I have made the decision to shut down Cloud Nine Rescue Flights after over 11 years (roughly 12 years since my first dog flight back in the Mooney), over 3,000 homeless pets saved, and 4 different aircraft. This is not a decision made lightly and one that I have been considering for some time. However the more I say it the more confident I am it is the correct decision. I started Cloud Nine back in 2009 with the clapped out old Aztec I bought as my first airplane. In those early years (back when I was single and pre-kids) I flew a tremendous amount. 2010 had 35 transports total, mostly in the Aztec although some in the 310 that was donated in August of that year. I put 900 hours on the Aztec in 3 years, almost entirely flying homeless pets and spanning coast to coast, doing as far as LA to NYC in one day in that plane, and flying 30 hours in a 48 hour period (not single pilot - Danos was along for that one) going to Cozumel and back to PA. 50 hours in one week going from PA, Florida, Cozumel, Colorado, back to Cozumel, and then back home via Florida and New York. I flew that plane to remote gravel strips in northern Quebec flying veterinarians and vet techs and had a goose poo on the windshield at 6,000 ft in IMC, which wasn't comforting in the least. In 2010 I was approached by a man I'd met at the airport about donating his 310 he'd owned for 25 years but was having a hard time selling with timed out engines. He had upgraded to a T310R that he upgraded to a Ram IV. This was the first big change for Cloud Nine, and with the Aztec aging (pushing 10k hours TTAF, and it showed) the 310 is what allowed us to keep going. The extra speed made longer trips more doable, and we fell into a routine of doing trips from Houston to the northeast as a milk run (standard milk runs in the Aztec were the Carolinas to the northeast). The 310 continued the adventures, going as far south as Belize, going to Seattle, all over. Upon moving to Kansas we'd gotten the 310 to a point of essentially being in top condition with new engines, a nice panel, but it had never really fit the mission well due to the smaller cabin. With increasing trip requests to the west coast and other destinations in the Rockies, a naturally aspirated piston twin wasn't fitting the bill for capability to provide reliable transports over that area. This prompted a decision to move towards a cabin class piston twin, and with the help of a local friend I found a 414 that was a good candidate. The 310 never made it to the market publicly before selling and we closed the deal on the 414. The 414, while a necessary step, was a mechanical nightmare and the only plane to ever try to eat me out of house and home. It spent more time broken than functioning and while it was a milestone to fly a cabin class pressurized piston twin, owning it was extremely stressful. We only owned that two years and 250 hours, and it spent more time in the shop than flying. However I got to hit another milestone with that plane, of upgrading to 4-bladed MT props. Those were fantastic. That plane responded to Hurricane Maria down in St. Croix... and dodging night thunderstorms around the Bermuda triangle with no on-board radar or weather download (or stormscope) was... not fun. Just when I wasn't sure if we'd be able to keep on with the 414 due to it needing a top overhaul (and we were given a great opportunity by RAM on overhauled engines), the conditions were right and we were able to acquire the MU-2. Talk about another milestone and item off the bucket list, I had always wanted to fly the MU-2 and it's proven the best, fastest, and most reliable aircraft we've ever owned and operated. And for that reason, the decision to shut down and sell has been one I've spent a long time thinking about and had much uncertainty over. This is a one-way ticket and it's unlikely I'll ever be able to be in a position to fly an MU-2 again, certainly not in the capacity of having complete operational control. Even jumping back into the piston twin world, while probably doable, is not something I see happening in the future. However, Cloud Nine has also taken its toll on me. The stress of being financially responsible for an aircraft that I absolutely cannot afford (and without the donations sufficient to support it) has been a constant struggle for a decade. I hate asking for money, and always have. We've had several times when finances were such that I didn't know if we'd be able to continue and we'd be forced to shutdown. And then with the MU-2, there's the constant looming threat of a $50k+ failure that would scrap the airplane anyway. But on top of that the kids aren't getting any littler, my wife and I aren't getting any younger. For years, Cloud Nine was an adventure. Now it's turned into something that prevents new adventures. I've been doing the same thing for 11 years, climbed the mountain, met the goals. But I've never had the time or bandwidth to fly taildraggers, fly gliders, get my seaplane rating. I want to share aviation with the kids and an MU-2 is precisely the wrong plane for that. The trips I do are too long, and while they've enjoyed them, the balance has meant far more time of me doing the trips solo or away from the family. I want to take my wife places with the motorcycles and we can go do some fun rides on the twisties like we used to, we want to do downwind dashes (inspired by @tonycondon ) and chase with the RV. The kids have been exposed to animal rescue and someday in the future maybe it will be right to get them involved again. But for now, the juice isn't worth the squeeze. I will post a for sale ad for the MU-2 in The Classifieds. We will need to sell it and hopefully I can get Cloud Nine closed out by the end of the year.