Small-Group Forum a Big-Time Success

May 13, 2022

Our recent, first-time Boeing Operators Forum exceeded our expectations – and, from all accounts, the attendees, too. We heard comments from “smashing success” and “so well coordinated” to “truly helpful” and “I’m glad I came.” If you missed this one, don’t worry. We hope to make this an annual event.

Also, we plan to keep the conversations going through a new LinkedIn BBJ Operators Group we’ve started. It will be led by President Jarid King. If you want to be part of this private group, the first step is to ensure you are connected to Jarid on LinkedIn. Then he can send you an invite. Simply accept, and you’re in.

Our forum kicked off with a meet-and-greet reception at the Westin Dallas Stonebriar Hotel, followed by dinner at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum. In addition to networking, a highlight was exploring the museum’s fine warbird collection – including two aircraft we painted: the World War II-era B-25H Mitchell bomber and a Korean War-era U.S. Navy Grumman F9F-2B Panther.

Guests at our Boeing Operators Forum visit next to a B-25H Mitchell bomber
King Aerospace painted this North American B-25H Mitchell bomber, and the 90-year-old gentleman who did the original nose art recreated it for this restoration. This plane, which did not serve in combat, was restored in the colors of the B-25H Barbie III flown in 1944 by Lt. Col. Robert T. “R.T.” Smith, one of the original Flying Tigers. The B-25H played a major role in World War II and is famed for the 1942 Doolittle Raid.


This sleek Grumman F9F Panther is another iconic museum aircraft King Aerospace painted. The F9F Panther was the first Navy jet to shoot down an enemy aircraft and the first jet used by the Blue Angels aerobatic team. The Panther was used extensively in the Korean War.

Collaboration and Communication
On May 10, we had a full day of sessions and round-table discussions. Our goal was to provide a place where operators could come together in person and speak frankly about everything from what’s working well to what’s keeping them up at night. It felt like we achieved that. Operators talked about maximizing efficiencies, lowering maintenance costs, upgrading cockpits and interiors, making the most of field support, overcoming supply-chain issues and more. We all learned something.

While we had no big-name speakers and formal presentations, we did have plenty of knowledgeable folks with hands-on BBJ experience. Those included representatives from Boeing, Collins Aerospace, Jetaire and CFM (General Electric and Safran). There were no sales pitches, but plenty of open and honest product updates, service suggestions and solutions to common challenges.

With a Little Help from Our Friends
Chairman and Founder Jerry King closed the day with heartfelt comments delivered in his now-infamous heart costume. He spoke about relaunching his career after leaving Associated Air Center as CEO and discovering no one would hire him. He had $20 in the bank (that had to last a month) and recommendations from friends. One of those was Southwest Airlines CEO Herb Kelleher, who wrote in 1992 that writing the letter was both a pleasure and a joy because Mr. King’s “high energy, enthusiasm, dedication, compassion, good humor and desire to excel are seldom equaled.”

Mr. King closed the forum by telling attendees, “I’m always good for a meal – and after 5, a rum and Coke.” We know he’d love for you to take him up on that.