What's Up - June 2013

Love Story Number Two (Handshakes Are Alive and Well)

By Larry Shapiro

A few weeks ago I started a telephone relationship with a soybean and corn farmer “back home”  in Kansas. No! Seriously, I really did. That was a record breaker, then, for distance; we’ve since had these same conversations and hand shakes from as far away as Austria, Afghanistan (for the second time) and we just added Russia.

By the way, we also just completed another handshake deal way out in Missouri on an airplane we’ve never seen and it was another homerun…have faith, my friends, have faith.

Birds of a Feather

(Larry Shapiro)For those of us who actually walk around when we do a “walk around”  during the ceremony called a “pre-flight inspection,”  we’ve been told that during certain times of the year we should be aware of pieces of grass or straw, and other non-descript items, in or around our cowl openings. I can honestly say I’ve done it once or twice and have never hit pay dirt until last week when I took a closer look under the bonnet and low and behold…Yep! There it was, or maybe I should say, here it is.

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What's Up - May 2013

Manners May Be Free… But…

By Larry Shapiro

They do have value. I must say thanks to all of you that took some of your valuable time to express your appreciation and offered comments on my “Love Stories” in last month’s issue of In Flight USA. Wow, I was knocked off my “throne” and I am truly humbled by your response. I was amazed that my love stories made it all around the world (I’m blushing) so, here’s a few follow up reactions to share.

A Love Story…A Real Love Story (Continued)
More keys – shock, that’s the only word I can think of. Two more heroes came forward to talk about giving me their keys. One has already done it and the other is still saying farewell and hugging his airplane good-bye. Wow! Bravo, not to me, but to them. I’m so sorry I didn’t finish medical school so I could prescribe some ice cream and candy for them. Come to think of it, I never even started medical school.

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What's Up - April 2013

A Love Story…Not the Movie, a Real Love Story

By Larry Shapiro

I’m going to try and break away from my usual feeble attempt at providing you with a small dose of humor and instead share with you not one, not two, but three “REAL” love stories and I’m starring in at least two of them. I have to give credit for one of them to a much more deserving person, and one of my new heroes…you’ll see why if you are still reading this column, and haven’t put your copy of In Flight down. It won’t matter, but you’ll lose and I won’t like you any more.

The Smell of Plastic…Love Story Number One

While basking in the wafting aroma of the “new plastic” ticket I was sitting on, flying from SoCal to NorCal, an emotional thought crossed my mind. I was flying alone for the first time in years  – not by plan, but by circumstances – I was flying solo instead of with other pilots that just happened to be there on previous flights.   I know there was a tear or two on my face as I realized that this was my first real solo flight since the FAA stripped me of my flying privileges.  Wow!  Really amazing thoughts and feelings zoomed in and out of my head and heart, but that’s the way it was and should be.

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What's Up - March 2013

Little Things Mean a Lot

By Larry Shapiro

And that’s not just the name of a song. Favors always have a cost and sometimes that cost is actually money. Low-end airplanes (the inexpensive type) cost a lot of money to sell, and in my business you always lose some of those dollars – it’s just the nature of the beast. For those buying or selling low-end airplanes, it takes the same amount of time and work but its like lawyers that won’t take cases that won’t make them rich, especially medical cases. There are now limits on compensation they can win and they don’t want to bother, win or lose.

The same is true with commission sales on entry-level airplanes… but if you are honest and accept the responsibility of providing that service to our community, then that’s just the way it is. This is especially true when dealing with donations and free airplanes that folks want to give away. It soaks up time, and other than the personal reward of knowing I did something good, I just suck it up and do it. Okay, so sometimes I get cookies. 

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What's Up - February 2013

Off to a Great Start with a Sale on Day One of 2013

By Larry Shapiro

As many stories often begin: It was a dark and stormy night (day) – and this time it actually was. My BFFL and I thought we should pay a token visit to our office and pretend we are actually business owners with a token amount of responsibility even on New Year’s Day. You may quote me on this, but I’d rather you don’t. We assumed we’d be the only ones there and we weren’t very wrong. Our home base could best be described as, “cold and alone.”

We of course turned on the lights, cranked up the heat, put water down for our dogs (I never leave home with out them or my AMEX Card), and opened my email. Here goes, (I’m clearing my throat), the first and only messages read, “I’ve got money now, if you still have that airplane, I want to do a deal today!” We did and we did!

2013 started off the way we wish every day would. The airplane was delivered and four people were very happy: the new owner and future pilot, the friend that referred the buyer to us, my wife for all the “wifey reasons,” and of course me. Life was good!

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