooney and it was black," Andrew Hyett said. "I've wanted one ever since... you know, this was THE plane."

Hyett said the Mooney is the Ferrari of planes.

"There are no speed limits, so I can do 240 knots in my plane, perfectly happily," Hyett said.

"Any problem you have, you look down and you realize your problems are not that significant," Dubin said.

There will be a Mooney formation flight over Panama City Beach Saturday at around 5:30 p.m.

More information is available on

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