January 1, 2020
It’s a new year and once again I ask myself: “Do I really need to write a blog or newsletter?” Just about the time I think it’s time to quit, someone writes or calls to tell me how much they want to hear what I am thinking. So here goes one more time!
As we enter a new year, it’s time to reflect on the past year and look forward to the new year. The fact that I’m around to write this and you’re able to read it is a great start! Reflecting backward, life is like flying an airplane. There are moments of boredom, surprises, self satisfaction, frustration and excitement complete with emotional and financial cost. How we deal with these life events impacts our outcome.
This past year the King Aerospace companies have done good in a lot of ways. About 30 corporate jets were painted at the KACC Ardmore facility. Some 35 Boeing Business Jets visited the facility for maintenance, avionics and interior refurbishment. Plans are being finalized to build a new hangar and shop facilities that would accommodate multiple large aircraft and the interior shops needed to support large aircraft interior projects. KACC is honored to continue to provide depot services for military and government aircraft. Most important of all, customer expectations were met and in most cases exceeded through “old school values” of on time delivery, quality services and embracing those who entrust us to provide aviation services to them and their organization in a win-win team environment.
Our KAI government programs continue to set new performance standards all over the world as a dedicated teammate to our military and government customers. Our positive performance has enabled KAI to grow and touch more lives at new locations. As I often say to remind myself and others, “It’s about touching lives and making a positive difference. We just happen to work on aircraft.” I am so very proud of the men and women who wear the KA Gold wings that take sincere ownership in their commitment to God-Country-Family.
To me, life is like flying regardless of where you are on your life journey. There are just some fundamental and universal emergency rules we need to follow:
UNIVERSAL EMERGENCY AVIATION RULES
1. AVIATE: Fly your aircraft. (Control things in your life as best as you can).
2. NAVIGATE: Decide where you’re headed. (Create a plan and follow your plan,
regardless of whether it is a crash or soft landing on a runway).
3. COMMUNICATE: Let those who “need to know” know what is taking place.
Several years ago, I desperately needed to get from Panama City, Florida to Miami. I needed to inspect some ground support equipment that I purchased that I had reason to believe didn’t exist (and I was right). There were severe storms in Florida at that time and I found only one person who was willing to fly me to Miami. I was warned that he was a little crusty! “Joe” was a World War II Hump pilot and he owned a Beech Baron. “The Hump” was the nickname for an airlift operation that crossed the Himalayan Mountains into China. It was also called “Skyway to Hell” and the “Aluminum Trail” due to the number of aircraft that crashed along the route. I met Joe at the local FBO and we both looked at the radar screen. It looked like someone had painted the entire screen dark red. He somberly looked at me and said, “I wouldn’t normally go, but if you’re willing to go, we’ll go.” I looked at the screen and then at Joe and said, “Let’s go.” I was amazed to watch this man surgically and methodically pick his way between walls of black clouds the entire route between Panama City and Miami. On that trip, I learned much more than the fact that my ground support equipment didn’t exist. I learned how an old school aviation warrior operates. I salute our early aviation pioneers who truly flew on a wing and a prayer.
May this past year provide you with positive memories and lots of learning lessons and may the new year be even better. The older I get, the clearer it becomes that life is not easy and what is important is how we respond to the cards we are dealt. There are countless land mines in life. If we will maintain our faith, focus, prayers and plans and persevere, we can and will make a positive difference. I routinely remind myself that I am simply a flunky who is too dumb to quit. I also remind myself that it is about how you deal with life’s challenges that really matters. Know that you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers as we begin our journey to a great 2020, with God’s favor!
Written by KING AEROSPACE Founder, Jerry Allan King-Echevarria.