Short Final: Clear Motivation


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!”

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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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