Short Final: Clear Motivation

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In the early 1980s, I was working in the administration of East Coast Aero Tech (now part of National Aviation Academy), at Hanscom Field (KBED), Bedford, Massachusetts. ECAT was a top-rated Airframe & Powerplant (A&P) school, and part of my compensation agreement was that students would perform maintenance on my two-seat Grumman AA1-B—under the supervision of the certificated instructors, of course. The students would get live practice on a flying GA airplane, and I’d get some help with the expenses, a win-win.

At one point, I found myself in charge of graduate placement for the 18-month program, and with the financial setback from the oil embargo, job prospects had taken a big hit. So, I planned some outreach flights in the little Grumman to visit potential employers.

I was feeling sensitive about the fact that these students were working hard on my airplane, and I was having a tough time generating job offers for them. So, on one of my pep talks to the upcoming graduating class, I laid out the itinerary of my upcoming visits.

One of the wise-acres in the back piped up, “Now you tell us! If we knew you were going to use that airplane to get us jobs, we’d have fixed it better!”

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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